The Stuttgart Express
Blast to Stuttgart to see the birth of the CarCrazedFool Porsche 911R.
Life is about experience.
We all go through our existence on this planet, spending our time to earn more money to pay for the material things we want or the dull things we have to, like food, or the mortgage. Time is money, but the one thing your money can’t buy is more time. Time is limited, so spend the most precious commodity you have, wisely.
With the above mantra in mind, I try and use any excuse possible to create an adventure out of everything. Knowing the Porsche 911R was going to be a true ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity, I decided to embrace the whole experience and what better way to add to the journey to owning one, than going to it’s spiritual birthplace, Zuffenhausen.
During the last few months, I have been driving the tireless and ever enthusiastic, Richard Eniffer, of Porsche Centre Colchester mad about the prospect of going to see my car on the factory production line. The issue is Porsche don’t offer this to customers, they just can’t guarantee where the car will be at any one moment on the line. Not one to be put off easily and knowing the build completion date, I thought it was worth heading out to Germany, getting on a factory tour and seeing if I got lucky and happened to see it on the line.
The rain came...
Naturally, the chosen method of transport was the Stuttgart Express aka my 991 C2 GTS. The Euro Tunnel seems to be perpetually troubled these days, so the passage across the channel was delayed. Arriving in France much later than expected we had a mission on our hands to get to the hotel and the Motorworld Museum.
The moment you walk into a hotel lobby that has a Jaguar E-Type on display, you know you’re on to a winner. The V8 Hotel at Motorworld is a petrolheads dream. The themed rooms are awesome; I actually slept in a W108 Mercedes going through a carwash! Even something as simple as turning off the lights was an experience.
The Porsche Factory
As I signed on to the Porsche Factory Tour, I didn’t know quite what to expect. The Museum is always a joy, even when visiting twice a year there is always something new to see, but the factory would be new territory.
The first thing that strikes you is just how manual it all is; there are actually people, skilled men and woman, making these cars by hand. The car bodies, 911s, Caymans and Boxsters are all produced on the same line. Each individual car making a slow procession through each station. Manning each station a skilled technician will carry out a specific task, such as fitting the windscreen or mounting the instrument cluster. It’s amazing to watch, satisfying to know that skilled hands with care and precision build these iconic cars.
At the other side of the factory the beating hearts of these legendary sports cars are built, this is where they earn their soul. These glorious, flat-six works of art then join the production line and are assembled with the transmission and running gear.
The real magic or the “marriage” (as it’s affectionately known in the factory) happens at the heart of the historic building. Making their way through the various stations the two halves of the car come together, to be joined as one, creating an icon in a moment of organisational and manufacturing genius.
My parting thought as the tour ended was simple. Why would I buy a car from anyone else?
Catching up with Arda Cilingir, the newly appointed head of Customer Consultation Exclusive (replacing the very large boots of Herr Fraschka), we were treated to a glimpse of the inner workings of Porsche Exclusive. It’s truly impressive, in the end, the only real restriction is your imagination. Let loose, it would be possible to get really carried away.
Did I get to see it? Like any good burlesque show, it’s all about what you don’t get to see. A tease, a glimpse, a short peak.
Let’s just say I was a very, very lucky man.