By on May 11, 2009

The magic and deadly mystery of the Porsche 911 is simply this: take a wooden baseball bat, preferably one of those thirty-five-ounce Louisville Sluggers like McGwire might have swung, hold your palm out, place the thin end of the bat there, and balance it vertically by moving your hand back and forth. See how you have to move your hand quite a bit, at unpredictable and rapid intervals, to keep the heavy end from falling? The heavy end of the bat is the 911’s engine. The thin end, where you are working, is the steering. Got it? Now run.

The Porsche “993″ was sold in Europe from 1994 to 1998. Stateside, it made the scene from 1995 to 1998. It was the last real Porsche. What’s a “real” Porsche? It’s a Carrera built without an expiration date. Air-cooled Nine Elevens are built to be operated forever. They aren’t cheap to run, and they aren’t easy to fix. But every part in the Porsche was specified with performance—not profitability—as the goal. The 993 was built using a modified form of the Toyota Production System. So it was cheaper than the truly cost-no-object 964 that preceded it. But it was still meant to last. The cars which followed are fast, delightful, wonderful. But they lack the deliberate, stubborn, bulletproof quality of a true 911.

[There is such a thing as the Hierarchy of the Porsche Nod/Wave. I am obliged to wave first to earlier 911s and 356s, with the exception of 964s, which must wave at the same time. Modern Turbo and GT3 owners must wave first, and I will perhaps wave back. 996 and 997 owners must wave first, and I will deign to nod in a superior fashion. Boxster owners receive nothing, even though I am also a Boxster owner. 944 owners receive a wave, because I am a 944 owner as well and I know how they--- we---suffer. Cayenne owners can suck it.]

By modern standards, the 993 does not accelerate quickly. Though I’ve added an outrageous B&B Triflo exhaust and a hand-cut airbox, mine is barely any quicker than my Boxster S, and noticeably slower than my Audi S5. It will reach an indicated one-hundred-and-seventy miles per hour. And, yes, I demonstrated this top end to my own satisfaction right here in America, on a not-entirely-empty freeway, very possibly in the presence of women, infants, terrified puppies and combinations thereof.

At speed, the 993′s nose bobs and searches. You’re balancing the bat, understand? Porsche fitted the car with 205-section front and 255-section rear tires to make sure owners exited the road nose-first. I changed the fronts to 225-width to bring the car back to neutral balance. The cockpit is airy, thin-pillared, upright. A man could wear a hat, as Ferry Porsche did, or a helmet, as Hurley Haywood did. There is room for two adults, four in a pinch for short distances. The cliff-face, five-dial dashboard is easy to understand; only a vestigial center console really differentiates it from what was found in the 1963 original. There are three oil gauges: pressure, temperature, level. Watch them. Rebuilding the motor is a five-figure affair.

My 993 left the factory with a rather un-Porsche-like dearth of options. Seventeen-inch Cup wheels, painted in body color and since repainted under my care. Power seats. Last, not least, a mechanical limited-slip differential. On dry roads, it’s possible to exit a turn in second gear, floor the throttle, and drift the exit for hundreds of feet sideways, bouncing off the limiter. When you’re ready to straighten out, take your hands off the wheel, let it self-center, modulate the throttle, find the rear grip, shift to third, take the wheel again. Great fun. I’ve done it dozens of times.

The last time I did it, it was raining, the road had too much standing water, there wasn’t enough road friction to center the steering wheel, and when I relaxed the throttle I abruptly exited the road surface to stage right, bouncing up a curb and past a telephone pole at sixty-three miles per hour. A quick pull of the handbrake looped the car and brought me back onto the road. My passenger, facing his mortality in unexpected fashion, shuddered. I laughed. Two days later I drove down to my shop, put the 911 on the lift, took a look. No mechanical damage whatsoever. See? The last real Porsche.

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56 Comments on “Capsule Review: (My) 1995 Porsche 911 Carrera...”


  • avatar
    AKM

    Cayenne owners can suck it.

    Do Cayenne drivers actually wave at classic Porsches as if they were driving a Porsche themselves? *snorting laugh*

  • avatar

    It is certainly the last good looking Porsche models.

