This article is dedicated to all our Porsche loving readers and clients. Last week The Collectors Circle had the pleasure of visiting Urs Erbacher, the legendary drag racer and founder of the Erbacher 911. And as a Porsche loving car nerd, I can tell you this is the closest we can get to heaven when talking about customized Porsches.
Since his teenage years, Urs Erbacher was fascinated by speed and by motorcycles in particular. When he was 18 years old, he decided to buy his first car, a Volkswagen “Käfer” also known as “Beetle “or “Bug”. He soon realized that a basic model would not be good enough, so he spent all his saving customizing his VW Käfer to become louder, faster, better. Swayed by his older brother and by the movie “American Graffiti”, Urs became interested in the American culture and while he was racing on the circuit with his Käfer, he soon started to find an interest in drag racing. The rest is history – Urs has won 6 FIA European Championship titles in the Dragster class and is a living racing legend.
According to Urs, success in drag racing is based on 30% driving skills and 70% engineering, which is why he spent most of his free time in the garage tinkering with his car. One day, a close friend of Urs observed his talent for customization and asked him if he was able to customize his Harley-Davidson. And this was the moment Erbacher Bikes was born. And from there, it was only a short wait until a client came to ask for a customized Porsche. It became Urs’ mission to build the best customized street-legal 911s in Europe.
The first project of the Erbacher 911 was based on a Porsche 964 C2. The engine was modified by the brand EGMO Sportmotor and is truly a piece of art. The naturally aspirated 3.9L engine produces a power output of 360 PS at 400Nm and 7200 rpm. The performance is stunning as Erbacher’s first 911 project accelerates from 0-100 km/h in only 4.2 seconds and reaches a top speed of above 300 km/h. Basically, EGMO re-engineered the whole engine. The Swiss company redesigned crankshaft, camshafts, connecting rods, pistons, cylinders & cylinder heads to achieve the maximum output.
After the first project was completed, Urs Erbacher and Lothar Rothenleber, Managing Director of EGMO Sportmotoren, sat together to discuss improvements for the next projects. The results were very impressive. The Collectors Circle had the chance to be the first to have a look at the 4.3L engine for Erbacher’s second project. The performance of the engine increased to 410 PS at 460 Nm, while the 400Nm barrier is reached quickly, allowing the engine to boost the Porsche at any time. We drove through the beautiful countryside of Basel with the Erbacher 911 projects and I must admit that I am still impressed by the performance of the cars. Well done EGMO!
As you can see, the engine is completely revised and almost every part was made in their small car workshop. EGMO, the Swiss engine expert is a partner of Urs Erbacher and has already accompanied him at his drag races for years.
The interior reflects Urs’ passion for details and has genuine Italian leather from one of the best manufactories in the country, which is also used as a fabric source by leading European luxury clothing brands. The mirrors are hand made from aluminum in Erbacher’s workshop, not like many other Porsche customizers who manufacture it from synthetic materials in an aluminum look. And as you can see in the pictures, the mirror is mounted on the side window instead of the fender as is usual for the 964 series. As a car enthusiast, it’s the little details that matter and that differentiate great from jaw-dropping!
Urs Erbacher was challenged from all sides to prove that it’s possible to build a street-legal customized Porsche like his with all tailor-made interior and the EGMO engine as centerpiece of the car. He proved his doubters wrong and created what I consider one of the best customized Porsches ever.
The Collectors Circle already had a small sneak preview into their next project. Stay tuned guys, we will be back for more!
Photography: Dario Fontana for The Collectors Circle: @dario.fontana