The Analog Feel

Larry Lampman’s 2002 911 Carrera

MY LOVE OF PORSCHES, like most, began at the age of five or six years old, which was in the early ‘80s when my father refurbished a white 2.0-litre 914. I remember constantly going into the garage to admire the car as well as boasting to all my friends that my dad had a Porsche. Growing up in a modest household, this was a short-lived venture for my father and he sold it for a profit soon after the work was complete.

Fast forward 35 years, I decided to retire from a fairly successful Dirt Modified racing career mainly due to the workload and the stress it placed on my family life. Shortly after, I found myself needing to “scratch the itch,” so, since we reside in the Niagara region, my wife suggested I rent one of the cars at Toronto Motorsports Park and play on the road course for an hour or so. Well, I rented a rather-tired Porsche 944 Turbo with a clutch that slipped and a suspension so soft it felt like I was driving an old Cadillac — but it was an absolute blast and I was hooked. I loved the new discipline I was experiencing, where I had to shift gears, heel-toe, and manage an asphalt road course rather than an oval dirt track.

I didn’t know it yet, but I found my car soon after, while searching through the ads on Kijiji. It was a red 2002 Porsche 996 and it was immaculate. It had several thousands of dollars in GT3 running-gear upgrades performed by Fiorano, it had a newer 3.8-litre engine and transmission, the list went on.

This event led me to the pursuit of a sports car. I didn’t really know what I was looking for, but I wanted something that would be suitable for the track as well as the odd spirited drive with my wife. I didn’t know it yet, but I found my car soon after, while searching through the ads on Kijiji. It was a red 2002 Porsche 996 and it was immaculate. It had several thousands of dollars in GT3 running-gear upgrades performed by Fiorano, it had a newer 3.8-litre engine and transmission, the list went on. The asking price was slightly out of reach, as we had two growing kids and a business and house we were pouring money into and the timing just wasn’t right. I decided to take a break from my search and life continued on for the next few years.

In the early spring of 2018 while browsing through the Kijiji ads I unexpectedly ran across an ad for a red 2002 Porsche 996 for a significant discount from the price listed a couple years earlier. This looked oddly similar, except it had some carbon wrap on the hood and wing, and it looked to be in very poor condition, but it was the sticker that I recognized, “Race Prep by Fiorano.” My wife and I immediately made the three-hour drive to see if this was in fact the car I fell in love with a few years earlier. When I pulled up to the house I remember seeing it sitting there beside a farmer’s field in the mud. When I test drove it on the bumpy dirt road, I realized the clutch was shot, the brakes didn’t work at all, there were no seat belts, the paint was beyond scratched and the tan interior was black — and I had to have it! We agreed on a price and I was back the next day with a trailer.

The fun was about to begin and this is where some wonderful relationships were created. I first researched and contacted the previous owner of the car who also happened to be involved in PCA UCR and he graciously provided me with some of the history and info I was looking for. I then contacted Auguste Lecourt who was able to masterfully fix the brake issue and change the clutch and get it road worthy again. I personally spent several hours compounding, polishing and cleaning the interior to get it back to its previous glory.

That first year, my wife and I joined PCA UCR and went for some spirited drives, spent time at our local track and participated in a wine tour. In 2019 I entered the DE program where I met some great friends and was able to drive and learn from some talented and friendly instructors on the legendary CTMP Grand Prix track. Ernie from Mantis has provided track expertise and even dyno-ed my car in the paddock, which by the way makes 300 horsepower at the wheels. I am always tinkering on the car and with the addition of some Öhlin shocks this year, I feel that it just keeps getting better. No modern automobile can replace the analog feel and pure driving experience that the 996 delivers and I like the fact that I can achieve most of the maintenance myself. The look, size, suspension technology and style check all the right boxes in my opinion. The Porsche 996 just might be the perfect car. </>

Story and photos provided by Larry Lampman.

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