The case for the prosecution
When it was launched, the 996 GT3 was something very special, but it wasn't perfect. Track users found the brakes inadequate and the synchro rings were weak. It wasn't that quick either. I can remember struggling to extract acceleration figures from it that were better than the stock Carrera - it was barely any faster than the admittedly suspiciously fast 996 C2 launch cars.
'Something' in the way
But apparently there's 'something' about the Gen.1 car. 'Something' is a word that tends to be used more frequently when people struggle to justify their opinions.
Being a Porsche geek I've thought long and hard about this situation, trying to understand the reasons why people prefer the first car in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. And I keep coming back to the point listed above about choppy surfaces. And two others - looks and significance.
I've always suspected that some people just prefer the way the older car looks and the fact that it's quite rare (103 Gen.1s sold in the UK against 246 Gen.2s) and was the first of the breed. Which is absolutely the choice of the individual. But those people also want to project a more expert image to the wider car community and therefore feel the need to underpin this opinion with something more substantial and outwardly knowledgeable.
At this point the word 'something' emerges with increased frequency from the lips of the perpetrators, and people are prone to using a touch of air steering wheel - which I have always assumed is the mime-artists accepted sign for the word 'nuggety'. In other words, bollocks.
Tell me I'm wrong.
PORSCHE 911 GT3 (996, MY1999)
Engine: 3,600cc flat-6
Transmission: 6-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 360@7,200rpm
Torque (lb ft): 272@5,000rpm
0-62mph: 4.8 sec
Top speed: 189 mph
Weight: 1,350kg (DIN)
MPG: 22.6mpg (NEDC combined)
Price: £76,500 (new)