It was around May last year that I put my money down for a 991 GT3. I can remember it well as I had a snapped Achilles tendon, so I was lying at home, living on internet forums. At the time I had a 997C4S Gen2 and I really liked it, but I was warming up for a change and after recently driving a new Carrera S with PDK I was blown away with the 991 platform. I always considered myself a die-hard manual transmission man, but the 991 really was a step up. I’ve also wanted a GT3 since I was 20 years old, so I knew I just had to have this car.
Since handing my GT3 over, I’ve been kept in the loop pretty regularly.
As an early depositer, the waiting for delivery was excruciating. It was getting delayed, and forums were my saving grace (as they were for a lot of GT3 depositers every single hour there seemed to be updates. People had even found that you could check where the boat carrying your car was in the English Channel via GPS tracking – it was really anal, obsessive stuff. I found out that my boat had docked a couple of days before Christmas F.ve, but due to it being the festive period I didn’t hold out much hope of it getting unloaded in time for the winter holiday.
Then, at 11am on 24 December, I got the call from Porsche Centre Bournemouth saying that the car had arrived in the morning. They had done a superb job to turn it around so quickly, so I jumped out the office at lunchtime and shot over to collect my new Porsche 911 991 GT3. It was the ultimate Christmas present, and a special moment, especially as I was unsure if I had picked the right colour: it’s pretty unique in a metallic brown (a few people didn’t believe me when I told them my colour choice). Luckily, I love the hue – it looks so striking.
Suffice to say, I went out for a long drive immediately, and again on Christmas Day (before my turkey had even gone down). I just had to drive it – it’s an awe-inspiring car. You just can’t believe how capable it is as you feel so connected to the chassis, and on Boxing Day I really tested it out with a fantastic road trip to Snowdonia in Wales with a mate of mine. The scream the engine makes at 9,000rpm is intoxicating. With the gearbox in the mix too, I believe it is the making of a new driver’s car.
Then came the ‘Stop driving’ notice. I hadn’t really been aware of any problems before February’s announcement. My car has been bulletproof with my spirited use, and when I initially heard rumours of problems I thought it was just a minor thing, so I kept on driving. When the letter came through from Porsche, I actually drove the car over to OPC Bournemouth myself, as I thought it would just take a couple of weeks.
They immediately got me into a 991 C4S with the Aerokit before arranging for me to take over a brand new 991 Cabriolet. When it arrived a couple of weeks later, it only had 50 miles on the clock!
Since handing my GT3 over, I’ve been kept in the loop pretty regularly, with calls and emails every few weeks from Porsche GB to inform me of any small updates. Initially, I wasn’t given a specific time frame for when I d get the GT3 back; Porsche just said, “Your new engine will be built after Easter.” Then, literally every other week, a letter would follow to say, “It’s got a production slot” or “Your engine is now built.” It was after the engine was completed that communication switched to dealer level, and I’m expecting to get my car back any day soon after the sales manager at Bournemouth contacted me to say that my replacement engine had arrived in the country at the end of May.
I haven’t had any problems with communication, and although I was initially a little bit annoyed that US and UAE customers got more compensation, Porsche quickly moved to implement a worldwide scheme. Now, I’m getting a £5,500 lump sum, plus £1,500 for every month that the car is off the road. There are different grades depending on if you got your car or not, so different owners may be getting different amounts. I’m not worried at all about the engine replacement either (I would be more concerned if Porsche were just replacing a part), as it will be fully built by the factory and slotted in by ‘Gold Star’ technicians at my local centre.
Not once during this have I thought like dropping out. The car is awesome, and I’d rather Porsche took these technological risks than produce boring, sanguine cars. In a weird way, it’s going to be like collecting a new car once more. I’ve got those feelings all over again. I’m just itching to get back behind the wheel of it, as there is nothing that comes close to the 991 GT3.