  • avatar
    F_Porsche

    Ahhh, the 993. Also my favorite 911 and the Porsche I most desire to drive.Only a Cayman S could come close, because of its sex appeal…

  • avatar
    h82w8

    Love it! Great description of the 993 gestalt.

    Hey, the 993 is tame compared to the ’87 3.2 Carrera I used to have. That thing would snap spin if you so much as lifted your butt cheek and farted in the wrong direction in a turn.

    Room for four adults in a pinch? Hah! Yeah, the two unfortunate souls in back will be pinched alright. And need to go see a chiropractor after a 2 minute ride.

  • avatar
    tedward

    “very possibly in the presence of women, infants, terrified puppies, and combinations thereof”

    rofl

    50/50 odds that the first complaint has the phrase, “Every time I start the engine of my Toyota” buried somewhere in the first paragraph. I’m still laughing inside after seeing that, and it’ll be at least a week before I can talk about cars without referencing that comment.

  • avatar
    tedward

    Beautiful car by the way.

  • avatar
    Jim K

    Jack….what a great review. You and I are kindered spirits in our love for 993′s. Mine was a 1996, white just like yours. My favorite car of all time, shed a tear when I sold it, and promised myself I will own another one.

    I’ve experienced the famous 911 lift throttle oversteer twice in that car. Both time on the track, first time, no damage just looped it in the middle of the track. Second time not so lucky, went off the track backwards at about 50 mph and bounced through a drainage ditch. Did some damage to the exhaust etc, but the car was repaired good as new.

    Both times were definitely my fault, as I ran out of talent/nerve and lifted when I shouldn’t of. If I would of just kept my right foot in it, and steered my way out of it I could of recovered.

    Enjoy your car!

  • avatar

    Well, I didn’t know this before, but I know where you live now, Jack.

    Nice article. I am glad there is one other German car enthusiast here in the greater metropolitan area.

  • avatar
    Robstar

    tedward> I’m not sure what is so funny about that comment (I’m assuming you are referring to one in the previous thread where a native spanish speaker, IIRC, commented driving anything at 190mph is dangerous).

    My wife makes the symbol of the cross before starting the engine of her 3 speed neon every time she drives, without fail.

    Driving a car is one of the most dangerous (if not THE most dangerous) things that people do every day.

    In any case, I won’t comment on the article for reasons I have previously mentioned in other threads.

  • avatar
    chuckR

    OK, I miss my 964 C4. Chipped and with a handcut airbox, it might have made 260hp. Maybe. My Cayman S is a better responding car in every way, but its not the same. It is however a daily driver I can afford. And manage daily with my less than race driver reflexes and knowledge. And speaking of expensive to maintain, here’s what I knew about the 964 at 80+k miles – 1) needed a steering rack 2) impending 90k service 3)drivers seat needed reupholstering 4) AC dead, but mostly I didn’t care 5) radio and speakers shot, but I preferred the engine anyway. Still, that’s up to $8-9k right there. If the AWD goes out – and its the sensors – you could add quite a bit more. So if I go back to a 911, it’ll be a 964/993 but RWD and w/o the above problems.

  • avatar
    JT

    “…the Hierarchy of the Porsche Nod/Wave. I am obliged to wave first…”

    While I respect the cars immensely for their heritage and performance, particularly on the track, this confirms a very common opinion of Porsche owners as a group.

  • avatar
    essen

    I agree with robstar. Do your wild driving on the track, not on public roads, you jackass.

  • avatar
    Areitu

    I love capsule reviews.

    If I left some sort of negative comment on your Phaeton article, I’d like to retract it, given that you know full well what you’re doing if you know your way around a 993′s handling ‘quirks.’

    Does the 993 engine require that dreaded valve adjustment I hear about for aircooled motors?

  • avatar
    kowsnofskia

    ““…the Hierarchy of the Porsche Nod/Wave. I am obliged to wave first…”

    While I respect the cars immensely for their heritage and performance, particularly on the track, this confirms a very common opinion of Porsche owners as a group.”

    Yup…that whole paragraph only confirmed the worst stereotypes about Porsche owners in general.

