- My old X-Type

The Bleak Mid-Winter

And how to tackle it...

3w ago


I bought my Porsche 911 less than 3 months ago...


Now I've enjoyed every moment of ownership so far. Comparing it to the old Focus ST3 (Well, I say old - I was actually going from a 2015 to a 2005 car!) I'll admit it's less practical, but it's more refined, faster, classier. You get more admiring looks and nice comments. It's rarer, it makes you feel more special...

Though if I'm honest the Focus ST3 DID make you feel a bit 'Barry Boy': like you should be cruising around with a car full of baseball hat-sporting, beer-swilling chavs and blaring out drum and bass at ear-drum shattering volumes...

The present Mrs. Stanley even likes the 911! She says it's comfier than the Focus and she prefers the image. There's really not much to complain about.

So What's this post about?

Well, I bought the car in the middle of June. It was in the middle of a bit of a heat-wave and I had the sunroof open for pretty much all of the first journeys I made in it. We're not in August though. The height of a traditional British summer: in other words it's p*ssing it down almost all day, almost every day.

THIS... I can live with. One of the reasons I went for a Carrera 4S over a 2S was that I missed the AWD of my old X-Type and wanted a car I could use in any weather. To that aim, I think I've succeeded. The question is though: Should I use it in any weather?

Rain is no issue, snow, I don't think will be an issue. Yes, I accept having tyres wider than Clarkson's patented 'smug grin' isn't ideal for snow. But the AWD should at least allow me to get up the hill and into my drive and that's really what counts.

SO? Get to the point!

Right! The issue probably isn't going to be the weather. The fact is the Porsche is a very nice 15 year old car, but it's still a 15 year old car. It's already got sufficient stone-chips and areas of rust on the arches to justify spending a couple of thousand getting the paint refreshed. How much worse is that going to be if I spend the winter following gritters and getting the car essentially painted in salty slush on a daily basis? This might not make sense to those of you who don't live in the UK, so I'll explain it. Here in Britain, when there's ice and snow the council send out these lorries full of rock salt and they literally spread rock salt all over the roads and any vehicles they happen to pass in the vicinity of. The theory is that the salt will melt the ice and prevent it forming again and to a degree it works. However, the salt melts the car's bodywork and engine, albeit more slowly. I think the rear-mounted flat six in my 911 is fairly exposed to the elements, so that could well end up coated in salt too.

So what are your options?

This is the tough bit. I like driving my 911. I like it to the point where I actually see driving anything else as an unfortunate inconvenience. I'd really like to drive it every day, whatever the weather. However it concerns me that driving it non-stop through the winter could potentially really wreck the car.

Am I being a bit precious? Possibly. The fact is I've never owned a car that's worth as much as the 911 and I like to think if I keep it in good condition it should depreciate very slowly if at all. One of my justifications for getting it was that I'd rather spend £2000 a year on maintenance than £2000 a year on depreciation.

My options are fairly limited, but here's how I see it.

1. I could just accept I'm being a bit precious and drive it like I stole it EVERY day, come rain, hail or shine. Even if Mick the council gritter has overloaded his truck and set it to maximum spread then somehow planned his route to ensure he dumps a metric tonne of salt on my Porsche.

2. I could try and borrow the present Mrs. Stanley's Toyota whenever they gritters have been working their magic. The issue will be when we need to be in two separate places at once.

3. When the weather turns bad I could give it a good clean, garage it and walk to work.

4. When the weather turns bad I could garage it and get a cheap and cheerful 4x4 to use and abuse over the winter. I'm thinking £1500 worth of Suzuki Jimny perhaps?

I really don't know how to tackle this or even IF to tackle it. I bought the Porsche to drive, not to polish to oblivion then store in my garage on a trickle charger. At the same time I really want this car to last.

So what do you think?


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Comments (15)

  • New Comment

    Martyn ever think of invisible bra or a wrap? Could save on a respray down the road. Had an invisible bra on a 99 A4 because Colorado, at the time. Worked well. When I moved to Memphis I took it off and the paint was untouched. Just a thought.

      25 days ago
  • Well the threat of inclement weather is one of the many reasons that even as I move away from Range Rovers to sportier saloons and estates, my venerable Freelander 1 isn’t going anywhere, it laughs in the face of ice and snow and slurry, even on worn all seasons. No matter what my next car will be, I’m prepared for the worst conditions, without putting that saloon or estate (not even sure of what that might be yet) in harms way.

      25 days ago
  • Well I was jubilant! From about half way through your article I was shouting (internally) “Get a Jimny!”, so when you actually wrote it, I was like Yesss!

    That really foul filthy weather is rare, but if you could afford to own a Jimny too, stick winter tyres on it then it’s there whenever you need it. It’s also good for when one of your main cars is out of commission , and for trips to remote beaches.

      26 days ago
    • I'll be honest, I have a soft spot for Jimny's. I see them as a baby Defender and a fun little car for poor surfaces.

        26 days ago
  • Please don't take a chance driving your beautiful 911 in the snow.

    In comparison my MX-5 is a much cheaper car than your 911, however my love for it is as kindred. I promised myself I would never take a chance driving it in the snow. Granted, it's not safe driving in the snow here because Oregonians don't have a clue how to drive in the stuff and if I'm completely honest; can admit I don't trust my own abilities driving a lightweight rear-wheel-drive car on the surface myself.

    It hasn't snowed here since I bought my car a year ago - but I did take TriMet to work for over a decade. Like you, if I walk to my bus stop it's approximately a mile away. If it ever snowed or was icy, my roommate lent me a pair of these and they are absolutely brilliant!

      26 days ago
    • Oh, and if you can afford the Jimny, go for it. The unpleasantness will cause you to appreciate the 911 even that much more come spring time!

        26 days ago
    • Haha! Maybe! My mx5 was awful in the snow. I think the 911 4S would actually be pretty decent, but the salt puts me off! 🤔

        26 days ago
  • Winter tires will save your bacon. Get a second set of wheels for those and shitting ones - relatively. Proceed to drive the ever lovin shit out of the car year round. It is not a museum piece. It is a driver’s car. You have the all season model. It is a Porsche born in Germany. They have snow there. There is snow in the Colorado Rockies but you see many 911’s with ski racks at every ski area. I even saw one at a snowed in ski area that 4x4 trucks were having difficulty getting to.

    1. Winter tires are for winter

    2. Practice those donuts so you know when and how the car will break loose and how to control it.

    3. Drive fast!

    4. Grin ear to ear in joy!! 😁

      26 days ago
    • Yeah, we have Michelin Cross-Climate on the Toyota and they are amazing. I doubt you can get them in 911 size but they are 95% as good as winter tyres in cold and 95% as good as summer tyres in warm. Here in the UK we often only get less than 5 days of...

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        26 days ago
    • Nope. Drive on my brother. Enjoy that Porsche for all it's worth. That's what they are for. That is how they are used. 😁

        26 days ago