Porsche 911 – The Devil’s Own Sportscar – Part 5 the Porsche 993
Mrs Satan’s once upon a time little twin boys had behaved just enough at college to win a university place each. But not enough to attend the university that Mrs Satan had in mind. She had hoped they would undertake, using the literal meaning of the word, ‘further’ studies. But no. No such luck for Mrs Satan. Her boys ended up at The University of Hell located on their doorstep. And thus were still living, eating and fire breathing at No. 1 Hell.
Mrs Satan had envisaged that this would be her year to fire the boys out the front door for good and call upon Porsche to design, build and deliver her the ultimate 911. A 911 just for her. But instead she remained waiting hand and foot on double-trouble and her almighty husband. A husband who was daily driving his tailor made 928 GTS to doorstep unsuspecting recipients with a visit from Hell. And loving it.
Confused? Please have a little read from the beginning to catch up with my ‘Devil’s Own Sportscar – Porsche 911 – Part 1‘ fantasy tale.
Mrs Satan was slowly chopping peppers in her kitchen, deep in thought. Any second now she would hear her two sons burst loudly through the door. Then she would hear the deep exhaust note of a 928 GTS. She pictured her road. A twisty, winding ribbon of tarmac with gorgeous scenery. And she was cruising to the tune of a flat-six burble, roof down, on her own, with Chris Rea’s Road to Hell turned up really loud.
It was something she wanted so desperately. It felt over due. She would go to heaven and back for it in fact.
‘Just one more generation to go, then it is my time.’ she sighed.
Just one more generation indeed. And what a generation it was. With Mrs Satan’s protection from the extended family from Hell, and Mr Satan paid off with a 928 GTS, Porsche were completely safe. In fact they pretty much had blessings from Hell under their belt. And so they flexed their design and build muscles and launched a 911 model that was set to become a tangible definition for the word ‘timeless.’ They called it the Porsche 993. A 911 that blended the best from previous generation 911’s and set the benchmark for all incarnations after it. A true signature model.
My first experience of a Porsche 993 was not behind the wheel of it, but behind it. An old college friend had made the decision to buy a 993 in year 2003. He really wanted one and went for it, achieving his dream car at a very early age. Sadly we lost touch, but I hope he might spot this…I always think of him and his beautiful 993 and think ‘well done, well played sir‘. What a wise investment.
We had a driving date in the diary. It was to be my 635Csi and me, and my college friend and his 993. But it snowed and the roads froze over very quickly. I called my friend to re-arrange. I didn’t mind taking my 635 out in the snow, but I knew he would not want to bring his ‘everything happens at the rear’ powerful pride and joy out in these conditions. Except he did. He was adamant. And he took the lead. And disappeared off into the distance. Bend after bend. Roundabout after roundabout. And yet every single inch of tarmac was hidden with snow and ice. I was struggling. My traditionally weighted car was scrabbling for grip, desperate to squirm into the barrier under acceleration and could not make its mind up as to whether it wanted to oversteer or understeer. And yet the tail heavy 911 was planted, running straight as a dye and corning superbly, running away from me, only having to wait for me. What a driver. To control a 911 like that. I couldn’t do that. In fact I would dare not try it on in a 911 full stop.
I had lost count of how many times I watched the stationary hazard-light-lit-993 draw closer to me, gradually hearing and feeling its exhaust note, only to see it take off and disappear. But on this occasion, there was a red light to stall us both. With the BMW’s shark nose up close to the rear bumper of the muscular squatting frog like rear end of the Porsche 993 I could not believe my eyes. The number ‘4’ followed by the letter ‘S’.
I didn’t know the 911 had a four wheel drive variant! Maybe Mrs Satan had asked Porsche to prepare for the possibility of all Hell freezing over.
A few years on and I am sat in the driver’s seat of a Porsche 993 Carrera 2S. Porsche had done it again. The interior was pretty much the same as the 1977 3 litre Carrera and 964, but just felt more modern and neater. I could tell I was in a newer generation 911 but nothing stood out clearly as to confirm why. Time for a little outing. I was really excited, my first 993 driving experience.
Exhaust note. An aggressive and threatening collaboration-remix of the tunes belonging to certain 911’s gone by. Her mother, great grandmother and grandfather. And for those of you who do not live in the fairy tale fantasy land that I seem to inhabit, that will be the 964 Carrera, 1977 3 litre Carrera and 930 Turbo then.
Demeanour. Commanded respect without trying. Admired by all. She was cool, frozen in fact. Like her great great grandmother. Or the 1968 911t for you lovely people who live on conventional planet Earth.
Road manners. Planted. Inspired confidence with an overall heavy, solid feel, yet remained agile. Like her uncle. Her uncle being a 928 Gts for those who do not believe that fire breathing dragons exist.
