Why do people like buying, collecting, and driving old cars? In my eyes, it's a bit like buying and old cellphone. I know they can be pretty, but do you still really want one of those?
Sorry for being a little naive, it's going to be my first time to drive a car built in the 90’s - a car only a few years younger than I am, 5 years to be exact. I’ve spent a good chunk of this year driving some of the latest and greatest cars from Porsche, so how impressive could this model from 1997 be?The day before the shoot, I did a bit of homework. The 993 series of Porsche is famously dubbed as, the last of the air-cooled. I discovered that the 911 Carrera S was only made in 1997. The ’S’ badge you see on this car disappeared for 30 whole years up until this car was put into production.
They are naturally aspirated, air-cooled and have the ‘Turbo’ models sexy wide body haunches. This particular car is even fitted with a 6-speed manual box (the first ever Porsche to feature 6 instead of 5) and only sends its power to the rear wheels. The most sought after specs for any Porsche collector. There were only 1,752 of these made. 1,752. How many of these C2S’ put into production are even around today? How many of them are still running as well as this? I had just realized how lucky I was to be given the opportunity to even breathe next to this car, let alone drive it.
"The 911 makes a beautiful noise when going through the gears and it growls in a way that many cars today, don't."
This particular car is in excellent condition. When you walk up to it, the first thing that draws your eyes are its hips. The tail light that runs across the rear of the car compliments its wide body. The 993 is just oozing with presence, making it very difficult not to stare at times. It's like a cougar in a tiny white dress, with hips that are dying to get out. I now understand why Porsche never drastically changed the 911.
Why change something that is near perfection? Imagine if they never stuck to the classic shape? We would no longer be seeing the 911 as we know it today - and that would be a shame. The ‘turbo twist’ rims fitted to this car gives the illusion that the car is constantly cruising down the road, maybe to remind collectors that if they want to get their hands on this car, they better move quick.
Compromise is for politicians.
The interior is absolutely gorgeous. Tan and black leather seems to perfectly divide the car in two. How much more charming can an interior be? It smells like a leather goods boutique. No car on sale today will ever smell as good as this. It's the softest sports car seat I’ve ever sat in. I felt like I was being eaten by the seat when going around corners. The five analogue gauges are so beautifully laid out, with the slightly enlarged tach sitting in the center.
I love that I couldn’t see all of the gauges through the steering wheel too. I would have to move my head to either side of the wheel to see the oil pressure, or time - quirks from a two decade old sports car. Overall, there is much to be learnt by others on how to build a special and tactile interior. This may no longer be groundbreaking, but it is always a sense of occasion to be in. It feels like a proper sports car, a Porsche at that.
A classical beauty.
For a sportscar built in the 90’s, I was surprised as to how well the engine cranked over. I slowly crawled out of the garage and started feeling out the car. The clutch is deep, the throw of the manual box is long, and the steering a little slow. The car is quick but never feels rushed. When you roll around in a car like this, you control time. I felt pampered yet at the same time, very exposed.
You don't hear much of the outside world and the sound that does come through to the cabin is all induction noise - raw and mechanical. I always say I want a short throws in a manual box, but this one with its long, long throw just felt right. The sensation was so period correct. The car makes a beautiful noise when going through the gears and it growls in a way that many cars today, don't.
"There's a delicacy that I can say is not present in the newer Porsches, and for that, I love it even more."
To my biggest surprise, the car handled itself with so much more composure than I was expecting. When you get it in, there's a two decade old flimsiness to it. The build quality is good, but it's not air tight in the way that Porsche makes their cars today. It feels loose, but when you get up to speed, you forget about those things. The car can clip corners at twenty years old like it rolled off the production line yesterday. I can imagine what this felt like 20 years ago.
There's no doubt that you feel more of the ass engined quirkiness than you do in modern 911s. The ride must have been stiff back in the day, but today it is supple and lovely. And that engine? A naturally aspirated masterpiece. It's raspy, soulful, and ready. There's a delicacy that I can say is not present in the newer Porsches, and for that, I love it even more. It revs happily, and if you have the balls, you can dial it up to 275 km/h. Not too shabby.
Kills bugs fast.
Really though, how much more character could you ask for? This must be what the best of the best feels like even two decades later. It is unaided, unadulterated and genuine. The 993 Carrera S, without a doubt, has better road going capabilities than a lot of modern cars today. Having driven both the 997 GT3 RS 4.0 and the new 991 GT3 RS, I now understand why both are such capable cars.
They come from a lineage of outstanding performers even in non-RS specification. This 911 C2S still has a lot of puff in it, and it can definitely keep up with modern day sports cars. And if you end up getting smoked by a modern sports car, who cares? You have unparalleled style, grace, and character. The smile on your face is what they won't have. This is what dreams are made of. This is why I love cars.
The QUintessence of Life.
Professional Racecar Driver