There's a six-and-a-half-year-old boy in Atlanta, Georgia, who is one of the luckiest kids in the world. He gets to play with this, a 1984 Porsche 911 with a GM LS6 small-block V-8 packed in the trunk. Naturally, children aren't always keen on sharing their toys, but it's only right to let Dad drive, since he bought it, sweated over it, paid for the custom work and generally had the vision for it.
Dad in this case is John Lomant, 37, owner of Fastlane Import Auto Repairs. He's had the car for five years, with the last four spent bringing it to this point. Both Lomant boys are gearheads. They often visit car shows together, and that's how this seed was sown.
"I wanted to build a retro-rod that was really cool looking, with a reliable power plant that can make more power than a flat six," says Lomant the elder. His isn't the first 911 to deploy one of GM's famed LS engines. The Japanese tuner RWB has done it, so has Renegade Hybrids in Vegas. In fact if anything needs to go faster, this 5.7-liter aluminum unit seems to be the answer most of the time. There's probably a guy somewhere with an LS-powered Cuisinart.
"I've built a few cars and I researched it," says Lomant. One upside is that the car is now slightly better balanced than a regular 911, since the LS is lighter than a flat six, and having a radiator up front gives the nose a little more heft. And he has plenty of power, claiming 420 hp and close to 400 lb-ft of torque measured at the wheels. "I built the motor myself, installing an upgraded valvetrain, cams, underdrive pulley and pushrods."
Surely, though, it can't have been easy linking it up to the car's five-speed transmission. "Everything was very complicated." Not that Lomant is wary of getting out the toolkit again. Right now, he's replacing that gearbox with a six-speeder from the 2005 GT3 — a source of inspiration for the custom-made exhaust system as well, which was built to emulate the GT3's.
Most of the car is custom created, and the whole thing was "expensive, to say the least." It includes a new wiring harness, suspension, brakes, and more than 1,000 man-hours involved in a full frame-up restoration. It has the RS rear conversion, meaning no back seats. And those headlights look particularly mean; the projectors are from an Acura.
Right now, the car is set up for half-mile racing, which shouldn't take long, given the fact that it can cover a quarter-mile in 10 seconds. It's comfortable enough for longer trips, though. "You can drive it for 100 miles; the drivability is amazing, better than any air-cooled Porsche I've ever owned.
"I'm a Porsche guy and I love the factory stuff, but even if another Porsche guy drove this he'd love it. It's my favorite car I've ever driven in my entire life."