With a whopping 24 cars unveiled at this year’s Meguiar’s MotorEx you’d think it’d be a tough thing to really make a statement and stand out from the pack, but that’s exactly what the Real Steel Group managed to do their with stunning 1978 Porsche 911 SC.
The car was built for their customer Livi, and to simply call it a restomod we feel doesn’t really do the car justice. Steve Mommsen from Real Steel gave us the full run down on what it took to turn the 911 into what it is now, and the story of what’s underneath the skin is just as compelling as seeing the machine in person.
“We drew up the concepts for the owner and from day one we envisaged building the car to the level we did, due to the engineering capabilities we have within our own walls,” said Steve. “The idea of the build was to recreate the 911 as a GT-oriented car if Porsche was to re-do it themselves today, using modern engineering techniques throughout.”
“We designed and machined those wheels all in house, which is why nobody was able to recognise them – they’re a one off deal,” said Steve. “We took inspiration from the current GT3 RS for the spoke design, and then machined them as three piece wheels in house to specification.” The wheels measure 18×8.5 in the front and 18×9.5 in the rear.
The same can be said for the bumpers and rear spoiler, which Real Steel 3D modeled from CAD designs. “The front bumper is partly inspired by an original RSR bumper, which we softened the edges on as the owner requested,” said Steve. “We clay modeled the bumpers and the rear spoiler, shaping them as we went to get the understated and modernised look we were after.”
After that, an 80kg block of billet aluminium was machined down to just a 2.5kg billet piece for the rear wing. “That’s the stuff people just don’t see, because it’s hidden under the paint and you wouldn’t know unless someone told you,” said Steve.
The term nut and bolt restoration/build is used frequently these days, but for Real Steel there wasn’t a single part of the car that wasn’t modified during the build process. “The amount of billet parts used throughout the car that you can’t even see is hard to explain,” he said. “Billet brackets have been used for stuff like the wiring and steering column for a start, and again that’s stuff you just don’t see with the car as it sits.” He said. “Everything on the car is effectively new, refurbished or remanufactured.”
The interior is in no different. Real Steel commissioned one off gauges from Europe, while they reshaped the seats and threw in countless custom touches to modernise the feel of the 911 without losing its original identity.
For power, the owner had the original 3.0-litre engine increased to the 3.5-litres, with a conversion to a twin spark system and a beefy set of camshafts along with PMO 48mm carburetors. “When the owner approached us the engine was already done, and he’d decided to modify the original engine instead of putting in a later model deal because the performance is actually fairly similar and it kept with the end goal of the car.”
The car was in the build for a total of five years, with a big push over the last three to get it to its debut at MotorEx. “We were still going on the car the Wednesday night before the event, then we loaded it up in Queanbeyan (NSW) and get it down to Melbourne for the show.”
With the covers now pulled off, the Porsche will do a few more shows before the owner gets stuck into using it for its intended purpose. “We did a stone guarding inside the wheel arches and used a satin finish underneath because the owner wants to use the car, and we built it with the intent of doing so,” said Steve. “Even with the quality of finish it’s built to do track days, and there’s every chance the owner will fulfil that in the near future.”
The quality of workmanship on the Porsche reflected in its prize pool at MotorEx in the Street Elite Showcase, which included second place in the Bodywork and Paintwork categories and first place in Engine & Components, Undercarriage & Driveline, Overall Innovation and the Top Street Machine award.
“The praise we got from all the other high end workshops there was really humbling for us,” said Steve. “They all came up and told us how phenomenal the car was, and when your peers come up and give you accolades like that is a really special thing.”