Mike Brewer’s personalised 1982 Porsche 911 SC
Taking pride of place in Mike Brewer’s personal collection of cars, this modified 1982 911 SC benefits from bespoke bodywork and a Rasant Products tuning package… Words Dan Furr. Photography Chris Wallbank.
Mike Brewer’s personalised 1982 Porsche 911 SC
STAR POWER AIR-COOLED CLASSICS
Fans of motoring-themed television programmes will be thrilled by the recent return of Wheeler Dealers to the small screen. Now in its seventeenth season (yes, really!) and currently airing on Discovery in the UK and MotorTrend in the USA, the show follows the adventures of the world’s most famous car dealer, Mike Brewer, as he buys and sells used vehicles and, with the assistance of an on-hand mechanic, seeks to turn each purchase into profit by returning cars to the road in better condition than he found them.
Ever since Mike burst into our living rooms back in October 2003, Porsches have regularly featured as Wheeler Dealers star cars. In fact, the very first episode featured a 924, with a further nineteen Porsches lining up in front of camera since that time. An early 928, a classic Targa-topped 911 S 2.7, a 944 Turbo, a four-cylinder 914, a 986 Boxster S and even a 955 Cayenne Turbo are just some of the Stuttgart-crested cars to feature on the show. Just as we were putting this issue of 911 & Porsche World to print, a first-gen 997 Carrera took centre stage — Mike’s latest on-screen right-hand man, former F1 mechanic, Marc ‘Elvis’ Priestley, was shown visiting M96/M97 engine tuning and repair specialist, Hartech, for parts and advice in advance of rebuilding the car’s poorly water-cooled flat-six.
THE LOOK WAS FURTHER ACCENTUATED BY A DROP IN RIDE HEIGHT AND FRESH GEOMETRY, BOTH FURTHER IMPROVING SEAT TIME
As regular readers will recall, our September issue featured Mike’s Enamel Blue 912 E, a car serving as his personal Porsche and a fabulous example of the US-only G-series update of the original (and utterly brilliant) 912, which ended production in 1969. Fuel injected and loaded with a near 90bhp two-litre flat-four, the short-lived 912 E was introduced to the North American domestic market between discontinuation of the 914 and the arrival of the 924 for the 1977 model year, thereby ensuring Porsche maintained an entry-level offering alongside the 911 in Stateside dealer showrooms during 1976.
The USA has played a pivotal role in the success of Wheeler Dealers, so much so production was split between Blighty and the West Coast for season twelve, before the show was set completely in Huntington Beach, California, between 2016 and filming of the current run of episodes featuring Priestley. It was while working in The Golden State, and after buying and selling various air-cooled 911s across a long career in the car sales game, Mike decided to take the plunge and buy an air-cooled 911 to call his own. “I’ve always been a Porsche nut,” he tells us. “The problem many enthusiasts face, especially those in their younger years, is the price of these cars. Put it this way, I had to wait until I reached middle age until I was able to see my name on the logbook of an air-cooled 911,” he adds, before confirming he found the 1982 SC coupe pictured on these pages when Wheeler Dealers was enjoying its extended holiday in California. “I wanted a classic to drive to weekly car shows in and around Huntington Beach. An old 911 was the perfect choice, not only because I love these cars, but also because the Porsche scene is so vibrant on the West Coast.”
WITH THE DATA LOGGED, THE RASANTPRODUCTS TEAM BEGAN STRIPPING THE CAR’S ENGINE OF UNWANTED ANCILLARIES
Initially, a blue Carrera RS 2.7 evocation located near Laguna Beach caught the Londoner’s eye, but inspection proved a waste of time. “That particular Porsche was accident damaged, a condition not revealed in the classified advertising it for sale,” he frowns. The availability of the SC was announced in the same publication — the red tin-top wasn’t residing far from the compromised RS lookalike, but photos depicting the three-litre 911 were poor and did nothing to convince an already disappointed Mike he should take time out to view the car in the metal. Curiosity, however, got the better of him. “I was looking at a poorly taken side shot of a red 911 SC sitting on unidentifiable black wheels. I really wasn’t taken with it, but the advertisement had been active for a couple of weeks and, sensing there might be a deal to be done, I suggested to my wife, Michelle, we should take a look at the car on the way back home from our trip to see the blue 911.”
Pulling up outside the seller’s house, our man hopped out and offered a friendly greeting, only to be on the receiving end of “possibly the rudest person I have ever spoken to”. Watering his garden with a hose and barely acknowledging his visitors, the vendor abruptly instructed them to wander into his garage and see the car for themselves. There, squeezed into the narrow, tightly packed storage space was the red Porsche. “My jaw hit the floor!” Mike laughs. “As far as overall condition is concerned, I’d never seen a more perfect SC. I had a good poke around underneath and was bowled over by the immaculate presentation of all metalwork. I knew the car was likely to be coming home with me and wasted no time collaring the seller to find out more about the air-cooled classic I very nearly didn’t go to see. Unfortunately, he knew nothing about it, having taken the car in part-exchange against another 911 in 2011. Moreover, he hadn’t ever bothered flicking through the history file, which, as I was about to find out, was extensive.
