GALLERY: Behind The Scenes On Our Porsche 911 Carrera T Film Shoot
Rather than a portrait of a single car, our film this week spans multiple continents and decades as we explore the legacy and evolution of the Porsche 911T. There is a clear evolution that’s taken place between the stripped-down sports car’s inception in 1968 and the latest twin-turbocharged 911 to wear the badge, but their shared philosophy is a timeless one, and the cars both stand distinctly among their respective 911 families for reasons that haven’t changed over the march of time in between.
To start with the perspective of experience, we visited our Southern Californian neighbors and internationally-renowned Porsche restoration specialists CPR Classic, to see how they celebrate both the vintage and modern era of the 911, the T model in particular.
From meticulous ground-up work on Speedsters to motorsport participation in contemporary GT3s, the members of the Doherty family are clearly immersed in the brand in more than a niche capacity, and they share and maintain an appreciation for the “purist’s Porsche” even if they’re surrounded by quite a few 2.7 RSes on any given day.
Years later, Brian recounts his time spent working for Porsche, how his brothers, factory-trained mechanics, went off on their own to form CPR with Brian working on the project on the side, and then how he returned from his career as a pilot to join the family business. In the time since, he has brought his own children into the mix, and now his daughter Andrea and son Dylan are running the business together, extending the family legacy with the marque. And though much has changed and many square feet have been added over the years, Brian still recalls the experience of the original 911T back when the car was brand new.
The latest of the T models, the 2018 911 Carrera T, has a smorgasbord of differences compared to the standard 911, but it can be summed up as a means to greater simplicity; a honing and fat-trimming exercise to deliver a sharper, rawer experience; an argument for the rear-engined Porsche as a sports car instead of a GT.
The original ’60s T was Porsche’s entry-level 911 offering, and in paring down on the creature comforts of its faster and more luxury-laden brethren, it set the trajectory for the latest to wear the name. The new car builds on the ethos of its predecessor, but with a greater focus on performance in tandem with the call to simplicity this time—the focus is on the delivering the unfiltered 911 experience, not price point and market share. Think of it as an S that’s been honed for the purity of driving, shedding some fat and keeping everything else. In that sense, it becomes closer to the ideal 911 from the sporting perspective. You can option one with PDK, but the seven-speed manual is the only right choice when it comes to this car, and along with the S’s mechanically locking differential and sport suspension, it completes the enthusiast checklist without adding anything unnecessary.
Among the many other changes, this Porsche will get special T-only cloth seat inserts, straps in place of heavier door handles, thinner rear and quarter window glass, and less sound and vibration insulation. If this is sounding like a familiar story, that’s good. It should. It is an evolution, not a radical change. Genuine harmony between the past and the present is a rarity in a time when heritage is so often trotted out for promotion only. With the new 911 Carrera T, Porsche has remained faithful to its history even as it continues to guide the leading edge of modern sports driving. Loyal to its forebears and the torchbearer of undiluted driving in the modern age—it is the antithesis to apathy.