Its unbelievable. It fell into my lap. A new 993 Carrera 4S .
Although my typing isnt the best this is no mistake, it had been used for only 5900 mile. I have done more in a whole month than this Porsche had manages in 14 years. This was, without doubt ‘one to have’. When something like this is offered, I don’t hesitate.
Now I find low mileage Porsche in all places, I search Worldwide and as you may know, the last very special Porsche was a 964 Turbo II 3.6 with 12000 miles that I had brought from Brunei. In that case I had to consult my World map to find Brunei, no one I asked accurately placed it. However for this 993 it was rather easier.
This Porsche had been supplied new by our local Porsche center. Back in 1998 it would have been one of the last of the 993. What seems incredible is that way back then, with the 996 already on the showroom floor, Porsche were probably glad to get rid of the last of their components. It’s often the scenario that these end of the line Porsche get everything thrown at them.
This 993 was extraordinary. It had the works turbo look option on a C4, that means a full Turbo specification chassis, with the big brakes, the stiffer suspension, 18″ Turbo spec alloys, the wider body, but the normally aspirated non turbo 993 motor. Or so it should. This one had the ultra rare factory X51 option. For those that know, it’s a 3.8 motor rather than the 3.6 , a close relation of a 993 RS power plant and ever so rare. There were more options, the sports seats, black leather, litronic lights and alloy pack. The original cost was if I recall correctly circa £90,000.
The lucky owner of this car lived in my area but I never saw it…..no surprise really as it wasn’t getting used! Unlike some ultra low mile cars, at least it was getting a little use, rather that than being left unused and seizing up.
So what would a new 993 have been like compared to the newly launched 996? Now we know.
The first obvious thing is the sense of rock solid build quality. You see it from a distance, the exact and precise gaps between the panels, just perfect. Then you reach for the door handle, a beautiful action, a solid aluminium handle, smooth in the hand and precise, like squeezing the trigger of a rifle. Hop in. Now to me the dash of a 993 doesn’t feel dated at all, simply functional. I dont get confused as some suggest because its a familiar place to me. The clarity of the important guages, the rev counter, the oild temp and pressure and the clock. All crystal clear and functional rather than stylised.
The seat. Porsche fitted good seats and covered them back then with the best leather. The dash is hand stitched leather, beautiful craftsmanship exhibited along with quality materials. The door, one that Porsche developed over the course of 30 years shuts with a unique sound . Its a currrchunck. It’s shut, for definite. Another feeling for you the driver of solidity and security. And these are the qualities you find throughout, from the touch, feel, sound and from the behind the wheel. It all matches.
You cannot adequately describe the sound an air cool 911 makes, its special and all the different air cool engines make a glorious sound, related to one another but totally unique. A 2.0 from 1967 sound very different to this. The 993 varioram in 3.8 form makes a very distinctive crackle, it simply is superb.
Out on the open road there is something special, there is a feeling of boundless power, almost like its some sort of giant elastic band. Just as happy to be pootling along at 2000 rpm as it is a 6500. It never complains, it feels so smooth, like the engine is perfectly balanced and turbine smooth. Every tiny adjustment to the throttle is felt, every movement of the wheel feels perfectly weighted. Honestly it is a good feeling.
An X51 3.8 is rare, so I haven’t driven many. However the extra torque is noticeably, just that little bit more eager to please, and having said that I certainly wouldn’t criticize a regular 993 in that department.
So I was the lucky one to experience one of the very last, top spec, ultimate 993. With mixed feelings its now gone to a caring new owner who will treat it as it should, use it occasionally and enjoy every minute . Better than a picture on the wall, you can look and enjoy, more importantly you can drive and enjoy it. That’s good value in my book.