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911 997.1 [2005 à 2009]

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Jason’s 997.

We at Elferspot Magazine are constantly looking for exciting vehicles and their history behind them. Of course, we are particularly interested in the people who, driven by love and passion, turn these cars into special vehicles. This time we were allowed to talk to Jason, who owns a wonderful Porsche 997 Carrera S. The Porsche 997 was built more than 200,000 pieces. And yet, a 997 can be something special. The 997 represented a significant relaunch of the 911 that included a major body restyling and interior update, while using much of the rolling chassis of the outgoing 996. This included an uprated version of the water cooled Carrera engine – now offered as a 3.6-litre for the Carrera and a 3.8-litre for the Carrera S.

Hey Jason! Thanks for having you for this Elferspot-interview. Please tell us something about you as a person. Who are you?

I guess you could say I’m just an average guy with some really passionate hobbies.  I’ve been obsessed with cars from a young age and have kind of built my adult life around them.  They’re definitely a focal point and driving force in my life.

“The best way I can describe it is: They have soul.” Jason

You have a great passion for cars and for Porsche 911 in particular. How came it?

I’ve owned so many cars; American, Japanese and German.  I’ve now had 4 Porsches and there is just something special about these cars.  We all know they perform great and they’re visceral and they have amazing heritage, but there is something else you can’t quite put your finger on.  The best way I can describe it is: They have soul.

What cars have you owned in your life so far?

I’ve literally owned dozens of all makes and models, and I think I’ve modified over thirty-something of them now!  My current fleet includes the 997 Carrera S as well as a well modified second gen Toyota Tacoma 4×4 and a bagged mk1 VW Rabbit.

“I think the 997 Carrera is the most perfectly understated 911 ever made.” Jason

You are driving a very special and beautiful Porsche 997 S. Why did you choose this model?

Thank you! I had previously owned and modified a 996 C4S, a 964 C2 and a 987 Cayman S and I guess this was the next one to try haha.  I really fell in love with the simplicity of this platform.  I think the 997 Carrera is the most perfectly understated 911 ever made.  I’d still like to get my hands a few other models in the future but I’m rather pleased with what I’ve done with this platform.  In fact I’m coming up on two years with this car, which for anyone that knows me, that’s an eternity for me.

Please tell us more about the great modifications on your 997.

Oh god, I’ve done so much.  Most of my attention, time and money went to the suspension which I found to be one of the trickiest cars to set up properly.  The 997 is a car where the ascetics need to match and compliment performance.  I started with a bespoke set of Fortune Auto fully adjustable coilovers in which I changed around spring length and spring rate a few times settling on 5” hypercoil 6k springs in front and 6” Fortune Auto 12k springs in the rear.  I quickly found that the 997 doesn’t take kindly to suspension geometry changes and to get the car to handle as it should while at a height I found pleasing, a lot more had to be done.  After much trial and error, the addition of Tarett Engineering adjustable tow links, Megan adjustable upper dog bones and Berg Racing adjustable rear caster bushings gave me the articulation I needed to set the car up properly.  After numerous ride height changes, damping adjustments, many alignments and two corner balances later, I finally feel that the suspension is perfect.  I now run factory alignment specs at this height and the car performs amazing while retaining streetability.  In addition, I’ve spent much time outfitting the cockpit.  Most notably, alcantara and leatherette Cobra Nogaro seats from HMS motorsports, alcantara Momo wheel mated to a Works Bell hub, Stewart Settles door pulls, and numerous Rennline bits including their weighted shift knob attached to a factory short shifter.  I also have an RSS rollbar and Schroth 4 point ASM harnesses ready to go in (not pictured).  Keeping with streetability, I updated the BOSE stereo with a Pioneer BT touch screen unit which utilizes a NavTV harness to convert RCA to optical and retain the factory amplifiers and subwoofer.  Moving to the outside, I have replaced the front bumper with the OEM aero kit and added an OEM Cup splitter and LED bumper lighting.  The paint has been corrected and now preserved with Cquartz coating from Arete Auto.  The exhaust has been mildly changed with partial bypass (gundo hack) and custom chrome tips which provides all the right pops and gurgles without any annoying drone.  After numerous wheelsets, I finally settled on 20×9 and 20×12 Rotiform Forged 3 piece LSR wrapped in 245/30 and 305/25 Toyo Proxes T1 Sport tires.  There’s plenty more under the surface including brakes and clutch and probably a ton I’m forgetting at the moment.

“It’s important that I don’t have limitations on when I can use my cars.”

How often do you use your 997?

I do daily drive the car as well as use it for trips.  I take it to work regularly and even fasten my mountain bike to a Yakima carrier and OEM roof rails to head out to the trails.  It’s important that I don’t have limitations on when I can use my cars.

If you could choose another 911, which one would you take?

Is all of them an acceptable answer? Haha….  I’d like to get my hands on so many more cars honestly and I’m sure I will in due time!

You´re a very active Instagramer with more than 12K followers. Do you have a passion for photography as well?

Haha, yeah I am really into photography! I currently shoot with a Sony A7ii and take most of the pictures for my instagram account, however the pictures in this article were taken by my good friend Evano Gucciardo.