ANDREW SUGGESTED MIKE’S CAR WOULD LIKELY BE DOWNTO 160BHP MORE THAN FORTY YEARS AFTER IT ROLLED OUTOF ZUFFENHAUSEN
Truth be told, he seemed completely disinterested in selling the car.” The paperwork was stored off-site, in a nearby aircraft storage facility. After agreeing a sale price, the Brewer duo’s host took them to his personal playground, where they were witness to “hangar upon hangar full of luxury aircraft and classic cars.” It was at this point his tone changed. “My guess is, somewhere along that journey, he realised who I was,” Mike recalls. “The guy went from being very rude to wanting to be my best friend. Needless to say, I wasn’t exactly surprised when he attempted to renegotiate the price we’d agreed, though I couldn’t believe he wanted to relieve me of another ten thousand dollars.” By now very offended, Mike threatened to walk away, but the seller saw sense and proceeded with the sale as previously agreed, resulting in the time-served car dealer becoming the owner of a gorgeous Guards Red 911 SC, complete with a comprehensively stamped service book, a folder full of receipts highlighting major restorative mechanical work (primarily a top-end engine rebuild and an overhaul of the transmission), all-black Fuchs-style wheels and an expertly applied Carrera RS 2.7 ducktail.
DIFFERENCE OF OPINION
“Initially, I hated the rear end,” Mike reveals. “My plan was to replace it with a smooth engine lid, but the spoiler proved surprisingly popular with Porsche fans at the car shows my new toy and I attended. This enthusiasm for the look encouraged me to leave the ducktail in place. There was no way I was going to be convinced to keep the US-specification bumper overriders, though,” he adds, before telling us the engine lid’s adornment did, in fact, encourage a train of thought which would have seen the car transformed into a full Carrera RS 2.7 replica. “I reasoned if I was going to do that, I should get the engine upgraded at the same time. I then met Andrew Darud, a Porschephile who always has a crowd gathered around his modified classic 911 S.” The envy of many marque enthusiasts, Andrew’s car — also painted red — is equipped with a beautifully smoothed engine bay presenting one of the nastiest six-cylinder boxers you’re likely to lay your eyes on. It looks fast simply sitting there. “It’s intoxicating!” Mike roars. “I was desperate to know how I could get the same for my SC!” Originally from Minneapolis, Andrew attended Michigan Technology University and graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering. He actively participated in the establishment’s Formula SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) race car design programme during his time in Houghton, which offered him the opportunity to design, build and test exciting new automotive concepts. After graduation, he joined Honda as a powertrain design engineer, before taking his career to the West Coast and headfirst into SoCal car culture.
Andrew has always been drawn to air-cooled 911s, believing they offer one of the most thrilling and focused driving experiences of all cars, old or new. He established his Porsche tuning business, Rasant Products, after he designed, built, installed and tested the proprietary engine control management system in his 911 S to great success, seeing inspiring results on the dyno. “His goal is to consistently improve the performance and driveability of air-cooled Porsches, making them go faster, handle better and perform with greater reliability,” says Mike. “It was precisely for this reason I approached him with a request to apply a Rasant Products tuning package to my newly acquired SC.”
Andrew had the perfect performance-enhancing products for Mike’s Porsche. Centred around a MoTeC M84 ECU loaded with a custom map, the kit features Bosch coil-on-plug ignition (modernising control of the engine, improving reliability, performance and cold start consistency), a new fuel pressure regulator, new fuel lines and hose ends, Bosch high impedance fuel injectors, a 100psi stainless steel fuel pressure sensor, a new wiring harness, dual lambda sensors, a Bussmann fuseboard, new camshaft and crank sensors, a 1bar MAP sensor and a new intake air temperature sensor, along with SSI stainless headers, an M&K twin-exit muffler and the showstopper: Rasant Products’ own IS-6 42mm throttle bodies with 964 plenums, which improve mid-range performance by modifying intake volume at different speed and load points. The resonant valve is controlled electronically by the engine’s MoTeC electronic brain.
In stock specification, a late 911 SC produces 201bhp, but Andrew suggested Mike’s car would likely be down to 160bhp more than forty years after it rolled out of Zuffenhausen. Before modifying, the first thing to do was test the engine’s output on a rolling road. “Andrew was bang on the money!” Mike confirms. “My SC’s standard boxer was producing 159bhp at 5,500rpm.” With this data logged, the Rasant Products team began stripping the car’s engine of unwanted ancillaries and any componentry which needed to make way for the power-boosting parts. “Bigger spark, better bang and much better flow were guaranteed, but we weren’t sure what the power increase would be when the car was re-tested on the dyno. You can imagine my amazement when it registered a twenty-seven percent increase in power, back to the as-new number of ponies, but with vastly improved throttle response, driveability and, of course, an exhilarating engine tone. It’s an astonishing result considering Andrew didn’t even break into the engine.”
