2005 Porsche 911 / 997 Carrera
Year of manufacture2005
"This Rothmans liveried, slant nose 997 has been created in homage to Le Mans 962 and the 935 endurance racers. The story began in the form of a family-run body repair business teaming up with a young marketing and social media expert. The roots of the family business can be traced back to 1948 and the foundation of Ideal Motors Coachworks, who in 1965 took on a 17 year old apprentice by the name of John Leggett. Fifteen years later he became a partner in the business and in 1986 the sole owner. The business became well known for quality restorations of Aston Martins and Rolls-Royce's, it is said this is a result of John’s eye for detail and exacting standards.Over the next decade, John’s three sons, Christian, Matt and Jonny joined the family business, with new blood came new directions. In 2000, Reflex Auto Design was formed and in 2014 the brothers finally took over the running of Ideal Motors, bringing the two sides together under one umbrella. Reflex Auto Design has quite a name for itself in custom circles, being responsible for several award-winning vehicles and being involved with the launch of the first UK based RWB Porsche, built by the incomparable Nakai San.
Matt Clifford who used the team to work on his own cars was invited to join them as photographer, marketing and social media expert. It was while reviewing the SEMA show on social media that Matt first gained inspiration for the Porsche slant nose conversion. Reflex felt it needed a new project to showcase the company’s bodywork and paint talents, along with the available suspension and brake upgrades and this was the perfect vehicle.
The end result had to be attention grabbing and initial plans for a Martini-striped example were considered as the design had clearly been inspired by the original 934s and 935s with their screwed on arch extensions and ‘flachtbau’ noses with low-slung headlamps, however this was dismissed. The design settled on was another great Porsche team livery, the distinctive Rothmans team look. Before committing the idea to metal, Matt Clifford got a computer artist at EA’S Ghost Games studio who drew up a 3D rendering of the car in the chosen team livery.
When it came to applying the graphics a wrap is always a consideration but immediately dismissed as Reflex's aim with the project was to showcase their collective talents. The entire Rothmans livery is painted on using Audi Pearl White as a base, with contrasting Ford Imperial Blue and Audi Misano Red. The Rothmans logos are vinyl graphics, along with those in white on the front and rear quarters.
The effect is stunning from the low-slung 935-style headlamps to the wheel and tyre combination along with impressive suspension modifications. The wheels are considered the very best engineered, not a cheap replica that will fracture at the first sight of a kerb or pothole, the Rotiform LVS. A stylish rim with a hint of BBS with a modern twist, the fronts are 10Jx19 while the rears are a meaty 13Jx19 covered by Yokohama Advan Neova tyres. The brakes are bright red Forge Motorsport calipers (six-pot at the front, four-pot at the rear) suitable for a performance machine such as this. With a custom exhaust system, produced for the project by EMP Performance Exhaust in St Albans, the system that not only aesthetically works but gives the 997 an incredible sound. This coupled to an engine re-map provides more than adequate power boost car more than fast enough for UK roads.To have a car with such a stance and still be drivable in real world conditions with speed bumps, garage ramps, driveways etc. the only practical solution was to use air suspension. Even Porsche understands the benefits of such a system on a smaller scale with the Front Axle Lift System used to raise the nose of a 991 GT3. The system chosen comes from Air Lift Performance and consists of a large reservoir tank to hold the compressed air and two pumps to keep it topped up. Separate lines and solenoid valves control the flow of air to the front or rear of the vehicle, where airbags, or rams, take the place of the regular shocks and springs. The associated 3P management system features a simple flush-mounted control panel fitted in the centre console and allows the driver to raise or lower the front or rear or both at the push of a button or via a bluetooth enabled app on your smartphone.
Inside the 997 the rear seat has been removed to make way for a crossbraced rear cage, while the front seats have been swapped for figure hugging red Recaro race seats. The steering wheel has been retrimmed in Alcantara and the same material has been used to trim the dashboard top, door panels and centre console with red stitching adding the finishing touch. The Tiptronic controls on the wheel have made way for a paddle conversion using Mercedes components, while a Kenwood head unit with sat nav and bluetooth completes the package and provides a very nice combination of comfort and practicality with such a car.
It is estimated a build of such a car to these standards including bespoke R&D would comfortably run into six figures. This car has been featured in many Porsche publications including being a feature car for 911 & Porsche World. Accompanying the car is an MoT test certificate, book pack and the car has had a recent service. We are informed that after the project was completed the car had the odometer reset to zero to reflect the nature of the full rebuild. Jaw-droppingly impressive, this example can set pulses racing standing still but on the road you would be the darling of the social media scene with every smart phone in sight taking a picture. The workmanship and quality alone is priceless and it is tough to attract this much attention when driving unless you have spent the thick end of £250,000 with modern Supercars, certainly not for a shrinking violet!"