Sorry, we're not sorry if you hate the next few pages—but we can appreciate all rad cars whether Honda or Nissan, BMW or Porsche. And at this year's SEMA show, if we had to pick one European car that stopped us in our tracks, it was Darren Yoo's LTMW built 2007 Porsche 997 GT3. We haven't featured a fair share of Porsches, but it doesn't take a Porsche fanatic to realize how sick Darren's GT3 is.
If you're a regular reader, you might recognize the owner's name. Quite frankly, Darren is an attention whore, always one-upping his previous builds. He doesn't build his cars for magazine features or for stardom, but his sense of style and selection of parts are just that spot-on. He's had a 600hp BMW 335i on the cover of the late eurotuner magazine, plus his Liberty Walk supercharged M3 was also featured here in Super Street, not to mention his GT-R as well (now owned by Bernardo Pena, November 2014 cover). Now, his latest build entails Porsche's flagship car—the 911, more specifically the 997 GT3.
When you think aftermarket widebody Porsches, you think Rauh-Welt Begriff. Although Darren's past two builds sported the design work of Wataru Kato of Liberty Walk, the direction of this Porsche is of a new breed. California-based company Vollkommen Design was sourced for the GT3's exterior styling. The front is widened by 2.5 inches, while the rear gets a massive 4.5 inches wider. Darren explains, "I love the Liberty Walk 997 design, but I wanted to bring something different other than Liberty Walk, Rocket Bunny, or RWB. Sometimes you can't eat sushi all the time." (I beg to differ. -JT). Darren admitted that RWB did in fact inspire him, and there were a lot of people who told him not to cut the body on a GT3, but that's what fueled him to do it even more. What distinguishes the Vollkommen aero from the rest is that it's made entirely from carbon fiber.
Keeping the aggressive theme going, Darren went with highly sought after BBS E88 wheels that were custom-barreled by Floss Design. The front wheels measure 18x10.5 inches and the rears are an impressive 18x13.5 inches—a perfect fit to fill the custom arches with no tire stretching or spacers required.
Darren's Porsche also sports several race car styling cues from an authentic Porsche cup wing to the one-off AeroFlow Dynamics splitters and canards. Even the yellow headlights resemble Le Mans Grand Touring Endurance regulations.
Inside the cabin you'll find a nice paradox of style approaches. Much like the Mitsubishi Evolution X to the IX, the 997 is a more driver-friendly car compared to its predecessor. And with the additions of a GMG six-point rollcage, Recaro Pole Position seats, Personal steering wheel, and CAE shifter, this 911 is always begging for track duties.
A GT3's engine performance from the factory is already impressive, so Darren opted not to change too much from the 3.8L flat-six. With only a Porsche Motorsports intake and a cat-less iPE exhaust, the 997 gains a small bump in power over the factory-rated 475 hp—but the sound is absolutely heavenly, especially at its 9,000-rpm redline! Darren tells us, "It accelerates similar to my boosted E92 M3, but even better!"
We're very envious of Darren, but we also have a lot of respect for him. Born in Korea, he came to the U.S. when he was 13, living off 20 dollars a day and a diet of gas station hot dog combos. He worked his way to the top and has had every single crappy job you can think of: factory worker, dishwasher, and waiter. Now self-employed, he's living the dream and building all the cars he could only dream of having when he was a kid. "My life wasn't all that gravy, yo, but I worked hard and I'm grateful to meet all the cool people on my way up," he concludes. From rags to riches, Darren's success inspires us all, and we'll continue to admire every project he continues to build!
In the JDM world, you'll hear people mention EK9, EJ6, FC3S, ZN6. Now before you pull up Wikipedia, these are simply chassis codes you can commonly find in the engine bay. Porsche, it seems, is a bit different. They simply call it by Porsche's internal classification. From the dealer, after you sign your life away for Porsche's flagship car, you are technically buying a 911. Below are all the 911 models with their proper generation abbreviation so you can pretend to talk like a Porsche aficionado.
- Porsche 911—1963-1989 (F Model: 1963-1973, G Model: 1973-1989)
- Porsche 964—1988-1993
- Porsche 993—1993-1998
- Porsche 996—1997-2005
- Porsche 997—2004-2013
- Porsche 991—2011-present