Cars. To some, they are nothing more than just a mode of transport - a way of getting from A to B. To others, cars are so much more than that. They are what define us as a person. A passion, an obsession even. They make us happy and we can't get enough of them, obsessing about the details, driving experience and the way they make us feel. Is there anything better than just grabbing the keys early on a Sunday morning and just going for a drive?
Petrolhead or not, chances are you will always have a favourite brand. One that stands out from all the others. One that tugs on the heart strings at every opportunity, from seeing one on the road, to a new model being announced and of course driving one for real. Sure, you may have a soft spot for a particular car, or cars from other manufacturers, but you'll always have a favourite brand.
A client of ours has had a strong favourite since 1978, when he first sparked the love affair with the purchase of his first. Since then, it has grown into quite the story.
1978; The start of a love affair
The favourite brand in this particular story is German sports car manufacturer Porsche. Based in Stuttgart, Porsche is perhaps most famous for the 911 - arguably the most famous and iconic sports car of the last fifty years. Even today, the latest state-of-the-art versions still keep a similar, flowing silhouette body shape, like that of the original launched back in the 1960s.
It is not just about the 911 though. Today's extensive model line-up includes other highly regarded sports cars - such as the Boxster and Cayman, along with fine executive cars such as the Panamera, and also performance SUVs such as the Macan and Cayenne. Naturally our client has had his fair share of many of these incredible cars, so let's take a look at his remarkable car history and see what resides in his current collection.
But to understand our client's history, we asked the question - Why Porsche?
'For me, Porsche is the complete package. The engineering quality is the best of any cars currently available. This is demonstrated in just how reliable my Porsche cars have been over the past 30-odd years. Also, each car within its sector is the class leader from a performance perspective. Best value for money. Best residual value. Best finance packages available.'
Back in 1978, our client bought his first Porsche: a Signal Orange Porsche 911 2.7 S. For many, a Porsche is the ultimate goal, with the 911 sitting at the top of the list, yet for our client, this was only the start of an extraordinary story. Since our client's first 911, more than 60 Porsche models have made up his enviable car history. Seven Porsche models make up his fine collection today, with two special edition 911 (991 generation) models on order too, which we will get to later. The story begins with no fewer than 13 pre-1989 911 models, with the highlight being a 1988 911 Turbo in white, with contrasting blue leather. With camera phones decades away around this era, pictures are few and far between, but there is something cool about an old photo isn't there?
Another notable car of this era would be the 1987 Porsche 911 Flat Nose - famous for being a special-order car - which deletes the fixed position of the headlights, hiding them under a 'slant-nose' to pop-up when required. Today, both this and the 911 Turbo are hugely sought-after - and we're only just getting started.
924, 928, 944 and 968 (1976 - 1995)
The 1980s saw Porsche launch a number of alternative coupes, which were completely different to the look and style of the iconic 911. Instead of the 911's unique rear-engined approach, the 924, 928, 944 and 968 all featured a more commonplace front-engined layout, along with a long, sleek bonnet and the 1980s favourite - pop-up headlights. Back then, the 924 was the first step on the Porsche model ladder, so to speak, and was also the first Porsche to feature an automatic transmission. Our client had two versions, but as you will see throughout this story, he tends not to entertain the entry-level models, preferring instead the enhanced power and performance of range-topping and special edition versions.
After huge success with the creation of the 911 Turbo, Porsche decided to add a Turbo to the 924. Before long though, Porsche wanted to start racing the 924 too, and so made the 924 Carrera GT - a homologation special that allowed Porsche to enter the 924 into competition at Le Mans. Our client had both, highlighting his penchant for the very best examples that Porsche has to offer.
In 1982 Porsche introduced the 944. Based on the 924, it was again front-engined and featured rear-wheel drive, sold as a mid-level model. Naturally, our client didn't have the standard model, opting instead for a 944 Turbo, a 944 Turbo S and a 944 Turbo Cabriolet.
Sold between 1989 and 1994, our client had four 964-generation 911 models. Similar in appearance to the era of 911 it replaced, the 964 incorporated some important first-time features, such as being the first 911 with the option of all-wheel drive along with also introducing Tiptronic transmission. The stand-out model in this era was our client's 964 RS. Today, RS variants are sold for eye-watering amounts. For a concourse example, expect little change from £250,000.