“I’d like to get my hands on so many more cars honestly and I’m sure I will in due time!”

Many thanks, Jason!. It was a pleasure speaking to you.

Likewise!  Thank you!

Special thanks to EvoG Photography who spoils us with this wonderful pics. Follow him on Instagram 






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996 v 997 Turbo

If you’d been lucky enough to work as a motoring journalist in the 80’s (when budgets were generous, and launches went on for days) you’d have laughed at the proposition that the 911 Turbo would evolve into the definitive secure, all weather supercar within the next decade or so. The original 930 Turbo may have become mildly more approachable with the 1989 advent of the G50 gearbox, it’s 5 ratios making lag slightly less of an issue, but here was a car that always carried a serious sting in its tail.

A reputation cemented by a dastardly combination of short wheelbase, turbo lag, tail heavy weight distribution and strong lift off oversteer characteristics meant only the most skilled could extract the best from it, whilst many less skilled would find themselves in trouble, and a consequently broken car. Of course for some this defines the very appeal of a 930 Turbo, but for many the car proved hugely exciting but occasionally terrifying to drive – particularly if rain had fallen.

1995 marked the beginning of the evolution towards the 911 Turbo as we know it now; the 993 Turbo introducing technology that had first appeared almost a decade earlier in the seminal 959. Twin turbos delivered an even bigger, yet more manageable hit of power. Married to modern chassis technology & four wheel drive, the 911 Turbo was suddenly a car capable of covering ground with immense speed and security. And if the 993 generation Turbo heralded a new direction in the evolution of the 911 Turbo, the 996 cemented what the 911 Turbo would come to stand for: the definitive all weather supercar.

The 996 represented so much for Porsche, bringing with it the biggest revolution in the 911’s development so far. It introduced a new way of building cars (hence the commonality with its Boxster cousin), a water cooled flax six for the first time and truly modern aerodynamics; the platform would form the basis of the 911 for the next 15 years. It also formed the basis of the 911 Turbo that many regard as the optimum balance of speed, usability and purity of driving experience.

Why? It offers perhaps the perfect blend of compact dimensions (it’s little wider than a 718 Boxster), immense performance from the unburstable Mezger flat six, and a chassis which delivers a secure, communicative driving experience with a purity supposedly lost to PASM & computerized chassis control systems of future generations. Or so the accepted wisdom says….

To read the full in-depth feature of our definitive 996 v 997 Turbo test, pick up a copy of Total 911 issue 159 here or download from Newsstand. 

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Video: A history of the Porsche 911 Targa

 

In 2017, the Porsche 911 Targa – the original open top Neunelfer – will reach its 50th birthday, a remarkable milestone for a model that was originally devised to meet safety regulations that were, ultimately, never implemented.

To celebrate the upcoming anniversary, we’ve decided to look back over the Targa’s half a century of history in our latest video, taking you through the evolution of the model from 1967 right through to the latest 991.2 Targa 4S.

screen-shot-2016-12-08-at-12-28-56

Our five-minute flick also stars a 1974 Porsche 911 Targa from esteemed specialist, Canford Classics, the original impact bumper iteration showing how the latest open-top Neunelfers has both changed and been inspired by Zuffenhausen’s iconic roll hoop design.

We’ve put the two idiosyncratic roof systems to the test too and, if you missed our road trip with the 991.2 version in Total 911 issue 142, Features Editor, Josh gives you his opinion from behind the wheel of the new 911 Targa to see if turbocharging has improved the alfresco driving experience.

For more of the latest and best Porsche 911 videos, check out our dedicated film section now.

screen-shot-2016-12-08-at-12-40-25

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Sales debate: Why are 996 GT2s undervalued compared to 993 and 997 GT2s?

For a while now, 993 GT2s have sat near the top of the financial tree as one of the most expensive production Porsche 911s on the collector’s market; expect to pay upwards of £500,000 ($675,450) for a nice example of the original widowmaker. The 993’s successor, the 996 GT2, has lagged behind value-wise though.

A year or so ago, a water-cooled GT2 could be found for under £60,000 ($81,000), making it one of our Neunelfers to buy in issue 126’s investor’s special, and, despite a price rise proving us right, they still languish behind 993 and 997 widowmakers.

“There’s quite a handful of them on the market right now,” says Porsche specialist Lee Maxted-Page, “and they’re in a spread between £100,000 to £150,000 ($135,00 to $202,000).”

With just 173 examples of the 993 GT2 built compared to the 996’s production run of 1,287, is this price gap purely down to the numbers available?

Silver Porsche 993 GT2

“No,” Maxted-Page confirms. “996 GT2s are still very low production cars as there were 129 UK cars built between 2001-04: 16 in 2001, 66 in 2002, 31 in 2003 and then 16 Gen2s in 2004.”

However, despite the 996’s prowess as a driver’s car, Maxted-Page feels it can’t be compared to the 993, the latter a “proper homologated car for Le Mans.” Mark Sumpter from Paragon agrees, pointing to the 996’s lack of racing pedigree as a key reason why its value lagged far behind the 993 GT2.

