Porsche Experiences from SL.

Dear Stuart,

Hope you don;t mind, I came across your web site whilst looking for 968 material. I enjoyed your site so much that I felt compelled to share my experiences with you.

My Porsche history started with a 1974 911T, (the cooking version). Sadly it was dissolving with each fall of rain - manic polishing, prayer or Josh Sadler at Autofarm could not save it.

I loved the way the car sounded, felt and moved. I mourned it's passing.

As luck would have it my local OPC, (Bel Air, Marbella) called me and explained that they had a car that they could not possibly sell to anyone else, they said "Stuart you are the poorest client we have ever had, you must come and see this car". It was a 1987 924S Spirit, Grand prix white, horribly faded, with gold trimmed cookie cutters and a peculiar grey and gold stipped upholstery, the cloth was basly torn but the sports seats were excellent. I was smitten and took it immediately. (750,000pts £2900). Copius T Cut and polish fixed the paint, the interior was re-finished at a cost of £300 by a classic car restorer in Norfolk.

I had that car for a couple of years regularly driving it between marbella and UK and it was fantastic. In fact I set my best door to door time in that car, 17 hours from Mijas Golf Course to Dover ferry port. (I have tried to beat the time in a 993 Turbo, but couldn't. The trade off between out right speed and re-fuelling time made the 924S 2 hours faster overall. Who would have thought it! A 924 beats a 911! Best keep that one quiet)

In 2000 I read an advert for a 928CS at MCP Motorsport in Sherringham, I called Martin Pearce but the car had gone. Martin managed to extract from me my available budget and suggested I come and look at a 968 CS. I can not imagine a car being so undersold by a dealer, the car is Maritime Blue, at that time had 150,000km on the clock and thanks to the delightful excess of the original owner was factory fitted with the RS Turbo body kit and a 23,000Dm Becker sound system. He must have wept when Porsche gave him the bill!

The history file shows a replacement engine (fitted by OPC) at 120,000Km and the gear box was rebuilt shortly afterwards. About 2 years agao the car developed a badly slipping altenator belt, after a few days it broke. I took it to my nearest OPC (Chapelgate) - they gave me some very bad news. Apparantly when the new engine was fitted, a bolt securing the altenator to the block was cross threaded, over a period of time (50,000Km) the vibration caused first one then the other of the two top bolts to shear, then due to the burden the two lower bolts were torn out of the block. Chapelgate apporximated £2000 to remove, strip, weld and rebuild the engine. Sadly at that time too much for my budget. I was recommended to Crispin Manor at Oak Tree Garage. He looked at the car said it was fascinating, had never seen that before and would love to do it. Crispin did a very thorough job, he stripped the engine replaced all the bits that were worn or would become worn over the next lifetime of the engine and put it back together, £1850! The car drove beautifully.

Six months later a 928 CS became available, I bought it and therefore needed to sell the 968. I kept both for a month just to compare, you know how it is. The cars were so different, the sheer power and grunt of the 928 was awesome, (in a straight line up to 120mph it kept pace with the 993 Turbo), the agility and deftness of the 968 simply made you smile. So I kept both!

Six months later the 968 was in for service, whilst at Chapelgate I saw a 993 Turbo for sale at an eye watering £50,000. I jokingly asked what the monthly payments were, and was staggered to learn that if I turned the 968 in to cash and added a little - the monthly payments would be £350. Less than the cost of an ex-wife! I signed on the dotted and roared or rather whistled away in the Turbo. As luck would have it one of my staff totalled the 928 CS shortly afterwards, the insurance cheque meant that I did not have to sell the 968. By now the 968 became a pool car for the staff, they quickly neglected it, added huge mileage to it and scraped almost every panel. I did not hear much about the car for about a year because it was constantly in use, it just never ever breaks down.

The 993 Turbo is spectacular, a staggeringly quick point to point car. Yet somehow whilst I loved every moment of owning it, the 968 still felt more rewarding to drive quickly. The 993 Turbo would allow anyone to make very fast progress in it, a hugely powerful, forgiving and stable car.

When the 993 went for service I used the battered 968 and was horrified by it's condition. Jestys OPC Body center wanted £6,000 to repair and repaint the various dents and stratches. I vowed never to lend it to the staff again. I contacted Porschtech in Britstol, I thought that I moight as well take the opportunity to enhance it's performance whilst fixing it's appearance. Rob at porschtech said he would assess the car and see what was needed. He decided that there was no need to re-chip or put a go faster exhaust on it as it was one of the nicest 968s he had driven. he suggested that the best way to make it faster was to make it lighter, he suggested that the damaged body panels be replaced with firbre glass. So, the bonnet, both wings, nose and rear vallance were replaced with glass, a weight saving of 80Kgs.

The car felt great when I got it back, certainly more responsive in terms of acceleration and steering. With fresh paint it looked great too! Chapelgate replaced the interior trim, new ashtray, carpets, overmats and replacement radio. The total cost to bring it back to it's former glory was £4,000.

Since then I have traded the 993 Turbo for a 1999 GT3. It makes a beautiful noise, it feels as light as the 968, it covers ground as quickly as the 993 Turbo. It gives every sensation that the 968 can give execpt more of it, more quickly and more intense. The only down side is the dissapointing build quality. My 270,000Km 10 year old 968 is still better put together than the 20,000 mile GT3.

The GT3 will go soon. But the 968 will remain.

I have an office in Bucharest, Romania and recently drove the 968 there. The 2850Km journey took 25 hours - pretty quick bearing in mind that the last 800Km are no better than B roads or country lanes! The car attracts a lot of attention here, there are several Boxters, Carreras and even Cayennes in the city, but only one 968CS.

Having thought about it I would like to give it a little more urge. I understand that the engines in the 968 are likely to give around 225BHP rather than the quoted 240.I am sure if I could get the car to it's intended 240 or perhaps a bit more that it would finally get that edge over those bloody Imprezas! The people at AmD say that re-chgipping will give an extra 15BHP and also make the power available lower in the rev range. He also said that despite claims to the contrary I should only expect a few horses more from an exhaust system.

Hayward & Scott says that £1,000 of system, manifold, 100 cell cat,et al, will give as much as 20BHP.

What do you think? What is the best way to get more power and torque? Chip, exhaust or air filter, or may be all three.

Kindest regards