Living the Legend
Our contributing enthusiasts from around the world share their real-life experiences with their Porsche 911s
Say hello to a familiar face among our global group of real-world 911 owners
I’m back! Longtime readers may remember me as a contributor to T911 since issue 6; I took a bit of a sabbatical after issue 147 to move back to my home in Seattle, and I was also Porscheless for a while so I had nothing to write about! But I do now, and this particular story starts 14 years ago…
It was love at first sight! The year was 2004, and sitting there in the Porsche showroom was a very special-looking 996 in GT Silver Metallic with Gt3-style rocker panels, a Turbo front end and a very bespoke interior in dark grey natural leather. There was a simple 911 badge on the rear deck along with a discrete plaque reading ‘40 Jahre’. Glancing inside I saw a similar plaque on the centre console which designated this car’s build number out of 1,963 vehicles.
The sticker revealed that this Anniversary Edition package included desirable options such as Sport suspension, the X51 Powerkit which increased power to 345bhp and even four pieces of custom-fitted luggage. Then I saw the price… over $90,000! Having just purchased a 996 C4S a few months before, which I loved, I decided to let practicality rule over sentiment and passed on that special car. But over the years, every time I saw one my heart skipped a beat and I felt a pang of regret.
You can understand my excitement when I saw a pristine 40th Anniversary 911 sitting on a dealer’s forecourt a couple of weeks ago. I examined every inch minutely: original paint with minor road rash on front bumper, no apparent dings or bodywork issues, no curb rash on any of the polished wheels and the full leather interior and grey carpeting in fantastic shape! A thorough test drive was shockingly eye-opening. My first thought was: ‘this car feels more like my old 1988 air-cooled Carrera than my more recent 991.1.’
The car was so much more communicative with its more analogue approach that it inspired the immediate confidence that I could push it and know exactly what was going to happen. Thanks to the X51 engine upgrade and Sport suspension the car had truly impressive power and handling; I am not sure my 997.1 GT3 cornered any flatter!
Two days of intense research revealed that the car had 62,000 documented miles, no accidents, three owners all in Washington and a stack of records
showing regular service with no alarming problems. I also chatted with an enthusiastic 40th Anniversary registry group on Facebook and other owners on Rennlist who answered my many questions and heartily encouraged me to get this car. A PPI at a local independent Porsche specialist revealed only one significant problem, a leaky power steering line, and a confirmation that I would want to replace the as yet unaddressed and potentially problematic IMS bearing, along with clutch and flywheel as soon as possible.
Even adding those costs to the offer price this car was still fantastic value, and also one which might actually appreciate in the years to come. So, my heart and head were both screaming ‘YES’, and I realised I might not get another chance to find one this perfect, so I bought it! And I am so very glad I did, because love fulfilled feels so much better than love lost.
996 40th Model Anniversary 2004 Year 2018 Acquired