If I had £1 for each time I had said “I am never selling this Car”, I’d have about £10. Okay, maybe more. But honestly, from the moment I bought the 993, driving and soaring along the Scottish Mountainside from Edinburgh I never thought I would sell it. But that is the nature of Life I suppose; the uncertainty; its unwritten nature.
Obviously I have learned a tremendous amount about the Porsche 993. I know a lot about its engineering, its history, its weaknesses, its strengths, its mechanics and its cosmetics.
I have also learned a lot about buying a classic Porsche 911, and learned a lot about myself along the way. What I am capable of, what I can do and also finding my car maintenance limits.
If I could go back and change it, would I..? Emphatically yes. Probably starting with the car itself. Not because I didn’t buy the best example that my money could get me, but because I have done everything that I could have done with this particular 993, and don’t really wish to repeat that.
I wish I had opened up to the Online Forums sooner, I wish I had asked Questions about buying a 993, learning of others’ experiences and getting advice from that. Experience garners Humility, in that the more experience I gain the greater appreciation I have from knowing that there are others that know more, and have had a different experience.
Still, I can only value the knowledge I have, having had the experience I have. And it has been an expensive one.
I have looked at too many Porsche 964 and 993 Engine Bays the last few years. It becomes an addiction, you want to create that type of Engine Bay that exposes the chassis work inside, so you can see the paint of the chassis, so you can see how uncluttered the Bay is. It’s bonkers. I did what I could to remove the Bulky Plastic components of the 993’s Beating Heart, the Air Filter and Heater Blower being the most offending units. Replacing the Alternator Fan added a renewed cleanliness, albeit at exorbitant cost, but again ultimately worth it.
The Bodywork and Body Styling was also transformed. Removing the Third Brake Light [a later add on to the 993 by a Previous Owner, as this was not specified on the Build Sheet Codes], swapping out the Grill for a Carrera S unit, the addition of the lightweight Faux Louvred Quarter Glass, new Paint and Paint matching and extensive Rust and Reparation Work; the 993 was made into a truly Show-worthy Motor.. And let’s not forget those Speedlines..
Stance, poise and attitude all derive from the suspension height of a car, and the 993 is no exception. The Bilstein B12 upgrade was incredible, it was a different car afterwards, and with the addition of the Speedlines perfectly filling the Wheel Arches, it really became a Street Rod. I was so very close to fitting a complete RS Body Kit, I had all the parts, but I needed to pull myself back from that brink for financial reasons. I was and had already gotten so deep with the 993 that it would have been the extra mile that may have pushed it beyond a Carrera and on to a Replica, which was not where I wanted to go.
Too numerous to list; too many RoadTrip Smiles, too many special moments that are engraved into my Mind. Arriving anywhere in the 993 presents an occasion. People look at it. Middle Aged Men look on with a smile that says “I always wanted one of those”, as the 993 burbles into an Hotel approach, as you pull up to a Shop or Cafe frontage, as you stop for Fuel, or even as you pull up to a Police Station in Southern France to report some Vandalism. There is always someone looking at the Car.
It was one of those Drives that I will remember, hopefully, as long as I live. I hope to regale the story to a future Grandson as he is sat on my lap, exciting him with the sense of speed, abandon and carefree nature that only his imagination can imbue.
As we left the city of Bologna on our Grand Tour of Europe, heading North West late afternoon, the road to Modena was heavily trafficked. It seemed as if the journey would be thick and soup like. But as we passed around Modena, Reggio Emilia and then Parma, we headed as recommended South West down the E31 / A15 towards La Spezia, where we would then join the Coast Road ; and what a fantastic route that would prove to be..
Whilst the event of rolling over the 100,000th Miles was somewhat unceremonious [Roadworks], the drive was glorious. Hitting the Coast at La Spezia and heading North and West towards Sanremo was unforgettable. Gross Generalisations aside, Italians drive Fast. I enjoyed the driving from La Spezia to Genoa in tandem with a Gentleman driving a Renault Clio on the very edge of its capabilities. It reminded me of late night / early morning mid 1990s drives back to University; foot flat, sidewall scrubbing, redlining all the way. Hollie was busy looking for a Hotel in Sanremo for us to check in to [that evening], so was otherwise occupied but partially aware of the enthusiastic driving taking place. We were the wrong side of the speed limit by some way on empty littoral raised highway at dusk. It was epic.
I saw the Renault Clio join the highway just ahead of me, at speed, and watched as the driver dropped the hammer and accelerate away from me; I gave chase. I will admit that, not knowing the road, I struggled to keep up – with a Renault Clio..! I resigned myself to the fact that the driver knew the road, and that the Clio must be a Sport model. I caught the Clio, we stayed together, I followed his line.
