Theon Design, affectionately named after founder Adam Hawleys son, is a UK based company known for its restored and modified 911’s. Hawley differentiates Theon from Singer by saying “We refine the air-cooled 911, we don’t try to reinvent it”. They take a 964 chassis and ‘backdate’ it, a term used to describe making something look older without creating a worn or used effect, to make it look like a long bonnet ’70s air cooled 911, while offering a sorted driving experience.
The word Restomod is not a new term to those in the know, but to the wider audience, it might be. Short for restoration and modification, a restomod is an older car that has had new life, in the form of better parts, blown into it, along with some extra spice. The idea behind it is to take an old car, and upgrade things like suspension, wheels, tires and engine parts, using new technology, to better the driving experience without stripping the car of its original character. Taking the best, and losing the rest.
When you hear restomod, you probably think of a company called Singer. An American company, started and run by a man called Rob Dickinson, a brit who was the frontman of an English rock band, that is known for taking old Porsche 911’s and transforming them into works of art, both aesthetically and mechanically. Outside of the Porsche realm however there are companies like Alfaholics, Cyan Racing, GTO Engineering and Eagle to name a few, but within the Porsche community there is another.
New body panels come first, which are all carbon fibre, and like any part of the car, can be painted in any desired colour, or left raw.
Next is the engine. Theon give the customer the option to choose between a range of motors, from a 3,6 L flat six making 220 kW, to a 4,0-litre making 298 kW, with the option to turbo charge or supercharge too.
One of the most obvious benefits of restomodding shrines through here, with the benefit of modern technology allowing Theon to extract such high numbers from an air-cooled engine. When the 964 was built, the aircooled engine Porsche used could never have handled 400 hp reliably. Theons engines are built to be aesthetic too. Beneath the engine cover are individual throttle bodies, atop a carbon fibre intake manifold, all surrounded by a leather lined engine bay.
Arguably the biggest difference between a restomod and its OEM counterpart is the use of newer suspension componentry. Theon use KW coilovers with custom spring rates and damper settings to enhance mechanical grip and drivability. They can also do fully adaptive suspension if the customer wants a more versatile car.
New brakes are a must, up rated hugely for reliable stopping power, and tuned for the best feel and response, with the option for carbon ceramics if any track days are in order.
All of this of course linked to the road through the latest rubber.
The thought that goes into this product can be seen simply by looking at the wiring loom. Theon built an entirely new one, and it is built to Porsche specification and colour so that any Porsche mechanic could work on it. They are improving, not reinventing.
Naturally the interior is heavily reworked. There are options ranging from stripped out sports specifications to cosseted luxury, and everything in between. Formula 1 grade carbon fibre makes up the interior panels, such as the doors, and much else, but customers can choose if they want to see that, or if they would rather have everything lined in leather. Any combination of leather, be it woven or not, is available and Theon will go above and beyond to make sure it is exactly what the customer wants. They will wrap items like the fuel filter in that same semi-aniline leather too, if all the interior on the inside, as well as in the storage area up front, is not enough.
The attention to detail is incredible, even the switchgear has been fettled with. OEM looking as they may be, they have been refined in their tactility for a greater user experience.
There is a quote from Hawley, that states “An owner may not see 90 per cent of the car, but the same level of attention to detail goes right the way through, regardless.”, and this is blindingly obvious when looking at, what we can only call, these poster cars.