This Marlboro-Themed Porsche 911 Is Unfiltered
Photos by Andrew Schneider
“The car is unfiltered, and makes no excuses for being an uncompromised machine; it’s loud, it’s raw, and it demands to be driven. To me, it’s perfection.”
– Iliya Bridan
There is a moment in every automotive enthusiast’s life they will never forget. Sure, from a young age, we are all interested in automobiles, but I’m talking about that one moment where you know it’s a done deal. You would do anything for a moment behind the wheel, again. Pressing the pedal farther and farther, until you’re at seven grand and can’t hear a damn thing.
The incredible Porsche 911 you see here was my moment.
I first met Iliya and his twin brother on the Petrolicious Drive Tastefully: Barker Hangar rally. I was cruising gingerly through the canyons in an Austin-Healey 100M when I heard the first faint sound of its acceleration. Like someone sweeping swiftly through an S-curve, the driver didn’t quiver on the accelerator—he kept it pinned, knowing how to tame its agile suspension. It grew louder and louder. I listened closely, trying to determine what car was making these sounds.
After all, Magnus Walker was just a few turns ahead. However, what I found was much more surprising: it was a 1972 911 wrapped in Marlboro Tobacco Livery. As the backend of the ducktail swung around the next turn ahead, I caught a quick glimpse of what would become one of the best cars I’ve ever driven.
Iliya and Kira (@hellomisskira) were kind enough to meet me at the crack of dawn in Malibu. We ventured out and captured some stunning images of the brothers’ shared sports car for this story, but…
As the morning came to a close and the last shots were snapped, Illyad asked me a funny question, which sounded like, “Why don’t you hop in and take it for a drive?”
With nothing more than a nod and a proper buckling of the five point harness, we began rolling down Kanan Dume Rd. As I shifted from first to second,. I grinned with excitement. It was truly at the end of third gear and the beginning of fourth where I became aware of its power.
I’ve never felt the road as I did through the steering wheel of this 911. It felt as if there were nothing between us.
Iliya and I pulled to the light and awaited the chase car’s arrival. I turned to Iliya and expressed my profound thanks for letting me drive his incredible car. His response was short and simple: “Let’s go find you some more canyons.”
My interview with Iliya started with a simple, “Why Porsche?”
“Once I moved out to California and started studying design, and learned the varied history of different marques, I started to understand the mythology around Porsche and the iconic shape of the 911,” he said. “California also exposed me to the hot rodding culture something other exotic brands are sorely missing, I had never seen classic 911 hot rodded before, and it was something I fell in love with.
“We talked about it with my brother and we knew then that our inner designer wanted to create our own 911, revealing the racecar underneath every 911, something from the history books but with enough modern influences to make it unique.”
Finally, why the Marlboro Livery?
“Well, first off neither of us smokes, just to be clear. Basically, we wanted a 911 in any color but red! But this car came up for sale, and it was a perfect base, so we jumped on it. We knew we could make it look cool,” he said. “It took us some time to figure out the concept for the graphics, but in the end we choose Marlboro, since it’s an iconic racing brand from an era when racecars had some of the best graphics around. Inspiration came from the red 1971 Porsche 917/10 Spyder Can-Am car, and the famous Marlboro Lancia Stratos.”