Where do I start? I hate talking about my cars, and avoid conversation when people mention my vehicles. The car was a random purchase over two years ago, browsing through eBay (as you do) spotting a Grey Porsche 911 with under 70,000 miles and Full Porsche Main Dealer Service History. There weren't many on the market with decent miles, Full History and Extended Porsche Manufacturers Warranty. For those interested you can read the specification list that drew me towards test driving the car.
ATLAS GREY METALLIC
66279 MILES FROM NEW
FULL PORSCHE DEALER SERVICE HISTORY
TIPTRONIC / AUTOMATIC
19 INCH TURBO WHEEL FORGED TWO TONE
(PCM) PORSCHE COMMUNICATION MANAGEMENT
FULL BLACK LEATHER INTERIOR
UPGRADE ADAPTIVE SUSPENSION
UPGRADE SPORTS CHRONO
UPGRADE SPORTS EXHAUST
CDC-4 6 CD AUTOCHANGER
RED BRAKE CALLIPERS
(PASM) PORSCHE ACTIVE SUSPENSION MANAGEMENT
(PSM) PORSCHE STABILITY MANAGEMENT
UPGRADE REAR PARKING ASSISTANCE
ON BOARD COMPUTER
LEATHER STEERING WHEEL
MULTI FUNCTION STEERING WHEEL
UPGRADE PORSCHE VTS
SERVICED - PORSCHE SOLIHULL - 20169 MILES
SERVICED - PORSCHE SOLIHULL - 40729 MILES
SERVICED - PORSCHE SOLIHULL - 60961 MILES
All I know is, when I press the throttle I am happy... I could have kept my VW Golf MK5 GTi and tuned it to 'xxx' horsepower and silly 'dyno' figures, but... it will still be a Golf. I love the MK5/MK6 VW Golf and enjoy driving them, but I couldn't stay in it. My ambitions were high and I wanted to progress my ownership, having owned several BMW's and lusted after RWD ownership.
When I bought the car it was taken to Porsche Newcastle for Front Suspension work. These cars have Electronic Units and the system is called PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management). I haven't studied how it works exactly, but the car sits very stable under most conditions. I don't get too nerdy about the specifics - my interest is in the ECU (Engine Control Unit) and seeing what power can be made after tuning ;-)
Now for some bad news.. Shortly after purchasing the car I noticed it was low on oil, and when I topped up it needed oil again in a few days. I took the car to RSR (Porsche) Auto Services LTD in Bromsgrove and he sorted a rusty bolt on the Exhaust Manifold, who called to say it has also suffered from the dreaded Bore Score that is common on these engines. When you hear about Porsche 911's needing to be rebuilt it is not a joke! Be prepared to dig deep or get extended warranty when buying these types of car.
The engine was rebuilt by Falcon Performance in Middlesbrough - they did an amazing job and used parts from Porsche for the rebuild. The only component that wasn't from Porsche was the Lower Temperature Thermostat that I bought and posted to them for fitting. The rebuild list is as follows...
2 x Crankcase/block rebuilds using 6 new liners and machining
Carriage/packaging delivery and collection of large/heavy box containing engine crank cases.
2x hexagon bolts
Oil pump lift (small)
16 x torq screws
Cam shaft sprocket
12 x crankcase through bolts
6 x piston assemblys
Tension blade 1-3 cylinders
Tension blade 4-6 cylinders
Chain guide 1-3 cylinders
Chain guide 4-6 cylinders
12 x con rod bolts
6 profile gaskets
2 x crankshaft thrust washers
Timing chain 1
Timing chain 2
Intermediate shaft bearing kit
Engine oil pump assembly (large)
Water pump gasket
2 x engine oil filter kits
Coolant expansion tank cap
Water pump assembly
24 cylinder head bolts
Set big end bearing shells
Set main end bearing shells
Engine gasket kit
6 x ignition coil packs
6 x NGK spark plugs
7.5 litres Mobil 1 0w40
10 litres antifreeze
Power steering fluid
Decant and recharge a/c system
Workshop consumable materials
Initial diagnostic using Porsche test equipment
Removal 6 x coils/plugs yo allow cylinder compressions to be tested and engine damage identified
This wasn't a five minute job. I was without the car for approximately 6-7 weeks but had a courtesy vehicle from Greg Ramsey at Wynyard Motor Company so wasn't without transport. Ultimately, and after much anger and upset I can hand on heart say the car hasn't missed a beat since the rebuild. I treat the engine well, service it more than necessary, and treat it like a Petrol Turbo on start up.
