25 Years Old. How good is it? We Road test a 1986 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Coupe.
This weekend I have had the opportunity to drive one. Over the years I have heard so many people saying one must buy this, or must buy that with regards Porsche and more specifically with 911. And this particular 911 Carrera is from 1986 and has the 915 type gearbox rather than the ’87 model year G50 gearbox. So according to many ‘experts’ this should be rather less favoured. Nonesense.
You may be able to guess from the photo that this is a good 911. But its only on close inspection that you would realise just how good. Absolutely gorgeous, driving it this weekend served to remind me what great cars these are.
From the moment you shut the door, you know its special. Now were are all used to even shopping cars having power steering, air conditioning and ABS brakes, of which this has nothing. It’s all the better for it, trundling through the lanes from my garage its docile, flexible and quiet. To be fair in these circumstances, when I am all too aware of the unique nature of this aprticula 911 , I would be better off in a shopping car. Thats not the point though, it will perform in these conditions with ease, it doesnt pop, bang, cough or missbehave at all, just docile.
Turning left onto my quiete B road I give it some excercise, and suddenly you remember what it’s all about. The Carrera comes alive, the higher the speed the better it feels, dead strong, straight and a constant thrust from that 231 hp flat six. Its really really good, carefully up through the gears, higher speeds, and this car ‘talks’ to you in a way modern machinery doesnt.
There are no so called driver aids, the skill with which you drive will be reflected in the rewards. This car communicates without fuss. You will know instantly whether you have driven the right line through a corner, you feel it, get it right and it is a very rewarding Porsche. Getting it wrong is down to you.
Not many owners will use these older 911 to within an inch of their life, so in practical terms, the handling is lovely and has higher limits than most will ever venture to discover.
This is one 25 year old ‘oltimer’ that you could drive at high speed across Europe, mile after mile and hop out with a smile on your face.
Wonderful seats, a great view, that massive Tacho centered in front of you and the noise of the air cooled flat six thrustiing you forward. Long before Porsche enginnered cars to sound in a particular way, this just sounds , well , like it is. Unique.
What of the 915 gearbox? Well this one is a delight, its true not many will be operating as well as this one, but thats because most will be worn or faulty, but get a good 915 box and its a pleasure to use. Again, you need to concentrate on driving well, its a mechanical excercise, out of one gear, pause, and positively apply gentle pressure and it slides into the next. No, you cant just ‘bang’ through the gears like a modern hot hatch. You have to apply yourself. Get it right….just perfect.
So dont get put off an earlier 911 Carrera 3.2 simply because it doesn not have the G50 gearbox. Get a 915 that works properly.
The rarity of good 911 Carrera 3.2 has to surely keep their value safe, prices for the best cars have definitely risen over recent years and I predict they will continue to. Therefore I ought to keep this one for myself but alas, I have to occasionally earn a profit to bring food to the table. I think in a couple of years time I will regret selling.
You can learn more about these 911 here on my site, also there is a buyers guide written by me and a DVD (the Porsche Review Volume 1) which feature one of these superb machines. There are also so embarrasing You Tube Videos.