built not bought: 993 Touring
It’s 1983, and my first day as a paper boy at the local newsagent in Motspur Park, South London. I’m waiting outside the shop by myself at 6am for the manager to arrive; it’s quiet, a milkman is delivering his goods and pulls up just in front of the shop, double parking next to a throng of Cortinas, Vivas and Allegros – all rubbish British cars of the time!
A Guards red 911 with a whaletail pulls up behind the milk float, waiting for a car to pass from the other direction. For a few seconds I’m mesmerised by the shape and the noise. It’s the first time I have seen one in the metal.
The driver then overtakes the milk float and fully gasses it up the road, over the level crossing and up the hill into the distance, leaving me with a memory I’ll never forget. I then spent the next 35 years dreaming of owning my own 911: cue many years of searching Autotrader, throwing up a few ‘nearly’ moments along the way.
I didn’t quite have the budget, or the car wasn’t right, you know the score… Then, a visit to Luftgekühlt GB (on the only rainy day in the glorious summer of 2018) pushed me to start the search for that dream 911. I toyed with a G body, maybe a 964 or 993, all of which were on my radar.
I found my 993 in Bridport on the other side of Dorset, at a Porsche specialist called Marque 21. They’d looked after the 993 for the last 16 years of the then-owner’s stewardship, carrying out all services and some select modifications. The seats were converted to Sports seats by Southbound Trimmers, an RS steering wheel was fitted, along with red seat belts, lowering springs, refurbished Cup 2 wheels with red centres, a tuning chip, motorsound air filter housing, and big oval tailpipes amongst others.
Colin, the owner, had completed many trips to Europe over those 16 years. In his 70s by September ’18, Colin decided to sell the car due to a knee operation that made driving a manual difficult. I made my offer and had the car inspected, which came back fine. The deal was done and the 911 was mine.
Built on 5 October 1994, my Carrera 2 is a German-specification 1995 model year car with the non-VarioRam engine M6405-635 and manual, two-wheel-drive gearbox G5021-20, with good, short gear ratios.
The car came with possibly my perfect specification from the factory including air-con, no sunroof, LSD, computer, cruise control and left-hand drive (for the aligned driving position and continental tours) in Guards red with black interior. The 911 was first registered in Stuttgart and owned by the Porsche factory, believed to be a press/demo car until June 1996, when it had 51,000 kilometres recorded on the clock.
I have never been one to simply leave a car standard, I like to add my flavour. I guess my flavour goes back to the ‘Cal-look’ days of the air-cooled Beetle and OEM Plus trend of the water-cooled VW scene. Subtle modifications that aren’t in your face, modifications that can’t really be identified, but add up to a resolved and usable car that sits right and drives right. That’s what I like.
My first modification was to sort out those red wheels (shudder), which were not my bag at all. After lots of deliberation, I decided on…
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*Photography by Scott Paterson