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Classic Porsche 911 - Surveys owners, repair and operation of 911 news stories and page model, sales and much more in ou...
Classic Porsche 911 - Surveys owners, repair and operation of 911 news stories and page model, sales and much more in our club fans and fans of the legendary series cars Porsche 911. All about 911-901, 930, 964, 993, 996 and new era 997 and 991-series.

If you're buying a used 911 as an investment, send me your address so that I can arrange a visit from the boys. Investors who never drive their 911s bring a word to mind. That word is 'pimp'. As 911 diehards, the boys don't like pimps, so when they arrive, make sure your engine is still warm, the exhaust system is making that tinkling noise and there is evidence in your tyres of some recently accomplished brisk cornering.

All 911s, from 1963 to this afternoon, share a characteristic 911 'feel', but that varies greatly in degree. Bog-standard used Coupes from the late 1970s or 1980s once delivered the goods for sensible money but they might demand some restoration work now.

Choosing a 911 is such a very personal matter. Just go for what you really want, get the best straight car you can find and look after it. Reliability is legendary but repairs can be costly.

My choice is currently the 993 Carrera 2 Coupe of 1993-98. Its predecessor, the 964, was respectable but dull. The 993's different, agile feel makes it terrific to drive and good ones go for less than £30,000 - this week, anyway.
It's the last air-cooled 911 model but so what? Later models lost nothing by being water-cooled. No, pick a 993 for its exhilarating agility, and its price.

A friend of mine paid £26,000 for a superb 1994 993 Carrera 2 in late 2013. He loves it, whether he's tootling about the shops or on a 300-mile blast through the remote Highlands of Scotland, where it truly excels. And that's no more than it deserves.

Porsche 911 Carrera RS
1973 // £500,000
The eternally great, ultimate development of the original 911 concept, it combines high performance and low weight with inch-perfect precision handling. Superb but the price of this model now, sir, is officially‘through the roof'. If you buy one, promise us you will use it.

On an autumn day in 1972 the salesman from Porsche GB came to visit our house. 'We're making a special car,' he told my father. 'Only 200 will be built, and we're offering them to our best clients first as demand is sure to be strong.' They built more than 1500 in the end, and demand was so great that, instead of management having to use them as company cars to use up unsold stock as expected, Porsche sold out the first batch of 500 immediately and had to build two more series.

Why the fuss? Because the RS is so much more than the sum of its parts. It was derived from the relatively humble 2.4S, but with flared rear arches and wider wheels (a 911 first), bored-out engine (at 2.7 litres Porsche's biggest road car motor to date), a rear spoiler (another first, and not just for Porsche, so initially illegal in some markets) and, last but not least, weight-loss that took the RS under the magic 1000kg in 'lightweight' trim.
The result: 150mph, 0-60mph in 5.0sec, handling to die for (and you would if you lifted off mid-comer) and a string of victories on every continent including rallies, Le Mans and the Targa Florio. Oh, and you can drive it to the shops.

Mine's been in the family for 42 years and has never once 'failed to proceed'. Beat that, Enzo...


Porsche 911 GT3 (997-series, generation II)
2009-12 // £80,000-120,000
The 997-series Generation II cars were terrific in their time and the naturally aspirated 997 GT3 was a hugely powerful, seriously fabulous machine, subtly better in fast corners than previous GT3 models.
A classic in waiting - bound to be a sound long-term investment.

Any brand new 911
2015 // From around £75,000
Admit it, they are absolutely brilliant. If you don’t want one, you should. Buy it, keep it, service it properly. One day, it will be a classic but, meanwhile, enjoy a few happy decades driving it. The best of all worlds.
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  •   Ben Barry reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    STARSHIP 911

    Stewe Corpley drives the #1986 #Porsche-911-Turbo-SE – Porsches 80s flagship #930 .

    Should you, during 1986, come across a right-hand-drive #930-series #Porsche-911-Turbo-Special-Equipment , take a good look at the owner. That’ll be the person behind the wheel; no one who recently paid £73.985.06 for this piece of four-wheeled transport will lose any opportunity to be the one behind the wheel.

    The person you’re looking at will be special indeed: someone with the outrageousness and means and sheer gall to pay a premium of £34.685 just to have a Porsche 911 Turbo 930 that has been improved someone who feels they need more power than the 300bhp of the standard model. At most there will be a dozen of these people out and about on the roads of Britain.

    Despite the Motorfair fanfare during October, the Turbo Special Equipment (Porsche people make certain they say it in full) isn't a new car, it has been built to special order by the repair and restoration staff in the Zuffenhausen factory for the past four years. Now, Porsche Great Britain reckon there’s a market for it that wasn’t around before (perhaps they’ve been surprised at the worldwide interest the four-wheel-drive #Porsche-959 has generated for ultra-expensive Porsches) and they’ve reserved the car a special place, and price, in their official price list.

    The #Porsche-930 Turbo SE (as we’ll call it) is hand-finished. The restoration shop people start with an ordinary, fully built Turbo, strip away the ordinary #Porsche-911-Turbo wings and fit the louvres in the top surface that allow you to look straight through to the top of the tyre. They lit the car with side skirts (we prefer that to the 'running boards’ which is how one impertinent pump jockey described them) and the rear wings got huge, slatted air scoops ahead of the rear wheels. Those admit great gobs of air to cool the brakes.

    There’s a lower chin spoiler, with a business-like mesh grille under the familiar bumper, but the car’s shape at the extreme rear is completely familiar. Same tea-tray wing, same low tail lights and ‘turbo’ in lower case script. The nine-inch wide rear wheels (forged alloy, with five spokes) have polished rims and they wear the new-size 245/45VR16 tyres which now also go on to ordinary, £39.303 Turbos. The front wheels are in the same style; standard seven-inches with the 205/ 55VR16S they’ve had for several years.

    It’s surprising how different the #930-Turbo-SE looks from an ordinary car. There’s a less brutish, more exotic quality to it. and from the front more than a hint of 935 sports/racer. And that is much of what the buyer is paying for - a classier image for a car which goes as hard as any other production car on this Earth up to 170mph.

