In this blog I want to talk about the giants that are Porsche and the conundrum I have been wrestling with for as long as I can remember. For those lucky enough to do so I am sure you remember you’re first drive in a 911. They are the definition of iconic. The 911 is the standard of excellence and for many there’s no point in looking elsewhere. While I may not agree I have to say I see why they wear those blinkers. The 911 is undeniably superb in so many ways that arguing against the gentlemen in his Porsche cap really is the definition of futility.
I remember my first Porsche drive. It was a Black Porsche 911 964 Turbo. First impressions weren’t great either! The seats were too narrow, the instruments felt tacky and the gearbox felt notchy. Admittedly while sat still and without the engine on at this point. There I sat though pining to feel the butterflies of love take flight but nothing. Zero. Not a flutter. The car makes my bones ache its so pretty but why am I now feeling disappointed?
There’s something I know I must be wrong about here too. I know I must be wrong as everyone else loves it, but I don’t like the sound of the flat six. It has a clatter to it I find disconcerting and it makes me feel the engine is fragile.
At this point I appreciate you may be feeling confused but allow me to explain. In my experience the best things haven’t launched out of the blocks at me in life. They have blossomed. They have through increased understanding nestled their way into my soul and that is what the 964 did. With the clatter subsiding as the engine warms, I set off.
The first ten minutes is about respect. A few facts about the 964 you may not know. It was the last of the air cooled “Turbo” 911’s and it was the last of the rear wheel drive 911 Turbo’s too. The 964 is a small car and with it only weighing 1470kg but developing 318BHP the recipe for thrills is clear. The car I was driving that day had undergone significant engine work too. The receipts file was about two inches thick! Sadly, I have no idea what the power figure was on the car but if I had to guess I would say mid 400’s. That is a lot of power for such a small car that does not have four-wheel drive and my word could it wag its tail!
Transmission now warming the “notchyness” is a forgotten memory and I’ve made friends with the seats based on the fact that I am the odd one not the car. The car oozes a childish enthusiasm I never expected. It wants to play! I expected a restrained elegance not a window licking yob that wanted to race me to an ASBO.
It’s wild and raw and I adore it!
Every corner brings a joyful drama that is not conducive to lap times that will top the charts, but the butterflies are well and truly in flight and I’m falling for it. I am falling for it in a big way!
The power delivery has a delay to it as you would expect from early 90’s engineering but once you get used to it the delay vanishes because you instinctively compensate. The 964 does have a limited slip diff and that really is important because without it I think the car would be pure madness. The balance despite that little devil on your shoulder reminding you where the engine is located is superb! The grip is biblical and when excess right foot breaks the traction its not lairy. Its just fun! What all sports cars should be but so few actually achieve. Sure, the car slides without warning but I never felt like I was heading into the ditch or at risk of facing the other way.
I laugh out loud, shout, scream and grin like an idiot so much my face hurts.
This has now blossomed into a full-blown love affair and I am smitten.
Sure, they are expensive to buy and running costs are high but ask yourself this……… If you saw someone drive past in a F430 Ferrari an then five minutes later a 964 Turbo in BMW Carbon Black on the same road………..which of the drivers would you go for a pint with?
To me there is no question. I have no interest in how successful the F430 owner is, or what school his kids go to. I want to know about the history of the 964. How did he find it? What spec is it? I want to hear his stories of near misses and thrills. The occasions where the traction control kicked in while driving in the F430 simply do not compete.
There’s my hat in the ring.
Let the debates rage on.
THE AUTO VIP