This Passionate Porsche Owner Uses Any Excuse To Explore Tuscany In His 1989 Carrera 4
Photography by Andrea Casano
The more we learn, the more we realize we don’t know. I think what separates hobbies from passions is how excited that realization makes us. When you’re interested in a subject, finding out that you still have a lot to find out is more than half of the fun. It’s why we modify cars, track down obscure racing history on the internet, embark by plane, train, and road trip to events, and it’s why we share our stories with each other: to experience something new in the realm of what we love, whether it’s a simple shared anecdote or a trip from the bucket list.
We start a conversation at a fuel pump with the owner of the 911, GTI, Corvette, or whatever enthusiast car model that you’ve seen many times before, not because we can’t resist the thought of checking out the car for the umpteenth time, but because it’s a chance to hear a new story. It’s sappy I know, but it’s also a chance to make a new friend.
I met Salvatore, or Salvo, the owner of this 1989 Porsche 911 about two years ago and within the first few minutes of our conversation I understood that he was a complete Porsche fanatic. There are plenty of guys that drive even the older-generation 911s that don’t have much to say about their cars besides some expression of general enjoyment, but Salvo is the kind of guy who when he invites you to his home you inevitably end up in the garage.
Salvo loves his 964 and is happy to share stories and information about it, but he’ll also hand you Porsche-branded paperweights, lighters, various piles of booklets and magazines, and all sorts of predominantly 1970s and ‘80s automobilia related to his favorite manufacturer—not the least of which is his preferred “driving kit” which includes a pair of Porsche Design sunglasses (1989 model, the same as his car of course).
I’m guessing Salvo wouldn’t mind having a garage ranging from 924 to 959, but he appears more than happy with giving his 911 all the attention. Two round headlights, one analog rev counter in the center of the dash, a flat-six in the back, and three pedals to play with—that’s plenty to make Salvo a very happy driver. This isn’t the only 911 he’s owned though. He bought his first back in 2006, a rare so-called “0 series” 1965 911. It wasn’t in the greatest shape when Salvo brought it home so he began a sympathetic restoration that unfortunately he was not able to see the end result of.
“I can still remember that day,” Salvo tells me, “It was a very strange feeling. The day after I sold it I opened the door of the garage and I was surrounded by a sense of emptiness that was larger than the space where the car used to be. I could not think of a life without a Porsche.”
That sounds a little dramatic maybe, but it seems he wasn’t kidding as a few days later Salvo was driving this 964; “I got my smile back in a very short time, and it comes back every time I drive this car. I frequently ‘forget’ things at the supermarket so I can have an excuse to have some fun.”
We use a photoshoot as another convenient excuse to go do some driving in the less populated areas outside of Livorno, surrounded by the green of the mountains, the orange sun, and a silence waiting to be filled by the sounds of a shifting Porsche.
I do my best to chase the phantasmic black 911 as it flits in and out of sight with the changes of elevation, and when we arrive at our last stop the sounds of the 911 ticking itself cool again mix with the insects that come out at the end of the day. It adds an element of coziness to our isolation out here in this open landscape. We can only enjoy the view for so long though, because there’s still the return trip to look forward to, and Salvo is always looking forward to the next drive.