On the road, the difference the Rasant Products parts have made to the way this car behaves is pronounced, and we’re not just talking about the satisfyingly raw noise emanating from the fettled flat-six at full chat. Torque surges, planting you in your seat. “My kidneys were trying to get into the rear of the cabin, while my ears filled with the bark of the twin pipes screaming their lungs as I snatched another gear, only for it to happen all over again,” Mike chuckles. “The power, the throttle response, the oodles of midrange punch. At first, it was all too much for my brain to compute, but when I was able to make sense of what was happening, the grin hit my face and wouldn’t leave.”
When Wheeler Dealers was ready to return to the UK in late 2020, Mike packed his potent Porsche onto a container ship and patiently awaited its arrival on British shores. When he was eventually reunited with the Rasanttuned SC, its fat rubber overriders looked even more out of place than before. “I hated them. I also wanted to change the wheels,” he grimaces. Group 4 Wheels sixteen-inch Campagnolo replica rims wrapped in Hankook tyres were a quick win as far as the latter was concerned, but the bumpers required much greater consideration. “Contrary to my earlier thinking, I didn’t want to fit RS bumpers and I certainly didn’t want to replicate the IROC look. I wanted something unique, something only my car would have, perhaps taking influence from these two motorsport-oriented styles by combining them into custom, lightweight parts.” Barnsley-based classic Porsche restoration outfit, EB Motorsport, came to the rescue by developing the bespoke bumpers you see on these pages.
Strikingly different from the US-mandated overrider-wearing originals, this sensational SC’s super-smooth new bumpers are set much further into the body (25mm at the nose, 30mm at the rear) than the standard parts. They lose the standard ‘accordions’, while the front boasts an integrated deep chin spoiler and beautifully frenched indicator lenses. The fog lamps are gone, replaced by superbly moulded brake cooling duct openings — mirrored at the rear by three distinctive meshed apertures to assist with engine heat dissipation — and, as you’d expect, the EB Motorsport bumpers are significantly lighter than the standard Porsche parts. 3D-printed number plate bulb holders are the icing on the proverbial cake.
“The level of detail Mark Bates and the team at EB Motorsport went to in turning my ideas into reality is amazing,” Mike beams, proud of a job well done. “They spent a huge amount of time following the wheel arch contours and blending them into the new bumpers, creating a largely seamless transition from one panel to the next.” The look was further accentuated by a drop in ride height and fresh geometry, both further improving seat time in this radiant red SC, allowing its master to push harder into corners with greater confidence. “It has become my go-to car,” he announces as we walk around No.1 Studio (visit no1studio.uk), the generously equipped and available-to- hire television filming facility he’s recently established in Warwickshire with the aim of donating all profits to Sporting Bears Motor Club and SeeSaw, children’s charities he proudly supports as patron.
“Sure, I can drive my lesser powered 912 E at ten tenths, whereas the sheer poke and onslaught of midrange torque of my 911 makes it more of a ninetenths Porsche for a driver like me, but the excitement and sense of fun when in charge of this SC is nothing short of fantastic, no matter how fast you’re travelling. It’s a totally rewarding drive and, of all the cars I own, this is handsdown my favourite.”
TAKE YOUR PICK
The SC reintroduced the Super Carrera badge for the first time since discontinuation of the 356 in the mid- 1960s. The three-litre machine became the core 911 offering and shifted almost 60,000 units during a five-year production run ending with the arrival of the Carrera 3.2 in 1984. Such high-volume assembly (certainly as far as period Porsche production is concerned) means there’s a huge number of surviving SCs to choose from and, though the model marked a streamlined 911 line-up, the wide variety of cars manufactured means there’s an entertaining choice of body styles and trim specification to choose from.
Indeed, aside from coupe and Targa variants, the SC heralded the introduction of the very first 911 Cabriolet in time for the 1983 model year, signalling the first true Porsche convertible since the 356 drop-top almost twenty years earlier. Make no mistake, the SC is an utterly brilliant 911. Just ask the world’s most famous car dealer.
Bottom right Opening the SC’s engine lid has the ‘jewellery box’ effect, revealing the power-boosting Rasant Products gear in all its glory. Above The devil’s in the detail, as demonstrated by the carefully sculpted bumpers, vents and 3D-printed number plate lamp holders
Above Mike is thrilled with the way his SC performs following appointment of the Rasant Products hardware and MoTeC M84 custom map
Above Group 4 Wheels satin black sixteens suit the look of the car perfectly Top middle Junking the original bumpers and fog lamps has lost a significant amount of weight at each end of the SC.
Above Mike wasn’t sold on the ducktail to begin with, but the EB Motorsport bumpers are a fantastic match Below “Elvis has left the building, so I guess you’ll be servicing this engine for me, Dan?”