Theon Design HK002 – Purity of purpose expressed
Theon Design has revealed its latest bespoke commission, a fully restored and enhanced example of the Porsche 911 (964), blending world-class design and engineering with absolute purity of purpose.
The third exclusive car from the company and the second to be destined for Hong Kong, HK002 – like all Theon commissions – combines OEM-level design, quality and manufacturing techniques with an obsessive attention to detail.
Paying homage to Porsche’s heritage, methodology and engineering ethos, Theon Design distills and enhances the essence of the aircooled 911, making each car lighter, more powerful and even more visceral to drive.
The brainchild of Adam Hawley, a Porsche obsessive and expert car designer with over two decades of automotive design experience, Theon prides itself on its design-led approach. Hawley has worked for a range of prestigious OEMs, including BMW, JLR, Lexus and Lotus, on both concept and production cars – as well as designing for Airbus on the A380.
Born of a personal passion
“I always wanted to own a 911 that was a little bit different; to create a car using the design, material and prototyping skills I acquired over the twenty years I spent in the automotive industry,” explains Hawley.
“My goal was to enhance a classic Porsche, applying an OEM- like approach with Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and manufacture to ensure the highest possible quality and finish. Finally, I was determined to honour Stuttgart’s legendary heritage and engineering ethos, with a focus on lightweight construction, enhanced performance and ultra-precise and engaging driving dynamics.”
Reaction to Hawley’s first prototype – based on a 911 SC with a race-prepared 993 engine -was so positive that it led to him establishing Theon Design, with a vision to create exceptional bespoke commissions for customers worldwide.
The company is named after Hawley’s youngest son, Theo, who, as a toddler, became obsessed with the car his father had built and happily forsook his toys to spend as much time as possible inside the cabin.
Located in the UK’s ‘Motorsport Valley’ – the global home of F1 and heartland of precision auto and racing technology companies and technicians – Theon Design is ideally positioned to enable Hawley to assemble a small team of highly dedicated and passionate engineers, and to establish relationships with a select number of nearby trusted and talented suppliers.
Theon Design HK002 – Purity of Purpose expressed
As with all of the bespoke commissions undertaken by Theon Design, HK002 is based upon a stripped-back-to-bare-metal and fully restored Porsche 911 (964). Respectfully echoing Porsche’s methodology and engineering approach and paying homage to the company’s rich heritage, the Theon Design HK002 utilises numerous design cues from Porsche models, past and present as well as concepts.
In restoring and enhancing the car, Theon Design has held steadfast to its own ‘Purity of Purpose’ ethos. Led by Hawley, the team has further distilled the character of the aircooled 964, elevating every part of the experience.
Body build: precision meets beauty
For every Theon Design commission, state-of-the-art digital design techniques are blended with traditional hand-craftsmanship.
In order to build cars to the tightest tolerances, each component is digitised and modelled in 3D design software. This approach maximizes precision and panel fit – and also gives Theon the flexibility to ensure each car is unique, enabling it to tailor details to each customer’s individual specification.
Digital scanning is used to create moulds and formers for the bespoke body – which incorporates the ‘long hood’ of early generation 911s with arches inspired by the ST and later widebody G Series/964 models – with the modified panels hand-beaten to perfection.
HK002’s body is predominantly steel, augmented by bumpers and a spoiler manufactured in carbon fibre by an F1-supplier. Theon will also undertake full body commissions in carbon fibre, should customers desire.
Further complimenting the design are electrically adjustable, machined billet aluminium mirrors inspired by Porsche’s 2018 991 Speedster concept. This last detail perfectly encapsulates Theon’s unique approach of taking inspiration from every Porsche era.
“Our philosophy is that every detail matters,” continues Hawley. “And that goes for beneaththe skin too. 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. We treat every single component as an ‘A-surface’.”
The heart of the matter
Theon Design offers customers a wide choice of engine options, ranging from 3.6- to 4.0- litre naturally aspirated or turbocharged. The HK002 features a naturally aspirated 3.8-litre unit, producing 371bhp and 300lb ft of torque. Its features independent throttle bodies, flowed and ported heads, a lightened and balanced bottom end, Mahle barrels and pistons, Carrillo rods and custom profile camshafts.
The drive is taken to the rear wheels through a fully rebuilt G50 six-speed manual gearbox from the 993, while the car crouches even closer to the ground than a 964 RS with KW Variant 3 dampers all round.
Reducing complexity – enhancing agility
“To deliver the customer an exceptional driving experience, every single component of the car is scrutinised, accessed and then elevated in terms of performance, quality, refinement and aesthetics,” says Hawley.
The approach Theon Design took to the 964’s original air-conditioning, and power-steering units perfectly illustrates the team’s meticulous attention to detail. When the car left the factory, these items were mounted high up on the back of the engine. Theon Design replaced them with much more power- efficient units. They are now positioned low -down in the front of the car, which helps create a near-ideal 50:50 weight distribution. And with a full tank of fuel, the Theon Design HK002 weighs just 1248kg.
Theon Design has crafted every detail of the interior around the customer’s desires. Recaro front seats, finished in semi-aniline green leather with a Spinneybeck weave and contrasting yellow stripe, provide exemplary support. Contrasting carbon fibre features throughout the cabin. The centre console, constructed from carbon fibre and then wrapped in leather, also features exposed carbon panels.
The Nardi steering wheel was custom stitched to match the car’s interior by Nardi itself. Even the car’s ‘frunk’ is finished to the same exquisite detail as the rest of the HK002, featuring exposed carbon side ‘pods’ and a leather-wrapped carbon fibre fuel tank cover. Theon Design has also fitted a 964 RS strut-brace, wrapped in woven leather.
Delightful convenience features are subtly integrated so as not to disrupt the aesthetic of the cabin. These include a hidden reversing camera screen, which flips down once the driver engages reverse gear. The stereo unit is hidden, ensuring a clean look to the dashboard. A magnetic wireless charger, mounted behind the dashboard, allows a smartphone to be seamlessly attached, providing control for the sound system and providing satellite navigation.
To recreate the feel of technology from another era, Theon Design has fitted cable operated heater controls. And while these have the beautiful, manual, tactile feel of those found on a 1970’s Porsche 911, the heater is, of course, a modern, highly efficient heating and air-conditioning unit.
Prices for Theon Design commissions start at £300,000. Each car is a totally unique collaboration with the customer and takes 18 months to build.