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911 911 [1964 – 1989]

First rally for No. 57

To mark the anniversary of “70 years of Porsche sports cars”, the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen has sent a very special classic car to northern Germany: the 911 (901) No. 57 that gained notoriety through the German TV-programme “Der Trödeltrupp” has taken its first official drive before the viewing public.

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930 3.0 v 991: evolution of a species

Second gear, just before the apex of the tightly radiused corner. Squeeze the power and wait for the 930 Turbo to spin up and deliver boost. 2,500rpm and nothing is happening. 3,000rpm and still nothing of significance. In fact, it’s feeling like a slightly flat, normally aspirated Porsche. Three-and-a-half grand and finally we’re feeling a shove between the shoulder blades, the boost gauge below the rev counter now stirring. Suddenly that softly sprung rear is squatting down and the nose is lifting, and we’re being pushed hard at the horizon. The revs rise at a disproportionate rate to what was happening a second ago and I’m readying for that long-throw 915 shift across the gate and into third gear, hoping that I can shift it briskly enough that the engine doesn’t fall off boost.

Ahead of us there’s a vivid, gold 991 Turbo S Exclusive Edition that only seconds ago was filling our windscreen and has now almost vanished over the horizon. The 930 Turbo, now on boost in third gear, is covering the ground rapidly, yet there’s just so much distance to make up. An awful lot has happened in Porsche technology in the last 40 or so years… and not only in turbocharging technology. In fact, today is proving to be such an education and reminder of automotive technology advancement that it’s going to take some time to gather my thoughts.

These two Porsche 911 Turbos are both utterly beautiful. The fact that they both happen to be shades of gold that reflect the prevailing fashions at the time of their production is a happy coincidence that makes for an attractive photoshoot here in North Wales. They are both equally stunning to behold, and of course both are rear-engined. However, beyond that the differences are so stark that they provide probably the most graphic illustration possible of how the Porsche 911 ethos of Darwinian evolution has brought us to what is probably the pinnacle of internal combustion engine technology today, without the addition of hybrid power. We have here the beginning of the Porsche Turbo and quite possibly the end, together on the demanding roads of the Evo Triangle.

I’ve driven the 991-generation Turbo before, so its performance is nothing new to me. It’s fair to say that I am a devoted fan of the 911 Turbo as a road car. I fully accept the argument that the GT3 line has a purity of throttle response that is linear and telepathic, yet there’s something about the effortless, devastating overtaking capability of the 911 Turbos of each respective generation that has given me many happy memories over my years of 911 driving. Most enthusiasts would admit that if there were only one Porsche to drive every single day for the rest of their life, it would probably be a 911 Turbo.

It’s for the best that I’m driving the 930 Turbo first. At least that way it stands a chance to impress with that charismatic, early generation power delivery. The nicely adjusted 915 shift has only four gears, and I’m reminded as a former 1979 Turbo owner just how often you use first gear around the town. Those junctions where you may normally dip the clutch a little and keep it rolling in second gear need a slow, deliberate shift down to first that ideally requires a little heel toe and timing to achieve smoothly; you’re using first as an actual gear here, rather than something you select once stationary. Leaving it in second can strand you mid-junction in a black hole of performance that can be a little embarrassing if you’re not careful.

The steering is unassisted and heavy, weighting up in the traditional 911 way as soon as the corners become significant. It’s not difficult – unless you’re trying a three-point turn in a side street – but it’s heavy nonetheless and gives your wrists a workout, with the steering wheel doing its unique 911 feedback dance over road imperfections. The ride is certainly firmer that a standard 911, though it’s far from hard.

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Porsche 911 Carrera T de 2018 vs Porsche 911T de 1970

Pour savoir si la Porsche 911 Carrera T a renoué avec les performances légères qui ont commencé avec la Porsche 911T originale au début des années 1970, vous pouvez vous adresser au Dr Leslie Kuek, un chirurgien plasticien originaire de Singapour, qui a piloté les deux. Conduire la Porsche 911 Carrera T est en effet …

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Time Traveller

To find out if the Porsche 911 Carrera T marks a return to lightweight performance that began with the original 911T in the early 1970s, you could ask Dr Leslie Kuek, a plastic surgeon hailing from Singapore, who has driven both.

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NFL Legend Walter Payton’s 1979 911 Turbo is For Sale and it’s ‘Sweet’.

Celebrity ownership doesn’t usually tend to do anything to increase a Porsche’s value at auction, unless that celebrity is Steve McQueen or others closely and famously associated with the marque. In this case, however, an exception might be made for one of the best NFL players of all time, Walter Payton (or Sweetness as he was known around the league). The record-breaking running back still ranks as one of the best, and while his records have been eclipsed, he certainly earned his place in the hall of fame. As is the case with many professional athletes, Payton loved his sports cars. He had a Lamborghini Countach, a Ferrari Testarossa, a Nissan 300ZX Turbo, and this 1979 Porsche 911 Turbo with era-appropriate Gotti wheels and few monster upgrades from Ruf (including the biggest intercooler we’ve ever seen).

While the Lambo, Ferrari, and Nissan were sold off, this Porsche was the only car he never sold. In death, Payton demanded that the 911 be kept up for his son Jarrett to receive on his 25th birthday. Payton had purchased this 930 brand new from the dealership in 1979 after five years in the NFL, and a year before Jarrett was born. To this day, the Porsche has under 10,000 miles on the odometer, and plenty of in-period aftermarket modifications (including Nakamichi speakers, an Alpine head unit, and chrome Gotti wheels) make this an incredible snapshot of a very successful man at the peak of his career.

Jarrett Payton: “This was his first sports car. This was the first big-name sports car that he bought. He bought it in 1979, the year before I was born. He got into the league in ’75, and early on, his main focus was just playing football. That focus helped him become the leading rusher with the most carries those first three years. He worked hard to ensure he had established himself, so when he was getting to the good part of his career, when the ‘80s came around, he wanted to treat himself.”

“He loved the silver on that body style. He had it to match the chrome rims on there; he just always wanted it to look super clean. He wanted the hottest thing out, and you know, I respect him because when you work hard, and you have the means to do those things, why not treat yourself? He knew the grind and the hard work being in football, not taking a day off … that’s what made the car special.”

“My dad loved music, so it was a good opportunity to drive around listening to new music together.”

Jarrett has been the caretaker of his father’s Porsche since 2005, and has given the 911 the same level of care ever since. He says that he hasn’t bonded with the car the way his father did, and wants to move it on to a collector as passionate about Payton’s legacy and historically significant automobiles as Payton was himself. He has his father’s jerseys and rings as keepsakes, and would prefer others to share in the story of the 911 Turbo. The Porsche will be offered at Mecum’s Chicago auction in Schaumburg, Illinois, as Lot S134. Payton, as you may know, wore jersey number 34, making that lot number extra significant. And being that Payton helped drive the Chicago Bears to their only Superbowl victory, giving the venue an extra level as well.

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