    Are you getting the feeling that this, despite its huge cost, is a poseur’s chariot of the worst kind, the type whose serious purpose and abilities are subservient to its claim to making the occupants look good? I must say this is what struck-me. And I was then struck, as always in such cars, by the overwhelming foolishness of choosing a car solely because it suits your image - or because you'd like to suit its image. I mean, being seen in a car is so impersonal. Nobody knows who you are; nobody knows it’s you in there, enveloped in leather behind the expensive curves of coachwork. Posing in cars is nothing more than an exorcise in futility.

    With these dark thoughts in mind I opened the hefty door of the Turbo SE on a rainy night after a particularly disaster- ridden day in the office. Parked next to the SE was a classical, no-frills #911 , the one we used for this year’s Top 10 photo session. Gavin Green had that. It was £25,000-worth and we knew it was nice. Mine cost three times that amount, and it was an unknown quantity.

    If you want to establish a close and friendly relationship with a new 911 Turbo you should not drive it on a rainy night, after a spell in a Hyundai Pony. The ergonomics are hell. You will not be able to make the demisting work properly, because you will not have had time for the mandatory refresher course in rear-engined Porsche ventilation controls. You will also have trouble threading the car through those seven-foot wide barriers that are erected all over London suburbs to reduce the nocturnal rumbling of juggernauts; you will have trouble parking the car because you cannot see out of it and the wide wheels stick so far out of the body that you will fret about kerbing them. Better to wait for a fine day and head for the open road. As we eventually did...

    And the Porsche Turbo isn't all body modifications, of course. It has a leather- trimmed Interior - violent red and black in the test car - with all the equipment you could want. There's a powered sunroof, air conditioning, a pair of all-leather Recaro seats (with a console for powered adjustment, heating and lumbar support adjustment on the inside bolster of each). There are driving lights and the standard stereo is a Blaupunkt Toronto.

    Porsche 911 Turbo Special (930 SE)Equipment knocks off same of ordinary Turbo rough edges; comes with now front wings (below) fitted by Porsche's own restoration people In Zuffcnhauson, Germany.

    But the best bit of all is the engine, which is stronger even than the ordinary Porsche Turbo’s, so recently strengthened for the 1986 model year. The standard car has 300bhp at 5500rpm: this one bumps the output up to 330bhp at the same crank speed. The SE's torque peak is more or less unaltered: it stays around 318lb ft (at 4000rpm), the level to which it rose (from 303lb ft) a year ago. The SE's output makes it the strongest purely road going production Porsche ever built - and that has got to be a component in the makeup of the mammoth price.

    It’s surprising, in fact, that the output isn’t up more than 10 percent: Porsche’s people have given the engine high-lift cams, gone up a turbocharger size and fitted the SE with a bigger capacity charge intercooler, and a modified exhaust.
    The rest of the car is pure, well-developed #Porsche-Turbo . The flat six engine, fed from the turbo through #Bosch-L-Jetronic fuel injection ( #Bosch )and with an engine management system controlling its induction and breakerless ignition, is mounted behind the rear axle line and drives through a four-speed gearbox, specialty engineered to handle the massive torque of this car. #Porsche rightly feel that more gears than four are unnecessary. though so few ratios require some technique change from the driver, as we shall see.

    The 3000lb car has strut-type suspension at the front and tough semi-trailing arms at the rear, with anti-roll bars at both ends. There are torsion bars to absorb the road shocks at both ends, plus Bilstein gas filled dampers. The steering is by manual rack and pinion and it takes near enough to three turns to swing the fat three spoke wheel from lock to lock.

    930 Porsche SE cabin is overpoweringly red. Leather it of finest quality and equipment la plentiful, too. Wheel is lovely to use, gets in way of driver’s eye to dial, however.

    The morning dawns icy. Overnight some of the rain on the roads has frozen. Oversteer will be on the menu. My alarm clock has succumbed to the cold: I wake 45 minutes late. It is necessary to be at the service area outside Exeter at 6.30am. To make that, it will be necessary to average 200mph. What is more, the car does not have a handbook, and the intricacies of the ventilation controls still cannot be dredged from the frost-numbed mind.

    This may not sound like an ideal state of mental balance in which to make a first serious approach to the #Porsche-911 Turbo SE. yet it seems right for such a suspected poseur's car.

    I left my base with 120 miles to do (90 motorway, 30 poor back roads) and an hour to do them. I gave it about five miles of warm-up, running the engine easily in the gears around 3000rpm and feeling the way the warmth flowed quickly from the heater. That’s one point in favour of the air-cooled engine. When the oil temperature gauge started to move, I began to open up a bit. On the second corner taken with any power on, there was ice, the tail snapped out, and fortunately something inside me whipped on the right amount of correction and the Porsche did obey, and like lightning.

    And so we graduated to faster better engineered roads, trafficked all night so that they were drier. The Porsche began to lope along at 80, under 3000rpm in top. The wheel, different from any other Porsche type I've used, had a very thick rim, with a lot of little knobs on the windscreen side, where your fingers could fit exactly. That seemed, somehow, to make it a precision tool. In spite of myself, I began to enjoy all this.

    I pressed on rapidly to where I knew my friends were waiting near Exeter. It soon became clear that this was a car of prodigious performance. In top, you were well illegal if you were doing more than 3000rpm. I cruised at 4000. At 27.5mph/ 1000rpm it was fast, but the car felt completely stable In the still morning. There was some buffeting and some rear, but it wasn't loud. Or at least, you couldn't hear much of It for the tyre roar and bump-thump off the road. The Turbo is mechanically quiet, actually, but noise from underneath makes up for that.

    There was not too much anger from the others when I reached our meeting point. They’d used the time to have a service area fry-up, from which I wished them a speedy recovery. We headed west and were deep into Cornwall by Sam. And my familiarity with and respect for the SE was starting, insidiously, to mount.

    There is nothing like a very high geared car, which can still go extremely hard in top to give you an impression of supreme, limitless performance. The Turbo SE. stronger even than an ordinary Turbo, is just such a car. The engine will function smoothly in any gear from about 1400rpm. From about 2600rpm the boost gauge begins to show signs of puff. By 3000rpm there is a definite push in the back and by 3300rpm, if the throttle is opened wide, you cannot avoid going extremely hard.

    Turbo SE’s profile show resemblance to #Porsche-935 racer. There is a grille below front bumper that adds to impression when car is viewed from front, too. Scoops In rear guards have ugly slats, but they direct a lot of extra cooling air onto rear brake discs. Rear wheels have nine-inch rims.

