(Deddington, UK – 3rd August 2023) Theon Design has revealed the latest bespoke Porsche 911 (964) to emerge from its Oxfordshire workshops, its first commission for a UK customer, which is finished in iconic Slate Grey – the same colour as Steven McQueen’s iconic 911 in the film ‘Le Mans’.
Representing the pinnacle of the enhanced air-cooled 911, the stunning carbon-bodied GBR001 features ‘visual’ carbon bodywork elements, warm chrome brightwork and wheels, semi-active suspension, and a raucous, 3.8-litre naturally aspirated flat-six.
GBR001 also features Theon Design’s latest interior updates, which significantly elevates quality while carefully preserving the look and feel of a classic Porsche cockpit.
GBR001 represents Porsche 911 fantasy made material; a fully restored and thoroughly enhanced machine in every respect. As with all Theon Design commissions, it combines OEM+ design and engineering know-how, harnessing modern technology, and manufacturing to deliver a wholly unique experience and aesthetic. Built with obsessive attention to detail and total purity of purpose, it offers the ultimate air-cooled Porsche 911 driving experience.
“Our entire team are Porsche obsessives, each of us shares a passion for taking these iconic, brilliant machines and making them truly unique. At the same time, our efforts are utterly aligned with the Porsche philosophy and brand ethos, with consideration and attention given to every component and surface,” explains Theon Co-Founder Adam Hawley. “We go to great lengths to ensure that the air-cooled Porsche feel is preserved; a distilled and elevated experience that makes it more intoxicating. With the perfect blend of aesthetic, performance, and dynamic enhancements, they are air-cooled 911s, but not as you know them.”
Air-cooled brilliance from the ground up
GBR001 takes the Porsche 911 (964) as its base, in this case, a 1990 C4. The donor car was taken back to bare metal before restoration commenced. The body is all carbon (aside from the doors which remain steel for side impact protection) with each panel digitised and modelled in 3D design software to ensure a perfect fit. These carbon body panels add stiffness and shed weight, meaning GBR001 tips the scales at just 1,163kg with all fluids.
Theon Design’s signature attention to detail permeates every level of the car; a lighter, Mil-Spec wiring loom is carefully threaded through the strengthened body shell, while modern dual air-conditioning compressors and an all-new electric-power steering pump are relocated to the front of the car, nestled low-down for optimised weight distribution.
The same care has been lavished on the magnificent air-cooled 3.8-litre engine – a flat-six work of art producing 390bhp at 7,350rpm and 290lb/ft at 6,000rpm. With over 100bhp per litre, GBR001 packs the highest specific output of a THEON commission to date, while remaining entirely tractable and useable in everyday driving.
Once unleashed on the open road, GBR001 howls through trumpet-style open air intakes, with an all-new ignition system that delivers a five per cent increase in engine power. The motor also features independent throttle bodies, developed in partnership with British specialists Jenvey – just one of Theon Design’s collaborations with leading suppliers, a process made all the simpler thanks to its base in the heart of Britain’s famed ‘Motorsport Valley’.
A single mass flywheel ensures the flat-six delivers superb response while the exactingly calibrated THEON engine management system ensures it remains entirely civil in everyday driving. GBR001 roars through a switchable, fully ceramic coated exhaust and sends power to the rear wheels via a new Hewland six-speed gearbox. The all-new ‘box delivers distinctly Porsche shifts, rendered even more immediate and direct thanks to an RS gear shifter.
The Porsche Motorsport theme continues with a 964 ‘Big Red’ brake setup – giving GBR001 superb pedal feel and response, along with consistent, fade-free stopping power. A Wavetrac® Torsen limited-slip differential completes the package, working in harmony with the carefully manual ‘box to ensure signature Porsche traction and control.
Modern and versatile dynamics
Perhaps the most important area of enhancement relates to GBR001’s driving and dynamics – a cornerstone of Theon Design’s approach. The 964 platform was overhauled with modern sophistication added. There’s now transformed breadth of dynamic ability thanks to a switchable, five-stage TracTive Active Controlled Electronics (ACE) damping system.
Theon Design’s carefully optimised setup has been calibrated over countless test miles to perform flawlessly in a wide range of driving environments, bringing revolutionary versatility to the air-cooled Porsche experience. Whether flying along a sweeping stretch of motorway or negotiating a typical British B-road, GBR001 is entirely at home.
Classic design with a sympathetically modernised interior
As ever, Hawley and the team have obsessed over and revised every detail of the exterior design to ensure the commission has a beautifully balanced, perfectly resolved Porsche 911 look – one that is pretty and purposeful in equal measure. GBR001’s all-carbon body is finished in classic ‘Steve McQueen’ Slate Grey with warm chrome brightwork throughout the car and wheels. Aesthetic ‘visual’ carbon sills and bumper lowers hint at its motorsport pedigree and modern craftsmanship.
Taking a step inside, you are greeted by THEON’s entirely modernised, next generation interior. The handcrafted quality and endless interior details are immediately apparent. Specified with fast road touring in mind, GBR001 is fitted with supportive woven leather Recaro seats, backed with body-coloured trim and harness holes. ‘Phantom’ leather is found throughout the interior, including the sills and transmission tunnel – a first for a Theon Design commission.
Also notable on GBR001 is Theon’s latest Aluminium Interior Pack – which carefully replicates the original ‘90s plastic Porsche items in beautifully cast metal – elevating the quality of switches, handles, vents, and more, to a new level. All touchpoints are given a warm satin finish to match the exterior highlights without distracting glare. The gauges – a key focal point – have tasteful chrome bezels, while a modern 911 sports steering wheel has been trimmed and painted to match the rest of the interior.
GBR001 is also equipped with a range of modern creature comforts. An all-new HVAC and control unit has been installed to assure comfort in all manner of British and European climes. A classic stereo head unit blends seamlessly with the 964 interior while bringing DAB radio and Bluetooth connectivity. A powerful Focal amp and six-speaker system are thoughtfully integrated throughout, offering supreme audio performance – if occupants ever tire of the glorious flat-six.
“It is thrilling to unveil our first British commission, GBR001, to the world,” continues Adam Hawley, Theon Design Co-Founder.“Like all previous builds, it has been purposefully crafted to integrate enthralling air-cooled 911 charm with modern and focused dynamics; all encompassed by timeless design and our usual obsessive attention to detail.
“It is our signature blend of cutting-edge automotive technology, modern manufacturing techniques, and traditional British craftsmanship – melded together to deliver a level of quality and execution beyond what an OEM is capable of. It is a 911 experience like no other, delivered by a dedicated and passionate team.”
Prices for Theon Design commissions start at £380,000. Each car is a totally unique collaboration with the customer and takes 18 months to build. Price excludes donor car, shipping, and local taxes.