- My 911

The Curse of 911 Ownership

Which might not have occurred to you

20w ago

Any observant followers of DriveTribe, particularly those happy fools who have the misfortune to follow me, may have noticed a pattern to my posting over the last few months. Ironically, the symptom of the topic I covered in my posts kind of gives away the cause. At least a little I think.

What the hell are you babbling about?

Well, for the billionteenth time, I don't want to say this - but I'm going:-

'Back in June I bought a Porsche 911'

Big deal! You bought mildly interesting car. So what?

The thing is, once upon a time... Many moons ago, I used to consider myself something of a freelance motoring journalist. I was regularly posting on all sorts of interesting topics in the automotive theme. They were popular! Well, some of them were. Well one of them.... Maybe?

However, the well appears to have run dry.

Why is that?

Okay, I'll be frank. Last year wasn't the best year for me. As years go, it was the equivalent of a Chris Evans hosted episode of 'Top Gear'. But I really don't think that's the reason! I was also fairly busy. I'd been working on a horrendously complex novel that covers a timeline from the 14th century to present day, is written in parts in about six languages and was in a genre I'm new to. A lot of my creative energy went into finishing it, editing it and getting it published. It wasn't easy, but I finally got it out:-

The cover.

The cover.

If you're interested in it, you can check it out here.

Is that why the reason? I honestly don't think so.

So what is the reason for the lack of posting and the limited themes?

When I bought the 911, the present Mrs. Stanley was surprisingly positive about it. She's usually about as enthusiastic about a car purchase, as Jeremy Clarkson is about quinoa. She honestly prefers the 911 to the old Focus ST and not just because of the Ford's spine-shattering ride, but also because the 911, despite being a faster car, simply doesn't have the ASBO image of an ST3.

I've been very positive about the car too. Traditionally I start researching my next car purchase something like 3 months after swapping cars. However, with the Porsche, this just hasn't happened.

I think what HAS happened, is I've started to turn into an 'enthusiast'. Now this isn't unique to the 911, and I suspect a lot of people buy a 911 without ever becoming an enthusiast.

But what does that mean?

Well, it all started back before I bought it. If you look at my post history you'll see a recent post where I documented the two year process of deciding which 911 to get on DriveTribe with regular posts covering all aspects of the possible choices. I did a LOT of research. I went from thinking, 'I'd quite like a 911, but they're expensive - so it'll have to be an old one.'

To thinking, 'I don't really want a 996 because of the dated interior, the fried-egg headlights, the IMS issues, the risk of bore-scoring or the potential RMS failure. I'd quite like a 997.2 and if I got one I'd take an auto because the PDK seems a great system, but they're quite expensive and unless I'm prepare to pay top whack VED I'm limited to a Carrera 2. So I think I want a late model, 2006 model ideally 997.1 in a manual, so it has the later, larger IMS bearing which is less prone to failure, but I want it on a 55 plate so I can have any spec and not pay top VED. I don't want a Targa, or a cabrio, I want the widebody, but can't afford a GTS or Turbo, so it'll have to be a 4. If you have a 4, you really need the S so it doesn't feel a bit sluggish and underpowered, but that does mean you get the extended leather pack as standard.... etc...etc...

I set out looking for a very specific car. It had to meet a LOT of criteria. I also wanted it in yellow [a recommendation from my good friend and colleague - a Mr. James May] with the aero kit, but I couldn't find that car. I think the exact car I wanted probably doesn't actually exist.

Yeah, we've all researched buying a car...

The thing is, the research didn't stop there. I ended up joining about seven Porsche 997 groups on Facebook and debating and sharing photos with other members on a daily basis. I now regularly end up in conversations about the Mezger engine and it's origins and why the 997.1.5 Turbo might be a superior car to the 992. I own books on my car. I bought a Lego model of my car. Instead of scouring the autotrader looking for what I might get next, I'm looking at reviews of aftermarket suspension options and the Hartech 3.9 L oversized engine rebuild. I actually want a Porsche T-shirt. Something I would never have expected to want just a year ago. They are horrendously expensive and I still suspect there's a minor risk of looking like a twat wearing one, but I still want one!

So you're turning into a Porsche nerd? How does that affect-

Well it means most of my postage recently has been basically, really cheap, tacky drivel about, 'Oh look at me! I bought a Porsche!' Makes me seem like a petulant child that got the Lego Deathstar for Christmas. Or like the well-hung git that gets his 9" cock out in the gents, just to make sure everyone knows he got a bigger dick than anyone else. It's not a nice image and it's NOT me!

The thing is though, when you start down the slippery slope of becoming an enthusiast, your interest in other cars and other automotive topics starts to wane. It could've happened with the X-Type, I think I dodged a bullet there. A mate of mine who had an X-Type at the same time wasn't so lucky. He ended up buying an S-Type R and becoming a certified Jaguar nut. Now he spends his days on the Jaguar groups commenting on crusty old E-Types and discussing issues with the diesel XF engine.

So that's it is it? You're going to be posting like you're the next Mark Webber?