    Beyond 4000rpm, if you are in a lower gear all hell breaks loose. It is as if you're being launched bodily. If first happens to be the gear you’re in, there is only time to concentrate on timing your change into second at 6800rpm, so that you will not over-rev the engine and come ignominiously up against the rev-limiter. Second is a remarkable gear. That one ratio encompasses the entire performance span of many lesser cars. It is possible (though why you should want to. I can't imagine) to get the Porsche rolling in second. You can still be in second nearly 90mph later. Into the red, the speedo shows 95mph, but about 4-5mph of that you have to allow as speedo error. The car’s sheer, thunderous performance has to be experienced to be believed. Forty to 60mph, 50 to 70, 60 to 80mph: they are all consumed in 2.5sec or loss. Suddenly you’re doing 90, right up against the red, and since there are plenty of places where 90mph is not a harmonious speed on British non-motorways, you had better think quickly.

    Third gear has a persona of its own. If it is 24 carat performance you want, third's really not much good to you below 3500 rpm or 70mph. You need to be in second. But between 70 and 130 the Porsche has effortless, soaring performance which lifts it beyond even the level of the Italian twelve’s, since it's so long-legged, so extraordinarily effortless in its self-energised power delivery - and so amazingly quiet. Oh, there is engine noise. The flat*six scream is there and welcome. But the silencing effect of the turbo, the lack of rasp or whine from the superbly strong gearbox, means that the engine is really very refined. On the over-run there might be a hint of vibration as the engine comes down through the 4000s, but only a paid critic would notice it. Anyone else would merely be impatient to slow, just to do it all again. The car’s performance is intoxicating. Think, if you can, of the surge from 100mph to 120 in just over five seconds. It’s so fast.

    Top does its best work over 90mph. Over the ton, really. That’s where the car has its seven-league boots on. Never has so much been achieved by one simple squeeze on a road car's accelerator. And if it’s cruising you want, this car will steam along showing 145mph and 5000rpm (it’s about 138mph true, actually) with nearly 2000rpm left to the redline.
    First is the gear that needs watching. Though the SE comes with a limited slip differential, you can light up both rear tyres if you engage the clutch abruptly with about 4000rpm on board. Actually dropping the clutch is something I just couldn’t bring myself to do. When the rears do spin, you have to be careful. Turbo cars like this - and competition cars - are prone to something called overspin. The tyres lose adhesion, the engine revs rise higher, the turbo spins faster and suddenly even more horsepower is being produced, to the detriment of your #Dunlop D40s. And with no benefit to forward motion. You're probably travelling sideways in smoke, by that time.

    The correct start technique seems to be to feed in the clutch briskly at 3500, enough just to break the tyres loose. Pause a moment as they grip, then give it everything. You’ll find the car is at its maximum, around the middle 50s, less than 4.0 sec later.

    There are not really any snap-changes in this car. The lever movement is long, though smooth. The engine tends to hang in the higher ranges, so there’s plenty of time (or rhythmic changes, not the slam- bam kind. And the need for gearlever violence is reduced by the knowledge that there is a great surge of thrust available the moment you've smoothly engaged the clutch again.

    But one thing is critical in this car, as a result of the four-speed box. You must cover yourself against falling into vast gulfs between the ratios. Thus, when you’re travelling fast it’s best to hold onto a lower gear if you can't see over the hill, rather than risk allowing the revs to fall below 3500rpm. This is actually quite brisk as long as the engine's turning at over 2000, yet so great is the rate of acceleration difference between that and when it’s at 4000, that you’re interested only in one thing. Thus in difficult going, if you’re decelerating, you should change down to third below 70-75mph, second below 50, and first below 30. It's a curious routine until you get used to it, but if you adhere to it. your ability to find power and put it down In every situation. Is awesome.

    As for acceleration, we could get serious only about running some standing quarter miles (13.3 seconds) and some zero to 100mph times (12 seconds dead). It was clear that the thing was so quick that a full set didn't seem worth the trouble. I just wanted to drive. They say zero to 60mph comes up in just over 5.0sec (though such statistics are always dependent on driver skill) and that the car will pull a bit over 6000rpm to give a 171 mph top speed. We’ll take their word for the last. I didn’t go over 150 more than three times, and at that stage, because there was a bit of a cross-wind blowing on our private course, the car felt decidedly lively. Mechanically, it could have sat there all today and tomorrow.

    All this power needs a chassis. The Turbo SE has one reputed to be the most difficult in the business. Realty it is not. There are only two things to remember. Always be hard on the power at the point of maximum cornering effort - and never. never get caught running into a corner on trailing throttle.

    With power to hold its tail down, the Turbo has the grip of a limpet. It has such rear grip, in fact, that unless you turn it into a bend property, its acceleration will propel your front wheels straight across your bend in hideous understeer. Indeed, the grip is such, that even with 330bhp and all these pounds-feet you will probably not unstick the tail in the dry, purely with power. The experts' trick for doing that is to throttle off momentarily to unstick it, then come down hard again on the horsepower to hold it out, while applying opposite lock. Any instinct you have to steer with the throttle, as you might in a more docile machine, needs to be curbed until you’ve felt the big beast out. And by the time that happens, you'll probably have discovered that steering with the wheel makes the best sense. Yet when driven rapidly by someone who truly understands it, the 911 Turbo (and SE) are extremely rapid cars, perhaps even quicker than their mid-engined competitors. They have a neat, rhythmical swinging motion into bends, their reaction to correction of any kind has been bred to be very sympathetic, and the short wheelbase helps there. All the old stuff about the 911’s layout being 'fundamentally wrong' can be made to look rather ill by a good pair of hands on a Turbo's wheel.

    The suspension's support systems are fine. The ride is flat, firm, sometimes jolting (over broken bitumen) but it always has that reassuring tightness which is another reason people buy Porsches. The steering is pin-sharp, especially with the SE's superb wheel. The brakes, huge discs that are cross-drilled and have twin-pot calipers, are superb. Push them hard and you stop hard. Their best attribute, apart from a sheer ability to retard, is that they can be eased off, perhaps to half your original stopping effort, with an ease and accuracy that still isn't normal even in expensive cars.

