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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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  •   David Lillywhite reacted to this post about 3 years ago
    #RPM 996 CSR. The 996 is today’s poor-relation of the #911 family, but this brilliant sports car has much to offer, even more so when it’s been in the hands of a leading specialist. Road to Redemption RPM 996 CSR. Despite many having an issue with the #Porsche-996 #Carrera , RPM Technik thinks it’s still a 911 to savour, which is why it has developed its #CSR concept for this much-maligned 911. Story: Jethro Bovingdon. Photography: Gus Gregory.

    Its time is coming. It has to be. People are waking up to the #996 because, frankly, for many it’s now the only affordable 911. Cheap 964s are a distant memory, once unloved SCs are now hot property, the 3.2 Carrera is heating up in its afterglow and the 993 has been commanding strong money for some time. The air-cooled cars are, quite rightly, now solid gold classics with prices to match. So you want a genuinely cheap 911? Welcome to your only choice, people. The one with water pumping through its arteries, fried egg headlights and, as legend has it, an engine made from chocolate, old paper clips swept out from behind the cupboards at #Weissach and chewing gum scraped from the underside of the engineer’s desks: The 996 Carrera.

    Of course I’m being facetious. As you might know I own a 996 Carrera and all my formative #Porsche-911 experiences were at the wheel of various flavours of this much-maligned series. So I’m biased. But before we try RPM Technik’s lighter, harder, faster version of the 996 Carrera it’s worth taking a little trip back to the late 1990s to see what the 996 promised. Its task was simple but critical: ensure Porsche’s survival by turning a meaningful profit. In order to fulfil its mission the 996 was cheaper to build than the 993, shared many parts with the recently launched Boxster and was intended to broaden the appeal of the 911 by offering more practicality, accessible handling and greater refinement. Hardly a list of qualities to get the die-hard 911 fan’s heart pumping faster. In fact you might conclude that Porsche was, ahem, watering down the 911 experience.

    Of course, that devastating conclusion has become the prevailing view, but it rather ignores the 996’s many strengths. Namely that the 996 was lighter, more powerful and faster than the car it replaced. It accelerated harder, stopped faster, had more grip and finer balance. I have a copy of German magazine Sport Auto’s ‘Supertest’ of an original 996 Carrera 3.4 and it serves to highlight that the 996 delivered more than just a sound business model for Porsche. From 0-200kph the 993 clocked 26.7-seconds to the 996’s 22.9 seconds. At Hockenheim the 996 lapped at 1:15.9, a full 2.3 seconds quicker than the 993. Its margin at the Nürburgring was 11 seconds (8:17 vs 8:28), it had better aero balance in the wind tunnel and so the list goes on. So while there’s no question that the 996 was a cheaper, more profitable car it’s equally true that it evolved the 911’s dynamic capabilities with considerable success. And not just in terms of cold, hard objective data. The 996 Carrera emerged victorious in various magazines’ Car of the Year gatherings and won nearly every group test it ever showed up to. In other words if this is your only choice for 911 thrills, maybe you shouldn’t be too depressed.

    RPM-Technik understands the 996 Carrera’s appeal and with GT3 prices continuing to rise the company felt now was the right time to give the model its CSR treatment. Regular readers will remember the #997 CSR from last year, a sort of GT3-lite that realised much of the potential of the 997 Carrera. The new 996 CSR package follows a similar approach but perhaps makes more sense.

    Early 3.4s are still hovering around the £12,000 mark but these are 15-year-old cars now and will usually require a sort of mini rolling restoration if you buy one. I’m going through this process myself and although you can find a sweet early Carrera that still drives very well, inevitably you’ll start thinking about new bushes, maybe refurbished dampers, new discs and pads… the list tends to get longer every time you log on to one of those addictive Porsche online parts shops. It’s a really rewarding process and can be done pretty economically, but RPM argues that although the CSR package isn’t cheap it’s less painful if you factor in the cost of refreshing everything back to OE standard. And, of course, you end up with a more focused, more special end result.