With the Sun setting to my left, the evening light was low and warm, burning across the dash. The 993 roared in the power band, 5th Gear, 6th Gear, 5th Gear and so on. The road emptied. The chase continued. Tracing the racing line across the deserted highway, gaining and then ceding ground to the Italian, it was an unbelievable drive. Given that I am writing about it over two years later, remembering it still, it was clearing an unforgettable one.
Thirty minutes or so later, the Clio pulled off towards Genoa, and we were left to cruise the remainder of the Coastal Road alone, with the Sun’s glow still present on the horizon ahead of us. We were heading due West towards Sanremo, and a late arrival Hotel room awaited us. As the 993 pulled onto the Concourse, its rude burble echoing around the outer walls of the Hotel, it sat conspicuous among the large Mercedes and BMW saloons, as it should.
The Magazine Shoot
This was a highlight of my Life, let alone of 993 ownership. And it would not have happened had it not been for the determination and indeed imagination of a recently gained friend of mine Andrew. What started out as a few hundred words perhaps, buried in the back pages of 911 & Porsche World evolved into a Cover Shot and a leading Article.
The whole day at Longcross was fantastic, educating and revelatory. Learning about the photography, the journalism and the article process was good enough, but to have it [pretty much] immortalised in Print is incredible. The greatest thing to have come from that day has to be the cementing of a friendship with Andrew, and the comradery that came with it.
Sure, I don’t have the 993 any more, but the friendship continues and we still message each other about our Porsche journeys and indeed about life itself. Porsches come and go, but the friendship will last a lifetime.
If you wanna make an Omelette..
That was a Bad Day. There have been a few, but that was Top Five stuff. I remember the words of Andy at Precision “I don’t know what was holding it together in there”.
It was a six figure Bill, a whopper, and for not much more than making sure it would work. I learned hard that day, and I won’t make the same mistake again. If I can impart one piece of knowledge to you if you are looking for a 993, or indeed any classic 911, it is this: Get an Independent and Professional Inspection. Spend £500 and you will save Thousands; literally. Sure, buy on Condition, but make sure that the Condition is verified by someone who knows more than you, a lot more.
Quoi Le Fuck Actuel..? I am still not entirely sure what happened nor why it did, but waking up in that small French Village on the Trans Euro Express RoadTrip to the damage that had been done to the Car overnight was not a great start to the day.
Someone had scored the 993 from front to back on both sides with a deep blade, so deep that the paint had knurled on one edge of the cut as the blade reached the metal of the bodywork.
It was brutal. And pretty sickening.
Somehow I managed to stay cool, and not react as perhaps the situation merited. A couple of hours later in the local Police Station the Crime was reported, a case File created and the matter was logged; I would take a couple of months to decide on whether to make an insurance claim or not. As it turns out I did, and had some other bodywork attended to in the process, doubling the Bill but bringing the 993 to a Show & Shine worthy standard. Trying to find the Good in all this isn’t easy when you’re Six Grand out of pocket, but these things happen..
Some mornings you wake up, and have a thought. And I did that day. I decided I’d move the 993 on.
I didn’t advertise the 993 as such, I merely mentioned on a Forum that I was thinking about selling, and almost instantly I received a Private Message from an interested party. Ballpark figures were agreeable, and a viewing was arranged.
The Buyer was a keen Porsche owner, and had enjoyed his fair share of 911s, but I knew my 993 was good. Better than good. It was bloody great. When talking about it, I was confident; when driving it, I was proud. I had created a great 993..! I knew he wanted it, there was nothing wrong with it, I just watched him realise this was the 993 for him. Being the Christmas period, the Sale was a little protracted and lengthy, but by the time 2020 came around the 993 was gone to a new home and all I had were memories..
I watched a Petrolicious Youtube video about a chap who bought a Singer, which he rather over zealously referred to, and badged as Sine Qua Non – Without Which there is Nothing; essentially a thing that is absolutely necessary..
I disagree. With the sale of my 993, I found myself somewhat unburdened, able to think freely and not have that ubiquitous influence; Sine Qua Omnia – Without it, Everything..
I’m not sure when or which 911 will be next. Moving back to London has been a lifestyle decision, so for now, enjoying living back in this great City is number one. My 968 Sport is a fantastic car, and I really have fallen into it emotionally. I love working on it, and driving it. It’s not a 911, but I’m not sure that is a bad thing, and the more I learn about it and live with it, the greater the sense of the car I get.
Do I miss the 993..? Yes.. Do I wish I hadn’t sold it..? No..
It was a Chapter in my life, not the whole Book.
Surfer. Biker. Coder. Porsche.