    But the heart and the guts of this car is the way'it goes. That is why I finished up liking it so much, while thinking it no more than a poseur's special to begin with. I suppose I can get to terms with the price, since the #Ferrari-Testarossa and #Lamborghini-Countach are well into the 60 grand sector and this car is at least as good as they are for sheer ability to go. With its decent bumpers, visibility, manoeuvrability. 12,000 mile service intervals, seven-year anti-rust guarantee and proven resale value, it might well be a lot better, if good sense comes into it.

    What is clearest of all, is that the ordinary 911 Turbo can be an even better choice for someone who puts the time into getting to know it and to handling it the way they do it at #Weissach . That car, 30bhp lighter than the SE, can save you more than £30,000 - £30.000! - yet it's only 0.2sec slower over 0-100mph. It comes to you, very well-equipped, for £39,300 and, in the mood I’m in right now, I think it’s a bargain.

    Luxurious buckets have power-adjust console on inside bolster, plus system of bolster adjustment. They're very comfortable, if loud-looking. 330bhp engine has bigger puffer, Intercooler, then standard, plus high-lift cam profiles, new exhaust.
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  • WINNING RECIPE

    Paul Davies recounts the story of the first customer turbo race car, the #Porsche-934 . The Porsche 934 blended the RSR Carreras of the early seventies with pressurised induction to cook up the first customer turbocharged racer.

    Can you have a fusion automobile as well as fusion cooking? Take a well-proven chassis, and engine, mix with all you’ve learnt about turbocharging from sports car racing in the United States with the 917, and serve up as one of the most successful customer competition cars to come from Porsche. Only 31 examples of the Porsche 934, officially known as the Carrera RSR Turbo (or simply Turbo RSR), were manufactured ready for the 1976 season, but they dominated their category way into the following decade.

    There’s always been a Porsche policy of encouraging the customer to go racing, or rallying if comes to it. Competition improves the breed, and it’s often a fast-track means to develop a new model. More importantly, however, was the Stuttgart family ethos that if a customer went racing, successfully, they became a loyal customer. Give the guy the right tools, help him a bit along the way – and he’ll come back time and time again.

    Back in the days of the four-cylinder 356, Spyders and the 904, and later with the Carrera 6, it was private entrants around the world who snaffled most of the silverware and helped create the Porsche legend. A goodly number of the 43 Porsche 917s manufactured ended up with driver-owners, or private teams, receiving varying amounts of factory support; both of the 917 Le Mans wins of 1970 and ’71 went to ‘private’ concerns.

    There’s also been a further thread running through Porsche’s motor sport involvement, one that continues to the present day. Except at the very top level, the customer competition car should be based upon a production model. Which excludes the 917 and also the most successful of all competition Porsches, the 956/962 of the 1980s, but think of the hordes who raced and rallied the 356 in all its forms and the many #911 variants of the sixties. By the early 1970s they were looking for a new car to run.

    The answer came in 1973 with the introduction of the Carrera RS. A total of 1580 of the 2.7-litre (2687cc) #Porsche-911 coupé were manufactured in both lightweight Sport (M471 option) and plush Touring (M472) versions, and a large number ended up in motor sport of one sort or another. After all, straight from the factory it had most of the right bits that in those days made a club, or national status, race or rally winner. It was the flag-waving 911 that got people queuing for the more ‘basic’ 2.4-litre model of the day.

    But Porsche knew their production racer would not be quite good enough for the serious private entrant. Of that production run, just 49 cars (preceded by eight prototypes) were selected for extra-special treatment before they left the factory. With a further lightened and wider bodyshell, a capacity increase to 2806cc with twin-plug ignition, the addition of 917 brakes, uprated suspension with coil springs supplementing torsion bars, and a stripped-out interior with a roll cage, the Carrera 2.8 RSR (M491) was the car for the serious customer racer.


    The Porsche 911 was considered a special grand touring car, and back in 1973 you had to make 500 in a year to qualify for entry into the Group 4 category. Further modifications could be made as an ‘evolution’ of the original car. In 1973 the Brumos team RSR ran as a prototype with a full 3.0-litre engine at the Daytona 24 Hours and it won; later in the year a similar Martini Racing car was outright winner of the Targa Florio, and took fourth overall at Le Mans.

    In fact the 2.8-litre engine was a bit of an oddball. The capacity, achieved by increasing the bore of the production Carrera 2.7 RS unit from 90mm to 92mm, was right on the physical edge, and proving unreliable. At that capacity it was also way short of the 3.0-litre international class limit. The obvious double solution was to move to a full three litres (2993cc) utilising an aluminium (instead of magnesium) crankcase, and the same 95mm bore that would later form the basis of the upcoming 930 Turbo road car.

    By 1974 the Carrera 3.0 RS had become a ‘production’ customer race car. A grand total of 109 were produced, of which about half were built as RSR versions to very much the same competition specification as the previous 2.8-litre. In addition 15 special cars (outwardly RS but with 3.0 RSR engines) were supplied to compete in the International Race of Champions (IROC) series in the USA.


    Both 1974 and 1975 were years for customer cars. In these two seasons private teams dominated on both sides of the Atlantic, with Peter Gregg winning both the Trans Am and IMSA GT series in the USA two years running, and the Kremer and Loos teams sharing John Fitzpatrick’s European GT Championship.

    Whilst customers worldwide were winning with the 3.0 RSR, Porsche was otherwise occupied, particularly with trying to win the East African Safari Rally (they came second) and also working to bring a new customer car to the starting grid. That car would be the Carrera RSR Turbo of 1976, the Porsche Type 934. The ‘93’ number signified the car was based on the production 911 (930) Turbo – first shown in 1973 but not to go on sale until 1975 – and the final digit that it was homologated into Group 4.

    Only, the recipe for the new car required a certain amount of tasting before it was ready for the table. Following success racing in the Can-Am series in the USA, Porsche had got the turbo bug big. At the peak of development the twinturbo engine of the 917/30 was giving in excess of 1000bhp, and it was logical the company should apply the same technology to both mainstream production (the 911 Turbo) and competition. The introduction of the (short-lived) BMW 2002 Turbo to the European market was an additional incentive to match their big rivals.

    Several prototype 911 Turbo road cars were produced (first with a 2.7-litre engine) and to test the configuration to the limit Porsche built four prototype race cars based on the Carrera 3.0 RSR but with a turbocharger. International regulations demanded pressurised induction engines should have a coefficient of 1.4, so to duck under the three-litre class limit the capacity was 2142cc. Even so, with single KKK blower, mechanical injection, twin plugs per cylinder, and an air-to-air intercooler between the turbo and the plenum chamber, the output was upwards of 500bhp.

