Me & My Car: an '80s time-warp, Porsche 911 style
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Tell us about your 911SC Porsche.
It is an RHD 1981 Porsche 911SC coupe. Five-speed manual, and platinum metallic with a mint green engine lid instead of the whale tail. The race number 23 is a historical reference to the first Porsche to win Le Mans.
When did you buy it?
I picked it up from the middle of the North Island in early February 2014 and drove it home to Christchurch that day. I think the design is one huge draw for me. Lifestyle-wise it is a terrible match. The dog won’t fit in it, it’s not great for hauling mountain bikes or going on snowboard trip and it barely warms up by the time I have finished my commute to work.
What do you like about it?
I get a kick out of the revvy 3L engine pushing the car along. It’s a time warp, you need to engage with the car when you drive it. That flat six sitting over the rear axle is a real threat of coming back around you if you are not driving properly and overcook it then lift off through a corner. There is no buffer between you and the mechanical components which means you feel weight shifts. You listen to the engine and feel the movement in your hands and the seat of your pants. I love the new cars and the amazing tech that’s out there now but sometimes that can overcomplicate driving.
Is it your everyday drive?
It has been but lately I was doing a soft resto. Now it is more of a weekender.
What did that involve?
A few things such as stainless steel heat exchangers, turbo tie rods, updated chain tensioners, slightly lowered on adjustable Koni sports struts, updated engine and gearbox mounts, stainless brake lines, back dated heating system, RS interior kit, Cobra RS seats, a bunch of Rennline interior parts, handmade RS door cards and door pulls, fibreglass engine lid with the old looking race number, Momo steering wheel … There are a couple more little things then I think I’ll stop pulling bits apart.
Who else drives it?
On occasion my wife has driven it.
Other vehicles in your garage?
We also have an RHD 1990 964c2 manual, a modern 911, a Subaru Outback, and a 1974 Toyota FJ45 pickup ex-ski field service truck with a snow plough attachment. The 964 is my current daily driver.
What do you keep in your 911?
A pocketknife, it’s just a useful thing to have.
Do you prefer manual or automatic?
Manual makes you feel like a driver.
Who started your interest in cars?
Dad is a car guy, some of my favourite memories are going to the car shows like the old Lady Wigram and the old Classic show at Turners Auctions building when I was a kid. Dad was an active member of the Riley car club and often helped set up the stand while I wandered around checking out all the Jag, Merc, Porsche, Ford, Alfa, and Ferrari club stands. I remember when he got his first Riley, a fantastic condition little Elf, then his collection started growing to include an RMA and an RMB, and mum got an MG midget. It is a genetic thing.
What was your first car?
A 1989 Mitsubishi Galant VR4 when I was too young to know better. I had many funny stories with it, 80s turbos can be fun to drive.
Any vehicles you have regretted selling?
My first 1974 FJ45, it’s so simple and useful and was always a laugh to drive around in.
Do you have a favourite movie car scene?
There are bunch of great car scenes in No Man’s Land with Porsche 930s and Charlie Sheen.
Great day trip out of Christchurch?
Akaroa is a great drive over and through the hills when there is no traffic.
What do you listen to?
I don’t listen to music. The windows go down and I listen to the car.