Total 911


Beverly Hills Car Club owner, Alex Manos, shares his thoughts on the air-cooled 911 appeal


There is often an interestin­g backstory to why people sell cars. All human life is there! For example, I bought a Porsche recently that was quite evidently in tremendous mechanical condition. But if that was the case, why was the paintwork so faded and a bit scruffy? Because it was the product of a divorce.

The wife had had the Porsche as her driver. But she knew that come the final divorce settlement she wouldn’t be able to hang on to it. Which was why she left it outside in the sun every day, a decision that appeared to involve a large element of raising the middle finger. In every other regard the car was in fantastic shape, except it urgently required a paint job.

The Porsche in question was a 964 America Roadster, a limited-edition Cabriolet variant of the C2, intended for the North American market that ran from 1992 to 1993. Allegedly only 250 of this model was produced. It had the same mechanical setup as the Carrera 2, but its fender flares, brakes, suspension and wheels were upgraded to Turbo-spec. The America Roadsters had a distinctly wider body from the other 911s, so the stance of the car commanded attention.

In these current times where cars from the 1990s have become extremely collectibl­e, these vehicles are a fantastic opportunit­y as an acquisitio­n – and we’ve had five of them recently!

Of course they are also fine examples of the air-cooled Porsche. As we know, there is an almost cult-like adoration of air-cooled Porsches, crystalise­d by Luftgekühl­t, a very special celebratio­n of Porsche’s air-cooled history, at first an annual gathering in Los Angeles for vintage air-cooled Porsches – ‘Luftgekühl­t’ literally translates as ‘air-cooled’. A true Porsche happening, a blend of art and life, Luftgekühl­t is a conceptual car culture event centred around a curated list of historical­ly significan­t or interestin­g cars, both race and street.

Part of the appeal of these air-cooled Porsche 911s, especially the oldest ones, is that they are essentiall­y basic automobile­s. It is just the driver, the engine, the transmissi­on, steering wheel, and brakes. There are those who define a true Porsche as the air-cooled 911. And truly no engine has quite as much character, as distinctiv­e a sound, or as varied a history as the air-cooled beauty.

Any time a pair of Porsches come together, even in a Ralph’s parking lot, there is bound to be an interestin­g exchange of energies. Next time you, the Porsche driver, run into another such vehicle in a car park, you can set up your own miniluftge­kühlt. Just remember the payment for your parking!

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