Reader Submissions: Driving Exciting New Cars Enhances Porsche 993's Appeal

Driving Exciting New Cars Enhances Porsche 993’s Appeal

By Petrolicious Productions
February 2, 2015
22 comments

Owner and photographer: Laurance Yap

Year, Make, and Model: 1995 Porsche 911 Carrera

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

My dad was the original influence–he worked at a car dealership in the Philippines briefly when he was a kid, and when we moved to Canada, he worked as a car jockey at Budget Rent-a-Car even after he landed a job in banking, which was his chosen profession. But very quickly, I became more obsessed than he was, consuming every car magazine I could get my hands on; I loved to go for car rides, loved to sketch cars and build them out of Legos. By the time I was attending university, I’d managed to land a gig writing a car column for the local newspaper, something that I did for twelve years. My first story was a book review, but I soon graduated to reviewing cars.

Having actually worked at Porsche for six years (first in PR, then marketing), I have to attribute part of my love of old cars to my time there. But after twelve years of reviewing new cars, I was all about the latest technology, or the most up-to-date styling. Working at Porsche nurtured the other side of my automotive brain, introducing me to the concepts of continuity, heritage, patina, and unbroken lineage. I spent a day at the Porsche Classic restoration shop early in my career, and wasn’t the same since.

I spent more than a year looking for a 964, and almost bought two of them. The first was at a local dealer, and it was beautiful, having been the subject of a semi-restoration, with a total engine rebuild, glass-out respray, and a set of tasteful modifications; someone beat me to that one. The second, I found through the local Porsche club, and we’d agreed on a price and everything, but when the car came out of storage the spring I was to take possession of it, the owner discovered a couple of mechanical issues, and didn’t want to sell it in that condition. I’m actually in touch with the guy that did end up buying it.

All the while, I was browsing online classifieds, and came across this nice, local 993. The price was right, it drove nicer than the 964s I’d tried out, and I liked its light-coloured interior, which hides the cracks in the leather better than black does.

It was as much timing as anything else. I’d spent so long looking for an air-cooled car that I was just ready to make a move and the price was right. I’m glad I bought it when I did; value was never really a consideration when I was shopping as I wasn’t looking for an investment piece, but it’s nice to know that I could probably sell it for what I paid for it, including what I’ve invested in maintenance and repairs.

Other than the radio, it’s one hundred per cent original, down to the (broken) cassette tape holder in the centre console. The originality is something I’ve really come to appreciate, as it’s a comfortable cruiser as well as a great sports car. The high mileage (I’m up to almost 170,000 km now) didn’t bother me, because it meant the car had been driven and enjoyed, and maintained. As soon as I got it, I invested a few dollars in a major service and had the brakes done; nothing’s gone wrong since then except for blowing a tire out on a pothole in downtown Toronto, and having had to replace a couple of the (fortunately inexpensive) power window switches.

I love the purity of its design, and that it’s the most evolved version of the classic 911 shape. I love how it feels simultaneously mechanical and raw, while also being completely civilized and suitable for longer drives.

Also, I feel like it suits my personality. It’s small and kind of funny-looking, but capable and speedy when asked. It’s straight-laced and uptight in a way only a German car can be, but smiley and happy, too. It has its share of scars, and it can smell a bit funny, but it cleans up pretty well. I like it because it’s a more honest representation of who I am than the glorious stuff I’m fortunate enough to drive on a daily basis; I like it because I feel more like myself in here than at pretty much any other time.

I know it was made for much nobler (and faster) things, but the 993 is really a terrific little urban runabout. It’s tiny, easy to see out of, fast, and feels tough as nails. Like wearing a watch whose depth rating is overkill for sitting at a desk, the Porsche’s “density”, subtsance, and ability make the most mundane tasks feel just a little bit special.

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Antony Ingram
Antony Ingram(@antony-ingram)
6 years ago

Thoroughly envious – like many others here the 993 is perhaps my favourite generation of 911, or at least the one I’d be most happy driving day to day (I do love the originals, but I’d feel cruel using one simply to commute in).

Unfortunately, prices here in the UK have risen so sharply that 993s are far away from my budget and rising at a rate faster than my salary can cope with!

Nik Hafermaas
Nik Hafermaas(@fb_585031660)
6 years ago

At 186K miles we call her the Old Lady. A true family member. She takes the kids to school every morning and
on weekends she roars up Mullholland and Angeles Crest. At 250K she might get a full restoration. Or not. And continue to wear her patina with pride…

Leslie Goh
Leslie Goh(@leslieg)
6 years ago
Reply to  Nik Hafermaas

Nik,

So funny. Pic below is our ‘Old Lady’. A 74 2.7 rebuilt as a 2.7 RS replica with correct 911/83 engine, suspension and gearbox.

Tim Joslyn
Tim Joslyn(@patina)
6 years ago

Nice article and lovely pics. Everybody will have their opinion but for me its the car I pull out the garage (owning both old and new) when I want to have a blast. It is from a period when you can still feel the car’s analogue roots but it doesn’t have so much trickery that you can get away with anything. I love the modern stuff but the 993 is rewarding to take out without having to reach warp speed…

Mine is at https://classics.getpatina.com/vehicles/JWUSHQLHMB

Irvin Teo
Irvin Teo(@fb_579666225)
6 years ago

993s are awesome. Love your article. Here’s my car (taken more than 20mins ago, way more…) Perfect for the streets and errands, mine’s almost a daily. i try to make it a daily.

