Super Street Network

Due to the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation, our website is currently unavailable to visitors from most European countries. We apologize for this inconvenience and encourage you to visit for the latest on new cars, car reviews and news, concept cars and auto show coverage, awards and much more.MOTORTREND.COM
 |   |  1979 Porsche 911 S Coupe - The Phoenix
Subscribe to the Free

1979 Porsche 911 S Coupe - The Phoenix

Francis Fabiculanan’s 1979 Porsche 911 S

Isaac Mion
May 7, 2012
Epcp 1206 01 o+1979 porsche 911 s coupe+front Photo 1/13   |   1979 Porsche 911 S Coupe - The Phoenix

Francis Fabiculanan’s Porsche was burning. It occurred during a short drive with his nephew. The culprit was a short in the battery cable that touched the fuel tank in the front compartment of his ’79 widebody 911. The car came to a stop and a pop was heard as the telltale signs of smoke filled the arid Los Angeles air.

Francis leapt from the car, and with the lightning-quick thinking and prowess of a Filipino ninja, ran into the nearest Starbucks, grabbed a fire extinguisher and doused the flames that could’ve barbecued his project. And thanks to his cat-like reflexes, european car can bring you this custom car in all of its retro-resplendent glory.

Epcp 1206 02 o+1979 porsche 911 s coupe+interior Photo 2/13   |   1979 Porsche 911 S Coupe - The Phoenix

“It was flattering when the police and firemen came,” said Francis. “Because instead of questions about what happened, all they could ask was ‘What kind of car is it?’ and ‘How long did it take to build?’ A couple of them even asked for my business card so they could bring their car to my shop.”

That’s one way to rustle up business.

If you haven’t guessed by now, Mr. Fabiculanan is the owner of a bodyshop, Donlyson Auto Concepts in Los Angeles to be exact. It is here in a 2,000 square-foot shop that he turns his Euro-visions into reality. One of his previous projects, an ’84 BMW 318, turned this writer’s head years ago at a Hot Import Nights VIP show. The bumperless and shaved Bimmer turned out to be a welcome relief from the scads of Lexus’ with white curtains and cupholders.

Epcp 1206 03 o+1979 porsche 911 s coupe+rear Photo 3/13   |   1979 Porsche 911 S Coupe - The Phoenix

Fast forward to SEMA 2011 to where we first laid eyes on this ’79 Porsche 911 S. The velocity stacks alone had many a showgoer’s gaze riveted upon them, including that of this most intrepid european car reporter. Thus, a reunion of sorts ensued as we engaged Francis and went after the details.

“When I was kid in the ’80s my dad bought me a toy, which happened to be a Porsche 911,” said Francis. “I told myself that maybe one day I could own that kind of car because I just love the way it looked.”

Years later, our man entered a neighboring body shop and there he spied it, the childhood dream of his in the flesh... err sheetmetal... resplendent in bright red. The owner happened to be a good friend of his so Francis wasted no time in convincing him to sell.

Once he had the car back to his shop he sat down on a stool next to the car and like Jackson Pollock in front of a canvas, let his imagination take over. Whether a quart of bourbon was involved remains speculation.

Epcp 1206 05 o+1979 porsche 911 s coupe+wheels Photo 7/13   |   1979 Porsche 911 S Coupe - The Phoenix

“I always want to be unique when it comes to design,” said Francis. “And I wanted to have a lowered car without losing ride comfort so I decided to extend the body downward.”

Before you could say “ground effects,” Donlyson Concepts employee Ivan Perez had extended the rocker panel to the ground. Next, he attached sheetmetal to the side and back of the rear bumper to extend it downward and cover the opening. He also cut in a fender into the quarter-panel, which is just one of many functional modifications to adorn this cream-colored cruiser. A louver is attached at the rear section of the quarter-panel as a vent, while the front bumper has been modified with a single air inlet that ducts air directly to the trumpet-shaped oil cooler. The front bumper also uses a center detachable screen instead of a grille, while LED lights have been attached to the bumper and the original blinker has been replaced with a Ferrari nipple blinker. A little Italian style never hurts.

While the removable and adjustable red spoiler up front and splitter out back aren’t as subtle as the indicators, they add another fiery touch to the cream and black color scheme.

Epcp 1206 06 o+1979 porsche 911 s coupe+under hood Photo 8/13   |   1979 Porsche 911 S Coupe - The Phoenix

I decided to keep the paint scheme retro with cream,” said Francis. “Besides, it matches the wheel faces.