  • avatar
    Power6

    The baseball bat analogy is cute, but there is no physical relationship between balancing a bat on end and driving a Porsche 911. Unless you are trying to stand the 911 on its nose. Sounds like you tried that at least once Jack ;-)

    I prefer the rock-on-a-string analogy, at least it is on the same plane of motion relative to gravity.

  • avatar

    JT: “While I respect the cars immensely for their heritage and performance, particularly on the track, this confirms a very common opinion of Porsche owners as a group.”

    Does prove the old Porcupine joke eh?

    As for waves, when I’m out in my vintage car I wave at any other vintage machine, be it a 57 Chevy, a T-bucket, a Porsche, or an MG B. If anyone waves to me, I wave back.

    One of the great wonders of having an old or unique car is the joy it brings to others. I love to travel in mine, as it makes everyone your friend. People stop and ask questions, or tell you stories about how their dad had one (I swear, it seems like everyone’s dad or uncle had one!) or just tell you how nice it is to see one on the road. Imposing some sort of hierarchy of who deserves due kindness based on the car they drive just proves the old porcupine joke/stereotype true.

    –chuck

  • avatar
    tedward

    Robstar

    “I’m not sure what is so funny about that comment”

    The comment in question just reminded me of how little I have in common with some people, that’s it. His comment wasn’t limited to pointing out that 190 was dangerous (which is obvious), it was littered with highly dramatic bolded comments such as, “SPEEDING IS FOR MORAL IDIOTS”. I agree that cars are dangerous, but so is every hobby or sport I’ve ever taken part in, especially those I participated in as a child. Furthermore there isn’t a safe way to commute on the roadways at all. For that you’d need a train, and the suitably paranoid should move closer to them rather than subject us to their panty-twisting on the subject. I’d say living in a house without close public transport is nearly the equivalent of moving to a ski mountain with ski-in access only to your front door, there will always be dangerously fast skiers so just deal. The idea that a life can be lived well (by my standards admittedly and proudly) without accepting those types of risks is absurd to me.

    I’d suspect that this commenter, if he is in the medical field as someone guessed, is just too tied up in the point of view that his workplace presents him. That’d be my charitable take on the subject.

    To actually answer your question though, watching that guy moralize about other’s driving while proudly proclaiming his Toyota ownership is the rough equivalent of watching a particularly sensitive stereotype be justified in front of your eyes (i.e…hilarious). It’s just the perfect icing on the outrage cake, and the fact that it’s an unfair stereotype just makes it all the funnier. Now all the Toyota owners reading this will be, once again, reminded of the incompetent left-lane hog expectations that other drivers hold for owners of their brand.

  • avatar
    chuckR

    tedward> “I agree that cars are dangerous, but so is every hobby or sport I’ve ever taken part in, especially those I participated in as a child.”

    Are you old enough to remember Jarts? M80s? good times.

    re: the wave – I used to get it in a 911, but in a Cayman I’m invisible. Got no problem with that. I don’t think this is peculiar to Porsches; its just that there are more old Porsches actually driven – and admired – than old anything else. Chuck G is promiscuous – waves at anything…..

  • avatar
    gossard267

    If I could afford a modern 911 Turbo or GT3, some fool rolling in a 1995 911 who expected to be treated as though his vehicle were somehow higher on the pecking order would earn perhaps my passing, cheerful laughter, but certainly no more.

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    You better hope you don’t pass someone driving a Tatra, per custom you’ll have to let him fuck your wife.

  • avatar
    DeanMTL

    Congratulations on what’s probably the best piece ever written on TTAC, Mr. Baruth. An absolute joy to read. So well done…

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    No front plates, huh? How often you get stopped?

  • avatar
    tedward

    chuckR

    “Are you old enough to remember Jarts? M80s? good times.”

    YES!!! Although I’d have to admit the Jarts were banned before I was buying much of anything, they where still common growing up. As to the M80′s well, it hasn’t been all that long since I’ve indulged (although I have no idea where they were obtained so it may be awhile before I get another chance).

    I never understood why they had to ban them though…if one’s child is throwing spears in the backyard then one should expect consequences and repercussions. I know that never owning my own brand-new shiny set of jarts never stopped me from fashioning my own arsenal of really bad ideas.

