The current news stand issue of Excellence, the magazine about Porsche, contains one of my articles on the classic 1972 911 sports car. This particular white coupe was transformed from an ‘80’s Miami Vice bling machine into a sleeper of an award winning hot rod by Californian Dave Eck and his host of friends.

The great part about this car is that you could conceivably walk right past it without a second look. It doesn’t have any racing stripes or body decals. Heck, it doesn’t even have big fog lamps mounted on the hood. Instead it features vintage looking later model wheels and a plain old gas tank.

With its unadorned exterior it might pass for just another Early 911 – if it wasn’t for what lies beneath the standard lids and doors: a 2.7L twin-plug motor with a factory RSR distributor, RS flares, front fender lips that were subtly flared, factory sport seats with the correct houndstooth material, RSR gauges, close-ratio transmission with overdrive 5th gear and limited slip, upgraded suspension and Turbo brakes. When viewed in warm sunset light, the total package glows with a quality of craftsmanship that is reflected in the smallest of details.

On the road, a combination of moderately stiff springs, supple shocks, and tall tires make for a supremely comfortable ride mated to confidence inspiring handling. And the twin plugged RS engine provides a delightful aural mixture of mechanical fuel injection intake noise and metallic exhaust note through the open sunroof. The perfectly balanced brakes only confirm how easy this 911 is to drive. Everything works together in a harmonious way that satisfies. No surprises, just a relaxed calm that spreads to the driver from the rapid progress this car makes with the least amount of effort.

“Subtlety understated” is the way Dave describes his 911. And he’s right. There is not one big attention-getter on this car. It takes time to explore. The layered presentation brings a smile to your face, and the longer you look the deeper you go. When Audi TT designer Freeman Thomas handed the coveted GT award to Dave at the 10th annual R Gruppe event, he proclaimed, “If Steve McQueen were alive today, this is the car he would have driven.” A higher compliment for any 911 could not be given.

For more on this car and others, please visit Excellence magazine: