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Porsche 996 – feed the soul

They say two wheels move the body and four wheels move the Soul. I agree with the generalization, but have to say, there are cars that are good for the soul. And this is one of them.

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There is a sign in the Porsche Museum, which states: “When the engine starts, pure emotion. And when you set off in first gear, you are already infected by the Porsche virus.”

The first new chassis since the legendary 911, with water cooled 3.4L 6cylinder motor and controversial headlights, introducing the Porsche 996. Little did I know this model was frowned upon by the purists, with its first generation water cooled motor, ims bearing failures and fried egg headlights!

As they say, ignorance, (arguably my strong point), is bliss and very much the case in this instance. Good thing, or this delight may have never crossed my path! When offered the chance to drive yet another Porsche, I jumped at it! 

At 21 years old, officially a Classic by Porsche standards, by 1998 cars were at the cusp of technology with the introduction of electronic driver aids. Thankfully, this particular model year was only fitted with ABS, no traction control (with almost 300hp) or any other acronyms introduced on later models. A true drivers car they say, could this be the future collectors value?

Porsche are not wrong with their “pure emotion” claim, although the heart rate rises long before the motor starts. Easy on the eye, a sophisticated thing of beauty, uncomplicated flowing lines accented in glacier white with understated  black leather interior. Palpitations occur at thought of a drive while graceful entry & exit focus the senses, requiring above average contortion skills. 

Wether daily commute or pushed to its limit, the 996 rewards driver exuberance with matching enthusiasm. The rigid body and flat six effortlessly delivering each precision gear change and throttle (cable) input. Even driving slowly is a special experience, allowing others to take in the beautiful lines. The irony of being judged in a classic car by people driving perceived “lesser” new generation cars, of similar value!!! It happens. A lot. 

For a 21 year old, admittedly low mileage 79k km, build quality and drive integrity a testament to Porsche engineering. This car moves the soul! 

If only I could go back to the museum with this hindsight!!!

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