  • avatar
    tedward

    no_slushbox

    So my buddy recently picked up a ’69 911, whose wife am I entitled to if I borrow it for a weekend?

    Now, thanks to you, I can truly understand the Porsche appeal.

  • avatar
    Jordan Tenenbaum

    no_slushbox :
    May 11th, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    You better hope you don’t pass someone driving a Tatra, per custom you’ll have to let him fuck your wife.

    Thank you for that. Hilarious.

  • avatar
    JT

    @Chuckgoolsbee: “As for waves, when I’m out in my vintage car I wave at any other vintage machine, be it a 57 Chevy, a T-bucket, a Porsche, or an MG B. If anyone waves to me, I wave back.

    “Amen” is not nearly strong enough to state my absolute and total agreement. Well-said.

  • avatar

    Methinks some commenters are reading the Porsche wave excursis a bit too literally.

    Great piece, Jack.

    What year was the rear suspension thoroughly reworked to vastly improve the car’s behavior? For the 993, or the previous iteration?

  • avatar
    Kman

    I’m amused and laughing at the seriousness being given to the “wave” paragraph. I found it to be a lot of fun, and I’m pretty sure it’s not taken that seriously! I’m pretty sure at the end of a drive, Bill-the-356-driver will sit down and have a beer with Sam-the-997-driver.

    Great write-up, btw. Between this capsule review and yesterday’s 997 Carrera S capsule review, I’m getting to mildly scratch my Porsche itch.

    More please!

  • avatar
    tejasjeff

    My 87 Carrera was built stout as the proverbial brick sh^&house.
    I never personally swapped ends but came very very close on a tight cloverleaf that I flew in too fast.
    I personally think the handling flakiness was overstated.
    Be that as it may,it was a car that demanded competence at speed.
    The nose did get very light over 120 mph.
    I had no whale tail etc.
    I have never regretted that purchase.
    And there was no sound that compares to a Boxer in full cry on a cool morning.
    I miss it.

  • avatar

    @Arietu: Yep. It costs about a grand at an independent shop, happens every 30,000 miles. All Porsche aircooled sixes suffer valve guide wear as well. On an OBD-II car, it will set off the CEL and you have to replace the valve guides for four or five G. The 1995 993, for that reason, is somewhat prized in emissions-test states, even though it’s short 12 horsepower and has a silly-looking “basket handle” rear winglet.

    @Power6: Gravity, in the baseball bat example, is a stand-in for inertia.

    @gossard: Porsche ownership isn’t about spending the most money. That’s a game you can’t win in the PCA, which includes Seinfeld, Bill Gates, and others in the membership list.

    @no_slushbox: I’ll discuss this with my wife when she calls next. For some reason, she’s on a bus tour of Czechoslovakia.

    @Michael Karesh: The 964 rear suspension was heavily revised from the 911 Carrera 3.2, and the 993 adds the “Kinetic Toe” adjustment which makes alignments a zillion-dollar bitch.

    Re the “Porsche Wave”: As DeNiro said, like a lot of things, we laugh because it’s funny, and we laugh because it’s true. A while ago, I waved to a 996 Turbo S Cab owner in my hometown and he didn’t wave back. I was in my Boxster Anniversary Edition at the time. Then, a month later, I see the guy and he waves. I’m in the 993, so I refuse to acknowledge his presence. I don’t really believe in that stuff, but it’s all in solid, douchebag fun :)

    • 0 avatar
      duncan1957

      Hi Jack

      I am looking at purchasing (in New Zealand) either a 993 (for about $47k from an authorised dealer with 115,000kms – 72,000miles – on the clock) or a 996 (for about $42k from an individual who has owned the car for 4 years with 69,000kms – 43,000miles – on the clock). I know they are totalling different cars but I am also looking at minimising future repair costs. Will also be obtaining an independedent inspection of whichever car I go for. My heart says go with the 993, but my head is saying go with the 996. Thanks. Duncan

  • avatar

    Jack,

    If only you knew how truly jealous I am. I lusted after several 993 models from Berlin, to Wuppertal, to Stuttgart, to even frackin Houston.

