Larry Kosilla was born to his career. As a young boy, he remembers asking his mother for a bucket of soap and water and cleaning his pedal fire truck. He was one of the few little boys in the world who wanted to be clean. When Kosilla grew up, he studied economics at the University of Virginia and headed to the Mercantile Exchange, where he worked for a natural-gas commodities trader. While he couldn’t stand the job, Kosilla was getting good business experience. He was also detailing cars on the side to make ends meet.
From there he started working for a service in New York that rented cars out for film, television, and print work. His job was to make sure the vehicles looked perfect inside and out, make sure the models and actors didn’t scratch the paint, and then bring the cars back safe. Kosilla soon formulated his own products to use in his detailing business, then later created his own brand, AMMO, to sell them to others. With both businesses going full bore, Kosilla, who bracket-raced a Ford Mustang 5.0 in his teens and later owned a Chevy Impala SS, decided it was time to buy a new performance car. This time, though, it would be German.
Kosilla fell in love with the 964 the first time he saw one, and to his mind, the Carrera 4 version sits in the sweet spot for naturally aspirated air-cooled 911s. It features a 247-hp 3.6-liter flat-six engine, an all-wheel-drive system derived from the one in the 959 supercar, a classic-looking five-gauge dashboard, effective air conditioning, and coil springs instead of torsion bars underneath. But when Kosilla discovered this particular 1991 C4 for sale on Long Island, New York in April 2013, he had some concerns.
While that time and place likely won’t set off any alarm bells for most readers, car buyers in the Northeastern United States remember it as the spring after Hurricane Sandy (a.k.a. Superstorm Sandy), which in late 2012 flooded large areas of the Mid-Atlantic states. Kosilla wanted to make sure this Porsche wasn’t one of the tens of thousands of vehicles that had been completely submerged just a few months prior.
Speaking with the 964’s owner, Kosilla learned that, as the storm got close to Long Island, the Porsche was packed with as many belongings as possible and driven to higher ground. While the C4 survived unscathed, its owner’s home was a different story; the car was being sold to raise money to rebuild. Kosilla was concerned he might be taking advantage of someone in a tough spot, but when the 964’s owner reassured him that he was okay with the sale, the deal was done.
The next step was an inspection, which Kosilla recorded and uploaded to YouTube. It was clear the Porsche had been well-maintained, but the engine definitely needed some help. There was a slow leak from two of the cylinders, which Kosilla suspected might be due to the 1989-1991 964 engines’ lack of head gaskets. While most cars were later retrofitted with the gaskets under warranty, this particular car had somehow missed the recall.
The choices were: Pull the 3.6-liter engine and repair it, or recreate the 3.8-liter RS motor he’d been dreaming about. It wasn’t that tough a call, and it ended up making better financial sense when the flat six was stripped to bare bones. The dream was realized with all work being done at Speedsport Tuning in Danbury, Connecticut. LN Engineering supplied new Nickies pistons and cylinders, which were supplemented with EBS Racing valve springs with titanium retainers and Web Cam’s Super Sport racing camshafts.