    The silver demonstrator, riding at GT3-style height and wearing gorgeous HRE wheels, certainly looks special and the spec suggests the dynamics should match the aesthetic. The CSR uses three-way adjustable KW suspension complete with new top mounts, polybushes allround, hollow adjustable anti-roll bars from Eibach, a rear axle housing a Wavetrac torsen limited-slip differential, a new intake and exhaust system and carbon fibre side sills and engine cover complete with ducktail spoiler. The brake discs remain OE but Performance Friction pads beef-up the response and should prove more durable under demanding conditions. RPM claims a total weight saving of around 30kg but the expensive HRE wheels are an option that I suspect few will take up (they cost £5000 plus VAT), the alternative being GT3-style Sport Classic wheels. The M96 engine has been fitted with an LN Engineering IMS bearing upgrade, low temperature thermostat and features a lightweight clutch and flywheel. You can go further with a carbon fibre bonnet (as fitted to this car), RSS solid engine mounts, GT3-style adjustable suspension arms… The list is almost endless.

    No question then, the CSR has some choice modifications. However, it does not come cheap. Deliver your slightly baggy Carrera to RPM’s workshop and it will transform it into a lean CSR for around, gulp, £20,000. RPM is also looking to source 3.4 Carreras and offer turnkey cars for around £27,000. Expect a 100,000-miler with the engine upgrades and a clean bill of health for that price, but there’s no actual rebuild cost included. I absolutely understand where all that money goes, but it’s still not going to be especially easy to persuade people to ignore a nice 996 Turbo or a 997 Carrera S and instead buy an early 996 with some tasty suspension and aesthetic mods. It needs to be bloody marvellous, in fact.

    I love jumping into 996s just because they bring memories flooding back. I adore the amazing tactility of the steering, the slim dimensions that make the whole car feel so intimate and the tangible sense of lightness. Remember, the GT3 utilised the heavier C4 chassis and with all the other bigger items it required (think brakes etc), a Carrera carries a small weight advantage at just 1320kg. That relatively low mass infects the whole car, from the way it changes direction to the way it rides over a bumpy road. As you’d expect it is preserved and exaggerated in the CSR. First impressions? This trimmed-down 996 is still properly quick, sounds terrific with the new exhaust silencers and builds on the donor car’s agility and responsiveness. Good signs. Shame the original but optional hard backed seats are set a shade too high. I think the CSR needs some tasty replacements.

    We’re on one of my favourite roads in the whole world, the surface is mostly dry and visibility can be measured in hundreds of metres – perfect to carry a bit of speed in safety. The surface is coarse and many of the corners drop away or hide wicked lumps to unsettle a car when it’s already well loaded-up. Despite the aggressive looking ride height the CSR rides pretty well. It doesn’t quite have the fluidity of a first generation GT3 (which is amazingly supple) but the KWs do a great job of parrying the worst bumps and the damping is decisive and controlled. In fact, the main thing that strikes you about the CSR is the tightness of all of its movements… it’s amazing what a fresh set of bushes and some expensive dampers can do. Any thought that a 996 must feel a bit baggy evaporates. In terms of response and control the CSR feels completely fresh.

    From the outside you notice the rake of the setup – front splitter almost scraping the floor but the rear running a bit higher. The car looks ‘on the nose’ and that’s exactly how it feels. Turn-in is very quick indeed and the front Michelin Pilot Sport 2s seem to serve up almost Cup levels of grip. The signature 996 light, bobbly front end is gone completely. If you can get this thing to understeer on the road in the dry then you should probably be sectioned. That initial response is more than matched by the traction available. The Wavetrac LSD is a geared diff and it finds simply tremendous drive. Even if you actively try to provoke the tail it barely budges, just giving a little wiggle of exit oversteer and only then when you’re fully committed at turn-in.

    Skimming over the moor, the engine hollering a distinctive, bassy growl in the strong mid range and yet revving with energy out to over 7000rpm, the CSR feels focused and genuinely exciting. The brakes feel excellent, too. The Performance Friction pads can be a bit noisy at low speeds but the solid brake pedal feel that they create is full of detail and is hugely reassuring. There’s just a real sense of quality to this enhanced 996 experience that’s at odds with its reputation. Even the long throw but deliciously fluid six-speed ‘box feels superb. I’d always thought that the gritty, heavy feel of the short-shift kits might be a good upgrade, but the lightness and accuracy of the ‘box on these roads matches the rest of the car’s controls beautifully.

