The 911 Years: T minus 9 (months)

As a general rule, I keep my cars for 3 years. The itch for something new starts at about the 2 year mark, with serious investigations beginning 6 months prior to change over. So I’m getting close.

But this time it’ll be a bit different and I’m still perplexed with the whole shall I / shan’t I quandary.

Firstly, my 911 is used less regularly than my previous cars, perhaps about half as much. This means I’m still not bored of it and with every journey I’m warming to it a little more (quite literally at the minute, but I’ll come on to that later).

Secondly, it’s great to have backseats and be able to use it as a family car. This lovely weather we are having means the 911 is getting a lot of outings and my 2 year old daughter loves it! We have an almost daily routing of going in the garage, unlocking the car, opening the roof, putting the radio on and pressing the “beep, beep”. And if the other car isn’t in the way, I’m often ordered (as children do) to put her into her child seat in the back and “Drive daddy. Drive”. What’s not to like?

However, it has now done 66,000 miles and needs a spruce up externally. A respray and alloy refurb would be nice but there isn’t any point spending a lot of money on cosmetics if it isn’t going to be in my stable forever. And there is the ever present gamble of IMS. Or RMS. Or scored bores. Or Radiator failure.

Aaah. radiator failure. Yep, that’s me. Tick-in-the-box. Check. Repeats of my 986 ownership resonate as the air conditioning has gone kaput. This is a real pain if I want to use the car for longer (motorway) journeys as I prefer the roof up at persistent high speed and its flippin’ boiling in there without the roof down. That needs fixing sharpish. But bank account says “You’ve got a wedding to pay for, boy-o”. and with all essential maintenance recently completed (service, brakes, etc), the air con is going to have to wait. Meanwhile, my £300 15 year old Audi continues to reliably blow ice cool air from its vents. Dear oh dear, Porsche.

But the longer I wait, the closer I’ll be to a potential 3-year changeover. And at that point, where to go from here? As justified above, I like the back seats so a new 911 would be ideal. That leaves the Gen2, except I prefer the look of the Gen1 (inside and outside) over a Gen2. Plus, a Gen2 is about £20k more expensive – for a car that is still essentially the same. I genuinely can’t see the point in doing that. I’m not bothered for a higher performance variant either as the “S” has plenty of oomph for me.

And that leaves just a couple of cars. An ‘almost purchase’ when I got the 911, the Ferrari 360 is still a front runner for changeover. I drove a friends recently and instantly brought a gigantic smile to my face for the entire time I was driving. The mid engined balance and linear power delivery reminded me of the Boxster and the inner show-off loved the extraordinary attention that it gets over the anonymous black Porker. I tried it in my garage too and it fits, but only in convertible form as the doors won’t open wide enough in a Coupe. I prefer the 360 Coupe, and a Spider is more expensive. Doh! More savings required then.

Alternatively, I quite like the Maserati GT. They will seat the family and will be a completely different ownership experience from the past 8 years of Porsche. But I’m still not sold on that idea in my own mind. And it might not fit in the garage either.

An outside choice would be the new Porsche Macan but I still want a sports car for a few more years yet. I like the new Cayman – but no backseats and the 991 is far too expensive yet. And there is nothing else out there at all that floats my boat. Maybe an R8, but thats 360 money and I’d rather have a horse than 4 more rings.

So, after all that I think I can see the 911 staying for a while. It is still interesting to drive and I’m getting tonderstand the dynamics much better as time goes on. And it’s fun to share the hobby with my little lady. I’ve a funny feeling I might just end up keeping this car for a very long time, despite still not ‘loving’ it. Weird huh.