    The rest of the specification was similar to the Carrera RSR, but with lightweight and wider body, and the addition of a large rear spoiler. The torsion bar suspension was deleted entirely in favour of coil springs at both front and rear. Factory Turbo RSRs raced in Martini colours during 1974 and proved relatively reliable, although they could not match the speed of the Matras and Mirages of the time. Second places at Watkins Glen and Le Mans were the highlights.

    At the end of the season, Porsche was happy with these ‘turbo-trials’ and announced it would take a break in 1975 and leave things to the Carrera 3.0 RSR privateers. Meanwhile, they readied the 934.

    Whereas the small-capacity Turbo RSR was, and looked, very much an out and out racer, the limits of Group 4 (500 of the base 911 Turbo had to be produced to qualify, but no problem there) demanded the 934 be a degree or two more sober. Visually, the 50mm plastic wheel arch extensions were the giveaway, along with the deeper front apron that held a big central oil cooler and twin water radiators – more on these later.

    Structurally the body was very much like the stock 911 Turbo, complete with impact front bumpers. Obviously there was a roll cage (alloy in-period, but not permissible now) and all the usual motor sport essentials. The interior was devoid of passenger seating and carpets, but it was not necessary for Porsche to resort to lightweight panels and thin glass to achieve the category minimum weight of 1120kg. In fact, the electric operation of the driver and passenger door windows was retained!

    Running gear generally followed previous RSR models, with the torsion bars retained but coil spring-over damper/strut units added to do most of the work. A major change at the rear was the use of short, cast aluminium, trailing arms pivoting on extended fabricated mounts on the rear crossmember, designed to reduce camber change. Solid bushes (nylon or uni-ball) replaced rubber where possible. The wheels were centre-lock, split-rim, 16in diameter BBS alloys of 10.5ins front and 12.5ins rear widths.

    The brakes were what tend to be, when used on the 911 Turbo, referred to as ‘917’ but that is somewhat of an understatement. Yes, they were as developed for Porsche’s Le Mans winner of 1970 and 1971, but the vented and crossdrilled discs of the 934 were 304mm diameter at the front and 309mm at the rear, and the alloy four-piston calipers heavily finned to improve cooling and extra-wide to allow endurance pads that were some 25mm thick. There was also a balance bar to allow adjustment of braking distribution front to rear.

    The engine was (as it had to be) based on the 911 Turbo, and the famed #Porsche-930 aluminium crankcase that would remain in use in competition Porsches in one form or another right through to the Carrera GT3 RS of 2012. Unlike the Turbo RSR prototype of 1974, the capacity stayed at 2993cc, meaning that when the FIA co-efficient of 1.4 was applied the turbo engine had a calculated swept volume of 4190cc.

    In detail the engine was in fact a fusion (again!) of the previous 3.0 RSR, the production 911 Turbo, and the small capacity unit of the RSR Turbo. The cooling fan was horizontal and centrally placed on top of the engine, driven by a belt and shaft just like later versions of the earlier race car – if you see what I mean. Valve sizes (two per combustion chamber) were the same as the naturallyaspirated RSR, but the porting was enlarged. There was one plug per chamber, as the road car, whilst compression was a lowly 6.5:1 to allow for the considerable ratio hike with pressurised induction.

    The innovation for the customer racer was the addition of the single exhaust-driven #KKK compressor. Like the 2.14-litre RSR, this was mounted centrally low within the rear body panel – unlike the 911 Turbo which had its turbo unit positioned bottom-left. The other new move was the introduction of water to cool the air between the turbo and the inlet manifold. With the earlier racer Porsche had demonstrated that passing the forced air through an intercooler before it mixed with fuel in the inlet greatly increased horsepower. With the new car the company sought the most efficient means.

    The intercooler of the RSR Turbo was a simple air-to-air radiator positioned above the engine in the rear bodywork, but for the 934 Porsche mounted two small radiators within the front bumper corners (where you’d find the oil cooler on most production 911) and circulated water, by means of a pump driven by belt off the front of the right-hand camshaft, from them to a pair of alloy intercoolers positioned above each cylinder bank. The system proved effective, and the extra weight was lost within the generous minimum weight inflicted by the regulations – just like the electric windows.

    In a further nod towards the production 911 Turbo on which the 934 was based, Porsche fitted Bosch K-Jetronic injection and not the purely mechanical system used on previous racing engines. The transmission was an uprated version of the four-speed Type 915 gearbox of the 911 Turbo, with the addition of a small oil cooler mounted in the rear spoiler.

    The result of all this was a tough and powerful race car (albeit, by all accounts, somewhat of a handful to drive on account of massive turbo-lag) that looked little different from the 911 Turbo sitting in the showroom. Early race engines developed 485bhp, but this soon grew to in excess of 500bhp.

    The 934 ruled Group 4 from 1976 until the early 1980s. In the USA major teams such as Brumos, Vasek Polak and Dick Barbour dominated with drivers of the calibre of Al Holbert, Hurley Haywood, George Follmer and Peter Gregg. In Europe it was Kremer, Max Moritz and Loos, with Bob Wollek, Tim Schenken, Rolf Stommelen and Toine Hezemens who continually took honours. Go to the excellent Racing Sports Cars site (see contacts) for a most comprehensive list! In the USA, the IMSA organisation announced it would not allow turbochargers in its Camel GT series, so Vasek Polak took his cars to the rival SCCA’s Trans-Am competition. Follmer won this in 1976 and Haywood was runner up. Then IMSA did a mind-change and allowed the cars to run in Camel GT. Porsche responded by producing an extra 10 cars – popularly known as 934.5 – with wider rear bodywork for 15in-wide wheels and an enlarged rear wing for 1977, but IMSA banned it before the first race!

    Back in the Trans Am series (this is complicated) the 943.5 won six out of eight races, but failed to take the title because of a protest from a (regular) 934 driver! Actually that’s not the end of things. As in all things Porsche there has to be a footnote. The Carrera RSR Turbo was a Group 4 car, and so to compete in Group 5 with a chance of outright victory on major events #Porsche produced the #Porsche-935 , which by #1979 was to win Le Mans outright. However, that’s another recipe for later.