NEVER press your throttle down until both the Engine Coolant and Engine Oil Temperature have risen sufficiently. If people would do this in all of their cars they would last a lot longer I am sure. I meet so many people who start their engines and BOOT them down the road before it has had a chance to breathe, or FORCE the Selector into First Gear while it is still cranking, steadying the clutch and it isn't necessary. This example isn't uncommon as I said - plenty of Porsche 911 Carrera/Carrera S engines need rebuilding, and can also suffer from IMS (Intermediate Shaft Bearing) Failure if the component isn't upgraded.
Enough of my rambling - lets crack on with the review!
Incredible! I cannot fault how this car handles. A lot of people (usually the ones who don't own a Porsche 911) talk about Understeer and the car having weight issues, which is true to some extent. A lot of it though is down to LEARNING HOW to DRIVE a Porsche 911. The Engine, Gearbox, Diff and all of the main weight is in the REAR of the car. This makes it good for pulling away and getting the torque down, but it can also be EXTREMELY DANGEROUS in the wrong hands.
It is very easy to unsettle this chassis, and I've nearly been caught out a couple of times. 'Time' is a virtue however and the longer I spend driving this car the better I become. I went through a phase of keeping some weight in the front. Just a luggage bag with diagnostic equipment but it isn't needed. As with the Ford Focus ST225, Opel Astra VXR, and other cars that people complain about, my answer is this; LEARN HOW TO DRIVE. Stop thinking every vehicle should handle like the Nissan Micra you passed your 'outdated' driving test in. Every car is different. You must LEARN to DRIVE your chosen car or for Heaven's sake surrender your licence. I am not talking about racing down country lanes and being a jerk, I mean learn the chassis and get a connection between 'mind' and 'machine'. Only then will you make a bond and be content with whatever model you have purchased.
Erm.. It isn't my favourite looking car. Some adore the Neun Elfer - others hate its 'Beetle' beginnings and see it as no more than an Expensive Purse to store my Latest Hairdryer. I don't mind looking at it from the rear sometimes. I think it could do with a Porsche 'Aero' Front Bumper if I wanted to finish off the look. Personally I can't be bothered but may do this further down the line. I bought the car because it is theoretically 'wrong' and I am very into learning how to master the 'drive'. Looks can be deceiving ;-)
Yes I am interested in this aspect of the car. I press the throttle, and it RESPONDS. I test drove an identical (standard) Porsche 997 Carrera S at Revitupuk yesterday (09.08.2016) and it was a pleasure to drive. I am not just saying this because I own one - but these cars feel 'right' to me. Modern VAG/Porsche's have a Siemens ECU (unless you buy a 911 GT3/Audi RS3/4/5/6/7 which retains the Bosch ECU that VAG/Porsche should have). I think they have 'cheapened' the brand and the Porsche/VAG TFSI etc all feel robotic which is a shame. That is my opinion, and I am not being a 'hater' as I am sure some fettling of the ECU might (and I mean 'might') remove some of the poison that Siemens have infected my favourite engines with. I have driven some tuned examples and they just don't feel the same - VW Golf MK7 'R' being among the WORST and most soul destroying car I have ever had the displeasure of driving.
For a drivers car that I can enjoy every day - at any throttle position - the 997 Carrera/Carrera S/GT3 is 100% the throttle response for me!
It isn't too loud, but last time I got pulled over the Police Cuntstable was like ''dew yew knew DART Egg-Sauced sarrstem iz relly lewd?''. I'm like ''WHAT? This is a STANDARD PORSCHE EXHAUST from FACTORY! Do your research FARMER JOE! Then drove off while he retorted some incomprehensible nonsense in East Anglian dialect.
The Exhaust is 100% stock. It came with the Sports Chrono Pack which gets louder when you press the Gas Pedal to the floor. There is also a Sport Button that opens the flaps (Abgasklappenshalten) which I use to let other road users know of my presence on Dual Carriageways/Motorway. If I start the engine and give it a light 'blip' to 1500-2000RPM (light throttle) it claps out the road and my friends say it 'stinks', which is a word we use when somebody hears an engine that causes your nostrils to flex -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8eZR4jqNJ8 <- I don't think it is the best sounding Sports Car out there, but people's faces twitch involuntarily when I exercise Full Throttle!
I am still enjoying this car and have really enjoyed being in it for such a long time. I don't know what car I would have after this, I really don't. Somebody asked what I want next and my response was ''Nothing. I'm happy with what I've got.'' <- when you can say that - you know you've bought the RIGHT car. Thanks for reading and drive safe guys!
Nicholas Lawrence //ON CARS
email -> email@example.com