    I ultimately had to relinquish that quest in the search for, well…. “settling” for a vehicle with stability protection (because despite my racing experience, I still have a lot to learn), heated seats (because despite going to war, I’m a weenie), and a warranty, because now I only have one car.

    At the museum in Stuttgart, its not the 997/996′s that get the looks, the people really appreciate the 993′s that rasp by, and positively get down on their knees for the 930 and 911 models. When a 356 passes by, I think they lower the Stuttgart prancing pony to half mast, or something.

    As a Boxster S owner, and now a 997 owner, I will always wave first. Because any idiot with a paycheck can get a water-cooled 911 (case in point, me!), only a true patron of the arts gets an air-cooled 911, with all the expenses, danger, and sheer joy they provide.

    P.S. Try being a classic Audi owner, when I drive my 1978 Audi Fox GTI, or my old 1984 Quattro, I only get sneers from S5 owners… they should respect my heritage!

  • avatar
    h82w8

    Around here there’s no stupid Porsche wave pecking order I’m aware of, but if there is, f*#k it.

    To me it’s pretty simple: Whoever sees the other P-car first flashes lights first, the other responds (hopefully). Doesn’t matter what year/model Porsche it is. I don’t initiate the flash to Cayennes, though, figuring the doctor’s wives usually driving the damn things probably don’t have a clue about this shit. But ya never know – they might also own a 911, so if they flash me I’m right there with a flick of the stalk.

    Hell, I got flashed by a friggin’ Smart Car the other day and flashed back figuring he’s a P-car owner or enthusiast. Anyway, all in good DB fun, as Jack sez, and nobody takes it too seriously.

  • avatar
    Campisi

    Eww, Porsche.

    … Although this does put me in the mood for something with the engine in the back. An Alpine sounds good.

  • avatar
    paris-dakar

    Great write up. I love this stuff.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Where does the 928 fit into the “Porsche Wave” hierarchy?

  • avatar
    A is A

    And yes, I demonstrated this top end to my own satisfaction right here in America, on a not-entirely-empty freeway, very possibly in the presence of women, infants, terrified puppies and combinations

    “Innocent bystanders” is shorter.

    …when I relaxed the throttle I abruptly exited the road surface to stage right, bouncing up a curb and past a telephone pole at sixty-three miles per hour. A quick pull of the handbrake looped the car and brought me back onto the road. My passenger, facing his mortality in unexpected fashion, shuddered. I laughed.

    You laughed?. Really?. Could you please elaborate?. It was a nervous laugh, just a giggle or Joker-type laugh?. How much seconds (or minutes) you laughed?. Please, tell us more about that laugh.

    I want to know, really. Look: Your Porsche is technically interesting, the wooden baseball analogy is fascinating, but -by far- the most interesting words in your article are “I laughed” [just after risking my life and the lives of others].

    My wife makes the symbol of the cross before starting the engine of her 3 speed neon every time she drives, without fail.

    That´s very common among older people in Spain. They do it even as passangers in a bus. It is moving to see them do it.

    Catholic religious amulets in the dashboard were also very common decades ago. Almost all cars had a Saint Christopher sticker in the dash.

    Your wife, is she Catholic?.

    Driving a car is one of the most dangerous (if not THE most dangerous) things that people do every day.

    It is the most dangerous. X28 the deaths caused annually by firearms in America. Suicides included.

    http://www.soyouwanna.com/site/toptens/accidents/accidentsfull.html

    43,200 deaths in American roads every year. For comparison purposes, 4266 U.S. servicemen have died since 2003 in Iraq.

    To sum up: 2003-2009 U.S. casualties in Iraq equals 36 days of deaths in U.S. roads, or 10 times the U.S. casualties in the Iraq war every single year.

    The comment in question just reminded me of how little I have in common with some people

    We are human and we live in the same planet. We have A LOT in common.

    The idea that a life can be lived well (by my standards admittedly and proudly) without accepting those types of risks is absurd to me.

    I do accept the rational risks of life. In fact I drive very relaxed, knowing that I drive carefully (maybe you would say “operate”) a 5 stars NCAP ESC fitted car. I can die driving and I accept that risk, because I did my best to avoid being killed on the road.

