Blue Steel Beauty
“I wanted to approach this car in the true spirit of hot rodding. And there’s actually a lot of that in R Gruppe,” Troiani remarks. “Back when hot rodding was hot rodding, most people did the work themselves. You basically bought a lightweight car, put a big engine in it, and used whatever you could find from the junkyard to make it better. So that’s what I did.”
From a sea of virtually endless possibilities, Troiani took the best ideas he had seen in early 911 builds through the years. He didn’t want the result to look too “out of period.” Instead, he wanted to keep it cohesive and not too embellished. In other words, the finished car had to be both purposeful and unapologetic without shouting it out to the world.
To ensure a clean look, he wasted no time filling in the oil and gas doors. He also replaced the front and rear bumpers with one-piece fiberglass units. No sunroof was added, because, as Troiani puts it, “Why would you cut a hole in a perfectly good roof?” He also drilled lightening holes in the strut webs and rear deck lid and added H-4 headlights that were modified to accept high-intensity discharge (HID) bulbs. Next came a litany of engineering solutions that would likely impress even some engineers in Stuttgart.
There were several characteristics of the early 911 that bothered Troiani. In particular, he wanted to improve any potential cooling issues—both for the oil and the driver. “I wanted to be able to drive to Death Valley in this car at any time of the year. And that wasn’t going to happen comfortably in a factory ’72 T,” he notes. To that end, he launched an all-out attack on the 911’s air conditioning and oil circulation systems.
“I have no love for the stock A/C setup, which looks like what it is: a hastily conceived afterthought cobbled together to make the cars more salable in non-Nordic climates,” Troiani states. “I rationalized moving the compressor forward as ‘improving the weight distribution,’ but I was really just trying to justify all the work needed to clean up what I saw as an eyesore.”
A Sanden-brand A/C compressor was tastefully implemented and is driven off an extension of the alternator shaft. A condenser from a 1989-1994 964-generation 911 sits in the left front fender with a fan and a dryer. Inside the car, on the center tunnel between the seats, is a control knob from a Volkswagen bus that controls the heat. The A/C switches sit right next to it. The evaporator was placed under the rear seats and split into two halves.