    The 934.5 was built to give Porsche the advantage in the USA, being a Group 4 934 with big rear wing and larger rear wheels. Peter Gregg is seen here at Watkins Glen, 1977.

    2.1-litre Turbo RSR was built to test the concept of the pressurised 911 racer, and run in Martini colours in 1974. Here is Gjis van Lennep at the Nürburgring The turbo 934 was, in effect, a development of the normally-aspirated 3.0 Carrera RSR which won the 1973 Targa Florio (below).

    CONTACTS:
    Prill Porsche Classics:
    01787 476338
    Racing Sports Cars:
    www.racingsportscars.com
    Jens Torner: Porsche
    Museum
    Nick Faure: Le Mans driver

    PORSCHE 934 CARRERA RSR TURBO CHASSIS NUMBER 930 670 0153

    Our featured car was the 17th of the run of 31 #Porsche-934 s manufactured early in 1976, and sold to Belgian driver and team owner Jean Blaton – who raced under the pseudonym ‘Beurlys’. After race preparation by Kremer (including a repaint from yellow to white) it was delivered to the Le Mans 24 Hours to be driven by Nick Faure (GB), John Goss (AUS) and ‘Beurlys’.The car was retired due to a number of turbo failures, but restarted to finish the race, although it was officially ‘not classified’. Turbo technology was new, and it is likely the drivers were unaware the engine had to be idled to reduce turbo temperature whenever it came into the pits.

    After Le Mans, Blaton sold the car to Jean-Pierre Gabon and it contested the following two Le Mans but failed to finish on either occasion. Results included wins in the 1978 Grand Prix of Zolder and the Spa 600kms (Willy Braillard). The car was sold in 1982 to the Vermuelen brothers, who subsequently sold it to long-time owner Walter Pauwels. It was repainted to its original yellow prior to sale by auctioneers Coys in 2014 and is now in the custody of specialist Andy Prill for the new owner.

    “The innovation for the customer race car was the addition of a single KKK compressor…”


    The KKK turbo is mounted low and central behind the rear bumper panel, oil catch tank is to the right. The engine had to be idled for one minute before switch off to stop the bearings overheating.

    Rear suspension has coilover damper on screw platform and torsion bar with adjustable spring plate. Adjustable anti-roll bar uses uni-ball joint and nylon bushing.

    A small gearbox oil cooler is fixed behind the grille in the rear spoiler. Engine oil and twin intercooler water coolers are mounted within the front bumper.

    Horizontal cooling fan (as 917 and Turbo RSR of 1974) is more efficient than stock 930 Turbo vertical configuration. Small tank (top RH) is header for turbo intercooler water. Watercooled alloy intercooler is mounted above each cylinder bank and helped to reduce induction temperature from 150 deg C to 50 deg C.

    Turbo wastegate hides lower left. Normal boost pressure was 1.3 bar (18.5psi) which gave 485bhp, but greater pressure could deliver figures up to 580bhp.

    NICK FAURE REMEMBERS HIS 1976 LE MANS WITH ‘0153’:

    ‘It was brand-new from the factory when the Belgian team turned up with it at the #1976 Le Mans. These cars were a completely unknown quantity on the track and it was early development days for turbos in racing. The car arrived at the race in bare white from Kremer and I painted on the team colours in the pits.

    We had to race the car in production weight with electric windows and a lead weight bolted to the passenger floor. Crazy! What neither Porsche, or Kremer, realised at the time was that when the car came into the pits the turbo was still turning at colossal speed and without being allowed to cool down it blew apart.

    When it got to changing the fifth new turbo during the race, Jean said that he’d had enough. So he parked it up until the final laps and then just drove it slowly to the finish to complete the race, albeit many laps down.

    In the middle of the night when we were changing something like the third turbo a ‘tired and emotional’ Duncan Hamilton turned up in our pit with his Aussie friend Jumbo Goddard, offering his advice. He explained that Jumbo had a turbocharged XK120 so he might be able to give us some help!

    Of course in those early days it was a single large turbo with huge lag, but at La Sarthe that did not matter so much as it was a very flowing circuit with only two slow corners at Mulsanne and Arnage. I was offered the car for £10,000 after the race but sadly that was more money than I could have raised.’ Nick Faure.

    Well braced front compartment includes a 120-litre fuel tank and a 22-litre oil tank, both with fillers accessed through flaps in the lid.

    Bilstein front strut has coil spring, but Group 4 regulations demand stock torsion bar is retained. The brakes are 917 ‘endurance’ specification, with superthick pads.

    Standard wheel fitment for the Group 4 car was the split-rim #BBS alloy with centre-lock fastening. Note the rear wheels have the tyres bolted to the rims to prevent movement.

    The 934 proved to be a popular – and successful – entrant in sports car racing long after its intended lifespan. How many can you count in this photo!

    “Structurally, the body was very much like the stock #Porsche-911-Turbo-930 , complete with impact bumpers…”

    CARRERA RS/RSR ENGINE DEVELOPMENT

    Engine Bore/Stroke Capacity Induction Power (bhp) Torque (lb ft)
    The #Porsche-934-2.7-RS 90mm x 70.4mm 2687cc Mechanical inj 210 @ 6300rpm 188 @ 5100rpm
    The #Porsche-934-2.8-RSR * 92mm x 70.4mm 2806cc Mechanical inj 300 @ 8000rpm 217 @ 6500rpm
    The #Porsche-934-3.0-RS 95mm x 70.4mm 2993cc Mechanical inj 230 @ 6200rpm 202 @ 5000rpm
    The #Porsche-934-3.0-RSR * 95mm x 70.4mm 2993cc #Bosch Mechanical inj 330 @ 8000rpm 230 @ 6500rpm
    The #Porsche-934-Turbo-RSR * 83mm x 66.0mm 2142cc Turbo/mech inj 480 @ 7600rpm 340 @ 5400rpm
    The #Porsche-934-Carrera-RSR 95mm x 70.4mm 2993cc Turbo/ #Bosch-Jetronic inj 500 @ 7000rpm 430 @ 5400rpm
    (* twin spark ignition)

    RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE

    The two works 911s entered for the #1978 East African Safari Rally were billed as SCs and presented in red, white and blue Martini colours. The car (14) crewed by locals Vic Preston Jnr and John Lyall finished 2nd overall, with Bjorn Waldegård and Hans Thorszelius (5) placing 4th. Painted in white and red Esso Eminence livery, the Alméras SC saw action at international level in the #1982 Tour de Corse, while the Prodrive cars emerged as Rothmans SCRSs for Henry Toivonen to take five wins in the #1984 European Rally Championship.
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  • 1967 PORSCHE 912 45 YEARS AND COUNTING…

    John Rialson tells us what it’s like to own a 912 for more than four decades. That’s how long John Rialson has owned his 1967 Porsche 912. Now, with no fewer than 421,600 miles under its tyres (yes, you did read that right!), it’s living proof that they built these cars to last… Words & photos: John Rialson.