RS stands for Rennsport, which is German for 'racing'. Therefore, the 964 RS was super-lightweight and was based on the 964 'Carrera Cup' race car.
The 993-generation was the last era of 911 to feature air-cooled engines. Our client had six examples, including several Carrera models. This particular era of 911 was also the first time the legendary 911 Turbo featured all-wheel drive. Our client had three. Two were 'regular' 402bhp models, but more interestingly, he also owned the factory-enhanced Turbo X50 - which featured a power increase to 430bhp.
All-wheel drive generated significant mechanical grip, making it easier to utilise all of the incredible Turbo performance.
Produced from 1997 to 2004, the 996-generation of 911 featured an all-new chassis platform, as well as a brand-new water-cooled engine. Six variants appeared in our client's history. Unsurprisingly, our client yet again had a 911 Turbo of this particular generation. Producing 420bhp, the Turbo took just 4.1 seconds to hit 60mph. Just as he did in his 993-generation, our client then upgraded to a 996 Turbo X50 package, which upped the power to 450bhp, dropping the 60mph time to just 3.9 seconds.
A track-focused GT3 RS was also part of our client's 996 era cars. Only available in white - with either red wheels and decals, or blue wheels and decals (which was the colour combination our client opted for), along with a roll cage, bucket seats and various weight saving initiatives; the RS was pretty much a race car with number plates, and therefore took the Rennsport theme to unprecedented levels of performance, with the foundations appearing in our client's previous 964 RS.
The RS was serious, but the most powerful and most expensive model in the 911 model range is the 911 GT2. It is the definitive 911 - or at least was until the GT2 RS was unveiled recently. The 996-generation was our client's first step into GT2 ownership. Producing 483bhp via a twin-turbocharged version of the 996 GT3's 3.6-litre engine the GT2 had monumental power. This meant this range-topping, ultimate 911 could hit 60mph in just 3.7 seconds.
Styling differences included wider arches, a much more aggressive and pronounced front bumper, along with a sizeable rear wing to aid aerodynamics and to tame the cars immense power at high speed.
The five-door sports car. Porsche's Cayenne brings outstanding sports car performance to a large SUV platform that still keeps hold of the legendary Porsche performance and finesse. Our client has had six examples in total with a mix of 3.0-litre and 4.2-litre diesel examples, including one left-hand drive version he uses whilst overseas. It's perfect for 'taking the dogs for a walk and airport pickups'.
If you're expecting the list to come to an end soon, our client had other ideas. The 997-generation was another incredible period for our Porsche perfectionist - with one particular model still part of his stunning Porsche collection today - we'll come on to that later.
Four 997 variants have been owned by our client. In keeping with tradition, a 911 Turbo was once a part of the collection, meaning he has owned every version of the 911 Turbo since the late 1980s. The 997 Turbo came with the trademark widebody; one of the stand-out features of any generation of 911 Turbo.
Although the engine was the same 3.6-litre as the 996 Turbo, the 997 Turbo's engine was reworked to produce 473bhp and 458 lb-ft of torque. This of course dropped the 0-62mph time from 4.2 to just 3.9 seconds.
Our client also had the Turbo S. This took the 911 Turbo into supercar territory. Power was increased to over 500bhp for the first time, with a total 523bhp available when required, shaving the 0-62mph time to just 3.3 seconds. An astonishingly quick car in Turbo guise, the Turbo S was nothing short of remarkable and could easily keep up with the best hypercars out there.
If you thought Turbo S levels of performance couldn't be topped, Porsche decided to unveil the GT2 RS - the very pinnacle of the 911 legacy. Essentially the ultimate version of the ultimate version, it replaced the 'standard' GT2 as the flagship 911. With 611bhp as standard, the GT2 RS was genuinely rapid. Although slightly slower to 62mph than the Turbo S (it was rear-wheel drive only), the top end is where the GT2 RS would outshine its sibling. Whereas the Turbo S was excellent on a track, the GT2 RS was on another planet. Around the infamous Nurburgring Nordschleife the Turbo S could manage a time of 7 minutes and 32 seconds. The GT2 RS did it a whole 14 seconds quicker. At the time, it was the fastest 911 to ever leave the Stuttgart factory.
