928 AROUND THE­WORLD PART 2

Words: Robb Pritchard Pho­tog­ra­phy: Philippe De­la­porte From Ja­pan to Amer­ica. Part two of Philippe De­la­porte’s round the world 928 ad­ven­ture, with son, Bau­douin, takes them from Alaska and snow to Wash­ing­ton and New York, via Death Val­ley

911 Porsche World - - Around Theworld 928 -

With the fa­ther and son team of Philippe and Thibault De­la­porte hav­ing com­pleted the first part of the jour­ney through Eu­rope to Rus­sia, and with the 1989 928 GT on a con­tainer ship head­ing from Ja­pan to Seat­tle, they would have been for­given for think­ing that the hardest part was done. Ac­tu­ally, the hardest part was about to be­gin...and they were close to los­ing the Porsche.

Back in France, with a month to wait for the Pa­cific cross­ing Philippe and sec­ond son Bau­douin ap­plied for what they thought was a straight for­ward visa-free ser­vice for Amer­ica. It was far from that, though. Be­cause of the visit to Iran five years ago in the 928 they had to go to the em­bassy for a spe­cial ap­point­ment. That should have been sim­ple enough ex­cept that there was a twenty day wait­ing list and then, be­cause the em­bassy put the pass­ports in the post, Bau­douin's got lost. Bu­reau­cracy, eh? So, close to de­par­ture, if he had to get a new pass­port the trip would have had to have been can­celled, so Philippe spent days try­ing to find where it was, fi­nally lo­cat­ing it in a ran­dom sort­ing of­fice. They wouldn't just hand it over, though, and had to put it back in the sys­tem all over again.

But while all of that was go­ing on the Seat­tle-based han­dling com­pany had some even worse news. The US cus­toms had taken an in­ter­est in the strange look­ing Porsche and wanted to do a full doc­u­ment

The US cus­toms had taken an in­ter­est in the strange look­ing Porsche

used that only the mid­dle of it is smooth… and it's also the do­main of truck driv­ers who speed along at break­neck speed ex­pect­ing that any­thing smaller com­ing the other way will just swerve out of the way. It wasn't too much of a re­lax­ing drive. An­other con­sid­er­a­tion was that if some­thing went wrong, such as a break­down, or even some­thing as sim­ple as get­ting stuck in a truck's wheel tracks in the soft verge, then the min­i­mum charge for call­ing out as­sis­tance is $1700. The Koni springs and shocks did what they were sup­posed to do and, apart from be­ing cov­ered in mud, the car was no worse for wear. The Arc­tic Cir­cle is now one more point of in­ter­est in the world that the car has been to.

Back 2400km south at the Cana­dian- Amer­i­can bor­der the guards were dumb­founded to see the mud and frozen slush cov­ered 928 pull up in the queue of equally dirty SUVS and 4x4s. Then be­gan the long drive south. They stopped in Seat­tle and San Fran­cisco, cities that they both loved, and then got to some­where they'd been look­ing for­ward to for a while; the garage of Mag­nus Walker. The al­ter­na­tive Porsche leg­end was amazed to learn of their story and couldn't be­lieve that they were driv­ing so far with ab­so­lutely no sup­port what­so­ever. A new friend was made here. Also, some lo­cal Porsche en­thu­si­asts who'd seen the web­site and were fol­low­ing their progress con­tacted them to ar­range a meet­ing, and so an­other high­light of the trip was an amaz­ing evening be­ing driven

The al­ter­na­tive Porsche leg­end was amazed to learn of their story

mounted on the roof. Sat­is­fied that they were in­deed driv­ing around the world, and that the wheel hadn't been left there by ac­ci­dent, they were free to con­tinue.

Wash­ing­ton and New York were the last points of call be­fore tak­ing the car to the port to be wheeled into a con­tainer and teth­ered down, and it was an­other few weeks be­fore it ar­rived back at Le Havre. The con­di­tion of the roads in the USA had com­pletely worn out the Pirelli M/S tyres so Philippe drove care­fully and wasn't even con­cerned with the no­to­ri­ously bad Parisian traf­fic.

Af­ter 34,714km, 4500-litres of petrol and thir­teen coun­tries tra­versed the 928 has now en­tered Porsche leg­end as the only car from Stuttgart to ever un­der­take such a jour­ney, and ob­vi­ously HQ wanted to use the car in brand pro­mo­tions. Philippe was of course happy to oblige and was ba­si­cally granted celebrity sta­tus as he was in­vited to take part in the Sil­veretta Clas­sic rally in Aus­tria, with the well-trav­elled 928 as an of­fi­cial Porsche Clas­sic en­trant! It was an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence but not as amaz­ing as be­ing in­vited by Porsche Stuttgart again to the Nür­bur­gring for the 40th an­niver­sary of the 928. Porsche trail­ered the car over from Paris and flew Philippe up from his hol­i­day and in front of a thou­sand Porsche VIPS Mag­nus Walker took the mi­cro­phone and an­nounced to ev­ery­one that Philippe was a hero for do­ing what he did. That was an­other high­light. Never mind a trip high­light, that was a life high­light!

The car is now re­tired and its long dis­tance driv­ing days are over, and if you hap­pened to spot the odd look­ing 928 on its trav­els, on raised springs, pro­tected lights, cov­ered in stick­ers and the spare wheel mounted on the roof, now you know just how amaz­ing its story is. PW

Af­ter 34,714km and 13 coun­tries, the 928 has en­tered Porsche leg­end

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