Porsche 997 Sport Classic driven

I will be the first to admit that my initial response to the Sport Classic was less than stellar. Introduced in 2010 at a time when the backdate 911 craze was in full frenzy, I rather casually viewed the Sport Classic press release as a spot of opportune mid-life badge engineering by Porsche.

At a price point of £140,000, it was a healthy premium over even a well-specced 997, for what appeared to be simple cosmetic trinkets. I suspect many others thought the same. We were all wrong.

Walking towards the Sport Classic, I begin to realise that, when you see one in the metal, any cynical dismissals of black-centred wheels and that ducktail were a mistake. All 250 Sport Classics are finished in this understated shade of ‘Sport Classic grey’.

Porsche Sport Classic wheels

There’s something uniquely retro about the colour, which the design team allegedly saw on a Porsche 356 and fell in love with. Opening the driver’s door, there’s deep brown ‘Espresso’ leather, with retro houndstooth-style panelling.

As I climb inside, I can’t help but glance rearwards over the wide wheel arches and beyond to that ducktail rear wing. It shouldn’t really work on a modern 911, yet it looks so right.

Closing the aluminium door, the power seat adjusters fall easily to hand. A couple of tweaks of the buttons, then a tug at the steering column adjuster gives me my favourite Porsche seating position, sitting in a beautifully trimmed Recaro with exquisite detailing and more luxurious Espresso natural brown leather.

Porsche Sport Classic wing

We have a real ignition key to insert into a lock barrel to start and a mechanical, leather-trimmed handbrake to release. The finely stitched Sports steering wheel is thicker than a standard 997 item, the extra diameter of the rim giving a far more tactile experience as we roll carefully off the kerb at a 45-degree angle to avoid catching that low front splitter.

Through the town centre traffic of Chester, the short throw gearshift feels rather stiff for the first mile or so. This Sport Classic hasn’t been used recently, so the fluids are cold.

Clear of the city traffic, the roads quicken into winding ‘A’ roads. Beside me, Howard, the car’s owner, gives directions to our photo location. With many years of classic Porsche rallying behind him, he can’t help but begin to offer a few notes as the pace builds.

To read our Porsche 997 Sport Classic test drive in full, pick up Total 911 issue 146 in store today. Alternatively, order your copy online for home delivery, or download it straight to your digital device now.

Porsche 997 Sport Classic

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