Other Porsches I Have Owned
Like my Panteras, Porsches have figured prominently in my automotive life. I was always attracted to the Turbo, because they tend to be the fastest production cars at any given point in time. Sure, the occasional McClaren pops up to challenge, but they are never around for long. I've driven normally-aspirated Porsches on many occasions and have always found them wanting. To me, it just isn't a Porsche without the turbocharger!
1985 Porsche Turbo S Factory Slopenose
My first turbo Porsche was a white on black 1985 Porsche Turbo S factory slopenose. Boy was it ever cool! This was a very special car, and I understand Rick Mears has one just like it. I tended not to believe what I was told about the car, since you just can't trust a car dealer. I sold it for a song when Borland stock went south and I had to buy food and pay the rent. Don't ever let someone tell you cars are a good investment! After selling this car, I discovered just how special it really was. I still miss it. Sadly, I don't even have any original pictures of the car.
The car had a lot of things that set it apart. The engine was well worked over, having Gruppe B cams, bigger turbos, bigger intercooler, adjustable boost, and the like. The car really accelerated hard and was fun to drive. It was even faster than my '88 turbo cab which was highly modified.
It had some cool additional touches like the LED boost gauge used by factory 935 racers, and cool wheel fans on big BBS mag wheels. The interior had leather on every surface and the top of the line Recaro electrically adjustable seats. The engine was very hotted up, and the car was faster than the red turbo cab I later owned. Gee I wish I hadn't sold this car!
Here's a similar car:
Mine was white...
I sure miss seeing the slope nose cars. These were potent little bullets that were entirely wild to drive. The 993TT is incredibly more refined, but I'm not sure it's any more fun than one of these little road rockets. The price is right to pick one up these days too.
1988 Porsche Turbo Cabriolet
Here's a picture of my second Porsche:
The TT in the back is mine too...
This car went through two of my friends before finally being auctioned off on eBay and sold to a stranger. It was fun to keep seeing it and riding in it after I had sold it. This car got me through a real tough financial period in my life. I was just selling the last of my exotics and took it in trade. For 5 years I drove this car and my Mercedes 500 SEC. I was happy with both machines and probably would've kept driving them a good many more years had I not hit it big on another startup.
When the red cabrio was seeming a little too familiar (i.e. boring), I decided to invest some money into it. I started with a killer stereo system based around a Clarion head unit, 18 disc changer (boy that's the way to go if you commute--always a disc you haven't heard!), MB Quart speakers, and an XTant amplifier. There was no subwoofer, but it still sounded great, even with the top down and running at 85 mph.
Of course, I couldn't stop with just the tunes. I had the car torn down and souped-up at T&D Performance in Campbell, CA. Aside from taking waaayyyyy longer than promised, I was very satisfied. It had the following mods:
Now this was a whole 'nother car with these mods! The car really had some giddy-up and was loads of fun to drive. I remember when the first friend decided to sell I actively considered buying it back. I actually drove the car. Unfortunately, I had by now been spoiled by too much familiarity with the 993TT. The cabrio still accelerated well, but I noticed it was markedly less refined than I remembered. Throttle response seemed sluggish, and there was lots of body flex evident. These were things I hadn't noticed when I owned the car. I'd love to try a slopenosed coupe again to see if it was more tolerable.
I've always wondered how folks that worship the really old cars manage? The Ferrari 250 GTO, for example, goes about like my BMW 540 did, and the BMW M5 will eat it for lunch. How do those old cars get the blood boiling? I admire the Daytonas and Miuras, but I suspect the anticipation is better than the having. The exception I've found is the 427 Cobra. They don't handle very well, but they make no appologies in the acceleration department!
996 Water Cooled Turbo
Having learned the error of my ways and almost not getting a 993TT, I got a deposit down reasonably early on the 996 turbo. I don't really like the way the 996 looks, but I had high hopes that with enough flares, wings, and spoilers, the new turbo would be a decent look. Alas, it is not to be. I got the chance to look at a couple cars that friends owned. Frankly, the car just doesn't excite. It looks too plain vanilla. In addition, I'm sure Porsche has made it even more refined than the 993TT, and since it has no more horsepower and is heavier, the car is going to feel less exciting to drive.
Not wanting to anger the factory and risk being cut out of road tests, the magazines have by and large eschewed printing this in so many words, but it's there to read between the lines. Don't get me wrong--these are awesome cars, but they just don't tickle my fancy. The Turbo was always a factory hot rod. It's the one that is not supposed to look sedate. It ought to look like it took an overdose of steroids.
So, I cancelled and got my deposit refunded just a few months before I would have taken delivery. I thought briefly about taking it and reselling, but that's so much trouble and there is tremendous potential to lose out on all the taxes and other fees.
Porsche Turbo GT2 and Carrera GT
I have higher hopes for the GT2, but have not yet put down a deposit. It still doesn't have the ultimate killer look, but it's a lot closer than the basic Turbo. This, I think, is why the factory is shipping the car. I don't think I'm the only one that had this complaint. When will they learn? Somebody there keeps wanting to create perfect point A to point B drivers ala the Porsche 928, and the customers just keep shrugging those cars off.
Of course the real car of the New Millenium is the Carrera GT. I only hope I can engineer my next career success to be large enough and well enough timed to finance one of those bad boys! Just to whet your appetite, feast on the pix of these two cars:
All material © 2001-2006, Robert W. Warfield.