How it all started

While it is rare for the owner of any Porsche to be contacted by Type7 to be featured in their publication, it is even rarer for Type7 to commit to a feature of a vehicle that has yet to be completed. For those not familiar, Type7 is an official Porsche media outlet that serves as a daily lifestyle magazine. They select only the most noteworthy examples of Porsches and their owners to be featured on their boutique platform. Enter the CSF 911.

Type7 contacted our Creative Director in October of 2021 as we were still completing the build for SEMA that year. They were so impressed by all the detailed work that went into the car; they scheduled the feature before the completion date.

The right spot

With Type7 committed we began selecting our time and location. Our creative director always envisioned the CSF 911 carving up the canyons and hills in Europe. However, that kind of scenery can be tough to come by in Southern California. As soon as we had recovered from SEMA we began looking for our ideal location. After a few weeks of searching we found it. The perfect location to showcase in the CSF 911 in what we envisioned as its natural habitat; California wine country in Paso Robles.

Central and Northern California Wine country looks strikingly similar to its French and Italian counterparts. As a matter of fact they share the same rare biome. Paso Robles was chosen specifically for its minimal traffic, long winding roads, and natural beauty. Each image captures the beauty of the environment and the essence of this classic Porsche. In essence, this is the exact vision we had for the CSF 911 project.

“This car is all about sensation – what you touch and how it feels, the smell of the exhaust, the way it looks, the way it sounds, and the sensation of sitting on luxury French handbags.” Yes, you read that right.

Completed for exhibition at SEMA and built to be his ultimate 911, this is car belongs to Ravi Dolwani of CSF Radiators (@csf_radiators). There wasn’t a detail overlooked in the ten month construction period that Ravi underwent, from finish to fasteners it’s an entirely custom build positioned at the highest echelons of the ever-expanding scene of custom Porsches.

I’ve always wanted to build a custom 911,” Ravi explains” With the market being what it is, I thought to myself that it’s now or never. It was time to build something truly legendary that could stand the test of time and not just be a flash in the pan of the fast-content culture that we find ourselves in.

I had by chance met Simo Verahanta of @svauto back in 2019 – we hadn’t done a lot of business together but I was impressed with his work. When it came time to decide on a builder, my gut feeling kept bringing me back to him. One of the best decisions I had ever made.”

Simo and Ravi went to work finding other collaborators, starting with automotive designer @jonsibal. Once provided with the first renderings, Ravi started scheduling for SEMA, which was just ten months away. Among many decisions yet to be made by that point were the exterior and interior finishes of the car. If you’ve had a close look at some of the photos above, you may have already gauged some of the more…’unconventional’ decisions that followed.”

Alfie Munkenbeck
(type7 Content Writer)

Unquestionably, the location could not have been more perfect for the CSF 911. We were initially concerned about the lighting conditions as a fairly thick marine layer hid the sun throughout the day. However, the sun managed to break through just in time for a breathtaking sunset over the hills.

The interior of Ravi Dolwani’s car (@csf_radiators) is made from exactly what it looks like: Goyard leather. Ravi sent different people on different days to purchase a total of six tote bags from the Goyard boutique in Beverly Hills so as not to tip them off about what they had planned. Let’s just say that the company has a specific client in mind for their designer goods and it’s not someone who plans to take a razor to the stitches on day one. “The interior hadn’t been decided on until the end of March,” Ravi explains.

“I was initially torn between your typical Porsche fabrics, but I wanted something really different and it took a while to find the courage to bring it up. I remember sitting outside the engine house, too nervous to tell Simo about the idea. I thought he might think I was crazy, but when I finally told him I wanted to upholster it with repurposed designer handbags, he loved it!

The reason I chose Goyard over other luxury brands was for the print. To me it looks almost as though it could be a twist on the classic Porsche patterns that I’d already considered. If you’d never heard of Goyard, you might just think it was a pattern meant for the car. It also turned out to be very malleable, so it was great to work with. Lining up the pattern was however extremely difficult, especially across separate panels. Big credit goes to Roger from Rollegio’s Upholstery, I wouldn’t have attempted the project without him onboard.”

The fabric is all over the car, to a point that it almost becomes a game to spot every last shred of it. The seats, the dash, the door pockets, various pull straps, the steering column and so on. Even where there isn’t Goyard print, the car remains entirely custom. From the CAE shifter to the “CSF911” etched floor panels. Even the door locking pins – as Ravi stressed to us – are billet milled and anodised.

Alfie Munkenbeck
(type7 Content Writer)

Almost every component of Ravi (@csf_radiators)’s car is the result of some sort of collaboration. He believes that there’s no better place on earth than Los Angeles to pull a team together for a custom car. It takes a village after all, to raise a 911.

“I knew this car would be unique,” says Ravi, “because from the beginning I enlisted the help of very talented people to be part of this project. Southern California is arguably the mecca of high performance culture with so much local talent. Many of the brand owners who helped with the project I’m fortunate enough to call friends, some of them even came to my wedding and I see them often outside of work. We all just want to see each other succeed and I truly believe that everyone put an extra level of dedication into this project that money can’t buy.”

The bare shell and 993 engine were provided and built by Simo Verahanta of @svauto. Ravi says Simo is a human encyclopaedia of Porsche history, having received mentorship from the likes of Alois Ruf among others. Outside, the body has been painted to resemble a bare metal surface while the various trim pieces that would otherwise be chrome are instead done in a ‘Savage Steel’ Cerakote.

The exterior design is the work of @jonsibal, who’s vision dictated a number of custom panels be fabricated, including the aluminium hood and decklid. The former was re-engineered to incorporate a deceptively complicated 959-style fuel filler door, while the latter was built by hand on an english wheel, sporting a variation on the classic ducktail spoiler with a matte carbon insert in place of the original grille.

It’s a car that’s more than the sum of its Goyard fabric panels. Though slashing a handful of incredibly expensive handbags makes for a good headline at SEMA, it doesn’t alone make a good Porsche on the road. Ravi knows that better than anyone. What he built amounts to a custom car in the truest sense of the word, without even the smallest stone unturned.

Alfie Munkenbeck
(type7 Content Writer)

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a day to remember

Overall our entire experience was nothing less than spiritual. The CSF 911 was completely at home eating up the asphalt through canyons and hill crests. As we pushed the car to its limits, the echo of the air cooled flat six off the canyon walls was nothing short of divine. It was beyond satisfying to feel how comfortable the car was in every situation we could throw at it. The months of meticulous planning, designing, and building the car were well worth it before this trip. However, this was an experience that none of us would trade.

We returned home from this trip with more rock chips on the front bumper than we could count, and memories that will last a lifetime.

learn more about the CSF 911

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