Thursday, July 2, 2015

Why drive and own Porsche 911s?


Below you see two 911 Porsches. They are totally different however they have the same basic shape and design. By their design, I mean they are similar with both having a rear mounted engine, hanging out over the back axel, and both have rather small, by great sports car standards, engine displacement. Versions of both cars have won major races in their class. The GT3 is considered a Super car.

The Silver 911 is an 1982 911 SC, which by all accounts saved Porsche from going extinct.
The basic shape and look of the 911 SC started with the US DOT mandating crash proof bumpers in 1974 and this shape has endured, and is almost indistinguishable from a 1989 911 Carrera. This is the longest runner design and body style of any Porsche era.

Driving a Porsche and in some instances; and even just riding in one brings out the enthusiast in people. My first ride in a Porsche was when I was 12 years old, the car was a 1962 356B coupe.  I'll never forget it and it was what convinced me. When the 911 came out in 1964, I had to have one,  the 6 cylinder version, the greatest Porsches were yet to come.

The experience: There is no car that drives, gives the driver feedback and control like a 911.

Porsches get better with good modifications and balance. A balanced car is a joy to drive. By balance I mean everything fits, the handling, the cornering, the power, the control and feedback from the car all have to match.

A Porsche as an investment:

 I have never lost either buying or selling a Porsche. If you buy right, and the right models, you can consider your fun car an investment. How to invest in 911 Porsches. Porsche either by design or luck has always made special models or add on models to the regular Porsche line, you can by. In the 70s and 80s it was the 930 turbo, in the mid 2000s it was the GT3 or GT2. These cars all appreciate. Even good 911 SC models which ran from 1978 to 1983 are appreciating and becoming appreciated for their durability and fun nature. A well sorted 911 SC  has thrilling handling, good power, and is a joy to drive.

There is more to be found in a 911 SC. 

Making and keeping a Porsche 911 SC handling and performing like a modern sports car is in the details. With the correct suspension modifications and parts available today, you can turn your 911 SC into a real modern age performer. In my Sliver 1982 SC for example, there are significant modifications and they are balanced to produce a high performer in handling and power.

List: Body and suspension. 

First the least expensive way to improve an SC to modern standards is take the weight out. There are numerous ways you can do this. Light seats and wheels, removing air conditioning bumpers and rear seats for a start. This amounts to about 200 pounds bringing the car down to about 2550lbs. This silver SC is now about 2500 ponds, it still can go down to 2400, without breaking the bank. This involves a fiber glass engine lid, and rear bumper all coming off the important end of the car where the weight is.

The next step is lowering the car as low as it goes, but keeping, the 16 inch, Turbo 9" and and 8" inch wheels. This not only gives the car a mean look, but performance value is also obvious. Adding upgraded shocks and sway bars rounds out the suspension. I didn't go for stiffer torsion bars, because it's not necessary and makes the ride too harsh.
Now you have a very light, quick, agile, beautifully handling Porsche that is 34 years old. And more fun to drive than modern cars like a BRZ or a 370Z. Running the wider tires and low profiles make for a huge corning difference and a more neural handling car.

More on finding and making the perfect Porsche happen for you: coming! The engine and gear box are next.

The Engine: 

The 911 SC started in 1978 and ran until 1983. It has a 3.0 liter engine with CIS (continuous injection system) that delivers the fuel. The cars put out depending on year and where it came from between 178 to 185 hp. This car has upgrades: like 964 cams, MSD ignition, and a performance SSI exhaust system, the output on the dyno is slightly over 200hp. Now you have a great sound and it really revs up quickly due to the light car and modifications.

The transmission is a 915 box which is a very nice shifting gear box, if it has a short stiff kit, which this car does and the transmission has been rebuilt. The rebuild can include aluminum clutch and flywheel. If you do the math, 2500 pound car with 200 horses, that's about 5.4 seconds to 60mph. When this cars gets down to 2400lb it will be in the Alfa 4C category, but with 35 less hp. The 4C does 4.3 to 60 but with a turbo. You can easily make your 911 SC a competitive car by today's standards with a few well placed modifications.

 The 996 Porsche 911 GT3

By any standards when this car came out in 2004, it was a super car. At the time it made 385 hp, and 0-6 around 4 seconds.

This car has an engine rebuild with 997 upgrades, titanium rods and rockers. It makes about 400hp. The GT3 was a different car from the regular 996 series in almost every respect. 

It is lighter, has different front suspension and steering and has the well know "Mezger" engine. This is important to note, as it's totally different than the regular Carrera engines. The 996 Turbo shares this design. This engine doesn't have the well know IMS failure, because it's a different design based on the original racing GT1 and Cup Car engines. 

The transmission:
This gearbox has interchangeable gear ratios and is more durable making it more suitable for racing than the standard 911 type 996 gearbox.

More on the GT3 coming, drive test and comparison to air cooled cars.


Unknown said...

cool rides

Anonymous said...

The GT3 has always been a huge step up. Absolute beauty, this car is well and truly a silent assassin. I visited London last year and decided to look in to porsche 911 rent in the local area. I managed to get the car and it was a dream. I wish I could afford one! It would be nice to replace my Insignia!