The final mention of 997-generation cars is the 911 GT3 RS 4.0. This special car is still part of our client's current Porsche collection and for a very good reason. Unlike the 'standard' 997 GT3 RS, the RS 4.0 was a limited edition (600 worldwide) and was the final version of the 997 RS cars. Only 30 came to the UK - making this an ultra-rare 911.
Unlike the 'standard' RS cars, which used a 3.8-litre engine, the 4.0 used a 4.0-litre, 494 bhp engine. It was the last flat-six, motorsport-derived 'Mezger' unit to be put in a 911. It took precision to a whole new level, and in a track environment it was near-perfect. With its incredible rarity and fine driving experience, it's of little wonder that prices for the 4.0 command well over the original selling price.
Boxster and Cayman
It is fair to say that our client has owned some of the most sought-after Porsche 911 models ever produced. That said, the Boxster and Cayman have also been part of this barely believable history. Both Boxster and Cayman may sit under the legendary 911 in terms of rank, price and performance, but there is no denying just how good both are at being a true sportscar. Naturally, our client didn't just have any Boxster, but the higher-powered Boxster S (986-generation).
And as for the Cayman, our client had the most renown Porsche Cayman to ever be produced thus far - the incredibly driver-focused Cayman GT4. The engine is from a 911 Carrera S; therefore, you get a peach of a 3.8-litre naturally aspirated engine, giving razor sharp throttle response, which teamed with a sublime manual gearbox makes the GT4 one of the most focused driver's cars ever created by Porsche. Acceleration to 62mph takes just 4.4 seconds, and with limited production, the Cayman GT4 began to appreciate quite considerably immediately after its official launch.
And so, to the latest generation of the Porsche 911. The most powerful, the most efficient and the most technologically advanced 911 to ever come out of Stuttgart. No wonder our client's history has had 11 different variants, with a further two more on order.
In keeping with tradition, not one, but three examples of the 911 Turbo have been possessed by our client from this latest generation of 911, including the range-topping Turbo S, with a 572 bhp twin-turbo engine and all-wheel drive.
"On A and B roads, i.e. real world driving there's no faster car on the planet. It has the capability to cover vast Euro trips in one swoop, leaving the driver completely fresh.
But the best part for me is you can park it at airports, restaurants etc and it just blends in. Then turn up on a track day, press a few buttons for power modes and it easily holds its own alongside much more expensive track-bias cars. For me the 991 Turbo is not just the best Porsche I have ever driven, overall, it's the best car I have ever driven."
Strong praise indeed, as our esteemed client has also been lucky enough to have owned cars from some of the world's finest supercars manufacturers too. Range-topping Turbo S models produce an immense 572bhp, resulting in a 2.9s 0-62mph time and a 205-mph top speed, but like our client says, with all-wheel drive, automatic transmission, satellite navigation, cruise control, heated leather seats and DAB radio it's perfect for daily use. The same cannot really be said about it's more track-focused sibling - the 991 GT3 RS, another car once owned by our client...
"I enjoy my track days and from February to November, I like to attend Silverstone around three times a month. On my track days I drive my cars very hard at very high speeds for very long periods, so it's important for me to have complete confidence in my car. This is where the over-engineering and robustness on Porsche's track-bias cars really comes into its own."
Our client also had the GT3. Three of them, including both the first and second-generation versions. The GT3 is less hardcore than the GT3 RS yet is still very much primed for the track. The first-generation was only available with an automatic transmission, which caused somewhat of a commotion for Porsche purists as it was the first GT3 to be offered for sale without the option of a manual gearbox. It returned for the second generation, however.
"When road conditions allow, i.e. an early Sunday morning run, it has to be the 991R. The car has the race engine from the Cup car. The best manual gearbox - in my view - ever built. It's the lightest 911 of the 991 range, along with the 20% reduced sound proofing from the RS. It drives like a 911 from a bygone age. Whilst I would not wish to use the 991R as a daily driver - way too loud inside - it offers an emotive, interactive driving experience from the past, that for me, no other car made today currently offers"
The 911 R may not have been the quickest - although 62mph was dealt with in 3.7 seconds and the car had a 201mph top speed - but the driving experience was what made it so popular. It involved the driver more, and had a raw, visceral feel. This meant prices quickly increased rapidly upon launch with some commanding almost six times as much as the original -136,901 asking price.
