The Porsche 912, often regarded as the 911’s less powerful sibling, has found new life through the efforts of Hungarian firm Kamm Manufaktur, specializing in restomods. The 912, sold from 1965 to 1969, was initially considered a budget alternative to the 911, featuring a flat-four engine derived from the Porsche 356. Today, the 912 is a sought-after classic, albeit not exceptionally potent, with standard models producing around 67kW. Kamm Manufaktur’s demonstration car, on the other hand, boasts 142kW and weighs 760kg, giving it a power-to-weight ratio similar to a modern 911 Carrera.
Kamm Manufaktur’s founder, Miki Kázmér, acquired a standard 912 as the company’s demonstrator and embarked on a transformation project. The Budapest-based company employs a 30-member team with expertise in motorsport, restoration, 3D scanning, and composites. Most components are manufactured in-house, and Kázmér’s passion for air-cooled engines has driven the project. Budapest’s car culture, which involves sympathetically enhancing classic cars, serves as the inspiration for Kamm’s approach to the 912. The company is currently building its first three customer cars, tailored to individual specifications.
The extent of modification in a restomod is at the customer’s discretion. The fully customized demonstrator, with carbon-fiber bodywork, costs around $523,000, excluding the donor car. The vehicle’s carbon-fiber body panels include the bonnet, wings, doors, engine cover, boot floor, and roof (if desired). Underneath the panels, the 912’s steel shell has been reinforced in certain areas, such as the suspension mounts. The exposed carbon weave complements the period-correct Irish Green paint, creating an authentic appearance.
To maintain the classic aesthetic, Kamm has refurbished the original 1960s headlights instead of installing modern LED units. The side windows are made of Lexan to reduce weight, contributing to the car’s 760kg curb weight. Kázmér aims for a balance between weight reduction and comfort to ensure that the 912c remains a usable car.
The 2.0-liter engine has been enhanced, producing 120kW in its standard “touring” mode and an additional 22kW in the “Drive Me Crazy” mode, which can be engaged via a dashboard switch. The engine has the potential to be tuned to over 150kW, but Kamm has limited it to 120kW for road use to ensure long-term reliability. The brakes have been upgraded with four-piston calipers at the front and two-piston calipers at the rear, even though they may seem excessive for such a lightweight car.
One of the significant technological advancements is the inclusion of electronically controlled dampers by TracTive, offering five damping settings via a dashboard dial. The car’s interior can be customized, with carbon-fiber trim and the option to add a Bluetooth speaker system for music. An integrated roll cage is also available for track-focused variants.
The vehicle’s agility and responsiveness are attributed to the engine’s characteristics and the lightweight body, providing a strong pull and an engaging driving experience. The exhaust note is notably robust, especially when the “Crazy” mode is activated.
While the 912c isn’t exceptionally fast, it offers a spirited performance and an involving driving experience. The electronically controlled dampers and quick steering rack make it an agile and enjoyable car to drive. The 912c is priced at a significant premium, but for those seeking a unique classic car with modern upgrades and outstanding attention to detail, it may be a compelling option.
Kamm Manufaktur’s work on the 912c has transformed it into a thoroughly resolved and engaging car that maintains its classic character while enhancing its performance and handling. It offers a driving experience that connects the driver to the road and surroundings, making it a unique and captivating choice for those with a passion for classic cars and the means to invest in a premium restomod.
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