If you’ve read any of my other stories or follow me in general, you’ll know that I have lived the majority of my life in Iceland. The Nordic island nation is visually breathtaking, and it truly feels like you’re in a different world. I mean, when I was younger I could see one of Iceland’s many glaciers outside of my bedroom window. Amazing, right?
Having said that, at the time I didn’t really think of it as anything special, because it was my home. But now that I’ve moved to Sweden, I have come to realize that I really did take Iceland’s black-sand beaches, snow-covered mountains in the middle of the summer and spontaneous snowstorms in the spring, volcanoes, lagoons and nature’s hot tubs all for granted. So every year I try to return home to visit my family, and at the same time experience Iceland in a way I have never done before. Each year is unique, but 2021 was something even more special.
I met Fannar Þór, the owner of this Porsche 944, briefly in Sweden during the Discodans event in 2019. At that time, he and a couple of his close friends from Iceland had brought over their drift cars.
A year prior to this, Fannar’s ‘F2′ 944 was featured on Speedhunters, when it was driven in anger at the annual festival of madness that is Gatebil Mantorp. Since then, the Porsche has had some further upgrades made to it, so I figured I could check out those as well as take a look at the garage where the magic happens. Before we do that though, a quick background story on the man himself.
Fannar bought his first Porsche when he was only 16 years old. His uncle and his best friend both drove and raced Porsches, so naturally that had a big impact on Fannar, who just before sitting his drivers license test in 2003 acquired a 1980 924 Turbo. Or at least he though he had. Due to some complications with the sale at the seller’s end, by the time Fannar had his license in hand there was still no 924 in his driveway. So he moved on to this 944.
Any hopes of a life of carefree Porsche motoring were quickly dashed though, when just three days after purchase the 944’s engine died. This may or may not have had something to do with Fannar having a bit too much fun, but regardless of how it happened, the motor blow set in motion Fannar’s mechanical journey with the car, which has resulted in the absolute animal it is today.
As I mentioned in my recent story on a 2JZ-swapped BMW E46 M3, before my latest trip back to Iceland, I had not expected to find any cool builds there. But remembering Fannar’s journey to Scandinavia, I knew I had to at least visit him and see what other automotive gems he might have tucked away in his garage.
The first thing I noticed as we drove up to house where Fannar keeps his 944, is that the garage door was way larger then normal. Fannar only rents this garage space, so in respecting the homeowner’s privacy I can’t show you what the house looks like outside. But I can show you what’s inside the main garage; stick around for that at the end of the story.
We walked around the side of the house, and that’s when I spotted these three Porsche Cayannes. I don’t know if they were awaiting repairs or spending their last days in the sun, but I figure they at least provide Fannar with a supply of parts whenever he needs them.
Around the corner another garage came into view, and parked outside was Fannar’s freshly-upgraded 944 drift machine. I wasn’t able to have a good look at this thing when he brought it over to Sweden in 2019, so I made the most of this opportunity. It truly is awesome, and I’ll go into some of the details shortly.
At this point of my visit though, my eyes were firmly fixed on the garage behind as I wondered what might be hiding inside…
As it turns out, Fannar isn’t the only one renting space in this garage; a number of his friends store their projects here too. From what I was told, there are some pretty special builds going on in this space, so I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for them.
It’s hard to miss the Speed Yellow 964, which Fannar has owned for quite some time. He likes to call this supercharged ’93 Porsche the “Money Pit”.
On the car lift sits Fannar’s most challenging project to date – a 1985 Porsche 944. What makes this build so tough is the amount of time he’s having to spend online at night trying to track down some very rare parts. Fannar’s goal is to really bring back the ’80s, and among other things he’s hell-bent on running a Gemballa body kit.
And then there’s this ’81 924 Turbo on color-coded O.Z. Racing Futura wheels, Fannar’s pride and joy. It’s been in his family for almost 20 years now, and is always last on the list when comes to being worked on. In fact, by this point Fannar has resigned himself to appreciating it as a piece of art rather than a functional car.
As you’d expect with so many Porsche projects on the go, Fannar has acquired a lot of parts along the way, and I’m sure there are so many more treasures in here than what I spotted around the garage.
I could have easily spent hours in this place, but the F2 was calling…
Obviously I wanted to see the car ripping on Icelandic roads – the 944 is street legal after all – but first I wanted to check it out in detail, so Fannar decided to take me somewhere I had never visited before.
A quick drive to the outskirts of Mosfellsbær, itself just 15 minutes from the country’s capital, Reykjavík, we reached the destination. This house, which also features a little shop, was home to Iceland’s only Nobel Prize winner, the late Halldór Laxness. Parked in the driveway was his 1969 MkII Jaguar. Who knew Iceland’s greatest novelist rode in style…
Fannar’s 944 was primarily built as a drift machine, but as it evolved it became more of a show car too. That’s not to say that Fannar has ever been scared to use it; come competition time he doesn’t hold back in the slightest.
