Words & Photographs by Jason Morabito.
Hailing from Buffalo, NY and at only 21 years old, Maxwell Korzaniewski has traded his Wolfsburg roots for Stuttgart’s modern classic. Leaving behind his previous mk4 R32, Max has opted for yet another all wheel drive six cylinder… however this icon is worlds apart, a 1989 Porsche Carrera 4.
The Porsche 911 for the model years 1989 to 1994, designated the 964 (Porsche’s internal code name for this era 911), was developed in response to the dramatic decrease in sales of the tiring Porsche 911 3.2. In an attempt to win back the old Porsche enthusiast, Porsche realized that a completely new driving experience would have to be developed. To this end, Porsche decided to embrace the advent of a new concept that Audi had stumbled upon a few years before, all wheel drive in a sports coupe. And so was born the Carrera 4, Porsche’s first foray into a full time four wheel drive performance automobile, and the first of the 964 family.
Fast forward almost 25 years later and a lot has happened in the 964 market. In 1989, the 964 was first offered only in four-wheel drive Carrera 4 form, to showcase new technology and to prove that the 911 was a safe and surefooted car. It was well received, although some complained that it wasn’t a true 911. Whether its because of the drastic modernization of a cult classic or the handful of engineering oversights that plagued early models, the 964 became the black sheep of the air cooled 911′s – a notion that would (believe it or not) make these cars one of the most sought after generations decades later.
Let me explain; Good 964s have gotten increasingly hard to come by. As the 964 resale values dipped into economy pricing over the years, they were often not maintained correctly, driven hard and put away wet. The handful of properly maintained “clean” cars that remain have almost all been sorted, rebuilt and are now as bullet proof as they should have been from the start. However, these prime examples are now becoming needles in a haystack, thus forcing prices north… and fast. With companies like Rotiform, Singer and RWB driving a resurgence in 964 popularity among enthusiasts, properly sorted 964s are fetching nearly double what they were just a few years ago.
For max, hundreds of hours of internet detective work paid off in a huge way. Not only was Max able to source exactly what he wanted, but also for under book. It seems Max snuck in right before the huge popularity wave, thus leaving himself a nice budget for his ultimate vision and any updating the car still needed. Max says. “I found it on AutoTrader. After speaking with the owner, I felt comfortable enough to make an offer site unseen, but the owner insisted I come see and drive the car myself. I made the trip up to Howell, Michigan and and I just fell in love. It just felt right. So after a long test drive, and a ride in the owner’s pristine 993, he accepted my offer and I picked the 964 up the following weekend.”
As ecstatic as Max was with the car even in stock form, we all know that it wasn’t long before the car was up on jack stands and the UPS boxes started arriving. The 964 was the first 911 that boasted conventional coil springs instead of the previous torsion bar suspension. Knowing that it’s OEM height was unacceptable, Max placed his first call to Brian Henderson at Rotiform to get his hands on one of their custom H&R “deep” coilover kits. Brian, with the help of AH exclusive parts and H&R springs, helped develop a kit that would not only put a 964 on its nuts, but would do so while retaining proper functionality, comfort and handling, all characteristics that no 911 owner should have to compromise. After the suspension was sorted, it came to pass that Max would also inherit a very special set of LHRs (sizes 18×8.5 and 10) from Brian, complete with “ring” miles! Between the iconic “old school mesh” styling of the LHR and the fact that they’ve been around Nürburgring in addition to a very famous debut at Wörthersee, how could Max say no?
While waiting for the wheels to arrive, Max took the time to go through the car and make sure everything was up to snuff elsewhere. This resulted in the decision to upgrade to WEVO motor mounts as well as add a Rennline carrier reinforcement. The Carrera’s 250bhp 3.6-litre flat six was then made more robust with the addition of a vertex chip making full use of the motor’s 11.3:1 compression. The air cooled lump’s breathing was also enhanced with a K&N intake and Dansk G-Pipe. The exterior’s OG paint was then treated to a corrective polish and wax bringing it back to showroom luster, while the headlights were updated to H4′s and the faded tails were repainted in translucent candy red. With the car sitting proper, purring right and having has all the trim shined up, Max turned his attention to the cockpit. With the addtion of a MOMO competition wheel and hub and a DAS sport Half cage painted to match the wheels (not pictured), the minimal track inspired interior now fully fits the part.
After its mass appeal at both at this past H2Oi and First Class Fitment, the car is once again parked away for another round of upgrades while Western New York’s infamous winter rolls on through . I for one can’t wait to see what Max has in store for this coming season, but with the amount of love he has already shown for this once outcast 911, I’m sure the next chapter will be one to equally impress.