In the past five years, the explosion of the Porsche game has been immense. Beginning in 2014, the perfect storm of social media, video documentaries, and a recovering economy led to the rise of car culture in a way never seen before. Within the scope of this massive growth was the price hike of air-cooled Porsche 911s, and following not-so-closely behind were water-cooled 911s. Many Porsche hopefuls were finding out that there was great value in 996 and 997 variants, which in turn opened the market to many of the marque’s first-time owners.
Along with the rise of Porsche stardom, one of the most significant new segments to the P-Car game is SoCal-based Asian Americans. Many of these new enthusiasts were once deeply rooted in the JDM culture. The game is changing, and there is a lot of new energy being brought to the table. When you have a notable shift of modding and tuning masters who started in a different genre, you can bet a lot of quality factors will transfer. This influx makes this an exhilarating time to be in the Porsche game, especially with Jessy Villaruz and his 2006 Porsche Carrera S on the scene.
Jessy Villaruz is a SoCal native and has been modding cars since before he could drive. I asked him, “Who was the most influential person that inspired you to build cars?”
“I guess you could say my dad was my first biggest influence when it comes to modding and building cars. He was always fixing up his Hondas. He was fixing up his 1996 Honda Civic coupe, and then he gave me a 1985 Honda CRX when I was 12,” Jessy answered. And so began his journey down the rabbit hole of car addiction.
Of course, all of this began back in the late-’90s before Jessy even entered high school. If any of you remember the car scene back then, being original was everything. The era of slapping everything from Altezza taillights to high-end JDM headlight conversions on your Black Widow-kitted car was the norm. There was no such thing as a purist in that era, builders went all-in with a myriad of different styles.
Jessy remembered walking home from middle school and was always excited to walk past a specific house where someone was always working on their CRX with chameleon paint. The CRX had a set of Supra taillights grafted into the rear, Lambo doors, a full Bomex body kit, Racing Hart C2 wheels, and blue under glow lighting. The rear seat was even converted into a custom box for 12-inch subwoofers, and the rest of the interior was two-toned with white and black vinyl seats. Oh, the late-’90s were such an interesting time for modifying cars in the import scene. However, it is from this period that many of us had the opportunity to experiment and test out new styles that would pave the way for where the tuning culture is today. That is until 2002, when the JDM scene began encroaching onto American shores from Japan.
The JDM scene incorporated functional and high-quality parts that were built with purpose and intention. No more random mods just to look cool, additions needed to improve something on the car. As a matter of fact, most of it was the very opposite of prior trends as parts used a lot of carbon and black bits to give it a more subtle, aggressive style. The game took an influential shift from that point on, and there was no looking back.
Onto present day, Jessy’s 997 Carrera S looks as proper as it does due to all of the years in the Honda game that leveled him up to where he is currently. Starting with his amazing JDM-based Work Equip 05 wheels, which were not only fully restored but also drilled into a 5×130 bolt pattern for Porsche fitment. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the wheels, allow me to explain. They are an old school set of classic wheels from the JDM scene, and getting these rollers finished took Jessy nearly three years, but they look nothing short of spectacular. He would have fitted PCCBs (Porsche carbon-ceramic brakes) on his car, but unfortunately, the spec of the Work Wheels did not allow him. To close the fender’s wheel gap, Jessy went with a set of BC Racing coilovers, front and rear RSS arms, added front camber, and a monoball suspension kit.
To spruce up the body’s aesthetics, Jessy went with an OEM Porsche GT3 aero bumper and matched that with GT3 flares to give it the more aggressive look he was chasing. The performance front end is further enhanced by a CSF Performance front radiator tucked behind the bumper. As many of you know, 997 GT3 bumpers protrude out quite a bit from the front wheels. These things get damaged on the regular, so having a surplus of GT3 Cup lips on standby is a usual matter for 997 owners.
He had the rear bumper custom cut to showcase his unique headers and exhaust created by Wisecraft Fabrication. One of Jessy’s car’s standout components is the exhaust tubing design — and the sound coming out of the back end. The engine is tuned by World Motorsports and makes 391 horsepower. It is enhanced with a Fabspeed carbon intake, OEM GT3 82 mm throttle body, and an IPD intake plenum. Following behind this thing, even if only briefly, you would know that it is all business, all the time. To finish off the back end, Jessy converted the tail lights to 997.2-spec, which adds LED bulbs to the mix.
One of the more notable aspects of Jessy’s Carrera S is the gorgeous Terracotta interior. He had a custom upholstery shop match his Recaro Pole Position seats to give his interior a seamless, sporty but classy look. You don’t see too many street-tuned cars with this color interior, so major points from me on keeping it OG. To add to the interior’s contrast, Jessy installed a one-of-one 8-point white roll cage pulled from one of GMG Racing’s race cars. Once again, maintaining race-inspired trim but with classy undertones at the same time. The final piece to the interior is the Porsche 991 GT3 Cup steering wheel.
Jessy is always tinkering with his setup and has a handful of wheels on standby to change it up on any given Tuesday. His love for the wheel game is heavily-rooted in JDM style, so his car’s crossover into the Euro culture is making quite the statement in the SoCal area and beyond. Make sure you’re following Jessy on Instagram to see what shoes his Carrera S is sporting next.
As the culture keeps progressing forward here in SoCal — and everywhere else for that matter — we are all fortunate enough to be a part of a culture that doesn’t sit still. As various genres of the car world start to merge more and more, we will begin to see builds with more character than ever before. I am so excited to see what the culture has to offer and where things will lead, but as long as the builds are well thought out and built, I will be a happy camper.
Jessy Villaruz's 2006 Porsche Carrera S
|Exterior:||OEM GT3 front bumper, Precision GT3 flares and side skirts, color-matched GT3 RS bumper light, Rennline GT3 RS front tow hook, Rennline custom rear tow hook, OEM GT3 Cup lip, custom rear bumper with quick-release fasteners, full OEM Porsche 997.2 rear LED taillight conversion|
|Interior:||OEM Carrera double-stitched Terracotta red leather interior, GMG Racing prototype 1-of-1 eight-point roll cage, color-matched and double-stitched Recaro Pole Position bucket seats and OEM Porsche 991 GT3 Cup steering wheel, BBi Autosport seat rails and sliders, MOMO steering hub, OEM Porsche carbon fiber laminated door sills|
|Engine:||Custom long tube headers and exhaust by Wisecraft Fabrication, CSF Performance front radiator, OEM GT3 82 mm throttle body, IPD intake plenum, Fabspeed Motorsport carbon intake, 391 horsepower tune by World Motorsports|
|Suspension:||BC Racing coilovers, front and rear RSS arms, monoball suspension kit|
|Wheels:||Fully restored 19-inch Work Wheels Equip 05, drilled 5x130 bolt pattern|