    My father, who was an educator and a librarian at San Jose State College, would always tell me that a car should simply get you from point A to point B, and be nothing fancy. I would always ask, why couldn’t we have fun in a car that does more? I was eight years old.

    The first car I remember my dad buying was a 1953 Volkswagen in Texas Brown. It had a 36 horsepower engine, a small rear window, turn signals that popped out of the door pillar, no fuel gauge, and a thick metal body. The interior was red. I don’t remember it even having a radio installed.

    We were probably about the first family in the San Francisco Bay area to buy a VW. The neighbours would tease my dad about the car and would often hide it by carrying it down the street and putting it behind a hedge (love it! – KS). I, on the other hand, would brag about all the car’s functions to my school friends, which probably didn’t make me very popular since I told them this was a better car than the one they had.

    This turned out to be a good, reliable car that Dad drove for many years. He traded it in for a new 1960 Volkswagen. That one was red with a white interior and this time it did have a radio. It also had a fuel gauge and the larger rear window.

    I learned to drive in that car when I was fifteen. I received my driver’s licence when I was sixteen and proceeded to show my high-school friends what a good driver I was. I knew the car was waterproof, and while driving in the mountains on a dirt road one day we came to a river. Usually the river was passable but it had been raining and the water was higher than usual. We decided to try and cross.

    We got half way and the car started floating down the river! Feeling hopeless and wondering what I was going to tell Dad, we finally hit a sand bar on the other side. I was then able to drive the car in the shallow water at the edge of the river back to the road. The girls thought I was crazy and I never told Dad.

    In 1967, when I was twenty-two, I bought my own car. It was a brand new Volkswagen in beige with black interior. I fitted it with Koni shocks, Pirelli tyres and an anti-sway bar. It handled well and I put well over 100,000 miles on it by 1970. I drove it everywhere.

    I used to take the car to a garage in Los Altos, California called Reitmier’s Werkstatt. They worked on VWs and Porsches. One day in 1970 the owner’s brother put his 1967 Porsche up for sale for $4400. He said he was selling it because he wanted a 1968-model #Porsche with the flared fenders so he could put wider tyres on for autocrossing. The car was beautiful, so I bought it: it was a Bahama Yellow 1967 912 Porsche with low mileage, and looked as good as new. It was probably the best investment I could have made.

    I have always enjoyed driving. Over the years that I’ve owned the Porsche, there have been some fun stories. On one camping trip up to the San Juan Islands between Washington and Canada, we took the ferry boat to Orcas Island. I was taking photos of some Scottish Highland cattle when a huge dog came running up to me. Needless to say, I jumped into the Porsche. The dog stood higher than the car and proceeded to mark his territory on all four tyres…

    On a memorable trip to visit close friends in Bangor, Maine, I was told about some places I should visit and explore in Canada. One was Campobello Island in New Brunswick. Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States, had a 34-room ‘cottage’ used as a summer retreat on Campobello, which is now a park and museum.

    When I travelled alone, I’d usually camp out, or sleep in the car. I could put the passenger seat all the way down, put an air-mattress over the seats and climb into a sleeping bag. It was very comfortable. One night while exploring Prince Edward Island, I parked the car next to a lighthouse out on a point of land high above the ocean. While I was asleep during the night the wind came up, waking me a few times as the car shook. At about four in the morning, I noticed that the lighthouse had ‘moved’.

    Feeling confused, I looked out the side window and could see the waves breaking on rocks about a hundred feet below. The car was sitting right on the edge of the cliff. The wind had slowly moved the car across the dewcovered grass, right to the edge. A few more minutes and I’d have gone over. I quickly moved the car to be out of the wind and went back to sleep. The next morning I walked over to where the car had been and could see the wind had moved it about fifty feet. The right rear tyre was on the edge of the cliff. That was close.

    One very cold morning while visiting Nova Scotia, Canada, I woke to find the car covered in snow (see photo). It was really cold in the car so I thought it would be a good idea to start the engine and get the heater going before getting dressed and having breakfast. I turned the key but the starter motor had stopped working.

    I knew I could probably start the car from the engine compartment, so I jumped out in my underwear and managed to start the engine. It was cold and the ground was covered in snow – and I was barefoot. When I tried to open the door, the lock mechanism was frozen and the door wouldn’t open!

    The car was running and the heater was on but I couldn’t get back in. There was no one around for probably fifty miles so I had to get out of this mess by myself. I was jumping up and down trying to keep warm while giving the door handle little karate chops, hoping the ice would melt. After about ten agonising minutes, the heater had warmed the inside of the car enough to thaw out the lock and allow the door finally to open.

    On another trip, I drove to Cape Breton Island where Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor, had a lab and boat house to test his inventions. That, too, is now a museum. I wanted to drive the car as far east as I could on the North American continent, just to say I had been there. But after studying the map, I realised that easterly point was in Labrador, about 1600 miles away. I am not even sure if the roads were passable, so I settled for the most easterly point on Cape Breton Island. A lot of the road was dirt, but I made it. The photo below left shows the car at the most easterly point, with lobster traps in the background.

    The Porsche has always been a joy to drive. I had wanted to visit Mexico for a long time, so I decided I would spend six months exploring as much of Mexico as I could and first of all I headed for Veracruz. The first night while staying with friends in the city, the local children found out that, by shaking the car, the alarm would go off.

    The kids thought this was great. I would yell out in Spanish to get away from the car, so they would run and hide. But when I left the window, they would come back and do it all over again. I finally had to turn off the alarm. I truly enjoyed exploring Mexico and never had any problems with the car or the people I met. Everyone was always helpful, warm and kind.

