The Paul Stephens Le Mans Classic Clubsport Is a Porschephile’s Wet Dream

Porsche specialist Paul Stephens recently unveiled his latest creation called the Le Mans Classic Clubsport. It is a bespoke Porsche 911 based around the Porsche 911 G-series chassis and remodeled to take the shape of possibly the most astonishing restomod you can imagine.

I know that right now the Singer name from Rob Dickinson rings in your ears, but this is a slightly different piece of engineering compared with anything coming from Dickinson kitchen. Now, I was particularly curious to find out what actually makes this Le Mans Classic Clubsport so special, so I reached out to Paul Stephens who told me a thing or two about his newest car.

First of all, let me tell you that Paul is a proper car guy. Not only that, he is a proper Porsche enthusiast. All the way back from 9 years of age. I am not joking. His first miles were in a Land Rover he drove when he was 6. Three years later, he sat in a 911. A friend of his dad lent him the keys, and he just went for it. Love in an instant!

That was the start of a long love story that got him into race cars, into Porsches and now into making exceptional restomods based around the Porsche G-series chassis.

The AutoArt

In 2002, Paul Stephens realized his dream and started with the creation of the Paul Stephens AutoArt line of bespoke vehicles. All based around Porsche 911s. The latest vehicle he revealed just before the start of this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans race fits in the AutoArt line of vehicles. Yup, I am talking about this ravishing white piece here - the Le Mans Classic Clubsport.

What Makes The Paul Stephens Le Mans Classic Clubsport Special?

2018 Porsche 911 Le Mans Classic Clubsport by Paul Stephens Exterior
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Ok, this thing looks astounding with all the modern touches and exceptional finish only most advanced tools and working techniques can achieve. However, I was rather interested in finding out how is the Le Mans Classic Clubsport by Paul Stephens different compared with the Singer Porsche.

I asked Paul.

“What do you think makes this Le Mans Classic Clubsport different compared with, say, the Singer Porsche 911s?”

Paul answered:

“The Singer 911 is based on the 964 chassis and is a very well made and executed creation, the new DLS, in particular, is going to be a major engineering feat if they make the 500BHP from an air-cooled engine and also make it reliable. But at $1.8 million, it is also very expensive. We have been creating cars since 2003, and our ethos on our performance versions has always been `less means more`.

So we use the earlier G series chassis for the Clubsport which we can get down to 970 kilograms (2,138 lbs), and that is mated to a 300 horsepower engine offering a healthy power to weight ratio.

Lighter weight means you can run smaller wheels, tires, and brakes which in turn reduces the corner weights and gives more communication through the unassisted steering. Attention to detail and driver engagement are the focus of our Clubsport series, and we take approximately 2,000 hours to build each car and look to save unnecessary weight where possible. An example of this would be we recreate all of the interior panels in a lighter material, but improve fit and finish over the original panels at the same time.”

Paul was so kind he provided me with a full brochure of the Le Mans Classic Clubsport. You can check it out here:

2018 Porsche 911 Le Mans Classic Clubsport by Paul Stephens
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Technology Behind The Le Mans Classic Clubsport

2018 Porsche 911 Le Mans Classic Clubsport by Paul Stephens Exterior
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Moving an old chassis to the world of today, Paul Stephens and the team who invested 2,000 working hours in this little wonder touched every single piece of the car. Obviously, a lot of changes were done to the drivetrain. The Getrag G50 manual gearbox is connected with a 3.4-liter, flat-six engine. With 300 horsepower, it is not exactly the most powerful one out there. Actually, the least powerful Porsche today has an engine developing such power - the 718 with a 2.0-liter. Bear in mind; the Classic Clubsport does weight at less than 2,140 lbs - 300 horsepower is plenty enough.

It will catapult the Porsche to 62 mph in 4.4 seconds and motivate it enough for all of 170 mph.

I know what you’re still thinking - even the Golf R can do something similar - but the truth is that it cannot.

2018 Porsche 911 Le Mans Classic Clubsport by Paul Stephens Exterior
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I’ve asked Paul about the differences in driving capabilities between his Le Mans Classic Clubsport Porsche and other Porsche cars. This is what he said:

“It genuinely drives differently to other 911s. It behaves like a classic 911 on the road, but with modern levels of grip and performance. It isn’t as fast or as capable as a new GT3, but a criticism of these brilliant cars (if there is one) is the fact that, unless you live in Germany or are very stupid, you simply cannot begin to access the full ability of these cars on the public highway. The Clubsport clearly can exceed the speed limit easily too, but you can also access the talent in its chassis at lower speeds.”

To achieve a fun factor as implied by Paul’s comment above, the team behind the Classic Clubsport had to reinvent the wheel.

How could we lower the weight, install high-performance brakes, and more precise steering without crumpling the character of the car?

