Love at Second Gear

Garth Stiebel’s 2000 911 Carrera

I MUST ADMIT that the first sight of the car I’ve cherished for the last nine years didn’t ring any bells for me. Nothing like “this is what I’ve always wanted” or “what a beauty!” It’s all about expectations, I guess.

I first fell in love with Porsches in the early ‘70s, the era of flared fenders, whale tails and blindingly fast Turbos. This car was none of that. A “plain Jane,” or so I thought at the time. A black Carrera with two child seats, parked in the driveway of a house in suburban Oakville.

That I was looking to buy a Porsche at all was due to the acquisition of an inheritance and the advice of a friend who belonged to the club who talked me out of buying a Camaro, when I mistakenly believed that a Porsche was entirely out of my snack bracket.

Additionally, this car was barely two blocks from my parents’ house, which I was then in the process of cleaning out and readying for sale. Kismet, I would say. My father, being of German heritage, would have approved. The deciding factor was the test drive through the streets of Oakville. The car’s acceleration in second gear was incredible to someone who had no idea something not much larger than an MGB could possibly be that fast. I slapped down a cheque within a few days but didn’t have a chance to experience much more than that taste of fire for the next five months. It was November 2011 and I put the car in storage almost immediately after purchasing it.

In the spring, I joined PCA UCR and was convinced I should volunteer to help out with publishing Provinz, enrolled in the Driver Education program, took the novice weekend course and every other DE for the next four years, as well as I took part in fun runs and rallies. I have enjoyed every second and met the most extraordinary people, and still do, with my participation in the recent Porsche Classic Parade for long-term care centres.

The UCR 996s now even have their own Facebook page where members ask advice, compare notes and just generally express the pleasure they feel in owning a much under-estimated model of an iconic brand. It’s been a great ride, in more ways than one and, every spring, the exhilaration when I put my foot down on the gas pedal on one of those great country roads we have in Ontario, the feeling is exactly the same as it was nine years ago on the streets of Oakville. </>

Story and photos provided by Garth Stiebel.

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