Speaking of the rollers, Francis found those in the same place as the car itself, sitting in the corner of a shop. In a dilapidated state they cried out to him, “Save us from the scrap yard and eternal obscurity!” Actually, wheels can’t speak, but you have to admit that these HREs stir emotion just by looks alone, thanks to the finish combination of black chrome lips and cream faces on the 9x19 fronts and 12x19 rears, with a 6-inch lip. These rims are wrapped in Toyo tires with quite low-profile 245/35ZR19 fore and 315/25ZR19 aft tires to prevent rub and, of course, sidewall flex in the corners.

Bringing things down from speed is a set of brakes rarely seen on a Porsche of this vintage. Up front are Rotora four-piston calipers and 14-inch rotors along with two-piston calipers and 13-inch rotors aft. Rotora also supplied all braided lines and H2 ceramic street compound pads. Braking may be the car’s strongest suit as it has been designed with 50/50 weight distribution under hard braking. Suspending these brakes is a set of Bilstein shocks.

Epcp 1206 07 o+1979 porsche 911 s coupe+audio Photo 9/13   |   1979 Porsche 911 S Coupe - The Phoenix

The motor that gets it up to speed is a 3.0-liter air-cooled SC unit. At present, the motor remains mostly stock except for breathing capabilities. Exhaling is performed with Performance Product Motorsports stainless headers and custom dual exhaust tips. Inhaling is performed by the sickeningly attractive set of six carbon-fiber velocity stacks. Looking at these can make one question their sexuality. Listening to them inspires the same type of fervor. Is there such a thing as a carbon-fiber fetish?

Last but not least, Francis pulled off a complete revamp of the interior. The rosso/nero Italian theme continues inside with a custom two-tone double-stitched dash and custom upholstery on the original Porsche seats and door panels. A touch of Hot Import Nights seems to have leaked through from the old days with a back seat crammed full of subs and a dirty little juice bottle. Nonetheless, like a Beverly Hills dentist, this nitrous oxide is delivered in an elegant setting.

Epcp 1206 11 o+1979 porsche 911 s coupe+parked Photo 10/13   |   1979 Porsche 911 S Coupe - The Phoenix

Francis Fabiculanan and Donlyson Auto Concepts have joined together with Rotora, Toyo tire and a few other companies to create one of the more unique chariots to lurk down LA’s streets. But of the myriad upgrades to this Porsche, the most important one is... the on-board fire extinguisher.

When I was a kid in the ’80s my dad bought me a toy, which happened to be a Porsche 911.

1979 Porsche 911 S Coupe

Horizontally opposed rear-engine, rear-wheel drive

Epcp 1206 08 o+1979 porsche 911 s coupe+rolling shot Photo 11/13   |   1979 Porsche 911 S Coupe - The Phoenix

3.0-liter flat six. Performance Product Motorsports stainless headers, carbon-fiber velocity stacks, NOS injection

Five-speed manual

Bilstein shocks/struts, torsion bars, sway bars (f & r)

Rotora four-piston calipers with 14-inch rotors (f), two-piston calipers with 13-inch rotors (r), braided stainless steel lines, H2 ceramic street compound pads

Wheels and tires
HRE 9x19 (f) 12x19 (r)
Toyo Proxes 245/35 (f), 315/25 (r)

Epcp 1206 13 o+1979 porsche 911 s coupe+engine Photo 12/13   |   1979 Porsche 911 S Coupe - The Phoenix

Custom steel fabrication

Custom two-tone, double-stitched dash; custom upholstered seats, door panels

Peak Power: 185 hp @ 5500 rpm
Peak Torque: 195 lb-ft @ 4200 rpm

Epcp 1206 12 o+1979 porsche 911 s coupe+owner Photo 13/13   |   1979 Porsche 911 S Coupe - The Phoenix
By Isaac Mion
38 Articles



Emory Motorsports builds the ultimate Outlaw: the 1964 Porsche 356 C4S, an AWD classic Porsche that features the running gear of a 1990 911 Carrera 4.
Rory JurneckaFeb 22, 2019
Two images that purport to show the all-new 992-generation 911 Turbo have shown up on the internet, and they seem to be the real deal
Ed TahaneyFeb 21, 2019
Aston Martin isn't expected to deliver its third hypercar until late 2021, but it's already teasing the mid-engine coupe codenamed Project 003
Kelly PleskotFeb 20, 2019
Carbon Signal Automotive (CS) might not be a familiar name to most, but it's quickly mastered what neither the best in California or Japan can do yet, which is what's helped put its name onto the map.
Jonathan WongFeb 20, 2019
Speedworks Motorsport opts for the new Toyota Corolla hatchback to take racing in the 2019 British Touring Car Championship
Bob HernandezFeb 20, 2019
Sponsored Links