Theon’s second UK 964 its most powerful yet

Upgraded air-cooled flat-six brings GBR002 up to 412hp – without forced induction…

By Cam Tait / Tuesday, 28 November 2023 / Loading comments

It’s easy to get confused by the seemingly endless supply of 964-based 911 restomods. We’ve seen on several occasions what Theon Design is capable of (and we’ve sampled some of its handiwork for ourselves) but the fact of the matter is that the company typically shakes up the formula for each build. So while GBR002, its second UK commission, looks more than a little familiar, it marks a big step forward for the outfit. Welcome, everyone, to the most powerful Theon restomod yet.

If you’ve been following the Theon story, you’ll know that it’s rather fond of tinkering with Porsche flat sixes; just look at the bonkers supercharged example we took for a spin last year. And that makes it all the more impressive that, with GBR002, the company has managed to extract a new peak of 412hp without going down the forced induction route, instead keeping its 4.0-litre, air-cooled flat-six naturally aspirated. Theon says that a new ignition system has contributed to a five per cent increase in grunt over the first iteration, as have bespoke Jenvey independent throttle bodies. So if you thought the older models sounded good, this one should blow your socks off.

Of course, it helps that it’ll need to be revved to high heaven to get the most out of the revamped engine, if not quite as high as its predecessor. Peak power comes in at 7,200rpm (150rpm lower than GBR001), while the full 326lb ft is unlocked at 5,800rpm (36 more torques and 200rpm lower respectively). The six-speed Hewland gearbox is also new, with a single-mass flywheel providing ultra-snappy shifts while a Torsen limited-slip differential sorts out power to the rear axle. The five-stage TracTive dampers get a look in, too, with further optimisations ‘ensuring exceptional performance and resolute traction’. No widow-maker traits here, hopefully…

Like Theon’s previous creations, every panel on GBR002 is made from carbon fibre, meaning it’ll barely trouble a set of scales at 1,169kg. It doesn’t pay homage to anything in particular, as its predecessor did, other than the Oak Green metallic paintwork, ‘ghost’ side-stripe and 18-inch Fuchs-style wheels all referencing 911s of the past. Blistered arches are obligatory on a 911 restomod, though a teeny tiny ducktail spoiler results in a look that sits more on the subtle side. 

Pulling the satin chrome door handles reveals a completely overhauled interior. Theon is particularly proud of the work it’s put in to make the cabin feel like an old 911, while at the same time improving on the touch points. The switchgear, interior door handles, instrument rings, as well as the knobs and dials have been ‘reverse engineered’ and upgraded with billet aluminium parts, while Muslin leather covers the seat bolsters and dash. Additionally, because tapes have yet to make a proper resurgence, there’s Bluetooth connectivity and wireless phone charging for extra convenience.

Adam Hawley, Theon Design co-founder, said: “This is a spectacular car, with many of our new systems and design elements, combined with a complete reworking of the 4.0-litre flat six and our advanced damping system. As with all our builds, it is a pure expression of the air-cooled 911. But more focused, more powerful, more planted, and – dare I say it – more 911.” Sounds more than a little appealing doesn’t it? Well, we’ve now tried both GBR001 and GBR002 and will give you a steer on which one measures up to the £380,000 price tag later this week. Wait time is currently around 18 months, so there’s no need to rush a decision…

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