Photography by Mike Crawat
Bart Kuyken isn’t what one might consider your run-of-the-mill StanceWorks feature owner. Amidst the auto shop owners, weekend warriors, and a slew of do-it-yourselfers, Bart lives a life between two cities: Antwerp, Belgium and Paris, France. “Having a life in both cities is a blessing,” he says. “I meet so many different people this way. Even though Paris and Antwerp are only separated by a two-hour train ride, it’s another country, another language and therefore also another culture.” It’s a lifestyle that feeds his unique livelihood: an artist, a photographer, a writer, and the head of a casting agency. It’s fitting, then, that Bart would approach his 911 project with similar artistry and panache.
Bart’s passion project, this ’70 911 2.2T, began its life in the United States, and was imported to Belgium some 10 years ago. The buying process itself was as simple as it gets: “I bought it via a friend who imported it from the States, so the buying process was smooth. For me, there are 3 criteria: I have to fall in love, the ride has to be smooth and the price has to be within my comfort zone. If those 3 are a ‘yes’, then we have a deal. I am a bit too impulsive when it comes to buying stuff,” Bart jokes. Originally a Signal Orange “Outlaw” car, it offered a harsh and brutal driving experience, clearly built for the track by its previous owner. Clearly, the “smooth” requirement went out the window when Bart purchased the coupe, and in all, it was an unsuitable driver, leading Bart to strive for a balance between the Outlaw style and touches, but with more friendly usability over the next number of years.
The snowball effect took hold, however, and today, the car sports a 3.2-liter Carrera engine, offering a full liter of displacement over the factory flat six. For suspension, the car sports a set of Bilstein B6 dampers and Tarrett sway bars, and have been paired with 16″ Fuchs and Toyo tires, allowing the car to drive like a classic 911 is known to, but with a touch more up its sleeve.
The interior of the 911 has been stripped, and an RS carpet has been fitted. A Momo steering wheel, Wevo shifter, a cage, and sport seats are almost all that Bart needs, having deleted the radio, AC, and heat to boot. Lastly, the exterior has been repainted in GT silver: a color change Bart felt was fitting after crashing the car some years ago. “The car received some subtile striping. I like to be minimalistic as possible,” he says. It’s a fitting explanation as to why the Signal Orange paint had to go.
The bits, pieces, and touches culminate into a 911 we can’t help but enjoy, and it seems to be the same for Bart himself. “I always had a love/hate relationship with it. It’s my baby and it fits like a glove, but it also annoys me sometimes. The lack of modern comfort and reliability is sometimes a pain in the ass, especially living in Belgium where weather conditions are not ideal all year round.” These are obvious drawbacks to driving a classic aircooled Porsche. “In the end it’s just a car, but it gives me a lot of smiles and fun too. It’s a never ending project that evolves with my creative process on my journey,” Bart concludes. We’ll patiently wait, seeing what this 911 has next in store.