Opinion: You might not be grown up enough to 'get' the Porsche 911

There comes a point in everyone's life when the 911 finally clicks – are you there yet?

2y ago

I was a bit of a freakish child. I'd have salad cream with literally every meal. Fish fingers? Yep. Chicken pie? Hell yes. Steak and chips? I wouldn't often have anything that cultured in my Essex ghetto, but sure as the sky is blue, I'd be dipping my dead cow in Mr Heinz's yellow gloop.

But then I hit an age where my tastes changed. Fine, I'll still only eat a pork pie if I have salad cream to dip it in, but that's about the last weird vagary of my youth. Now I'm quite partial to whatever you put in front of me, although I do have a penchant for that foamy vegetable stuff they smear on your plate in posh restaurants in France.

That is to say: my tastes have matured.

It's been the same for me and the Porsche 911, and I think it's true for all car fans. When I was a wee lad playing the original Need For Speed on my Sony PlayStation I'd always pick something yobbish such as the Dodge Viper, leaving the poor 911 Carrera gathering dust in the heavily pixellated garage. My tastes were unrefined – craving the sharp salad cream tingle to set my tastebuds instantly alive, rather than let the beef stock reduction foam creep up and envelop me with its splendour like Series 3 of the Wire.

Porsche is unveiling a new 911 very soon. And if you're not a fan of Porsches and 911s then I beg you to withhold your scorn. Partly because it's very, very unlikely it'll be a bad car. But also because you're probably still just in the salad cream phase.

There'll come a point in your life where you'll suddenly stop thinking all Porsches look the same too. Your eyes will shed their Teletubby filter and come to appreciate the details, the curves and the understatement designed into most Porsches. You'll perhaps get to drive one, which will forcibly put away your childish feelings.

First drive in my brother's Boxster S: This is the exact moment I stopped mocking and started saving furiously

First drive in my brother's Boxster S: This is the exact moment I stopped mocking and started saving furiously

I remember the moment the Porsche switch flicked on in my brain. My brother had just bought a lovely Porsche Boxster S in 'GT Silver' (something to do with a colour the V10 Carrera GT came in), and he let me have a go on some winding Surrey roads. Up until that point I'd seen Boxsters as something of a non-petrolhead's car – like being given a goldfish after haranguing your parents and lusting after a pony. I think I'd not even got out of first gear when the steering wheel came alive in my hands and I was converted. The gear shift, engine noise and damn near everything about that car shouted 'I have been engineered to make you feel classy'.

And that has become my new interpretation of what a Porsche is. They're things for connoisseurs. And that definitely doesn't mean boring – it just means that I've finally grown up enough to appreciate things for what they are, rather than forcing them into a pool of not-quite-mayonnaise to suit my tastes.

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Comments (32)

  • Funny you should mention Need for Speed. As a kid, I remember first playing a Need for Speed Porsche Unleashed, and it was that game that really got me into them as a ten year old. I know the 911 can be a bit understated visually for some models, but Porsche really does have some amazing cars. Thanks for the write up!

      2 years ago
  • I got to say Porsches are nice yes, but... I rather have a changing design for every generation of my favorite sports car than building a new generation on the same chassis over and over and say "hey it's new look! I only changed a bumper and added new tailights! Oh and modified the spoiler too!" Only for the car to don't have any big difference in performance or handling, Porsches should have been kept rear engined as the original 911 (there's a few front engined ones in rear wheel drive layout and 4WD models too but those last ones are rare)

    Just look at generations of the evo or the Impreza even BMW and it's ///M lineup every generation made big changes in engine power and torque, the headlights changed, the spoilers, the general bodywork outline... The 911 is a car for enthusiasts but it takes more than a few stickers on the side skirts or body changes for me to glance at a new generation (actually I hate the new gen impreza)

      2 years ago
  • I was lucky enough to grow up with parents that always had at least one air cooled Porsche in the garage, So I came to respect them very early in life. My dream goal was always to pick up a 930 turbo, but with the prices the way they are nowadays I don’t think that’s ever going to happen unless I remortgage my house!

      2 years ago
  • I was born mature.

      2 years ago
  • After 50 years on the planet I still don't get them TBH.

    Now I DO get why others like, even revere them. Never mind the speed aspect, they're an extremely well made car, comfortable, reliable and practical and were like that when Ferraris would "fail to proceed", or go on fire, or just be a general pain in the neck to deal with. Even today daily driving a Ferrari requires some effort, driving a Porsche is really no different from daily driving a Ford.

    I also like the look of them as a general rule, though the variation on a theme lacks in imagination. The Italians win here and by a huge margin. Though this lack of variation in design is their selling point, or a large part of it. They remind me of Rolex. They're the goto "luxury" item for the man(usually a man) who has "made it". Part of an easy choice uniform for the man who *may* be a tad lacking in pushing the boat out imagination wise. So both companies don't want to upset the basic formula and freak out the middle management types.

    I've driven a few. The more recent models were very capable, the earlier ones were anything but in a few areas and in my admittedly unskilled hands. Of the cars that I have been convinced were actively trying to kill me, two were Porsches. A 70's Carrera RS and an 80's Turbo.

      2 years ago