I don't know! Back in the day I had the wind in my sails when I was posting on DriveTribe. I was enjoying it and getting ideas faster than I could write them. These days, that just isn't the case. Now I find myself preferring driving my car than writing about other cars. Sadly I'm not even doing that. Despite telling myself I'd drive my 911 every day, I ended up garaging it until the gritters stop to protect the bodywork. I may start posting again, but sadly I suspect most of my posts will rather boringly be, generally Porsche 911 themed.


Martyn Stanley

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Comments (21)

  • Great article Martyn. Thank you! I’m looking around for a used 997 Turbo. As you did, did all my research and I’m on the hunt for the “right” one. Missed out on a Speed Yellow GTS with the aero package last year because I chickened out because of Covid. Still could bite my own ass because of that;)

      4 months ago
    • You really want a 997.1.5 Turbo, you get the updated interior from the 997.2 but you get the legendary Mezger engine. The trick is do you go for a manual or auto? The 997.1.5 auto is a tip, which is normally not ideal, but some people like the tip...

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        4 months ago
    • Was looking for a manual but they are around $20.000 more than the Tiptronic S.

      The Tiptronis S is actually a Mercedes Benz transmission and you can fit the AMG paddles to it. Works easier with the non multifunction steering wheels.


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        4 months ago
  • I like the article, especially the Mark Webber reference!!😉

      4 months ago
  • I did the same thing!!! In June '20, after what was actually dumb luck, already knowing that a 997.2 was the only choice for me (last of the true "Porsche" line that is not a VW. Which is of course, reveals my deepening enthusiast'itis), I found a 2012 "Black Edition" 911 Carrera with only 34,500 miles and like new interior. I've wanted a 911 since I was a teen and I could not be more thrilled! BTW, a Porsche badged cap instead of the t-shirt is a better look for an adult over a certain age. I'll leave it at that, since this is your article and not mine. But, and you can fill in the blank s... I'll be doing my first HPDE event of the new season at Road Atlanta in mid March, and I have been prepping the car, the garage, my new tire trailer, etc., ever since November '20. I'm badly infected. :-)

      4 months ago
    • Sounds nice! I like the 991 but it just isn't as mechanical and old-school as the 997. I think the 997 is actually the last 911 where you can open the rear hatch and actually see an engine too! Which is nice! :P

        4 months ago
  • Never had a Porsche, though I’d like one.

    If I got one then I would probably be in a similar position to you.

    I’ve had an M3, RS6 and other BMW’s and Audi’s. I’ve also had some big 4x4’s and vans.

    But my favourite car is the Skyline R33.

    I owned one for several years and really regret selling it.

      4 months ago
    • I was like that about my mx5. If I’d made a wiser purchase and bought the 1.8 I might have even kept it 😕

        4 months ago
  • Okay, so... you wrote a novel, in how many languages? And you are sort of half apologizing, half feeling disappointed that you haven't written more automotive related articles in that same time frame? And you think your lack of inspiration may be due to possibly buying the perfect car because you no longer yearn for more?

    It all makes perfect sense.

    I can relate in my own way. I've always liked cars and admired different makes and models for what they are throughout the years - but never became an enthusiast until I didn't own one. I went an entire decade without owning a car. During that time I was drawn to reality TV shows about fixing up old cars, like whatever Jesse James was up to, or shows like Fast and Loud and West Coast Customs (brilliant work despite the style being garish). The cars in those shows never fit my own personal tastes but there was a tactile quality to them I wasn't experiencing myself. During that time, I also discovered Top Gear and it changed my life forever. Top Gear turned me into a bona fide enthusiast. Well, that and the combination of not owning a car. I lived my life vicariously through James, Richard and Clarkson. I fell in love with the Spiker C8, the Pagani Huayra and the 918 Spyder! I traveled to exotic places and developed relationships with their cars each and every time.

    This is long, I apologize.

    I am also a musician, composer and recording artist. I've written over a hundred songs and keep going back for more. I am drawn to the writing process... because I have yet to 'hit the mark'. I have yet to write the 'perfect song'. I am slightly concerned if I do, I will have accomplished what I set out to do and will never write another song ever again.

    As you know, I drive a 2006 MX-5. It's a brilliant car, and I love it - but I wish it were a smidge faster... then it might be perfect. Or a touch more refined and luxurious... and maybe then it will be perfect. I yearn to create plans for a new color scheme for it, new wheels, reupholster the interior with custom leather... because the car isn't perfect yet. I find myself daydream-shopping for more expensive cars. Ones that are a bit faster, a bit more refined. A bit more perfect.

    What if I bought a 997.1 Carrera 4s in GT Silver?

    Would I lose that constant yearning for more? Is it the perfect car? The perfect song? If so, what next?

      4 months ago
    • Don’t apologise for the length! The thing about writing is the same for writing songs I think. You have to write dross so you can improve on it and write better. Getting it wrong, then realising how you got it wrong is the best way to learn! As for...

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        4 months ago
    • My comment wasn't about me. It was about you and me trying to relate to your article. You brought out my own personal experiences in it.

      My music example was more about your 911. I was trying to be clever in saying you own the perfect car, so now...

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        4 months ago