Lee Sibley Poole, UK
@lee_sibs 9WERKS TV 9WERKS Radio Model 996.1 CARRERA Year 1998 Acquired JAN 2019
In years gone by, I have made my feelings very clear in this magazine that I feel cars – and Porsches in particular – are built to be driven and not stored. Largely I still agree with this sentiment: from a practical point of view, if a 911 is laid up for a long time, parts dry out and seize, and it can lead to a lot of work to get it roadworthy again.
There’s also the emotional side: cars aren’t like paintings, they are the sum of thousands of mechanical parts working together in harmony, to borrow a quote from Andreas Preuninger. They are intended for use on the road, for the joy of driving, and so owning a Porsche and not adhering to this is missing the point.
In this regard, I have always championed the merit of a 911 as a suitable daily steer. Indeed, in the six years I myself have owned 911s, I have practised what I preached, and used my 911 as my everyday drive… until the summer just passed.
The reality is, a 911 is, in principle, a very capable daily driver. However, ‘a’ 911 is not ‘my’ 911, so I soon became tired of rowing through the manual gearbox when stuck in traffic, of the harsh ride on bumpy b-roads, of negotiating icy roads in a rear-wheel-drive car in winter, and of trying to shoehorn a growing dog into the back who clearly wasn’t happy with the small perch offered by a 911’s rear seat. As I’ve mentioned, a 957 Cayenne was the answer, which has significantly reduced seat time in the 996 since.
So I’m eating a slice of humble pie when it comes to the sentiments at the top of this column, but there is a positive here: each and every occasion I jump behind the wheel of the 996, it feels so special – it’s like the very first time I sat in ‘my’ 911, every time. Alright, so my
911 is ‘just’ a 996 and not exactly the most sought-after model out there but, genuinely, taking to the wheel in it feels as special a moment as any I’ve had driving any 911, ever.
I think this is a good thing: I appreciate the car in a way I simply didn’t when driving it daily, and have a new-found admiration for it that means every time I drive it is a real occasion.
So where do I now stand on the ‘how often should you drive your Porsche’ debate? The blanket answer remains ‘as often as you can’; what I now realise is, the definition of that may vary from one enthusiast to another. And, so long as you are driving your Porsche as often as you can, you really are getting the best out of your 911 ownership experience – just make sure it doesn’t start collecting dust at any point…