    My only concern is that I’m not fully confident in the CSR and the 996 is a car I know better than perhaps any other. I’m certain it’ll turn in instantly and grip really hard… but what comes next? To me, some of the steering feel has been lost and the Wavetrac differential, for all the traction it provides, alters the dynamic responses of the 996 to a significant degree. With no locking action on the overrun you get superb front-end response and grip, but without any gentle understeer to lean up against, some of the famed 911 adjustability is lost. Usually a #911 comes alive when you feel the nose go light at the onset of understeer, because what you do with the throttle from here on in determines the balance of the car. Without that understeer, you lose the phase where the car snaps back into line with a throttle lift and then reacts precisely to further inputs, either almost organically around the neutral point or with a twist of oversteer. The CSR would be more exciting, easier to read and, crucially, more accessible if that quality could be reinstated. Maybe a plated differential just suits the 911 better?

    Sure enough when rain starts to fall the CSR proves that beyond the limit it’s trustworthy, well balanced and there are no nasty surprises. The front-end response still takes some getting used to as even in slippery conditions you need to be alert to the most subtle messages from the front tyres. Feel a micron or two of understeer and you can be sure there’s oversteer to follow pretty quickly behind. It’s easy to correct or even hold should you find that killer corner, but I still think most drivers (including myself!) would be able to exploit the CSR more fully with a little more understeer built in to the setup. I know there’s a whole aftermarket industry set up to eliminate understeer from the 911’s make-up but I’m not sure that’s necessarily the right thing to do unless you’re chasing lap times above all else. On the road it’s the gateway to a whole world of subtle thrills. Of course, I’d love to try the CSR on track, where perhaps the set up of the KWs and the Wavetrac diff would combine more naturally. For the most part RPM’s new baby is a huge success. For those who’ve only ever heard bad things about the 996, this car’s combination of speed, composure and excitement will be eyeopening.

    For me, it’s just nice to drive a 996 with all-new components, a tight focus on driving thrills and meticulous execution, because it still stacks up so well even in the context of 997s or the earlier cars. It makes the 996 seem a bigger bargain than ever and I suspect many Carreras will get a new lease of life over the coming years. The 964 used to be the hot rodder’s 911 of choice but as prices rise that pattern is ending. The 996 – the next great unloved 911, I suppose – is its natural heir and I hope RPM do good business with the CSR. They really pour their love and expertise into these projects and the components are top notch.

    Of course the burning question is whether anybody will dig deep to spend circa £20,000 on the full conversion? This is a tricky and personal question and, I suspect, each and every one of us might build a very different CSR. For example, much as I like the carbon fibre ducktail – it’s carbon fibre and a ducktail, after all – I’d save the money and put it into some better seats and an Alcantara rimmed steering wheel just because they’d enhance the driving experience on every single journey. I’d also love to try it with a plated diff and maybe wind up the ride height just a bit to give the front end a bit more travel. Of course RPM can and will do all of this for potential customers, in fact the choices and tuning of those choices is pretty open ended.

    So how you judge the value of all this stuff is as personal as ‘your’ CSR could become. If a basic but clean 964 Carrera is worth £35,000, does a fully-fettled, track-optimised 996 CSR stack up at under £30,000? In terms of pure driving enjoyment, absolutely. Is it a good substitute for that GT3 you’ve always promised yourself but now might not ever be able to afford? Again, yes. Aside from not being fitted with that engine, it’s not a million miles away at all. And you might find its more humble beginnings will mean you’ll be happy to drive it as Porsche intended with more freedom. Does it look like value compared to that rare thing – a well loved and cared for 3.4 that’s mechanically fresh and advertised for, say, £12,995? Not so much. So, like anything that involves a substantial investment, the CSR can be dismissed or justified in a million different ways. But if you want a highly focused, relatively affordable and seriously enjoyable #Porsche 911 for road and track days then the 996 as a platform is looking more attractive by the day. The CSR, with a bit of fine-tuning to your own personal requirements, could just be the answer.

    The KW Variant 3 suspension gives the CSR a quasi-GT3 stance. HRE alloys are £5000 plus VAT, lovely but pricey. 3.4-litre M96 gets a full overhaul including an LN Engineering IMS bearing upgrade.

    To discuss the CSR range and options contact RPM Technik at 01296 663824

    Revving with energy out to over 7000rpm, the CSR feels focused and genuinely exciting.
    The 996 was lighter, more powerful and faster than the car it replaced.
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  • SMILE FACTOR

    Our man reckons the #Porsche-911-Carrera-3.2 is the best classic #911 to have as a daily driver. Well he would do, he’s owned one for nine years. Words & photos: Paul Davies and KPB photography.