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange(@365daytonafan)
6 years ago
Reply to  Irvin Teo

Cool car and dog :). Is that a 993 Turbo S?

Jim Valcarcel
Jim Valcarcel(@ethel19)
6 years ago
Reply to  Matthew Lange

Love the dog too Matthew! By the way……when can I have a ride in your 365gtb/4? I wish Petrolicious would do an article on your car!

Jim Valcarcel
Jim Valcarcel(@ethel19)
6 years ago
Reply to  Jim Valcarcel

Better yet a video!!!

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange(@365daytonafan)
6 years ago
Reply to  Jim Valcarcel

Petrolicious did an article on my car sometime [url=”http://petrolicious.com/lucky-son-inherits-daytona”]ago[/url]. As to a video right now the Daytona is up on ramps having its transaxle overhauled and a few other jobs done. When the car is ready and the roads are free of salt lets just say watch this space 😉

Jim Valcarcel
Jim Valcarcel(@ethel19)
6 years ago
Reply to  Jim Valcarcel

Thanks Matthew for referring me back to the article on your car. Didn’t know it was there! Can’t wait for a video.

Leslie Goh
Leslie Goh(@leslieg)
6 years ago

Laurance,

I concur 100\%!!

That is a picture taken 20 mins ago of my daily

Kuroneko
Kuroneko(@kuroneko)
6 years ago

The 993 is my all time favorite 911. Not least of which because it looks so lithe, but also of course for the simple romance of it being the last of the air-cooled cars… Really well shot here too! Great stuff.

Ray Jay
Ray Jay(@hamfisted)
6 years ago

Dear Petro-Please hire Martin James.

Thomas maine
Thomas maine(@2chevaux)
6 years ago

one photo says it all – CARISMA

Martin James
Martin James(@coloradokid)
6 years ago

Ok …lets be honest here . Classic Porsches for what they are are wonderful . I love em . The 993 … though far from being one of the best classic Porsches [ saying it is once again is yet another myth .. in the 993’s case because its the last of the air cooled Porsches . Now the 993 GT3 ? Well now … thats a horse of a different color ] is a fine classic Porsche to own and drive

But using it as a shopping trolley ? An in town blip about ? An errand boys delight ? Sure its plenty capable of doing so . But the fact is the car was never made for that [ on a regular basis ] and is being slowly but surely ruined . The 993 was built … yes for daily use … with the assumption that that daily use would include regular blasts down the Autobahn !

Alois Ruf said it best when he stated that No One in the US should ever buy a stock Porsche … never mind one of his re-manufactured ones because we have neither the roads or the speed limits to use even 40\% of the cars potential . A bit harsh perhaps … but the point is well made …. by a man who knows more than me .. Mr Yap and the rest of us combined .

As far as new versus old though when it comes to 911’s ? The genuine Porschephile’s axiom wisdom of ;

” The best Porsche you can buy is the newest Porsche you can afford ” …. Period !!!!

… holds true . All else being nothing more than either trying to justify owning an older Porsche because … and ONLY because you like it [ I do ] … or a statement of romantic ideals perpetuating a myth that in fact does not even so much as resemble reality .

Martin James
Martin James(@coloradokid)
6 years ago
Reply to  Martin James

By the way .. the other ‘ myth ‘ constantly being perpetuated by the Porsche delusional is that the street Porsche they own was ever intended for or is capable of even being a ‘ race ‘ car . Fact is … it is not . Even if it is a GT3-RS .. or the grandest Porsche delusion of all time … the ubiquitous classic 911 RS !

One look at the amount of prep etc needed to build a racing or even an R-GT rally Porsche proves toot suite just how far from being a ‘ race ‘ car your ‘ street ‘ Porsche really is , was , or ever will be

Nate
Nate(@nsd)
6 years ago
Reply to  Martin James

Sorry but not much of anything you stated is fact, its mostly just opinion bits. You should really try to refrain from your opinion when it comes to Porsches and stick with the quality of the article.

Ae Neuman
Ae Neuman(@fb_1293493178)
6 years ago
Reply to  Martin James

^ agree with nate.
btw what is a 993 gt3 ?
:p

while everyone goes after the widebody 2/4s, turbos, and stripped out racers (rs, gt2) i would be perfectly happy with a bog standard carrera 2.

Aaron Sacks
Aaron Sacks(@sacksenheim)
6 years ago

I wonder, does Laurance still work for Porsche? And in what capacity? What do his co-workers think of his choice of ride?

Kurtis Cournoyer
Kurtis Cournoyer(@kurtis-911)
6 years ago

Love this story ! Love the pictures ….just awesome …
I have learned that the true beauty behind an automotive manufacturer is it`s history. Today`s cars are shaped, and build with reflection upon the past. The 911 is a timeless design ….I can`t wait to see what the future brings us… however cars of the future will never replace what was already a perfect design.

KC

John
John(@jcochran)
6 years ago

Well said! I have a 96 and agree completely. It is a great runabout, kinda odd looking and it does make trips to the grocery store a little more exciting. Stuffing my groceries in the frunk still makes me smile.

Cooks Ehsan
Cooks Ehsan(@fb_1135832719)
6 years ago

My sentiments exactly; after owning a 964; the 993 is just perfect in every respect suited for the weekday chores and weekend sprints! As incredible as the newer P-cars are, everything after this point in the standard 911 lineage lost much of it’s ‘feel’ – Most of all gotta love that classic profile; and those big juicy hips… My fave!