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UK Porsche 993 road trip across the USA

Sometimes in life you need to jump and have faith things will work out. Having covered many thousands of miles in the States, I’d long wondered what it would be like to drive across this great country in one of my own cars.

One winter’s day last December I booked a couple of flights to Nashville without clearing my six-week travel plans with my colleagues at work. It would also mean my partner, Renée, who I planned to take with me, would face a similar predicament. We decided to take the plunge.

I found very little information to help take my own British-registered, C16 993 Carrera S to the States. Others had asked the question on forums before, only to be ridiculed, the perplexed wondering ‘why?’ It’s not for everyone, and certainly not without risk.

Think about things that could happen: an accident, theft, breakdown. With a rental, you simply call a number and someone else sorts your problem. At worst, you’ll be inconvenienced a day – that was my experience when I wrecked a BMW in Death Valley a few years back. Taking my own car would expose these risks and more, so my appetite for adventure had to match my love of Porsche. 

You can rent a Porsche 911 at LAX, but even booking months in advance you’ll be lucky to get availability, and are limited to collection and drop off at the same location. If you can get one, you’ll pay $1,800 a week for the privilege, and when you return with 8,000 miles added to the odometer there will be an extra $4,000 to pay. This was never my plan, exploring the options a way to justify the end.

Old 911s are great cars for covering distances in. They’re reliable, small, usable and intoxicating to drive. The world has long woken up to how good they are, and they’re in demand, many of us becoming cautious of piling on miles or even getting them wet.

Yet driving them is where the real value will always be. There was something distinctly appealing about shipping the 993, that familiarity of taking a faithful companion along for the trip of a lifetime and the sense of occasion an air-cooled 911 always delivers

The process has taught me it takes organisation, patience and a lot of form filling. There are two main shipping options: a roll-on-roll-off service, or a container, either with just one car or shared with other cars. I did a mixture, RORO outbound and a container inbound.

Costs were £4,000 including collection from Tennessee and transportation by road to Charleston on our return. You need to allow extra time for shipping delays; my car was over a week late arriving, luckily factored into the dates.


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Watch This Classic 911S Inspire Your Next Great Road Trip

There’s nothing quite like going for an early morning drive across the Southern California desert in a vintage aircooled 911. The folks at CPR Classics have the right idea here, as they bomb across the wide open expanses in a 1971 911S. If you’ve never had the glorious experience of desert driving like this, well, what are you doing with your life? Hop in your Porsche and head for the American Southwest, as it’s just spectacular. With a variety of occasionally snowcapped mountaintops dotting the otherwise dry and hot landscape, there are spectacular views in all directions.

It’s spring all across this great nation, and there are tons of amazing vistas to be spotted. If you haven’t been on a cross country road trip in a while, invent a reason to do so. Find a spot on the map about 2000 miles away and head for it. Drive as far as you can in a day, stay in nice hotels, stopping for local cuisine and finding the best back country driving roads, of course. Make a week, a month, a year of it if you must. It’s well worth the time and money spent to travel. Take someone you love. Treat yourself.

Heck, 99% of work can be done from anywhere with internet and a telephone these days, so you could probably even take your work with you to extend the trip another month or so. This video was meant to get people dreaming on a work day, and it absolutely worked for me. Lets all go on a nice Porsche road trip. What do you say?


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Road-trip Porsche croisé au col de l’Iseran

Habiter dans une région touristique permet de croiser quelques road-trips de passage sur nos belles routes de Savoie. A l’occasion d’une balade au col de l’Iseran, un son familier se rapprochant  m’a particulièrement attiré, typique d’un flat 6 refroidi par air. Une Porsche 964 apparait alors dans la brume. Mais surprise, quelques secondes après, la …


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R v GT3 v Carrera T: Revival of the manual 991s

What a difference a few short months can make. For a time it looked like the 991 generation was threatening the very existence of a manual gearbox in a Porsche 911 altogether. Unwanted alterations to the new stick shift, twinned with the prominence of PDK, lead some to believe the company was at one point shaping up for a future solely dedicated to auto-shifting sports cars, similar to events at some of its rivals.

While this ‘death of the manual’ movement has raged like a fire through the workshops of other automotive manufacturers, nobody really expected the flames to be fanned as far as the doors of Zuffenhausen. After all, a Porsche has always been about style over outright speed – exemplified by the company’s time-honoured tradition of placing the tachometer and not the speedometer in the centre of the 911’s five dials. It’s how you get there, not how fast.