    My first #Porsche was a #Porsche-912 . You know, the 911 with the #356 engine that outsold the six-cylinder version in its first two years. Real classic, nicely balanced, performed a lot better than it did on paper, and – when I bought it back in #1989 – pretty cheap. But daily driver? No.

    On back roads it was fine, but motorway work had Fiestas roaring past, the drivers grinning mockingly, and getting it started was a matter of tickling the Solex carbs until the engine ran steady – although that might have been my particular car.

    So, I needed something a bit more, as they say, userfriendly; I reckon if I’m trolling around the country on Classic Porsche magazine business the least I can do is turn up in the right make of car. Also, wouldn’t it be nice to take the Porsche on the annual holiday run to northern Spain, without holding up 2CVs on the back roads of France?

    The question was how to replace the 912. An early 911, even way back in 2006, looked pricey and a bit too precious. I looked at a nice #1976 Carrera 3.0 but it was expensive, and the later SC at that time was a no-no in the credibility stakes – although it’s getting up there now with the best. The Carrera 3.2, manufactured from 1984 to 1989, seemed a no-brainer.

    I always like to bring my long-time co-driver (Mrs D, that is) into car buying decisions. Then, if it all goes horribly wrong, it can’t all be my fault. Driving early cars – like the Carrera 3.0 and the #Porsche-911SC – revealed a couple of basic problems in the daily driving department, namely the agricultural feel encountered with cog-swapping through the 915 gearbox, plus the amount of leg muscle required to depress the cable-operated clutch.

    The revised #Carrera 3.2, built from #1987 model year with hydraulic clutch and easy-shifting G50 gearbox made by #Borg-Warner , was the answer. Eventually I found one, a two-owner Targa that passed muster, for sale with Coventry specialists PCT, or at least Autobahn as the sales outlet then was. A deal was done, which even included a six-month warranty, and I drove off. On the M5 motorway, the fresh air blower running at full blast to counter a stinking hot summer day expired in a cloud of smoke and the acrid smell of a burnt-out electric motor!

    To be fair, PCT replaced the unit straight away – and also re-fitted the rear anti-roll bar which had been knocking on the transmission casing because, at some stage in its life, it had been fitted upside down. From then forward I can report the Carrera 3.2 has proved a worthy buy. Yes, I’ve had a few problems – in general just what you would expect with an ageing Porsche – and consequently have spent money to keep it up to scratch through the 48,000 miles it’s covered so far.

    But it’s been worthwhile. The family #BMW 3-series is a very good car, which is what you would expect, but get in the Porsche and you only have to go a couple of miles down the road before the smile factor sets in.

    Driving the Carrera 3.2 is like driving a modern car without the bad bits. The non-assisted steering is heavy on parking because of the 205-profile front tyres, but once you’re on the move it has a precise feel that’s hard to match with a modern – especially those with electric PAS. The suspension – still torsion bars, of course – is firm, but you truly feel connected with what’s happening. Yes, the brakes are borderline if you’re cracking on, and they do need to be kept in top condition.

    The engine, that’s the gem. This, you need to understand, is to my mind the ultimate expression of the original #Porsche-911 air-cooled flat-six. It’s not the final configuration but it retains the attribute of the original Porsche concept of ‘less is more’, with just about the right amount of modern technology. The #964 and the #993 that followed were also air-cooled, but much revised and not necessarily better.

    In 1984, when the 3.2 first appeared, Porsche was seriously getting to grips with clean air legislation, especially in the USA, and that’s one of the good things about the 3.2 motor. The company’s first stab at electronic management, via the Bosch Motronic system, for the first time accurately controlled fuel flow relative to such things as throttle position, engine and ambient temperature, and ignition. The end result is a superflexible engine that delivers fuel economy which owners of carburetted or MFI-equipped cars will die for. On those long trips to Spain and back I’ve taken the trouble to do long-term fuel checks, and 27mpg overall is the result. Not bad, I reckon.

    I can’t fault the way my Carrera 3.2 drives, although I’m conscious of the fact it’s still on its original dampers. I’ve fitted Super Pro synthetic bushes to the front suspension (back end coming soon) but I think a set of new Bilsteins, or similar, would be the icing on the cake. Even so, it’s a good top-gear motorway cruiser (bit of wind rush from the Targa top over 80mph) and on back roads third gear seems to be the place to be, the super torque of the engine taking you from almost nothing to well over the legal limit. Smile factor again.

