With a classic Carrera like yours, driving fast is probably the last thing on your mind.
I love the feeling of driving fast, but yes, there is more to it than that for me. I admire craftsmanship and solid engineering and I like beautiful things that work well. For instance, I can enjoy my classic while driving slowly with the roof down and just listening to the engine and enjoying the wind in my hair.
Sounds like a lot fun. This isn’t the only Carrera you own, right?
No, I also drive the latest model 991 Carrera S. It’s white with a red interior and besides being an absolute piece of art, it is probably the best car around in terms of today’s technology and performance.
I’d say these cars ignited my passion for motoring. They’re both really special to me and far better than my first car, an old Czech-made Skoda from the Nineties. It looked funny, but was very reliable. Then I got a newer model and it was really nice. It was black with a beige interior and performed great in the rain and snow.
OK, enough about Skodas — tell me the story behind your 1977 Carrera.
Well, Malta is a small beautiful country south of Sicily and the weather is always nice. So when I was working there, I decided to get a convertible, but I did not want the new ones. I was looking for a classic. I found this Porsche in the classifieds, went to see it, did a bit of research and found out that this was one of only 1,123 ever produced, which caught my attention. The previous owner had all the service history and it was in good nick. It was first registered in Verona, Italy, in 1977 and then it went to Frankfurt until 1987 and was used by a retired gentlemen. After that, it went to Malta and then I bought it in 2008 and brought it to Dubai in 2011.
It looks just like a 993.
The previous owner loved the shape of the 993 model of the Nineties so he did some Kevlar body modifications so it looks like a 993. The benefit is that the car is now lighter, drives a bit faster, and there is less chance of it getting rusty.
Apart from the body, the rest is original?
Yes, it has the original engine and gearbox, and apart from a few body parts from a 993, it is all original, including the well-preserved interior.
I did a partial restoration and put in a new period-specific free flow exhaust system and made some improvements to the oil and fuel management systems as well as some electrical works. I had the front shocks changed to the sport ones, again with a matching period-specific model, and did some upgrade work on the brakes, plus new spark plugs and ignition. It also has a new clutch and I maintain the car regularly — the oil and all the filters have just been changed. It runs great.
You must have a blast while out and about with it.
I do. Even though it’s more than 36 years old, it still drives very well.
I love getting behind the classy leather steering wheel, starting it and listening to the engine. When I get going, it feels fantastic; you are one with the road. This is a sensation that some new cars lack — pure driving pleasure. No need for ABS or power steering, it’s just you, the car and the road and that is a very special feeling.
You old romantic, you! The 3.0-litre flat-six still has some guts doesn’t it?
It does. Originally, it had around 200bhp, but with the improvements I have made to it, it now produces closer to 220bhp — not bad for a classic.
Performance really opens up at 3,500rpm and you can feel it especially in second gear. When introduced, Porsche claimed a rather understated 0-100kph sprint of 6.3 seconds and a top speed in excess of 228kph. However, in road tests by the motoring press it managed times of 5.7 seconds for the sprint and a top speed of 233kph.
It’s quick and I bet it turns a lot of heads too.
Loads! I also get people asking me at traffic lights if I would sell it.
Once, I had someone follow me all the way home and then politely ask if he could see the car!
Hmm, that’s a bit worrying. Moving on, how often do you drive it?
At least once a week, usually during the weekend. These cars need to be driven and it is a rewarding experience.
But it needs love and care so my 991 Carrera S gets more use.
It’s such a nice car and you are clearly very attached to it. Can you see yourself ever parting with it? What’s your dream car?
Only if I find someone as passionate as me. Otherwise, I plan to keep it. It’ll only go up in value since it is a very rare model.
As for my dream car, that would be a 1973 Porsche Carrera 3.0 RS.