- Image from Wheelsage.org
Image from Canepa

Image from Canepa

Honestly, not a lot of people would find a 964 Speedster ‘boring’. But a Las Vegas casino owner Gary Primm thought his 1989 Porsche 911 Speedster was disappointing and somewhat slow and decided to commission Bruce Canepa to transform his rather dull 964 Speedster into something more unique, more interesting, and most of all, into something faster. Hence, the Canepa 962 twin-turbo Speedster was born, and it is now for sale.

Image from Canepa

Image from Canepa

Even a 10-year-old would be able to recognize that this Canepa 962 twin-turbo Speedster is no ordinary Speedster. Yes, like its name, the Canepa 962 Speedster has a 962 engine instead of a standard 3.6L 964 engine. Bruce Canepa had a 962 he used for racing in 1989, and the spare engine was used to power the Canepa 962 Speedster. However, the engine was bored to 3.3L by using 100mm pistons. Furthermore, twin K26 turbochargers from Canepa’s own 959S was added with a custom-built intercooler and a stainless steel exhaust system.

Image from Canepa

Image from Canepa

The interesting part about the engine is that it also uses improved electronics. A prototype fuel injection management system was installed, taking benefit of the 962’s twin stage fuel injection system. Therefore, when the boost was not on, the car would run on one set of injectors, and when the boost kicked in, the engine would utilize both of them. Therefore, the car could be daily driven while still being able to achieve tremendous speeds.

Image from Canepa

Image from Canepa

However, the problem was not really the engine itself, but fitting the engine and the other compartment into the rather cramped rear end of the Porsche. A new intake and plumbing system had to be designed to make room for the engine. The power was delivered through a sturdy five-speed G50 Getrag transmission that had to be shortened an inch to fit in the Speedster chassis. Furthermore, the car had to be fitted with A/C and heater, which was achieved through a gas heater from a Porsche rally car that was placed in the front and a custom A/C system that was fitted behind the engine.

Image from Canepa

Image from Canepa

So, how much power does this monstrous engine actually produce? With 1.1 bar of boost, the car produces 581hp and 745.7Nm of torque. But if that is not enough, the engine can produce a whopping 650hp with 1.3 bar of boost. An IMSA GTP 962 produces around 570~590hp, and at its max, the Canepa 962 twin-turbo has 60 more horses under the hood. It might not seem like a lot, but remember, Porsche’s top roadgoing cars barely reached 400hp at the time. Just as a sidenote, the car can achieve 200mph quite comfortably according to Canepa and even in modern perspectives, 200mph is very, very fast.

Image from Canepa

Image from Canepa

With great power comes great responsibility according to Uncle Sam in Spiderman. But for a car, with great power, comes great burden for the underbody. To cope with the vast amount of power, the car is equipped with racing suspensions from the 935 and bespoke shock absorbers from Bilstein. Brakes were lifted from the 959 for maximum stopping power too. Furthermore, a low-profile roll bar was added and welded to the chassis for safety as things could go wrong badly in a 650hp roofless sports car.

Image from Canepa

Image from Canepa

The exterior was also extensively modified, but it is uncomparable to hideous modifications done on Honda Civics by 17-year-olds. Factory 934 bodywork was used, meaning the front spoiler, front bumper, and the front and rear fender flares are not only aesthetically appealing but functional. Furthermore, a DP wing was installed to make room for the huge intercooler and the engine as the standard Speedster did not have as much room in the rear.

Image from Canepa

Image from Canepa

The interior looks standard except for the roll bar, with plush tan leather. But keen eyes will notice that the speedometer is from a 959 thanks to the car’s capability of reaching surprisingly fast speeds. 4 point racing seatbelts are installed for safety reasons. Due to the roll bars and the racing seatbelts, the interior feels track-oriented, unlike the standard Speedster, which was built to enjoy the Californian sun instead of racing.

Image from Canepa

Image from Canepa

In a nutshell, the Canepa 962 twin-turbo Speedster is a one-off roadgoing racer without a roof. Being light and agile, but also powerful like a Mike Tyson’s left hook, the car is a ‘king’ of all trades. Of course, purists are not going to like it, but who cares when you can literally obliterate any other pre-2000 Porsche road car? The car is currently for sale on Canepa.com. Check out the link below for further information about the car!

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Image from Canepa

Image from Canepa

At the end of the day…

One of the reasons I love the Porsche 911 is their versatility. You can do whatever you want, and it will still be cool enough. Safari 911s are good fun to drive offroad, and widebody RWB cars are a cult icon. Some keep it stock while some restomod it like Singer and some turn it into a monster like RUF(RUF isn’t technically a tuner, but that’s another story) but the Porsche 911 is versatile enough to accept it all.

Image from Canepa

Image from Canepa

That versatility also means there is plenty of room for engine swaps. Porsche has a relative abundance of race engine thanks to an extensive customer racing program which allows people to build 911s into a wolf in sheep’s guise. The 962 swap done in the Canepa is definitely one of the best I have seen, both in terms of power and craziness. I have covered numerous engine swaps here in DT, from an electric 308 GTS to an F1 engine swapped Ford Cortina, but I have to admit this is the best in both terms. It is not only groundbreaking, but incredibly fast, and the Bruce Canepa definitely deserves more credit.

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