The Gunther Werks 400R: A Reimagined Porsche That Just Might Be Perfect
Updated: Jul 5, 2018
“If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
—Sir Isaac Newton
The famed physicist’s words above, expressed in 1675, provide timely testament to a recent automotive discovery—the Gunther Werks 400R. Based in Orange County, Calif., the engineers and designers at Gunther Werks have built off the brilliance of the Porsche 993—the last air-cooled car in the marque’s 911 line—and made it even more sublime.
“The 993 is considered by all Porsche enthusiasts to be the best 911 variant made to date,” says Gunther Werks’ chief executive officer Peter Nam. “The performance and beautiful design of the 993 combined with new technology are ingredients for success.”
Nam’s recipe for the ground-up remastering begins with a 993 donor vehicle that must be a street-legal example from 1994 through 1999. Gunther Werks then crafts a hand-built body—considerably wider than the original—comprised entirely of carbon fiber (save for the doors and mirrors). The trick was staying true to 993-designer Tony Hatter’s original aesthetic.
“The greatest challenge was keeping this car period-correct from a design standpoint while modifying it,” explains Nam. “We had to interpret Porsche’s design language so that we didn’t lose the essence of what everyone loves about the 993.”
The contemporary coupe carries a 4-liter naturally aspirated air-cooled engine, from Oregon-based Rothsport Racing, that puts out 400 hp and generates 330 ft lbs of torque. Also part of the power train is a custom Getrag G50 6-speed manual transmission.
The Gunther Werks 400R’s picture-perfect profile stays true to 993-designer Tony Hatter’s original vision. Photo: Courtesy of Gunther Werks.
“The newer generation doesn’t understand the passion for cars that mine has,” says Nam. “One of the reasons I wanted to take on this project was to inspire the younger generation to learn how to drive a manual transmission. I want this car to be something my young son can enjoy 10 years down the road.”