Performance. Iron first like torque. Instant throttle response. Simply a Porsche family trait that had come on strong in her generation.
The 993 was easy to drive, the on and off feel of pulling away had gone, it had been dialled out somehow. The gear change was smoother with a shorter more precise throw than previous models. The brakes felt very strong and required minimal effort. And for a car that remained firmly planted under hard acceleration, it did not lose an inch of agility. I really felt I could throw it into a bend and wrestle her through with the throttle and a flick of the steering wheel if need be. But she never gave me the chance to try…I never got anywhere near her grip limit, and I was making some serious progress. She gave me the impression that although she was advanced, clever and powerful, she was robust. Made in the era where car manufacturers balanced technological wonder with good old fashioned simplicity and build-it-to-work-forever engineering. Engineering that was moulded with the super human hands of the men of Porsche.
I pulled over in a quite road. I stepped back to look her. The familiar, sexy silhouette of the 911 was there in front of me. Stylish tear drop mirrors really finished the package off well. And mirrors really make a car in my opinion. She sat low to the ground, her muscular stance and perfectly sized alloys framed seamlessly by smooth bumpers fitting flush against her light units. Lights. Another element of car that design that can make or break the overall look. And these were awesome lights. The 993 somehow maintained the aggressive strong stance that I admired of the 80’s ribbed-rubber-bumper wearing, whale tail sporting models, except she did so subtly. In a quieter and calmer manner. It was what she didn’t say.
She had a rear wing that would flick up under braking and at speed I believe. But I hunted for the switch and put it up permanently. She was less subtle now. I posed even harder on the way home, knowing that it was not only the 993 and I looking good, but a mini whale tail flicking the unthinkable to the world as the three of us drove past.
If you are a regular reader you will know that my favourite part of driving is falling deep into imagination that the chosen car unlocks. The 993 was no exception. It turned me into a high flying city boy from the 90’s. And I was driving home to my high rise luxury penthouse apartment with my own, secure, individual parking space. And in my decadent apartment my smoking hot girlfriend awaited me, with champagne on ice. She had been to M & S.
But imagination is a double edged sword. Because driving home to a building site of a two bed terrace house in my stop gap 1992 BMW 325TD, complete with diesel fume leak and licence saving performance, only to be met by a microwave meal and a can of Stella, was quite something. There was no whale tail flicking the unthinkable to the world behind me. In fact, the world didn’t even notice me enough to care.
I spent some time up close with a 993 Turbo and 993 RS in my years working at a car storage facility. But sadly I never experienced anything above and beyond first or reverse gear and their manoeuvrability. All three of which were great by the way. I did however note that the RS’s were fetching big money. I have never driven a 993 Turbo on song, but I hear it is a progressive boost you enjoy as opposed to the triggered in a flash 930 Turbos. I think Porsche produced their Turbos in Mr Satan’s honour but under the watchful devil eyes of Mrs Satan.
So should you buy a Porsche 993?
I have said yes you should to all the 911’s I have spoke of. But yes to this question is followed by the little symbol known as the handbrake warning to some motorists, or an exclamation mark to others. The symobol of: ! Because Porsche got it just right with the 993. Whether it is to tuck away as an investment, use it regularly or as a weekend car, buy one that has been taken care of and continue religiously to do so. Remember a Porsche should always be maintained by a specialist to keep it working spot on and retain value.
Which Porsche 993 should you go for?
I don’t think you can go wrong with any 993. Decide on how you like to drive, what driving means to you and go from there. Imagine how the car in question will make you feel. Who would you become behind the wheel? And then act on those feelings. Don’t worry about anybody else’s opinion.
I myself would go for the Turbo. And it would be the 993 Turbo and me with a whale tail flicking the unthinkable to the world. And for an hour a day I would own that penthouse and all that came with it.
So who did Mrs Satan want to become? Well, this was the exact decision bouncing around her in mind. She knew she had to decide soon. Because by the time the all market conquering 993 would have a good few years under its belt, her devil boys would be leaving No. 1 Hell.
And she would be free. Ready for her very own 911. And set to label the 993 as the ‘last of the air cooled.’
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This article was written and published by Mike Atwal. Mike works for Trade Classics as an in-house journalist and copywriter and has many years’ experience in the classic car sector – for over 8 years he was the General Manager of the Classic Car Club in London and responsible for a fleet of over 100 cars worth multi-million pounds. So there’s not much Mike doesn’t know about makes, models, maintenance and idiosyncrasies of these old cars. Mike’s a true petrol head with a deep passion for the classics and he loves to talk cars all day, so why not write a reply on this article below.