One of our client's latest acquisitions was a 911 (991) Targa 4 GTS, which is part of his current collection. He wanted the colour to be as close as possible to the Signal Orange - the colour of his first Porsche 911 back in 1978. Therefore, this Targa GTS is finished in Pastel Orange. We believe there is no other vehicle to this exact specification in the world and is a great way to compliment his current collection and pay homage to the Porsche 911 that started the story.
Porsche 918 Spyder
Launched in 2013, the Porsche 918 Spyder is a mid-engined, hybrid hypercar. It was a 'Concorde' moment not just for Porsche, but for the automotive industry. Our client was lucky enough to own one of these, too.
"From a performance perspective and to a large extent value for money and engineering quality, it has to be my 918 that is not just my favourite Porsche I have ever owned, but the best car I have ever owned. Though I do not consider this a daily driver Porsche. Each Journey had to be carefully thought through, due to being left-hand drive, the attention on road it attracted etc. I had great fun in my 918, set lap records that I could have only dreamed about - it ran along the La Ferrari and McLaren P1 on video shoots and set the quickest times."
With only 918 units produced between 2013 and 2015 the 918, like most range-topping limited-edition Porsches, has started to exceed its original value upon launch. The mesmerising looks are only a small part of the allure, and are complimented by ultra-advanced technology, combining a naturally-aspirated 4.6-litre V8 engine with two electric motors, deployed via a slick PDK dual clutch automatic, 7-speed transmission. The result is almost 900bhp, ensuring the 918 can hit 62mph in just 2.6 seconds, and a top speed of 214mph.
Recently Taken Delivery: GT2 RS
Naturally, as if it wasn't already apparent from our client's love for ultimate Porsche 911 models, the 991 GT2 RS has been recently acquired by our client. Finished in Black, this 911 looks every bit as menacing as its performance it offers. This range-topping 911 is the most powerful 911 ever created, with 690bhp and a 211mph top speed. The 0 to 62mph sprint is completed in just 2.8 seconds. Our client also opted for the optional Weissach package. This drops the weight of the GT2 RS by almost 30kg and includes enhancements such as white gold magnesium wheels and a titanium roll cage.
Since taking delivery, our client has now expressed how "the 991 GT2 RS is the best driving car I have ever owned. Not just the best driving Porsche."
The GT2 RS will soon be accompanied by a few more incredible Porsche models, one of which will be another special 911. As our client has an immense passion for the 911 Turbo, a Porsche 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series will make another fine addition to his garage and shall be with him soon. Alongside the most powerful 911 ever in the GT2 RS, the Exclusive Series is the most powerful Turbo S ever with just under 600bhp and with only 500 models being built, it will further compliment a superb collection of rare Porsches.
With that, our client is also awaiting the 2018 Porsche 911 (991.2) GT3 RS. The most powerful naturally aspirated 911 ever, with 513bhp. If that wasn't enough, our client also has a Porsche 911 (991) T on order, along with a brand new 2018 Porsche Cayenne.
We think you'll agree, this has been quite a history, and although the current collection will always prompt the question 'which one shall I drive today' - it's not the worst problem in the world to have. The cars still awaiting delivery only make this Porsche history and collection even more amazing.
We would like to thank our client for his continued custom, and for sharing his love for the Porsche brand. We'll use his words to conclude this story:
"If I had to sum up why I like the Porsche brand so much, leaving all of the above aside, the most important point for me is taking into account just how much time I spend in my cars, and that right through from the Cayman, Cayenne, 991s etc. They are all actually great fun to drive."
The current collection:
- Porsche 911 (991) GT2 RS
- Porsche 911 (997) GT3 RS 4.0
- Porsche 911 (991.2) Targa 4 GTS
- Porsche 911 (991) R
- Porsche 911 (991.2) GT3
- Porsche 911 (991.1) GT3 (Left Hand Drive)
- Porsche Cayenne S (Second generation) (Right Hand Drive)
- Porsche Cayenne S (Second generation) (Left Hand Drive)
- Porsche 911 (991) Carrera T (On Order)
- Porsche 911 (991) Turbo S Exclusive Series (On Order)
- Porsche Cayenne (Third Generation) (On Order)