Noah Walt

Wilson, the well used and some times abused naturally aspirated 944 is in the shop for some mods and as a correspondent of flüssig magazine I gotta write about something… might as well write about what I love.

Join me in the following interview.
flüssig: 
What is Wilson?

Noah: 
Originally he was a “dual purpose street legal road & track car”… inspired by a builder from New Jersey, Jason Gonzalez and also designer Magnus Walker from Cali. Since then he has been re-categorized into an all-purpose car, because of his abilities off pavement.

He’s essentially a lightweight, simple car that can be hammered on all day (like Porsches were intended to be). So reliability is key. But removal of non-essentials, and add a few safety items. Less “family car” and more “race car”.

I want to feel a particular feeling the moment I sit in the driver’s seat. And that is exactly what happens. The second you contort your body into the racing bucket and behind the steering wheel… it’s all business. Stiff brakes, stiff steering, stiff short throw shifter, stiff park brake, stiff seat.

flüssig: 
Keep going.

Noah:
Ok. In a normal 944 you have an arm-rest on the door and on the console. Not in Wilson. So you are forced to drive with both hands on the wheel. Which is a good thing because he’s got de-powered steering. And if you catch a rut the wrong way, you’ll loose control of the wheel.

Carpet and sound deadening deleted. Power items removed. Stereo delete.

Took it from running 4 belts on the engine to 2. And without the flip up headlights, access under the bonnet is vastly improved. Cat delete, lightweight exhaust. The car is 2500 lbs without the passenger seat & half a tank of gas, but still retains the heater & you’ll have to pull the A/C out of my cold dead hands. Maybe I’ll replace the glass & steel panels with lighter weight body panels one day. Probably.

The model 944 makes an incredible touring car! I want to drive this thing for many hours and the next day go to a driving event and then drive home. No trailers - in the spirit of the older R Gruppe cars. Is the car loud? Yeah, after 3 hours of driving I might put ear-plugs in. I keep a baggy of new ear-plugs in the glove compartment for my partner and me if desired. But I gotta say the exhaust sounds really good right now with some low end rumble. 

Here’s a taste: 
Because of the way I drive the car, the fuel economy of the 4 banger with the larger late model fuel tank is well suited to this use. I recently returned to the factory 160 hp set up vs the 200 hp I was running. But that’s another conversation.
flüssig:
What else:

Noah: 
Ok, since I’m on a budget but need new dampeners I recently converted brand new early 944 Sachs struts to fit the late model spindles. And just bought Sachs late model rears.

flüssig: 
Why?

Noah: 
Because late struts lock you in a corner begging to get out. Early has removable internal shocks… what do you want man? Bilstein? Koni? Sachs? Just replace them and voilà!! Whereas late model, not easy, not inexpensive to simply replace front struts or upgrade the dampeners. So I said a big FUCK YOU and ordered up a set and compared the two. I was going to cut the tops off and weld them onto late bodies but in the end I made shims and enlarged the upper holes. Will it be ok? We’ll find out soon enough.

Still don’t know long term what I want to do for suspension, so factory is what I bring to the table.

 


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