    OTOH I deplore those who took irrational risks on the lifes of others.

    Now all the Toyota owners reading this will be, once again, reminded of the incompetent left-lane hog expectations that other drivers hold for owners of their brand.

    My wheels rarely touch the left lane. To drive safely one must flow with traffic. I rarely have business to do at the left lane.

    And just you mentioned stereotypes… I own two books about Volvo ads of yesteryear. I simply love those ultra-rational 1970s ads. “Volvo. The car for people who think”

    http://images.google.es/images?hl=es&q=“volvo”+”car+for+people+who+think”&btnG=Buscar+imágenes&gbv=2&aq=f&oq=

    Living in the 1970s I, would be driving a Volvo 245.

    Uh, and I am happy about making you laugh. Laughing is very healthy.

  • avatar

    Re: the wave
    Wow, such snobbery over a jumped-up vw beetle!?? Yikes! -Who would’ve guessed dentists were so bourgeois?

  • avatar
    rodster205

    Robert Schwartz :
    No front plates, huh? How often you get stopped?

    Since he lives in Texas I suspect they aren’t required. There are many states in the South that don’t require them. Wait… it’s ALL the southern states that don’t requre them. And by the way, there are a number of states that have NO form of inspection or emissions testing whatsoever, mine included. If it rolls and has a brake light and tail light you can get a tag and you are legal. Period.

  • avatar

    h82w8 “Whoever sees the other P-car first flashes lights first”

    Ah, and here I thought it was actual waving of hands. My vintage car is British, so light flashing is strictly out of the question. One does not tempt fate by awakening the Prince of Darkness, so we actually wave our hands at each other.

    –chuck

  • avatar
    V6

    the 993 is my favourite Porsche and best looking 911

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    pzkw

    1934 – German PzKw l Light Tank Ausf B

    Armament: 2 – 7.92mm MG
    Engine: Maybach NL38TR, 6cyl. gas, 100 hp
    Speed: 22.9mph
    Range: 87 miles
    Crew: 2
    Weight: 5 tons

    nice plates

  • avatar

    @rodster: I actually live in Flyover Country, Ohio, where front plates are very much required. I don’t have tags on any of my cars, not even my Flex. The Ohio State Highway Patrol uses the front tags as guaranteed reflectors for their handheld lasers. As a consequence, I’m usually guaranteed one “miss” from The Ohio Swine Flu before they aim at a headlight bucket, which allows me to ABS down to non-reckless-operation.

    The fine for no front tag is $75-150 depending on location and I’ve paid it five times in the past four years. The fine for 30+ over the limit is much higher and they can tow your car right there on the spot, so that’s my cost-benefit analysis.

    @A is A: I think you’re pulling my leg, but I’ll answer as if you were serious. Missing your own death or dismemberment by a couple of feet is hilarious. As for my passenger in this case, he knows the risks. He was with me in my Phaeton last year when I straight-lined the end of the Climbing Esses at VIR last year at nearly 115mph and almost hit a corner worker’s station, and he’s been watching from the sidelines while I’ve hit guardrails and put my fellow racers in the bambulance.

    Only in the movies do people “get away with it” every time. To know the limit, you have to find the limit. To find the limit, you have to step past it. You will not always return intact. That’s not me talking, that’s Ross Bentley. :)

    As for the putative innocence of any bystanders, that sounds like a religious statement to me, and Robert has asked me not to share my religious beliefs with the readers. What can I say, he’s kind of anti-Manichean.

  • avatar
    A is A

    @A is A: I think you’re pulling my leg, but I’ll answer as if you were serious.

    I was serious. Deadly serious. The psychology of the reckless speeder fascinates me.

    Missing your own death or dismemberment by a couple of feet is hilarious.

    Fascinating assertion.

    The only time in my driving life I have lost the control of my car, once the car stopped I was livid and totally frozen psychically and psychologically. I needed some time to reset my mind and -like an automaton- release the seatbelt and open the door to check where I was and the condition of the car.