    This last year has been a time to restore the car. The carburettors were in bad shape. A good friend, who also owns a 912, totally rebuilt my carburettors. The car is now 48 years old and things wear out. It had been sitting in my garage for a few years, but I am enjoying driving it again. It still has the original paint, which buffed out nicely when I detailed it. She still looks good and now I have four little boys who all want to drive it when they are old enough!

    John Rialson is a professional trumpet player living with his family in Hollister, California.

    Bahama Yellow paintwork is all original, apart from the bonnet (hood) which was damaged by a drunk who fell on it one night! From left to right: 1978 and a trip as far east as John could go – Cape Breton Island; on a visit to visit relatives in Minnesota; just south of Carmel, California, in 1990.

    Above left: A trip to Nova Scotia resulted in the car experiencing some very un- California weather – and John locking himself out of the car…

    Above: Getting ready to make some music back in the 1980s.

    Family affair: photos with two of John’s four boys. All four want the car when they grow up. His youngest, at five years of age, told John he could almost reach the pedals…

    REPAIR HISTORY

    My Porsche 912 was originally sold to a fellow from Los Altos Hills, California on 20th December 1966 from Gus Mozart Volkswagen at 825 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, California. Unfortunately, I understand he was badly wounded during the Vietnam war and was unable to drive the car. The 912 was then sold to the Porsche mechanic, Helmet Bezak, from Reitmier’s Werkstatt in Los Altos, from whom I purchased it on 14th April 1970. The car had only about 16,000 miles on the clock and clearly hadn’t been driven much. In the 45 years I’ve owned it I’ve always been careful about maintenance, and still have all the records for oil changes, tune ups and major repairs. Oil changes are every 3000 miles, and a full service every 6000 miles. I also have all the records for other parts, repairs and rebuilds of the engine.

    Looking through my records, I was surprised to find so many old bills (about 150) for new tyres, batteries, brake jobs, clutches, bulbs, radio repairs, wheel bearings, wheel alignments, clutch cable, Koni shocks, rubber seals, generators, starter motors… the list goes on and on. I found that most oil changes cost less than $50, while full tune-ups cost from $150 in the early days to over $800 now.

    The first major repair was in April 1971. I’d owned the car for one year, with only 24,000 miles on the clock, but it had a bad oil leak. It turned out to be a crack in the crankcase. After trying to weld the crack, which didn’t work, I had to buy a whole new crankcase for $235.

    We replaced the camshaft, main bearings, oil cooler and a number of other parts, for a total bill of $768. One lesson I learned early on is to keep the throttle pedal linkage well lubricated. One time while on a freeway on-ramp I had the car up to 6000rpm in second gear, ready to shift to third. What I didn’t know was that the throttle pedal was stuck, so when I pushed in the clutch to shift, the engine raced way past the redline in a split second. By the time I could reach the key to turn off the engine, it was too late. The fan exploded and sent shrapnel through the fan housing.

    The inside of the car filled with white smoke but I made it safely off to the side of the freeway and had to call for a tow. This happened in 1973 and the car ended up needing a valve job, a new oil cooler, fan and fan housing. The charge was only $289!

    My first full engine rebuild came in August 1974, when the car had covered about 110,000 miles. The bill for that was $867. The second engine rebuild was in August 1979, by which time the car had covered 190,403 miles. This also included a new flywheel, clutch, valves and brakes. The cost came to $1575. The third engine rebuild was in 1986 at 285,000 miles. The total bill this time came to $2100.

    In September 1987, at 314,340 miles, the car needed another new flywheel, along with a clutch and battery, all of which cost $964. When it was time for the fourth rebuild, I decided to replace the engine with a totally rebuilt older unit with a lot lower mileage. This was in 2005 at 398,000. I have not driven the car much in the last ten years, so it currently has 421,600 miles on the odometer. Ken’s Porsche Technique in Campbell, California, who carried out most of the work, still exists and is highly regarded for their repair work on Porsches.

    More recently, we moved to Hollister, California, about five years ago. The car had not been driven because the carburettors needed a complete rebuild (they were leaking fuel). I started playing trumpet with a big band here in Hollister and one day one of the other trumpet players, Jay Hilgers, showed up in a 912E Porsche.

    We were already good friends and he didn’t know I had a 912. His father, Rick Hilgers, was one of the chief Porsche mechanics at Westers in Monterey, California, and had taught his son how to tune and repair Porsches. When Jay heard my carburettors needed repair, he offered to rebuild them for free.

    He said the car was too nice to be sitting and that we needed to get it back on the road, so I paid about $76 to Eckler’s for the Solex repair kit and Jay did a beautiful job making the carburettors look and work like new. They now work perfectly.

    Because the car had been sitting for so long, it needed some more work. I felt guilty about letting Jay spend more free time on the car, as he had already done so much with the carburettors. I took the car to Briganti’s Automotive Service in Hollister where they repaired the throttle linkage and brakes, and gave the car a tune-up.

    I still have a few more items to sort out but the 912 is about ready for the road again. It still has the original paint, except for the hood, and still looks great. And, it goes without saying, it is still a joy to drive.

    Recent photo of the 912 was taken at San Juan Bautista, in California. You’d never believe this car has covered well over 400,000 miles in the last 48 years.

    Miguel Martinez is considered to be the father of mariachi-style trumpet playing and was only too happy to pose with the 912 Highway 90 in the middle of Montana in winter. No traffic. John stopped in the middle of the freeway to take this photo in 1994.

    “Over the years that I’ve owned the Porsche, there have been some fun stories ”

    John pauses at a roadside coffee shop on a trip to Baja, Mexico, in 1986. He recalls that ‘this place had great lobster tacos!’

    SPECIFICATION: #1967 #Porsche-912

    Delivered 20th December #1966 to Gus Mozart Volkswagen, Palo Alto, CA. Bahama Yellow, black interior with basketweave seat inlay; light grey perforated headliner; left-hand drive; #VDM Ebonite plastic steering wheel and circular horn button; #Blaupunkt radio; factory stabiliser bars front and rear; chrome bumper guards, front and rear; engine # P751924; standard #Mahle pistons/cylinders; Solex carburettors; #Bosch 022 distributor; five-speed gearbox; chrome steel rims; 165 HR 15 radial tyres.
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