Vince Aldorasi’s 2004 911 Turbo
MY JOURNEY BEGAN with a 2006 997 S Cabrio, then a 996 Turbo Cabrio, which I tuned, lowered and increased the wheel diameter, then a 2009 997 Cabrio Turbo, already tuned, until recently.
The month of March 2020 will always be remembered for the pandemic that changed our world and put our lives on hold. For the first time, I wasn’t excited about my first spring drive, even the weather seemed to be on hold. After two years of ownership, without question, my 997 Turbo had been the best 911 I could imagine owning. It was clearly prettier, and faster, than my previous 996 Turbo, but how much better was it? The market value was 50-percent higher, was it that much better? Would it be recession proof? I decided to test the market and see if it was.
It did sell, and it did increase in value. But for the first time, I wasn’t excited about selling. I knew I was making the right decision, but I was taking a step backwards, and possibly a compromise I would regret.
In July, I found a 2004 996 Turbo cabrio, in Polar Silver with blue leather interior. It was located in Vancouver. I purchased it with only a pre-purchase inspection. With the pandemic and travel restrictions in full effect, I could not fly out to see it. For this reason, I negotiated a deal that I would not have had the nerve to do in person, as the offer bordered on insulting. Despite this great deal, I was nervous and feared I would always be comparing it to my 997 twin-turbo. Would it measure up, and still be exciting?
The car shipped directly from the west coast to my mechanic for a safety inspection. I drove it home from there, but at the time it was not registered and had no front plate, so I drove it cautiously. I drove it keeping it lower in revs, expecting full power at 3,500 RPM as was the case with my 997 twin-turbo and previous 996 twin-turbo, but without a tune the power difference was over 100 horsepower less. How could I not compare it? When I arrived home, I tried to hide my disappointment, but my wife could see it. She had been against me selling the 997, and even more against buying a car sight unseen. So, when she asked what I thought, I just said it’s too soon to say, maybe it needs a tune.
I woke early the next morning, when the roads would be empty. This time, I pushed the car closer to the redline. It reminded me of my exciting drive back from Montreal with my first 996 Turbo, how the power could keep building, gradually, and just when you thought it had peaked it hadn’t. I had tuned my first 996 Turbo within weeks of having it, so I had forgotten about this sensation. I didn’t have to watch the tachometer so closely, fearing hitting the rev limiter, I could hear and feel when to shift. It required more work to reach that drama, but more rewarding as it would build. It’s not nearly as quick from zero to 60 than my 997 and the drama isn’t instant at 3,500 RPM, but just maybe, I don’t want it to be.
Driving to work that same day, I was content that I had made the right decision. I was especially pleased to discover that for me, the 996 twin-turbo was no longer too tall, the wheels no longer too small, the interior perfect, the headlights unique, and at least at this point, I would resist the allure of the extra 100 horsepower from a tune. I will concede that I don’t know more than the German engineers who created this and will try to leave well enough alone. This 996 twin-turbo is in no way better than the 997 twin-turbo I had, and I will always remember the 997 as the best 911 I have owned.
It’s just that the 996 is better for me. It feels and looks older, in a good way.
Has the journey ended with a 996 twin-turbo? I hope not. After all, just like when we drive our cars, it’s all about the journey not the destination. If I could change one thing about this journey, it would be to have joined PCA UCR earlier. My wife and I have been enjoying club events, especially the car tours, over the last two years of membership. Where else can we show off our cars and enjoy seeing all different kinds of Porsches from the last 50-plus years? I think we enjoy our car most on a day’s journey, sharing the road and enjoying a meal with fellow enthusiasts in 25 other cars.
A special thank-you to PCA UCR and its volunteers for completing the Porsche experience for me, and to you right here, for reading my Porsche journey. </>
Story and photos provided by Vince Aldorasi.