Pure Driving Pleasure

FOR A GUY GROWING UP CAR MAD in the 1960s, Porsche strangely wasn’t really on my radar. Dune buggies and transitioning from a home-built lawnmower-engine mini-bike into a first real motorcycle was where my adolescent head was at back then. It wasn’t until a new 914 showed up in a local driveway that I really took notice of the brand. It was still quite a few years later when another friend let me drive his 928 S4 that the Porsche hook had been set.

Fast forward to this century. It was in June 2000 that I wrote for Provinz about my Porsche history to that time. As a 30-year-old record executive I had acquired my first, a Kalahari Beige Metallic (gold) 1986 944, replaced a few years later by a blue-on-caramel 1987 911 Carrera coupe, which then made room for the black-on-black 1988 911 Cabriolet featured in that Provinz article. This story picks up where that story left off.

We all know that the Beetle and Porsche are inextricably linked, so even if the dune buggy is the red-headed cousin, it is part of my Porsche story. Being fabricated of VW parts from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s, my buggy is placed even closer to its Porsche history.

The ’88 cab was an awesome car but the looks, power, handling and HVAC of the 993 seemed like the best 911 ever, and being the last of the air-cooled era, I knew it was significant. So a ‘97 993 Carrera Cabriolet, blue on tan, joined the ‘88 cab in my garage. Even though I had more garage space than most people living in downtown Toronto, the two 911s meant I was at capacity. The daily-driver utility vehicle lived outside, but my Porsches always live indoors and do not see winter driving.

Somehow my obviously not-fully-formed brain decided that two 911s might be a bit of overkill, so to change things up, the ’88 cab was sold to make room for a certain Italian sports car. That could be a whole other story.

A few years later my music business was doing well. No longer limited by a two-car garage, more cars seemed to follow me home. One day at Auto Select, where all of my Porsches had been serviced, while standing under a 928, I asked Franz, “Are there any good ones out there?” He pointed 10 feet away and said, “This one is.” My reply? “I’ll take it!” The fact that it had 160,000 kilometres on the odometer didn’t even make me blink.

So suddenly I was back to two Porsches. I now had the ultimate generation of air-cooled 911 and a very nice example of the totally different car that was supposed to replace it, an ‘88 928 S4, grey on blue, complete with automatic transmission and sports exhaust, just like the very first Porsche I had ever driven. Oh yeah, some Italian cars as well but, again, that’s another story.

Fast forward a few more years. I had sold my business, moved to Niagara wine country and garage space was no longer a limiting factor. I don’t know whose law it is, but if you have space you must fill it. The Porsche 911 was, by now, part of my automotive DNA and as the 997 looked like a grown-up 993, and because I already had a cabriolet, I sought out a 997.2 coupe. Happening upon a nicely optioned 2010 Carrera 4S in my preferred colour of blue on tan, the Porsche count was now three. And, to change things up a bit, with PDK. Would the 997 replace the 993?

The short answer is no. As capable as the 997 is, the 993 is still a gas to drive, more visceral, simple and fun in an old-school way. The 997 doesn’t replace the 993, it complements it. Perhaps this is why Porsches last so long — so that you can have more than one.

Or, more than three, as it were.

The winter beater that lived outside was now living indoors and still going strong, but at 19 years and 300,000 kilometres, maybe a new daily driver was in the cards. One day in May the Porsche Centre Oakville trailer showed up with my first brand-new Porsche, a Macan S in blue (of course) but with a red interior for a change. Being still sports-car season as I write this, I have yet to really try out the Macan but I’m sure that if I can hire a millennial to help me figure out all of the modern technology it encompasses, it will be a great Porsche ride when the weather turns.

So, the current Porsche count is now four. But there is a footnote to all of this.

Remember my adolescent motorcycle and dune buggy dreams? Well, the motorcycles came early and stayed with me, but it took exactly 50 years to fulfill the dune buggy dream — a fibreglass-body shortened VW Beetle chassis, Meyers Manx-style buggy, just like the ones in my scrapbook from age 12. Lime green with flames. And a surfboard mounted on top.

We all know that the Beetle and Porsche are inextricably linked, so even if the dune buggy is the red-headed cousin, it is part of my Porsche story. Being fabricated of VW parts from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s, my buggy is placed even closer to its Porsche history.

So, rear-engine or front-engine, air- or liquid-cooled, transaxle, automatic or manual or PDK, cabriolet or coupe, even a four-door crossover, all of the Porsches make sense to me now. And in European fashion, the Germans and the Italians in my garage live in harmony, each car different, with its own style and soul, but all born of one purpose and delivering it in abundance — pure driving pleasure.

And that is my Porsche story, so far. </>

Story and Photos by Lindsay Gillespie | Porschephile Editor: Jillian Weir

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