While Sumpter points out that the relative abundance of 996s does, rightfully, have an effect on the GT2 price gap, he feels that as the 996 is “a decade newer than the 993, the water-cooled car hasn’t hit ‘classic’ values yet.”

pr-porsche-997-gt2

It’s one of the reasons why Sumpter believes “good, original-spec 996 GT2s will continue to appreciate”, making them a good purchase despite the price hike they’ve enjoyed over the last year.

Maxted-Page agrees: “A lot of this water-cooled stuff has taken more time to appreciate than the air-cooled stuff,” he says. “But recently, the focus has been on Turbos, from the early 930s right the way through.”

As the 911 enters a new turbocharged era, Maxted- Page feels that interest is only going one way: “Low mileage, factory original cars have the potential to be valued in the £150,000 to £200,000 ($202,000 to $270,000) bracket.”

Sumpter is even more optimistic and claims, “a low-mileage, perfect car may get to £250,000 ($337,600) in the next two or three years.” He adds, “I think they will settle at around one third of the price of a good 993 GT2.” Good news if you thought you’d missed the water-cooled widowmaker boat.

For market advice on any generation or style of Porsche 911, check out our full selection of sales debates, where we ask the 911 experts the pertinent market questions so you don’t have to.

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GT3: A Porsche 911 History

Forget the switch to water-cooling, for Porsche enthusiasts, 1998 was really all about the release of the first Porsche 911 GT3. It marked the beginning of a new Neunelfer model range that has, in just 18 years, worked its way into Zuffenhausen legend.

Based on the Porsche 996 Carrera’s narrow body shell, the original 996 GT3 debuted in Cup car form at the tail end of 1998 before the road going version was launched at the 1999 Geneva Motor Show.

Unlike the standard 996 Carrera, it was bestowed with a dry sump, race-bred engine, the architecture of which could be traced back deep into the air-cooled era. Designed by legendary Porsche engineer, Hans Mezger, the 3.6-litre engine developed 365hp at a heady 7,200rpm.

Tracking shot of a Dark Blue Porsche 996 GT3

Named after the FIA racing class it was designed for, the first 911 GT3 was still very much a road car (despite its motorsport-inspired moniker and drivetrain). As it turned out, this would be the key to the car’s success with 1,858 996.1 GT3s leaving the bespoke production line at Porsche’s Motorsport Department.

In 2003, the GT3 got its first update, bringing with it the 996 Gen2’s sharper front lights, new alloy wheels and a revised aerodynamic package that included a more modern rear wing design. The 3.6-litre ‘Mezger’ engine was also fettled, providing an improved 386hp at 7,400rpm.

While the 996.2 GT3 was no longer made in Weissach, the move to the Zuffenhausen factory allowed Porsche to increase production, with 2,313 Mark II cars being built between 2003 and 2005.

Blue Gen 1 Porsche 997 GT3

Demand was even higher for the first 997 GT3, launched in 2006. Still based on the narrow Carrera body shell, Andreas Preuninger’s department made the 997.1 the first GT3 to weigh less than its Carrera 2 counterpart, while further development of the 3.6-litre flat six yielded an even higher rev limit.

Now producing 412hp, the 997.1 GT3 was also the first to come equipped Porsche Active Stability Management (PASM), allowing less experienced drivers to experience the race-bred road car’s talents with the benefit of an electronic catch net.

In 2009, the GT3 got its biggest revision yet as part of the 997 platform’s Gen2 facelift. Along with refreshed styling, the flat six engine was expanded to 3,797cc and the compression ratio increased to 12.2:1, increasing power to 435hp at 7,900rpm.

Riviera Blue Gen 2 Porsche 997 GT3 driving

Centre-lock wheels (a regular feature on the GT3 Cup cars since their debut in the 1999 race season) were also fitted to the road-going GT3 for the first time too, although 2010 model year cars needed to be recalled to fix a rear hub problem.

The Porsche 991 GT3 – launched at Geneva in 2013 – had even more tricks up its sleeves though. For the first time, the body shell was that of the wider Carrera 4, while the longer wheelbase of the 991 platform led Preuninger’s team to utilise a rear-wheel steering system jointly developed for the GT3 and 911 Turbo.

The drivetrain saw the greatest overhaul however. Gone was the now-legendary Mezger engine, replaced by high-revving version of the Carrera’s 9A1 engine while the manual gearbox was replaced with a PDK shifter (the performance of which was improved considerably to match the GT3’s race car credentials).

991-1-gt3

The move to the dual-clutch gearbox shocked many 911 enthusiasts and, with the 991.2 GT3 in the pipeline, it is expected that Porsche will bring the six-speed manual transmission back to the GT3 line-up as an option).

Due for launch early next year (possibly at Geneva), the Gen2 991 GT3 is also due to get the 4.0-litre powerplant from the current 911 GT3 RS. Complete with a lower 8,800rpm rev limit, the Rennsport’s engine is widely regarded as a more reliable unit that the 991.1 GT3’s engine (which suffered a few hugely publicised failures).

For more historical online features, check out our full selection of ‘Porsche 911 history’ articles now.

Photo by CarPix AB

Photo by CarPix AB

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