On the Shoulders of Giants

This 997 Turbo coupe pays homage to a storied Porsche-racing house

December 8, 2016
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If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.

—Isaac Newton, 1676

Sorry for going all ontological on you right up front, but given our subject matter, it only seems appropriate to ask: What makes a successful Porsche-racing tribute car? Is it simply a matter of daubing on a “throwback” paint scheme from the marque’s motorsports heyday, bolting up a handful of track-inspired body bits and calling it good?

Not if you’re 32-year-old Harris Snodgrass, owner of Jacksonville, Florida–based tuning house fiveninedesign and scion of one of the most respected families in the Porsche sphere. For him, crafting a proper automotive homage is much more than a job: It’s a matter of professional pride, and a means of communing with a beloved relative who departed too soon. It’s a task that would overtax the skills and vision of most car builders, but as we’ll see, Harris Snodgrass is no ordinary customizer, and his 2009 911 (997.1) Turbo is no ordinary car.

Legacy of Speed

To fully appreciate the significance of our subject vehicle, it’s helpful to travel back to the start—specifically, to 1960, when Hubert Brundage launched the Porsche-exclusive Brumos Racing team. When Brundage died five years later in an auto accident, Peter Gregg purchased Brumos and, along with business partner Robert Snodgrass, guided it to six IMSA GT titles and three Trans-Am championships over the next decade. Gregg himself met a tragic end in 1980, and Snodgrass took control of both Brumos Racing and the Brumos automotive-dealership group in 1990.

As son Harris puts it, the elder Snodgrass was far from the typical buttoned-down business executive one might imagine. “Many people weren’t aware of his passion for modifying cars, even though he was a robust car fanatic. He loved racing, he loved the business and for fun, he loved building and ultimately selling [the] vehicles he tinkered with.”

Also from Issue 243

  • On the road in the new 718s
  • 30 Years of Excellence
  • 1970 911 S/T
  • Market Update: Boxster & Cayman
  • We drive two tuned 1972 911s
  • Racer Jon Milledge
  • The Nearly Pristine 914
  • When TAG-Porsche & McLaren Split
  • 2017 TechArt 911 Carrera S
  • 1987 vs. 2017 911 Tech
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