    This accident happened in 1998. I stupidly and ignorantly braked my Peugeot 205 in a curve I took too fast in a rural road. I lost control due to the tendency to sudden lift-off oversteer I later learned the Peugeot 205 had. I was lucky: No injuries for me, and only a broken bumper for the car. A similar accident can be deadly in different circumstances (a tree in the roadside, a lorry in the opposite direction…).

    I said to myself: “Never, never, never allow this to happen again. This MUST be the last time you loose the control of your car”. When I learned about ESC I decided I needed an stable ESC fitted car. One of the selling points of my Avensis was the Double wishbone rear supension (lifted from the Celica).

    Hilarity was the last thing in my consciousness that day. Why you find accidental death “hilarious”?.

  • avatar
    highrpm

    Jack,

    I completely agree with you about finding the limits on a car. In my early road racing days, I was trying to find my limits and the car’s limits, and it was a learning process that icluded me going off track, a lot, sometimes backwards. I became a much better driver and racer by finding exactly where these limits are and discovering how a car behaves when you push past the limits.

    Lately, I go to track days, and some of the guys there run fast machinery. Recently I was asking one of the seasoned HPDE guys (in an older 911) if he’d ever gone into the grass in his several years of track day experience. His answer was never. I asked him then, how does he really know his limits or the car’s if he’s never been to the limit and beyond. Also, since he’s never really had the car beyond its limits, how would he know how to react when it happened the first time?

  • avatar
    Gforce

    @ A is A: I hereby suggest some therapy for you. A 12-lap high speed ride in a 2-seater F1 car, preferably driven by F.Alonso, all costs on me.

    The more I try to understand your motoring gestalt, is the more I fear how life would have turned out had some conservative beliefs managed to supress the innovative tendency of the human brain.

  • avatar
    A is A

    I hereby suggest some therapy for you. A 12-lap high speed ride in a 2-seater F1 car, preferably driven by F.Alonso, all costs on me.

    Thank you. I accept!!! ;-)

    I accept because the event would take place in a Track, I would be there helmeted and Nomexed, and with a professional at the wheel.

    That´s a rational risk to take, just for the exhilaration.

    The more I try to understand your motoring gestalt, is the more I fear how life would have turned out had some conservative beliefs managed to supress the innovative tendency of the human brain.

    Excuse me, but the “conservative” car here is the Porsche 911, a car with a basic layout created in the 1930s.

    The “innovative” car here is my Avensis: A FWD transverse engined Diesel Hatchback.

    If you equate “reckless” with “innovative”, then Attila and the Huns should be regarded as the most innovative bunch in history. In fact, risking your life at the wheel is as old as motoring. The “innovative” part is to try to improve safety.

  • avatar
    Robstar

    A is A>

    Yes my wife is catholic. She is from one of (if not the most) Catholic country in the world (Brazil).

    I seriously think Mr. Baruth should conduct his speeding adventures in 600cc sport bike. At least the other party is more likely to survive (assuming it is a car).

  • avatar
    mkirk

    Lay off the guy about wave heiarchy. I think any vehicle with a “wave” has this. For example, with my bike I find BMW dual sporters less likely to wave at me on my soviet era tractor technology laden KLR 650. I will say however the Harley Riders always reciprocate the wave.

    And as to cars, I never pop up the barn doors on my NA Miata to a new “NC” model unless they flash first. Irocinacally however I was flashed by a passing 60′s vintage 911 (or maybe 912) driving home the other day. Having read all this it must have been a 912 as I can’t imagine a real Porsche acknowledging my pedestrian 1990 base Miata.

  • avatar

    @mkirk: Actually, 912 owners often feel superior to 911 owners, as they have the car which both possesses a “real Porsche engine” (912E excepted) and actually outsold the 911 for most of the model run.

    A lot of Porsche people are Miata people as well, mostly thanks to Spec Miata. You haven’t experienced irony until you see a guy get out of a new Carrera GT at the track and run over to his $11,000 Spec Miata for morning practice.

  • avatar
    chuckR

    Perhaps A is A is remembering a particularly vivid experience on the calle de muerte between Malaga and Marabella. Not too many roads are known internationally by that nickname.
    Having done a little accident reconstruction years ago and still occasionally dealing with predicting the effects of impact dynamics at work, I am sympathetic to his point of view. Most of my enjoyment comes from point and shoot in traffic – I wanna be right there right now – and keeping the momentum up in corners, neither of which requires supersonic speeds.

