In today’s day and age, we’ve grown very much accustomed to the digital way of motoring. Computerised supercars with monstrous amounts of power are breaking records left, right and centre. It seems that every other week there’s some news of a car that promises even more performance, even more, blistering lap times or even more digital creature comforts than the one before it. And as cool as some of these machines may be, the true art of driving is dying because of it. A time when cars would be purely controlled by hands, feet and a human brain is long gone. In order to truly enjoy a car the analogue way we have to go back quite sometime already, but I think I have found one that might be the closest thing to perfect driving pleasure in a long while! The car in question? KAMM Manufaktur’s brilliant Porsche 912c Classic Restomod!
Hungary for Porsche
KAMM Manufaktur may not ring an immediate bell amongst car enthusiasts and die-hard Porsche fans, but in all honesty, it’s one that definitely deserves your attention. The company is based in Budapest, Hungary and is founded by Miklós Kázmér with the sole purpose of perfecting what could very well be one of the most overlooked yet balanced Porsche sports cars ever made; the 912. And where most look to the 911 and its six-cylinder boxer engine, I’m glad the 912 finally gets some love and attention from the restomoding world.
Built between 1965 and 1969, the Porsche 912 was intended to bridge the gap between the 365 and the 911. With the 1.6 litre engine taken from the outgoing Porsche 356 and a low weight of just under 1,000kgs, the 912 proved to be a finely balanced machine in no need of high power levels to make it quick. In the right hands, the 912 was a formidable competitor on short and twisty race tracks or rallying events. It even won the Group 1 Touring Car class in the 1967 European Rally Championship against, you’ve guessed it, the more powerful 911! It would also be more fuel efficient thanks to its highly efficient engine and low drag. It was also considerably cheaper, and with 32,000 built over those five short years, it proved quite popular as well!
Less truly is more
I you look at the specifications for the original Porsche 912, they don’t seem that impressive. You’re looking at a car that weighs 965 kilos (or just over 2,100 pounds) and that comes with “just” 102 horsepower or even a low 90 horsepower for the US-only 2.0-litre 4-cylinder variant. But, as said, if you knew what you were doing, the car proved to be a true embodiment of the age-old recipe of increasing performance and handling by reducing weight (the Lotus way, basically). Compared to the 911 it demonstrated a better weight distribution, better handling and a longer range. It sounds almost contradictory in a way, that the smaller, more basic 912 could be a better car than the 911 in multiple ways.
The Porsche 912, although closely resembling one, is not a 911 and it might be a tad confusing I admit. However, as a result, the Porsche 912 is also a car that turns fewer heads when it comes across the auction block. Pretty much all Porsche cars have been increasing in value, even the unusual ones like the 914 and 924, but the 912 remains somewhat overlooked. For that reason, you can find good examples for around 50,000 USD, which is still a big chunk of money but nothing close to lightweight variants of the emblematic 911 of roughly the same era. Some examples can still cost quite a penny though and are still very much capable of demanding six figures.
the kamm 912c
So with the Porsche 912 being the focal point for KAMM, let’s have a closer look at what that means in the grander scheme of things. The KAMM 912c is basically a perfected restomod of the original 912. A car that was intended to nestle somewhere between the 356 and 911, which resulted in a beautifully balanced package. KAMM takes the concept of the 912 and dials it up quite a few notches, into what’s called the 912c. The car has been in development for several years and about a month ago the first prototype was introduced. The first client-spec car is scheduled to be delivered in early 2023 as production is now underway of this exquisite machine.
From the outside, it still looks very much like an original Porsche 912 but the entire car has undergone an extensive makeover. Each 912c built uses an original 912, which is stripped, restored and improved in pretty much every area imaginable. The body is newly constructed out of carbon fibre, drastically reducing the weight of the car. KAMM cuts no corners and even installs Lexan windows to bring the weight down even more. All this weight-saving has resulted in a kerb weight of just 750kgs, which is more than 200kgs less than the original 912. That’s basically asking three people to step out of the car!
The changes don’t end there as new performance parts are installed to keep you safe. A new suspension set-up, new brakes, new wheels and tires are fitted and more. The engine is also not left untouched, as each one gets rebuilt in partnership with Swiss air-cooled engine experts JPS Aircooled. The power output is increased to 170 horsepower, which still doesn’t sound like much but coupled to the low weight it will surely mean the 912c is a very quick car in the end!
Each KAMM 912c can be specifically built the way you want it, with bespoke paint finishes and interior designs available. KAMM installs carbon fibre seats, carbon fibre interior trim panels, electric air-conditioning, lightweight carpets, an audio system, a new pedal box, and more. The car sits on centre-lock three-piece wheels wrapped in Yokohama tyres and stops using Porsche 964 brakes in the front, and Brembo brakes in the back. The engine is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox.
I know that pretty much all of these restomod cars come with a hefty price tag and this KAMM 912c is no exception. The 912c starts at a price of EUR 325,000, with bespoke options pushing that number even higher. But in return, you get a car that will send shivers up and down your spine as you throw it around corners and ring every last bit of performance out of it. And thanks to the fully analogue set-up of the car, as committed to by KAMM, you can really squeeze every last bit of performance out of it. It’s not some overly engineered hypercar capable of warp speed but is pretty much unusable in the street, but instead, a finely tuned machine aimed at pure driving pleasure. And I would LOVE to have a go one day!
For more information, please visit Kammanufaktur.com
Editorial Note: All images of the KAMM 912c are provided directly by the team of KAMM Manufaktur unless stated otherwise.