PORSCHE 911 TURBO (997): PH CARPOOL
A German-based PHer with the perfect weapon for Autobahn fun
Car: Porsche 997 Turbo
Owned since: February 2013
Previously owned: E92 M3, SEAT Leon x2, Merc 230E
"When I was little I promised myself a Ferrari when I was 30. As I grew up, the Ferraris I wanted became far too expensive so I needed something realistic.
"I was addicted to racing games when I was little and one of my favourites was Need for Speed Porsche Challenge. This started the desire to obtain a Porsche but only one with 'GT' or 'Turbo' on the rump.
"After spending the winter looking for the correct spec, I had all but given up. The car had to have adaptive seats, an LSD, manual, PCM3 and be any colour apart from black! My brother found my car sitting at a Ferrari dealer just outside Munich. The following day an appointment was made and I embarked on an 800km round trip to view the car."
What I wish I'd known:
"Virtually all my research was done here on PH. There was a lot of good advice given as I was torn between a GTS and a Turbo. A combination of the advice on here and a lot of help from my brother convinced me that the Turbo was the way forward.
"I also used some German forums and some based in the USA but they were generally for modifications, wheels etc."
"The speed and handling. After having a chance to drive my old M3 again it felt very disconnected and huge when compared to the Porsche. Early Sunday morning blasts along the Autobahn have been fun as well as driving through the local hills in Hessen. Although the noise is much maligned, I like it. From inside there is a lovely mechanical chatter that is totally different from the M3 and I find it loud enough in tunnels. I also like the reception the car gets. People point, wave, take pictures and always come up and chat when I'm filling up which I am still getting used to, although on my first trip back to the UK last weekend I was given the 'coffee beans' whilst driving along."
Things I hate:
"Hate is a bit too strong. I didn't like the standard wheels at first but they have slowly grown on me. Practicality is very good but not as good as it could be (according to my girlfriend!). Having to own the car for three months before having the Porsche Guarantee is a bit unfair. The whole nonsense with regard to wheels and tyres is a bugbear but dealers are a lot more lenient in Germany. I also dislike the 'Turbo' script written down the sides. I know it is 'iconic' but I don't think it suits the 997 model. It will be coming off in the summer when I have some paint correction done and a clear film added."
"So far costs have been reasonable and no more expensive than the M3 was. My local garage in Hofheim (I doubt many PHers use them) is very good and the service personnel are all Porsche nuts who love track days. Insurance was eye wateringly expensive compared to the UK."
Where I've been:
"Nowhere yet, but I have two track days at the 'ring coming up and then Spa in September or October for two days. I am going to try and do a couple of days in the UK this summer too.
"The first drive was memorable. Starnberg to Garmisch only using the back roads after a very large dump of snow and then the Autobahn back to Starnberg. Everything was going well until I lost boost about 10 minutes from my hotel!"
"I don't know really. If I can then either a Ferrari 360CS, MP4 12C, or a practical car (RS6, etc) and what I really wanted but was vetoed by my girlfriend as an only car, a second-gen GT3 RS in blue with gold accents."