  • avatar
    DanyloS

    Jack:

    I’m currently considering purchasing a 911, I do not have much experience with the Porsches (only a few test drives in 996 & 997 Carreras). From what I have read and seen in comments in blogs and buff book is that the 993’s are that the highest evolution of the original and the best of all 911’s (the above great article included).

    As of right now I have no clue if I should focus on a particular generation. The vehicle would be a DD for now and grow with me as life moves along. As with my few toys the car would never be given up baring a catastrophic event (ie. I plan on owning the car for hopefully decades).

    964 The mention of “cost no object” build (quality?) and their significant price discount makes has made them interesting to consider. (Latest models are 15 years old)
    993 Final evolution of the real 911 (Latest models are 11 years old)
    996 The MkII apparently has a majority of the bugs worked out (RMS and IMS potential issues though) and will it really last for 30 yrs? (Although felt heavier/slower than my fathers STi, but much more planted/stable)
    997 Felt like a much bigger and heavier 996 with really tight “sport” seats (I’m not a big guy by any means, although the interior was nice)

    While the 997 definitely did not fit my expectations at least the 996 did (a 996 GT3 is still out of my price range but they are coming down). I am a bit concerned with the age of the earlier models as the car would be getting significant use. The common phrase comes to mind “Buy the newest car you can afford”.

    I really need to test drive a 993 and 964, but I would truly appreciate your and everyone’s opinions as to where I should focus my attention?

    Or should I figure out a way to get rid of the Porsche bug that has been afflicting me seemingly forever and attempt to find another great car. (STi is great but I do not really see the sense in having two of them in the family because I can borrow my fathers any time.)

  • avatar
    h82w8

    Danylos:

    Well, I’ve owned 2 911s (’87 3.2 Carrera, and currently a ’96 993 C2) and an ’04 STi. IMO, you should just get rid of your Porsche bug….and buy a 911.

    “Buy the newest car you can afford” indeed is the watch-phrase, with the caveat that “newest” isn’t necessarily “best” or most reliable. Super low mile 911s = not driven. Not driven can = mechanical and maintenance issues…..and $$$. Unless all you care about are concours trophies, 911s NEED to be driven, and driven hard occasionally. Make sure any car you look has maintenance records showing what’s been done, when and by whom.

    IMO a 993 is where you should first look, but a nice 964 or even a 3.2 Carrera (’87-’89 with the G50 tranny) is also worthy of your attention, and all are potentially reliable DDs.

    That said, all 911s have quirks and potential “issues”, all of which are well known and can be spotted in a pre-purchase inspection by a competent Porsche mechanic, which you absolutely do before buying. As part of this inspection be sure and pop for a cylinder leak down test, which will usually (but not always) indicate engine “issues”, for example, the valve guide wear issue that is known to afflict 993s.

    I loved my STi – driving it made me feel invincible. Blindingly fast, easy to mod, relatively cheap to own, takes all the abuse you can throw it, yet dead reliable, and just balls-out fun.

    911s are a different animal. Balls out fun, but with an edge that Jack Baruth so well describes above. They’re generally reliable, but need attention – and to be driven – to stay that way.

    I guess if I were to boil it down, owning an STi is easy, and pretty cheap. But you always feel a little juvenile driving it. Owning a 911 is more of a commitment. But if you master its dark side, you feel like Peter Gregg or Hurley Haywood.

  • avatar
    DanyloS

    h82w8:

    Thank you for the information and advice! I will definitely look into scheduling a local test drive for a 993 or 964.

  • avatar
    vaujot

    “Last, not least, a mechanical limited-slip differential. On dry roads, it’s possible to exit a turn in second gear, floor the throttle, and drift the exit for hundreds of feet sideways, bouncing off the limiter.”

    I wonder why my 993 isn’t able to do this. It has so much traction on the rear tires that I can’t achieve power oversteer even on wet surfaces. I think I have no limited-slip differential. Could that be the reason?


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