The idea of a long-time Honda enthusiast who, after putting years of effort and excessive dollars into his Honda build only to let it go in lieu of an 80s-era Porsche, shouldn't come as any shock. The transition has become a common occurrence as the overcrowded Honda community has seen a pretty significant number of long-term fans and users move in that direction. As such, the all too expected "tax" applied to these cars, not unlike that of Nissan's S-chassis drift tax, is all too real.
Jared Aguila, owner of this 964 Carrera 4, managed to get in before those hefty supply and demand dollars amounts really started to stack up, and he hasn't looked back since. Prior to his automotive exodus, Aguila had his sights set on a Porsche long before he even embarked on that previous Honda build - a car recognized for its use of both authentic parts and selective restraint, a combination of which landed it on the cover of Honda Tuning Magazine in 2014. He states, "I've been into Porsche ever since I was a child. As a young adult, I put together a Mugen S2000 that got some recognition and after 10+ years of ownership, I sold it and transitioned to my childhood dream car... the Porsche 964."
Ideal Starting Point
Purchased from a fellow enthusiast in Socal, the car certainly had potential but was noticeably unfinished - an ideal starting point to jump into a whole new segment. Not able to come to terms with the factory tan interior, Aguila converted it to black, which, coincidentally, is a common occurrence for Honda enthusiasts as well. An RS lightweight carpet kit went in prior to a pair of leather Recaro Pole Position bucket seats and the factory steering wheel was ditched in favor of an alcantara Momo tiller. Grabbing a little more race inspiration are Rennline's floorboards and pedal kit, and that unique shifter stalk, developed and produced by Sleepers Speed Shop, is responsible for cleaning up a universally despised sloppy factory shifter.
A later addition to the interior, based firmly on an emergency situation that occurred during one of his first outings with the car, is the compact Element fire extinguisher, which is mounted to the driver's seat. "While my wife and I were coming home from a cars & coffee, the front of the dash began to smoke and fill the cabin. The smoke got really heavy, and I immediately pulled to the shoulder of the freeway. I ran and popped the "frunk" of the car to inspect the smoke and there began a small fire right by my battery terminal. As a new owner, I didn't own a fire extinguisher but had some leftover diluted ice coffee, and I fought the small fire with that. It saved my car from being engulfed in flames."
Aside from averting disaster by way of stale cold brew, Aguila faced some engine gremlins that eventually required a complete rebuild. "For those that know, rebuilding a 'motor out' car can be a very slippery slope." The refresh wasn't used as an opportunity to bump compression sky high or fortify the bottom end for a deep inhaling turbo system, instead, it was built back to OEM spec with a set of ARP head studs serving as the only aftermarket internal addition in the name of longevity. Rebuilt by HD Motorworks, the engine was carefully bolted in place using Wevo semi-solid engine mounts - a comfortable compromise between much harsher solid mounts and costly RS mounts - and backed by Rennline's reinforced engine carrier. Billy Boat headers and a 2 in/2 out exhaust system were bolted in place and no, it's not going to set a new record at his local dyno facility, but estimated at about 275hp, it's more than enought to keep Aguila grinning while under throttle.
To truly make it his own, the car's exterior was in need of an update and rather than respraying it black, Porsche "Grey-Black" was chosen to accompany the interior swap for a completely fresh take. Out back you'll certainly take notice of the RS America "whale tail" that casts a shadow over the military precise line of custom dimple die applied by the Porsche specialists at Sleepers Speed Shop. Later model 964/993 aero mirrors were brought in to replace the originals and up front, a subtle chin spoiler, hand built by Willywerx rounds out a small, yet tasteful body mod checklist.
The BBS you've come to expect from most custom Porsche builds were at one point mounted but Aguila likes to change things up frequently and his current wheels are an unabashed nod to his past. "The Japanese style has always interested me, so I tried to maintain somewhat of a gentlemen's racer with a Japanese twist. Volk TE37s are such an iconic Japanese wheel, so I had to incorporate that into this build." The result is a look not commonly found with high luster paint colors atop black wheels. Here, the non-metallic body and glassy black spokes are all but begging for a dose of direct sunlight to show off contrasting finishes which originate from the same source yet pull in two different directions entirely.
More than just a pretty face, the Carrera's underpinnings have been modernized with H&R street coilovers, front and rear Eibach sway bars, and Tarrett trailing arm bushings. Up top you can spot Ground Control camber/caster plates which anchor Sleepers Speed Shop's X-brace up front, and the adjustability of the aftermarket bits allowed Rob at Chewerks a chance to work his magic, dialing in the alignment to exploit the car's ability to gobble up turns. Sitting comfortably at a level that does away with any inkling of wheel gap, the presence of Aguila's build vision is more restomod than all-out custom, and that's by design.
Taking the same sort of calculated approach with this build that he took with his S2000, Aguila was careful not to get carried away with too many changes that might have taken away from either car's character. Easy to do with both vehicle types, his current build would certainly suffer the most from reckless abandon and the subtle touches are just enough to not get lost in the understated hue. Serving as a reality check of sorts, he openly admits there are some drawbacks to his 964, but nothing that brings about any thoughts of regret. "My s2000 had all the creature comforts, a 50/50 balanced, light, nimble driving feel, a quiet insulated cabin, great A/C and heat, airbag safety, tight gear box, bright HID headlights, was rev happy yet had bullet proof engine reliability. Maintenance that was also easy on the wallet. My 964 is not like that. It came with an old, sloppy gear box, heavy curb weight, and the car can be problematic if not maintained properly. Headlights are about as bright as birthday candles, there's a natural odor of oil and gas, the interior pieces rattle at times, the A/C whispers cold air, the ignition is in a weird left side placement, the doors creek when they open, the engine noise drones inside the cabin... and I LOVE every part of the "OLDNESS" the car comes with."