And yet, as is well documented, it was the 991 generation which began to change the 911’s relationship with the manual gearbox from the get-go. Upon launch at the tail end of 2011, enthusiasts found the six-speed stick shift in the 997.2 replaced by an all-new gearbox for the 991.1, which featured an additional seventh ratio. Conceptually something of a modern-day overdrive gear, this seventh ratio was exceedingly tall, intended for cruising on motorways or the Autobahn, all the while keeping engine revs low and thus improving the new 911’s MPG return.

On paper these changes made sense, but in reality enthusiasts struggled to adapt to the feel of the seven-speed shifter, it unnecessarily clunky and lacking a directness through each gate which the 997’s unit had mastered so wonderfully. Somewhere beneath that protracted H-pattern, Porsche’s slick stick shift had seemingly been lost.

Then the arrival of Porsche’s first 991-generation GT car in 2013 gave rise to another revelation. The GT3 was presented for the first time with a PDK-only transmission, Porsche telling Total 911 in issue 99 at the time: “There’s no chance of a manual gearbox in the future.” The PDK-only GT3 RS that followed went some way to hammering home the point, which left many enthusiasts wondering what future lay ahead for the manual gearbox in a Porsche.

Alas, we know how the script developed from there. A wave of appreciation for manual gearboxes (some might even have called it a public outcry) brought about the Carrera S-engined Cayman GT4 in 2015, before the emphatic arrival of the 991 R in 2016 as the 911’s saviour of the stick shift.

The R proved Porsche’s GT department was prepared to listen to its customers, yet the car’s exclusivity (just 991 were produced worldwide)
meant only a few could benefit from this significant U-turn in company policy. Porsche again listened, unveiling the 991.2 GT3 last year with PDK but, crucially, a six-speed manual gearbox was available as a no-cost option.

The company went further still. For those who couldn’t get their hands on this latest prize GT car, Porsche presented the Carrera T: essentially a pared back and driver-honed version of its base Carrera 911. The line-up was thus complete, with stick shift available, at last, throughout the entire contemporary model range.

So, these are the crusaders; reviving the spirit and flair of the manual gearbox, this the crucial ingredient in any sports car that wishes to be associated with any notion of an analogue, purist drive. The big question, of course, is what is the driving experience on offer from all three?

For the full article, including expert buying tips for each 911 Cabriolet model, pick up your copy of Total 911 issue 168 in shops now or get it delivered directly to your door via here. Alternatively you can download the issue to any Apple or Android device. 


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We Never Expected a 918 to Make a 5000 Kilometer Road Trip. This One Did!

One of the cooler things that Porsche has done this year was to orchestrate this elaborate road trip. The premise of the « Le Mans Unravelled » trip was to show people just how much effort goes into driving the distance of the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hour race winners. When Porsche won the 2016 running of the world’s most famous sports car race, drivers Marc Lieb, Romain Dumas, and Neel Jani ran a full 384 laps, covering a distance of 5,233 kilometers. To commemorate that victory this June, Porsche gathered a group of European writers, lifestyle journalists, and a few YouTubers to drive that distance themselves (sort of).

Starting the trek deep into the Arctic Circle in a town called Bodo, Norway, the journey had the crew drive all the way down to the Mediterranean coast, finishing up in Tarifa on the tip of southern Spain. You’d expect Porsche to bring their full lineup on a trip like this, as a 911 Turbo, a 718 Cayman or Boxster, a Macan, a Cayenne, or a Panamera could easily make the 5000 kilometer trip in comfort. What we didn’t expect to see, however, was a 918 Spyder take this long non-stop road. Sure, the drivers weren’t going full out at race speeds, but they managed to hustle to complete the route in just 64-hours. The « drivers » weren’t expected to drive during the night, however, as Porsche hired porters to keep them driving through the night while the writers and YouTube stars were given mobile hotel rooms on special motor coaches.

This endurance test on the street speaks more to the resilience of Porsche’s best sports cars than it does the drivers, if we’re honest. We never knew that a 918 Spyder could handle a 64-hour continuous road trip, stopping only for fuel-ups and driver changes, just like the 919 Hybrids Porsche raced at Le Mans. Would you wager that the 918’s competition in the Hypercar market, namely Ferrari’s LaFerrari or McLaren’s P1 could make that same trip without issue?

The post We Never Expected a 918 to Make a 5000 Kilometer Road Trip. This One Did! appeared first on FLATSIXES.


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