Call it by its original flachbau German name or use the slantnose/flatnose English translations, this Porsche transformation dating back to the 1970s has spread well beyond official efforts such as the GT2 RS-based, modern-day 935 race car introduced four years ago. In fact, as we’ll see in this Japanese tuning story revolving around a fresh-out-of-the-over 997-gen 911, the slantnose cult has even extended to other brands.
It was 1976 when Porsche introduced the OG 935 racer, which came as a factory racing iteration of the era’s 930-gen 911 Turbo, with customer racing teams getting this the following year. Since the flat front end was arguably the most notable styling change since the 1960s introduction of the 911, this drew massive attention.
As a result, in 1981 a German specialist dubbed Kremer Racing came up with 935 conversion kits for 930 Turbos. And, the following year, the lobbying made by Mansour Ojjeh, the co-owner of Swiss luxury watchmaker and racing sponsor Tag Heuer, determined Porsche to introduce the road incarnation of the 935.
However, with the popularity of the flachbau only growing, Porsche replied to popular demand in 1986 by introducing the slantnose 930, which was heavily inspired by the front end of the 935.
Meanwhile, the aftermarket conversions started multiplying all over the world, so while Kremer Racing is still doing its thing over in Europe, flatnose 911s are also a thing over in Japan.
So, what’s the connection between the flatnose 911 and other marques?
A couple of years ago, a Japanese aftermarket developer dubbed Old & New introduced a slantnose kit turning the 997 iteration of the sports car—the one from two generations ago—into a modern-day 935 before Porsche got to revive the latter racer based on the ex-gen 991 Neunelfer.
And, back in July 2020, I was doing my obsessive Instagram car surfing when I came across a contraption dubbed 935Z. A one-off created in Japan, this is no less than a 350Z with a slantnose attire and you can find the article I wrote on it by Googling “Nissan 350Z Slantnose”.
And, if you head over to the YouTube video at the bottom of the page, you’ll notice a non-flatnose widebody 997 (presumably built by somebody else) followed by the 935Z and this slantnose 997 for a perfect comparo.
Fast-forward to the present time, Ashiru Ito, the man behind the project, just finished the 997 sitting on our screens.
This water-cooled 911 has the tech side to match its widebody flamboyance
As explained by the Porscha’s owner, Instagram user daikin_man01, this thing started out in life as a 997 Carrera 4S. However, the 3.8L flat-six of the AWD coupe has left its atmospheric form behind and now works with a Vortech V2 centrifugal supercharger.
Inspired by the shape of Kremer Racing 935, Itu also built this 911 as a one-off, with the vehicle debuting at the recent Wekfest 2022, which is a showcase of Japan’s custom culture—the creation was voted the most popular widebody of the event.
The man works by applying foam to create the basic shapes of the widebody and then using the temporary structure to model the fiberglass panels he builds.
The mix between the super-sized vented fenders/rear wing and the clean overall approach is perhaps the most striking element of this orange build.
Nowadays, the widebody industry seems to be focused on bolt-on bits featuring visible rivets—these are easier to install and seem more suitable to the tastes of the new generation. Nevertheless, the molded widebody of this slantnose 997 takes us back to the early 2000s, when such pieces were all the rage, not least thanks to the OG Fast and Furious movie introducing them to a larger audience.
Oh, and with the 2023 Nissan Z already in the aftermarket’s crosshairs, we’re expecting the flatnose renderings we discussed earlier this year to become a reality.