    Inevitably we get the big question. No-one, well not me anyway, said Porsche ownership was cheap (in fact if you think that way, don’t buy one), but although there is most definitely a constant cost factor involved, you’ll come out smiling just as long as you keep on top of things. Francis Tuthill (who’s built more rally Porsche than most) once told me – talking about the 912 actually, but the same implies – that the best way to deal with Porsche ownership was to drive it, enjoy it, and fix it when it breaks.

    That’s not to say you don’t indulge in regular maintenance, I think Francis was referring to not being dragged down the full restoration route. I’ve had it fixed if it broke, changed the oil, spark plugs and things like that and had the bodywork attended to when rust threatened.

    Before I bought the car, at 55,000 miles, it had had an engine rebuild after the oil pump failed (don’t know why) but during my ownership, from 62k and nine years, I’ve spent just over £10,000, excluding tax, insurance and fuel. Biggest expenses? A year into ownership, Gantspeed took a good look and replaced the clutch, updated the clutch-release mechanism, rebuilt the rear brakes and suspension, and gave the engine the ‘works’ (£3,500). PCT fitted a new dry-sump tank (new one from Autofarm £500) when the original leaked, and also fitted a stainless-steel pre-silencer (both jobs £1400).

    Jaz (I spread my favours) did a mega-service and fettle before one of my Spanish trips that totalled £1200 and included new handbrake cables, a wheel bearing, driveshaft seal, and electric motor for the driver’s seat height adjustment. Recent work at Specialist Vehicle Preparations has included replacing a broken suspension arm, those Super Pro bushes, and new front brake calipers, all for around £1,800.

    Attention to rusty bits has so far totalled £1500, but I know there’s another (bigger) job on the way before long: tyres, I’ve replaced six (excellent) Avons during the time at a cost of around £550 but I’m due for a new set before I do much mileage this year.

    That’s it really. It may sound a lot but add the costs to what I paid for the car back in 2006 (£12,000) and then take a look at the current sale prices for late-model Carrera 3.2s. I reckon I’m breaking even – and I’ve had a lot of smiles on the way.

    Finally, that Targa top. I know everybody thinks they’re for sissies and not the true 911 look, but it’s highly practical for a car that doesn’t have air-con (of course not!) and anyway the co-driver likes it. I drove a Cayman recently – you know, the Boxster with a roof for grown-ups – and I have to admit it was mind-blowing, especially in the handling department. But, hey, it’s already on the downward spiral of depreciation that modern, mass produced Porsches suffer. I couldn’t be that daft could I?
    • Porsche bb 911 Turbo Targa - I must say I found Retro #Porsche : Part II to be an absolutely brilliant bookazine – it provides a lot of history. IPorsche bb 911 Turbo Targa - I must say I found Retro #Porsche : Part II to be an absolutely brilliant bookazine – it provides a lot of history. I own a 1976 Slant Nose 911, so I’m curious about them, particularly the period modified versions from German tuning houses like Rinspeed and bb, so I particularly enjoyed the bb 911 Turbo Targa feature.

      I wondered where the initial idea for the bb-style 911, adapting a #Porsche-911 to look like a #Porsche-928 and #Porsche-959 , came from, as you don’t see a great deal of them around anymore. God only knows who modified these cars in the Eighties – like the article’s author I ran into brick walls everywhere during my own research on the cars, and I eventually gave up looking.

      Not a lot of people have time for Rainer Buchmann’s creations, but it was good to see this car. It certainly wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but cars like this are still a part of Porsche history, even in a small way.
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  • Long-term fleet #1993 #Porsche #964 #Carrera 2

    With a fresh MoT certificate I was keen to exercise the 964 this month, partly because it needs regular use to keep everything ticking over as it should but mainly because I was missing the old thing! The washer pump was indeed kaput so was replaced by RPM before the MoT. It also needed some help passing the emissions test with the decat pipe so I’m going to consider my options for future tests.

    It has been an exciting month with the birth of my son and some time off, so I took the opportunity to use the 964 as much as possible, even just ferrying my two-year-old daughter about; she loves the commanding view from the front in her car seat as well as the noise and acceleration, we have a lot of fun ‘going faster!’.

