I've owned a lot of Porsches over the years, from the earliest SWB 911's to the most modern. My oldest car was a 1966 911SWB that I bought through Robert Barrie here in the UK and he'd secured it from a chap called Magnus Walker. He wasn't the social media superstar that he is now, he was just a bearded bloke that likes old 911's and was about to star in a film called Urban Outlaw.
I loved that car. Driving it hard, having fun and taking it on tours and events. When the bodywork started to show signs of rust and the electrics started playing up, I decided to completely renovate the car from bare metal with Historika. I'll do a separate post about that car, but it ended up being incredible. In fact, it was too good - that beaten up old 911 had become a jewel. Something that I hadn't intended it to be. Something that I'd be nervous of driving the way I used to. Sure, over time it would've developed its patina - but the value had gone up and it all started to play on my mind. So, the car was bought by Porsche and is now sitting pretty at OPC Porsche Swindon.
I wanted to replace the car with something that was still special, but that was ready to go out for a drive when I was - whether that was to Le Mans, Italy or the Lake District. I'd just gotten my new GT4 and absolutely loved it, but wondered what a Mezger engined GT car would be like. Well, those too have rocketed in price, so the only model I liked the look of was a 996.2 GT3. And it had to be Speed Yellow.
After a while I found a car in Scotland that was a 2006. A 2006? These stopped being built in 2005, but it turned out my car went on a small tour before being registered and stayed in a dealership on display in Cyprus before being registered in 2006. In fact, it is believed to be the last RHD registered 996.2 GT3. This car had been looked after by Parr Motorsport and was largely original except having Pagid brake pads and the Cup car LSD. The wheels were also refinished in anthracite, which looked bloody awful. A deal was struck and I was on the Virgin train heading to Glasgow before I had too much time to think about it.
The drive home gave me plenty of time to bond with it. And it was not completely what I was expecting at first. It felt, erm, old. I don't mean it was in poor shape - far from it (last owner kept it in a carpeted garage!) - but the driving experience was more akin to an early 911 than my GT4. After a while, I started to get it though. This is EXACTLY what I wanted. A car that gave me what I had before with the SWB, but this car can really hustle. You feel alive. But, you're constantly reminded that it will bite hard should you take too many liberties with it.
I bought this car to be a bit of fun that offered something different to the GT4. And it does exactly that. The performance figures, on paper, are very similar between the two cars but the way they go about it is completely different. The GT3 has a very fond place in my heart. I can't see myself ever wanting to sell - it would certainly be my preference over the GT4 when it comes to a long term relationship. My advice to you would be to go try one. Have an open mind. And buy one before you need an open chequebook.