Oxford, UK @ginapurcell1 Model 911 SC
Acquired April 2014 Model 964 Carrera 4 Year 1989 Acquired September 2004 Since Steffi the SC’S resto she’d been hobbling about with her suspension geometry having been upset by corrective work when having her front end pulled straight.
Another visit to Chris Franklin’s Center Gravity was arranged, but I also had in mind a change for the car’s handling envelope. Previously she utilised CG’S ‘fast road’ set-up, with the front uprights angled forward and the suspension raised to Chris’ ‘two finger, two finger’ spacing from the tyres to the
wheel arch, front-to-rear, and the tyre contact patches as flat to the road as possible. This gave supreme ride quality and a feeling of the car being locked into any curve I threw her into. The watchwords were speed and stability.
My days of tail-chasing much faster cars down unknown roads are over, and post-resto Steffi has earned the right to take life a little easier. I now had a clean sheet to start from and chose to have the car judiciously lowered to ‘one finger, one finger’ and the rake increased, so the uprights were hauled back and more camber introduced.
I also asked for the steering weight to be drastically reduced. I thought I was asking the impossible of Chris when I said I wanted to keep as much of the ride comfort as well, but somehow, he achieved it. Steffi is now much more agile and pointy at the front, with the rear able to exert a little more authority, and all wrapped up with a delightfully lighter helm that gives more feedback. Everything I asked for was delivered – super job, Chris!
We had tickets for the Goodwood Festival of Speed, choosing to go on Friday 13th. Unlucky for some, but very lucky for me as a super-fan of the TV
show The Bridge, as the 911S driven in the series was up for auction by Bonhams that day. I have obsessed over this show and its four-wheeled superstar since the first UK broadcast, and I was determined to get up close to Saga Norén’s wheels.
I thought about bidding, but on seeing the calibre of the serious buyers in the room, decided it was unwise. Instead, I jumped into Saga’s car with a frisson of excitement and had a few pictures taken with it. Suddenly, Sofia Helin, who plays Norén, was standing next to me! She was in attendance to see ‘her’ 911 sold off, so I managed to get a few moments to chat with her once more, and she kindly signed my Bonhams catalogue. It was an unforgettable experience!
The winning bid of £125,000 was just a tad out of my price range, and even made the BBC evening news!
In an incredible act of generosity by the producers of The Bridge, all sale proceeds were donated to Sofia’s favourite charity, Wateraid. We missed the auction due to being stuck outside on the Duke of Richmond’s front lawn, waving our Porsche flags in celebration of Porsche’s 70th anniversary.