    I have to admit going back to less extreme rubber in the form of Goodyear EfficientGrip has made the car more useable for general use. The initial waywardness at motorway speeds has now gone, so I can only put this down to them requiring a period of bedding in. Obviously the outright grip and stability – particularly under braking – is not at the levels of the extreme performance rubber but actually it has highlighted some handling nuances that hadn’t been as noticeable before, such as the rear wheel steer with a slight lift of the throttle on turn in and the gentle oversteer on every roundabout. The tyres also make the standard 250hp just about right on the road and it rarely feels underpowered or slow, especially if any heavy braking is required.

    So with the birth of our second child our family is complete, for if we had any more I wouldn’t be able to fit them all in the #Porsche-911 964, and that just wouldn’t do. One day, maybe, I’ll be able to pass it on to the children, you never know.
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  • Long-term fleet #1985 #Porsche #911 3.2 Carrera

    It was time to see what things are like on the other side of the fence last month when the Carrera starred in our cover shoot with the #944 Turbo. As an owner on such a test I discovered a newfound trepidation about taking part: would the car give a good account of itself? Was it clean enough? What if it broke down? It felt odd too, not asking questions about one of the cars in the feature; after all, I wasn’t going to interview myself…

    It was a fascinating comparison with the 944 as well. As an ex-944 owner (albeit extremely briefly, and not of one that actually drove anywhere) I have a real soft spot for those cars, and as ever, it was striking to see just how different the two cars are. It also reinforced my impression of how much more modern in concept the front-engined car is, although given the respective eras of the original designs that’s no great surprise. There were times when the #911 felt positively ancient.

    Thankfully, the Carrera behaved itself on the day, and it’s amazing what a bottle of rapid show ‘n’ shine can do in a muddy photo location. Given the deluge that affected part of the ‘shoot, I’m fairly certain I drove the Turbo with more commitment; it was a reminder of how much easier that car is to just jump in and drive.

    When it came to straight line performance there wasn’t much to choose between the two cars, but keeping the #Porsche-911 in the Turbo’s tyre tracks was made much harder by a gearshift that continues to cause problems. I must admit that for a variety of reasons that’s due to my inability so far to get the linkage seen to by a specialist; something I feel rather guilty about. From discussing it with various experts it sounds as though I might be able to investigate the issue myself, but a) time and b) my ham-fistedness with spanners have so far put that off.

    It does feel as though the gear change issue is deteriorating so I shouldn’t leave it any longer. A recent driving weekend away with a few mates and their assorted fourwheeled pride and joys would have been a wonderful opportunity to take the Carrera, but at the 11th hour it became obvious the ‘box wouldn’t be sorted in time, and I elected to take the warm hatch I run daily instead. I then spent most of the weekend moping about the #Carrera sat in silence back in the garage: I felt like I’d let the Porsche down.

    Another feature in the mag that stirred up comparisons with my car was the Redtek SC in this month’s issue. They might both be white, impact bumper 911s, but – and without wishing to state the obvious – the difference in how they drove was incredible. As ever, the SC has a lighter feel, but what a difference a purpose-built performance engine makes: after the relatively mellow characteristics of the Carrera, the Redtek car bristled with aggression. Achieving the same capacity but via bore not stroke seemed to give the engine a different character, but then given all the other modifications to that engine, such as twin spark ignition, throttle bodies and RSR-spec camshafts, it’s not a fair comparison. It would really take two engines with identical intake and exhaust systems, both running Motronic, to draw any accurate comparisons.

    In a way I’m glad the price of the engine – around £21,000 – was not more attainable: the last thing I need is to be day-dreaming about 275hp motors, but at that figure I know such an ambition is very much a long-term prospect, allowing it to be filed away in the grey matter for a rainy day. Driving that SC also brought a few other contrasts to the fore. I’d never appreciated that the earlier design of seat was shorter in the backrest, but the Carrera’s one-piece items are usefully taller and hence provide much better head support. On the other hand, the three-spoke steering wheel of the SC, with its blocky padding, felt much nicer to hold than the large four-spoke item in the Carrera. There was also no cassette holder behind the gear lever in the SC, leaving that floor area bare, and giving not only a greater impression of space but also more foot area than my car – especially useful given the off-set driving position in right-hand drive 911s. I suppose even if I don’t decide to remove that part of the centre console there’s no excuse not to get rid of the giant mobile phone holder that’s still attached to it: better add it to the job list which, hopefully, by next time I’ll have made a greater impression on.
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