I am sure they’ve asked themselves questions like these. Some hard choices had to be made with the introduction of the new body-kit as well. Modern touches such as the lights, the wheels, and the bumpers had to be perfectly matched with the character of a car designed for the Seventies.

2018 Porsche 911 Le Mans Classic Clubsport by Paul Stephens Exterior
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Dedication to achieving noble goals with weight and aero efficiency led the team further than you’d ever imagine. The Porsche crest upfront is not a plaque, but a sticker. A sunroof, rear seats, or any other finish aside from the Carrera White are unavailable. Heck, even the door panels inside are thinner than on other Porsche cars of the era as is the insulation from the engine and the wheels. You will feel and hear everything inside. Isn’t that all the entertainment you may need in a Porsche?

Final Thoughts

2018 Porsche 911 Le Mans Classic Clubsport by Paul Stephens Exterior
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Paul Stephens AutoArt can produce only a handful of cars each year. The Le Mans Classic Clubsport is actually limited to 10 units with a few more production slots still available as of this writing. Paul Stephens will do RHD and LHD cars, but be ready to churn out some serious money.

Not Singer money, though. The Le Mans Classic Clubsport's price is estimated at $350,000.

Interestingly enough, Paul Stephens does offer two versions of the model - the Lightweight spec and the Touring. Bear in mind that the amazing weight figure of 2,138 lbs is for the Lightweight model. The Touring also comes with an aluminum bonnet, composite bumpers, an engine cover, a ducktail, and aerodynamic mirrors. The Touring will get you some space for luggage, a bit more insulation for a nicer drive, and a bit plusher interior. No, it is not soft, but it is softer compared to the Lightweight.

All in all, the new Le Mans Classic Clubsport serves as a perfect example that you don’t have to go into millions to own a timeless piece like this. $350,000 isn’t cheap at all, but it is considerably cheaper compared to some recent, similarly perfected Porsche 911s.

Further reading

2017 Porsche 911 By Singer Vehicle Design Exterior
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Read our full review on the2017 Porsche 911 By Singer Vehicle Design.

Note: all images courtesy of Paul Stephens.

With the Paul Stephens Le Mans Classic Clubsport making headlines all over the world this summer, the limited-edition, hand-crafted 911 has captured both the media and the public’s imagination since its unveiling in London in July.

From there it not only made the pilgrimage to Le Sarthe, the inspiration for its very existence, but also the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the Silverstone Classic race in quick succession. However, the finished car is only part of the story and a new video shows the tale behind the scene of how one man’s vision was the catalyst for a truly inspirational car.

The limited run of ten Le Mans Classic Clubsport cars, made by Paul Stephens and the team, have turned a dream into reality. Back home at the firm’s Essex HQ and reflecting on the brand’s journey to where it is today, owner Paul Stephens looks back on his own voyage to create the Le Mans Classic Clubsport in the brand-new video.

A dyed-in-the-wool car fanatic, Paul grew up on a farm, and first experienced the charms of driving a 911 when he was nine years old (on a private road). Having topped out at 100 mph, while barely able to see over the steering wheel, the seed was planted. Paul owned his first 911 when he was 21 and attended his first Le Mans 24 Hour race in 1984, little did he know at the time that he would, one day, race on the hallowed track himself.

Without ruining the plot, or giving too many spoilers, the film shows how Paul’s trip to Le Mans to watch the Porsche 956B win the 1984 24 Hour race was the start of something special, leading for him to help make the first officially licenced Le Mans Classic car with event organisers Peter Auto and the ACO.

Paul, a stickler for detail, has poured everything he’s known from working with Porsches for two decades and racing 911s all over the world, to create a limited-edition run of Le Mans Classic Clubsport models.

Just ten will be made, all available in either Lightweight or Touring variants, weighing as little as 970 kg. A nod to the 1973 Porsche 911 RS, the Paul Stephens Le Mans Classic Clubsport is built to be light, bright and full of 911 charms with a mix of an air-cooled flat-six engine, a narrow-bodied 911 shell as well as a state-of-the-art programmable ECU mapped in-house and a modern GT3 induction.

About Paul Stephens.
Renowned for its purity of purpose and attention to the smallest detail, Paul Stephens has over 25 years’ experience in the supply and curation of Porsche 911s to discerning buyers.

In 2007 the Paul Stephens Clubsport was conceived, introducing a lightweight coupé with an ethos that less should be so much more. An agile and formidable car, it was capable of besting far more modern machinery on fast twisty roads or circuits.

Ten years later Paul Stephens introduced the new Clubsport Series II, which raised the bar. Inspired by the road-going high-performance derivatives of the Porsche 911, it takes the best styling and technical elements from all eras to deliver a truly special and bespoke car.

Today, the company is renowned for its honesty, attention to detail and technical know-how. Through continuous enhancement and restoration of these iconic cars, Paul Stephens guarantees to maximise your driving pleasure and protect your investment.

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