TIME MA­CHINE

Jour­ney through 911&PW’S past

911 Porsche World - - Contents -

The all new 996 Targa featured on the front cover of the De­cem­ber 2001 is­sue, with its slick slid­ing roof, a fea­ture that started with the 993 and con­tin­ued with the 997, be­fore re­vert­ing to the retro look, hoop style of the 991. Editor, Hor­ton, was dis­patched to Aus­tria to drive, while cur­rent Dep Ed, Brett Fraser, fired off the pics.

Truth of the mat­ter is, that once you’ve de­tailed the slick slid­ing roof ar­range­ment, there isn’t re­ally much to say, par­tic­u­larly since the Targa was me­chan­i­cally iden­ti­cal to the Car­rera 2. In­deed, per­haps what swung the Targa for us, over any­thing else, was the con­ve­nience of the open­ing rear tail­gate! Sim­ple things and all that.

In his ‘Mo­tor­sport month’ col­umn, Michael Cot­ton ar­gued the case that the 911 was past its sell by date as a com­pet­i­tive force in sports car rac­ing, fol­low­ing some high-pro­file de­feats to BMW’S M3 GTR and the Fer­rari 360. De­vel­op­ment of the rear-en­gined ma­chine had been stretched to its limit. Surely it was time for the Boxster to take over, its mid-en­gined lay­out far more suit­able for the task. Of course it didn’t hap­pen, and Porsche did, amaz­ingly, man­age to squeeze some more from the 911, but it’s never been the dom­i­nant force that it once was. In­ter­est­ingly, in or­der to re­main rel­e­vant in re­cent years, Porsche has had to ef­fec­tively lobby for a change in the rules, to turn the GTE Pro Class, 911 RSRS from rear to mid-en­gined, to stand a chance against the BMWS, Fer­raris and Fords. Our man, Cot­ton, was kind of right then. It just took about 16years to hap­pen.

DE­CEM­BER 2012 (IS­SUE 225)

Uun­der­rated, was the cov­er­line, or should that have read ‘Un­pop­u­lar?’ The the­ory was to gather a bunch of 911s that were fly­ing un­der the radar, and there­fore the value curve, and so we col­lected a 911T, 911SC, early, non Var­i­o­ram 993, 996 C2, gen 1 997 C2, a roll hoop Targa and a Cabri­o­let, the per­cep­tion be­ing that these were the 911s to be avoided, for a va­ri­ety of rea­sons, that had be­come, some­how, ac­cepted wis­dom.

Pre the air-cooled boom this had some ba­sis, as good 911SCS could still be had for £15k (as ev­i­denced in the clas­si­fieds) and a 911T was the cheap­est way into a clas­sic look­ing 911. If you’d have bought any of the air-cooled cars in the fea­ture, it would have been a smart move. The two wa­ter-cooled cars, how­ever, are still in the same po­si­tion, but that’s slowly chang­ing. Don’t get left be­hind this time!

Talk­ing of buy­ing cars, a quick flick through the ‘Our cars’ pages and there I am buy­ing yet an­other 944. A 2.5 Lux, in Di­a­mond Blue metal­lic, it turned out to the be the best one I ever had, too. Sold it to make way for my 996, per­haps fol­low­ing the above ad­vice!

DE­CEM­BER 2007 (IS­SUE 165)

Some is­sues bring back cer­tain mem­o­ries, and not al­ways Porsche re­lated. The De­cem­ber 2007 is­sue, pro­duced in mid Oc­to­ber, re­minds me of putting the mag­a­zine to­gether, largely on a lap top from bed, with the help of very strong pain killers, hav­ing com­pre­hen­sively jig­gered my back.

Back to the Porsche side of things, and it was a good is­sue, prov­ing that the drugs clearly did work! Our reg­u­lar colum­nists had plenty to say. Keith Seume de­bated whether Porsches had be­come just too com­mon, while Peter Mor­gan cel­e­brated the busi­ness nous and in­spi­ra­tional lead­er­ship of Wen­delin Wiedek­ing. In ret­ro­spect, you have to say that Keith was prob­a­bly right, and that Wiedek­ing was largely re­spon­si­ble for that, while turn­ing Porsche into the world’s most prof­itable car com­pany. His­tory also tells us that the ‘Wun­der­man’ then got rather am­bi­tious and by 2012 he was gone and Porsche was be­ing bailed out by VW...

On the do­mes­tic front, the Lon­don Con­ges­tion Charge was be­ing rolled out, which would see most Porsches pay­ing £25 to en­ter, save for the 2.7-litre Boxster and Cay­man, which would pay only £8. What mpg could we squeeze from one we won­dered? 36.4mpg, and that was try­ing!

Some­thing along the lines of what Michael Cot­ton might have been al­lud­ing to was featured in this is­sue: namely a Boxster with a 996, 3.4-litre engine trans­plant. Distress­ingly for the owner, the 2.5 Boxster’s IMS bear­ing let go, but Aut­o­farm came to the res­cue, sourc­ing an engine and cre­at­ing a prop­erly fast Boxster.

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