Last time the car was dynoed, the BorgWarner S475 turbo-boosted 6.0L LS2 V8 up front produced 805whp at 1315Nm, but at only around 80% power. It’s safe to say then that Fannar has plenty to play with under his right foot.
Since Speedhunters’ original feature, the Porsche 944 Turbo S AOR transaxle transmission out back has been replaced with a 6-speed Audi 01E front-wheel drive unit. Fannar says the main reason for this swap was the availability of parts and increased reliability. Since the Audi box is wider than the Porsche unit though, new Driveshaft Shop Level 5 axles were required.
In the wheel and tire department, the three-piece BW Motorsports/Kinesis wheels now feature slightly more aggressive specs – 18×9-inch up front and 18×12-inch at the rear – and are wrapped in Sava Intensa HP 215/35R18 and 285/30R18 rubber front and rear respectively.
The interior meanwhile has remained the same. Fannar put so much thought into this build the first time around, that changes were only ever going to be minor and more about fine-tuning the setup than anything else.
Exterior-wise, the 944 has gone from white to a triple-color scheme that Fannar saw in a ’90s car magazine.
The Icelandic drift community is very tight-knit, and everyone is in it to have fun above all else. Track days are the best days of the year for many, but the limited number of circuits in Iceland mean that drivers often take to these desolate hills in the outskirts of Reykjavík for a bit of fun.
I lived 292 miles from Iceland’s capital when I was younger, and despite the landscape remaining pretty much the same since then, driving on Icelandic roads gives me a nostalgic feeling every time I visit. Seeing Fannar’s car on the open road made the experience even better.
Like everyone at Speedhunters, I enjoy taking pictures of wild cars on the road, but this time it was different. Yes, I fired away on the shutter button like I always do, but I wasn’t as fussed about capturing the moment – I just wanted to savor it.
So what’s next for the F2? Fannar plans to fit an SLR E46 angle kit amongst few other things, but the biggest plan is to travel with the car. With more and more countries lifting their Covid restrictions, it’s only a matter of time before Fannar and the 944 are back in Europe ripping it up.
Remember that big garage door I talked about at the beginning of this story? Well, here is what’s inside. Probably not what you expected, right?
This 1969 Aerospatiale Alouette II 318c belongs to Fannar’s landlord, but unfortunately he’s not going anywhere in it for the time being having been placed on a no-fly list for ‘disturbing the peace’.
If you’re wondering how that happened, check out the clip above.
Since March of this year, there has been volcanic activity southeast of Iceland’s capital. A volcano called Fagradalsfjall was very active when I visited, so after wrapping things up with Fannar, I took a nice evening drive to check it out. Of course, I forgot everything you’re supposed to bring with you when it’s cold, and the only piece of fabric shielding the top half of my body was very thin hoodie. But as I gained momentum walking up the mountain, I started to warm – helped in part of course by the glorious lava right in front of me. I’ll leave you with this final image to wrap up a somewhat unplanned, but wonderful day.
Additional Photos by Jordan Butters
Fannar Þór’s 1986 Porsche 944 ‘F2′
Chassis: TIG-welded FIA specification roll cage with NASCAR-style door bars.
Engine: 6.0-litre LS2, Wiseco forged pistons 10.9:1, cooling ports in the block filled, Scat rods, ARP bolts, LS9 head gasket, Lil John’s Motorsports Stage II turbo camshaft, Melling high volume oil pump, Accusump, oil scavenge pump, Vibrant Performance catch can, Vibrant vacuum manifolds, Comp timing cover & timing chain double roller, Fast 102 intake & throttle body, Vibrant couplings, BorgWarner S475 turbo with 87mm turbine & 1.10a/r T6 housing, TiAL wastegates, TiAL 50mm blow-off valve, Treadstone intercooler, Holley HP EFI engine management system & harness kit, Holley three-port solenoid valves, Meziere WP366S remote pump, Meziere WE100 & WR100 coolant tanks, rear-mounted radiator, Aeromotive Eliminator, Aeromotive Fuel filters, Aeromotive regulators, E85 fuel, Bosch 2,200cc injectors, AN fittings throughout
Drivetrain: Audi 01E 6-speed gearbox fitted in rear, Spec Super twin-plate clutch, The Driveshaft Shop Level 5 axles
Wheels/Tires: 18×9-inch & 18×12-inch 3-piece BW Motorsports/Kinesis wheels, Sava Intensa HP tires
Exterior: Fibreglass doors from Club Autosport, fibreglass wide-body from IFC Racing, Lexan windows from Plastics 4 Performance, Big Country Labs FC3S 1,850mm wing with custom mounts, Lindsey Racing header panel
Interior: Recaro seats, Racepak IQ3 Street dash, Racepak GPS module for speedometer, manual latch sunroof from Porsche 924, OMP steering wheel