Or how about a convoy of self-entitled motoring hacks in a priceless collection of Porsche 911s, whisked past you and the rest of the queuing masses with an escort of police motorcycles? Yeah, that'd be pretty annoying wouldn't it. Sorry Edinburgh.
At the head of this group of special 911s a very, very special one. Perhaps not as jaw dropping as the fully liveried GT1 looking like it had taken a wrong turn off the Mulsanne Straight. Maybe not as hardcore as the various GT3s present, including a mint gen-one 996, Porsche GB's 'HBY' 997 3.8 RS press car and its equally hard-worked 'XLG' 991 RS successor. But, given what it represents, a pretty significant Porsche 911.
Yes, it's that one millionth car, unveiled recently and now making selected public appearances around the world before retiring to live out its days in the Porsche Museum. Even with the temptation of all of the above cars, the added distraction of rarities like a 997 Speedster and that one-off 3.2 Clubsport prototype, the bunfight for a turn at the wheel wasn't pretty. Mine didn't come until the closing hours of the two-day event and after some fairly undignified sharp elbow tactics. For all the attractions of the other cars we all realised, symbolic as it was, the chance to drive this car was going to be as one-off as its status implied. The thought that, some years hence, we'd all be able to go to the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, point at this Irish Green 911 and tell whichever long-suffering companion we are with 'driven that one' is, perhaps, rather selfish motivation. But motivation enough.
Here, step by step, is my path to that very special car. Taking in a few pretty cool ones along the way.
The police escort was fun. But immediately upon the bikes peeling off a navigational snafu split the group, my dedication to staying close to the millionth car seeing me follow it up what was intended as our return leg. A stop for map-based head scratching was then exploited as a chance to swap the silver 991 Carrera I'd started with for something a little more exotic.
We all know the 'widowmaker' reputation of the original of course. But by modern standards 320hp isn't a whole lot. And the near-1,500kg kerbweight still is. You understand where it comes from though, given how tough and substantial this car feels. Timeless on the outside, 964s feel more dated within thanks to the scattergun switchgear, floor-hinged pedals and general old-school vibe.
It has one way it wants to be driven - steady and deliberate, the boost building on the digital display a lot faster than it does in terms of meaningful acceleration. Get the timing wrong and it probably will show you a more spiteful side but this car encourages a methodical, disciplined driving style. And proves both relaxing and deceptively rapid as the scenery opens out and the roads get interesting. I like it. But I'm keen to try something a little more ... involved.
Something exactly like this car! This prototype for the limited run G-series Clubsport, the GT3 of its day and previously underrated template for the lightweight, track-focused 911s that have become such icons. And hot property.
I've driven this car before; nearly five and a bit years ago in fact, when it was fresh out of a full factory restoration and present on the launch for the original 991. Back then the leather on the steering wheel was matt and freshly stitched and the 915 gearbox unusually precise compared with others I've driven. Since then it's obviously been driven a little more, the patina and more lived-in feel giving it extra character. And what character.
It's fabulous. The shell feels so stiff and substantial yet the car so nimble. It's got that curious old 911 combination of requiring some fairly brutal inputs and yet being so light on its feet and rewardingly transparent about its knife-edge balance. The chuntery tickover picks up quickly and from 4,000rpm onwards it howls with that lovely flat-six crescendo, the lack of soundproofing offering an intimate relationship with the mechanical mayhem behind you. A lovely, lovely car. If you're going to backdate a 3.2 Carrera then please, please use this as your inspiration rather than turning it into some bastardised vision of an older car.
After politely declining the chance to drive the Tiptronic 993 Targa, losing what I'd understood to be a guaranteed seat in the 997 3.8 RS and then ending up in a 991 Carrera 4 S, I'm suddenly upgraded to the 1967 Targa. It's raining. And quite a lot that is dribbling into the cabin.
It's only a 2.0-litre in this car with a modest 130hp. But the sound is more 911-like than I'd expected, with that familiar gruff bark at lower revs and an appetite to pile them on as you work your way through the gears. That takes some thought though, the play in the lever feeling like you've left it in neutral even when you're actually in gear. For a 50-year-old car on a wet Scottish A-road it's remarkably confidence inspiring though, zinging along through the spray happily enough. I'd still rather a coupe, but it's an interesting demonstration of how far the 911 has come. And yet how honest to the formula it remains.
From 1967 2.0-litre Targa to Cup-shod 997 3.8 RS is quite a leap. The conditions don't favour the car, especially with the knowledge of quite how relaxed the stability control is, even with everything switched on.
I'd have still loved it in that state. There's more to say on this car too...
Now one of 'those' 911s - as in the ones you wish you'd bought before people cottoned on - the chance to drive a low-mileage, factory fresh and totally original first-gen 996 GT3 isn't one to be sniffed at. And the Guards Red museum car is a beauty.
By heck is it stiff too. And I thought this was meant to be the mellower one compared with the gen-two car! Debate still rages over which is the better 996 GT3 but, personally, I dig on the fact this is the first GT3 (that 'something' Harris alludes to in his Tell Me I'm Wrong) and prefer the curvy rear wing to the flat plank on the later car.
It's not an immediately fast car, at least not in terms of acceleration. Once up in the revs though that Mezger engine takes on a harder, more serious edge that sets it apart from regular Carreras. It's not the loudest or most outgoing GT 911 out there but there's a fuss-free simplicity to it, and an undiluted link to cars like that 3.2 Clubsport, that makes it the most classic feeling 'modern' Porsche I've ever driven. Worth the incredible hype and premium over regular 996s? I'm not sure, but the rarity value and badge are enough to guarantee it celebrity status. Much as I love it I don't find it getting quite under my skin quite as much as I'd expected. Or maybe I'm just getting complacent...
And at last here we are. The one millionth Porsche 911. Of all the cars in the 991 line-up, credit to Porsche for basing it on a manual Carrera too.
All things relative but choosing the 'basic' Carrera (albeit in S spec with the Powerkit 450hp upgrade) as the starting point for a project like this is rather cool and honest to the history of the car. Some of the Porsche Exclusive additions like the mahogany wheel and gold badging sound a bit tacky when written down, but this really is one of those cars that actually makes sense as a complete package.
And what's it like to drive? Well, like a Carrera GTS really. And no bad thing there. You're reminded of both how far the 911 has come since 1963, but also how cleverly it clings on to just enough of the original's eccentricity and character to stand out as something different even now. Lovely thing. But not the nicest 911 on the trip. More on that shortly...