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Unread 01-09-2010, 07:16 AM   #1
PNine64
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Default My love affair with a 20-year-old

I recently bought a twenty-year-old Porsche. Iíll try and explain why.

December 31st 2009, by Michael La Fave

On the face of it, I donít imagine that buying a 20-year-old Porsche makes much sense to the average Joe. Aside from the fact itís old, outdated and lacks the innumerable mod cons weíve all come to expect and enjoy in car, there are undeniable reliability and maintenance concerns. Not the least of which is the simple cost of fixing it. It doesnít even have very impressive stats by todayís standards.

Consider that the 3.6-litre air cooled flat-six in my 1990 Carrera 2 makes only 247-hp and 228-lb.ft of torque. A new Camry V6, by comparison, has 268-hp and a $32,995 Hyundai Genesis Coupe has just over 300-hp. Standard! A Hyundai! Never mind that a brand spanking new 911 packs a whopping 345-hp from the same 3.6-litres of displacement.

Thereís no stability control, no Blutooth, no navi, no keyless entry or automatic trunk lid. There arenít auto-down windows and programmable climate controls. You canít adjust the suspension at the push of a button either and the stereo sucks. It has dual airbags and ABS though the former probably donít work anymore and the latter definitely donít, but I knew that when I bought it.

What it does have, however, is soul. The traditionally adroit lines of the 911 were brilliantly updated with the 1990-1994 964 generationís integrated plastic bumpers and lower body trim and it is, to my eyes at least, the best-looking 911 there will ever be. I mean is it just me or did Porsche hire some out-of-work Pontiac designers to style the new Turbo and GT3?

Thereís soul in the way doors "clack" when you close them and in the way the interior smells faintly of oil. It has soul in the lumpy idle of its engine and deep gargling of its exhaust. It has soul in the weight and meat of the steering and in the whistling of air over its steel rain gutters. Thereís a purity of spirit in the way it drives Ė you just canít get this close to a new machine no matter how hard you try.

This old Porsche is the bridge between the truly arcane engineering of older 911s and the present cars. Despite itís lack of gadgets and gizmos itís truly state-of-the-art in some respects like how itís almost as quick as a new Carrera thanks to itís significantly lighter weight. In fact I think it was Road&Track that managed a 4.9 second 0-60 run in a 964. Porscheís official time for the new one? 4.9 seconds. It rides as well as a new 911 and the steering is even better. It even tops out at a staggering 265 km/h but, as much fun as it can be, I didnít buy the car for its performance.

So why does a guy that has access to every new car on the road including new Porscheís several times a year wants this antiquated lump of late-eighties engineering? Simple, it makes me feel great in a way that few if any new cars can. After a long-day at the office Iíll head home, slip into (squeeze into in fact) the old 911 and run her up and down the highway, around a few ramps and cruise the quiet evening streets of Toronto. With the gruff engine churning away miles behind me and the tires hypnotically slapping expansion joints my worries melt away. I have a connection with this old car and I expect that to last the rest of my life.

Sometimes I just stand in the garage and stare at it. My wife's a bit worried but I digress...

My old 911 represents everything I love about cars. It is a fusion of design and engineering, old and new, looking back and looking forward at the same time and I donít expect this strange confluence of antiquity and modernity to ever happen again in the automotive world. Weíve gone past paradigm shifts like the 964. Mountains of legislation and our nanny state have guaranteed that. Itís a portal into a different time and an experience unlike any new car. Anyone that owns a classic knows what exactly what I mean. The rest of you? I suggest you go find out.

http://autos.sympatico.ca/features/2...-a-20-year-old
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Unread 01-09-2010, 07:42 AM   #2
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I know exactly how the author feels.
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Unread 01-09-2010, 08:21 AM   #3
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I hear ya...he captures my thoughts far better than I ever could.
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Unread 01-09-2010, 08:31 AM   #4
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Just take those old records off the shelf
I'll sit and listen to 'em by myself
Today's music ain't got the same soul
I like that old time rock 'n' roll

Don't try to take me to a disco
You'll never even get me out on the floor
In ten minutes I'll be late for the door
I like that old time rock 'n' roll
Still like that old time rock 'n' roll
That kind of music just soothes the soul
I reminisce about the days of old
With that old time rock 'n' roll
Won't go to hear them play a tango
I'd rather hear some blues or funky soul
There's only one sure way to get me to go
Start playing old time rock 'n' roll
Still like that old time rock 'n' roll
That kind of music just soothes the soul
I reminisce about the days of old
With that old time rock 'n' roll
Call me a relic, call me what you will
Say I'm old-fashioned, say I'm over the hill
Today's music ain't got the same soul
I like that old time rock 'n' roll
Still like that old time rock 'n' roll
That kind of music just soothes the soul
I reminisce about the days of old
With that old time rock 'n' roll
Still like that old time rock 'n' roll
That kind of music just soothes the soul
I reminisce about the days of old
With that old time rock 'n' roll
Rock 'n' roll
Soothes the soul
Days of old
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Unread 01-09-2010, 08:48 AM   #5
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Great article. I feel the same way about my 951. It's a bit on the rude side with stiff suspension, engine, road and wind noise. The AC doesn't hold a charge for more than a day and I don't get around to fixing it. It really isn't that much fun on long trips and you feel a bit beat up when you get where you're going.

But the same aspects of it's nature that make it rough around the edges are exactly the same aspects that appeal to me on a more primitive level. I drive a "nice" car all day everyday. When I get in a Porsche I'm looking for a thrill! When you feel the imperfections in the road you're FEELING the road! The sound of the engine is the soul of the beast singing to you! Fancy paint jobs are like tattoos. Rock chips are like scars, tattoos with better stories!

It's -22F here today. There is 30 inches of snow on the ground. I can hear the soul of the beast calling. Spring is just 3 months away!
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Unread 01-13-2010, 12:48 AM   #6
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