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Theon Design And The Porsche 911 Restomod

Porsche 964 Restomod screenshot from Theon Design YouTube

UK-based Theon Design firm is a small shop that is currently in the spotlight for their partially carbon fiber-bodied Porsche 964. Like many similar businesses, Theon Design started as a personal passion. Adam Hawley decided to build his own perfect 964 as a hobby, though his bread and butter was working as a car designer for big auto companies which included Jaguar Land Rover.

Eventually, he was able to finish the car in a standard that got the attention of friends and acquaintances as they asked him to create something similar for them. This interest enabled him to start Theon Design which he set up with his business partner and his wife, Lucinda Argy.

Featured is the Porsche 964 which was renamed CHI001. Commissioned by their client, who is a successful blueberry farmer in Chile, which explains the violently violet color scheme.

Though it shares its basic form with the 964, the Theon CHI001 has detailing that is clearly inspired by the earlier 911s. It has already lost its original full-width rear light bar and was instead equipped with both 930 Turbo-style bumper overriders and headlamp bezels. Underneath, the original car was a Carrera 4 which was sold in Japan. It was stripped to component parts and eventually completely rebuilt.

Structural changes to the CHI001 include carbon fiber trunklid, roof, spoiler, and engine cover. A stronger blend of carbon and kevlar was used on the fenders and bumpers.

Compared to a regular 964, they were able to shave off around 220 pounds and Hawley also claimed that the part-composite bodywork also helps in making the car stronger. Looking closer at the CHI001, the attention to detail is impressive including touches like the symmetric mounting of the twin ignition coils on the engine firewall as well as the invisible integration of a center, high-mounted brake light in the rear-window surround.

Theon Design customers can pick the powertrain they prefer, which includes the option of a supercharger conversion that they developed for the air-cooled flat-six. For this restomod, it was equipped with a naturally aspirated 4.0-liter engine. Individual throttle bodies and careful internal balancing gave it a peak output of 400 horsepower at 7100 rpm. Its original all-wheel-drive system was also lost, so it is now equipped with a six-speed 993-generation gearbox that sends power to the rear wheels, and a limited-slip differential.

Theon Design didn’t change everything in the 964. The familiar, slightly offset driving position was kept, though it was retrimmed in a beautifully bright hue to match the exterior finish. The basic architecture of the cabin has kept its original design.

Starting from the engine, a completely new character compared to the regular Carrera can be seen. There is the soundtrack of the exhaust that can be switched from loud to really loud, there is also the snappy response of the engine with just a slight pressure on the accelerator-pedal due to the ultralight flywheel.

For an air-cooled 911, the steering of the CHI001 is direct and slack-free. It was able to keep its hydraulic assistance, but it is now powered by an electric pump.

To give the CHI001 a really strong grip, it was equipped with a period Fuchs-style rims wrapped in modern Michelin Pilot Sport PS2s. Even in the softest setting of the adaptive dampers, the ride is firm and comfortable.

CHI001’s main feature is its engine. It is impressively powerful, and though the tachometer only shows up to 8000 rpm, it has a limiter that adds another 500 rpm. Weighing only 2570 pounds, its speed can match any modern cars. Though it was switched to carbon-ceramic brakes, it has a perfectly weighted gearshift, with natural and quick responses from the middle pedal.

Though the CHI001 sounds like a perfect restomod to have, it would set you back around $500,000 – at current exchange rates – to get your hands on a Theon Design 911, and this doesn’t include the cost of the donor 911. There is also the factor of time. Since the company builds no more than five cars a year, it will be a substantial wait as they already have a pretty long order list.