Gemballa 911 (996): PH Carpool

Name: Jay Williams
Car: Porsche 911
Owned since: February 2017
Previously owned: Last was a BMW Z4M, 30 odd cars before included Supras, MGTFs, a ZT190, a ZS180, an S-type, a V8 Ford and brief encounters with a TVR Cerbera and a V8 Vantage.

Why I bought it:
"When I started working 11 years ago, I told myself that I'd own a 996 911. I know they're the unloved cousin by many, but I love the headlight design (reminds me of the 996 GT2). I'd actually forgotten about that goal until the purchase of a Dodge Viper fell through and I took a few cars for a spin - an M6, a Maserati CambioCorsa and a TVR Tamora. Then I saw the Porsche in the corner of the dealership and like a moth to a flame had to take it out. I fell in love straight away!"

What I wish I'd known:
"How low the rear end was. It had a fight with a speed bump and lost! Wish I knew earlier about the X51 which mitigates some of the common 996 flaws, and indeed wish I hadn't been put off by reports of said flaws for so long."

Things I love:
"It came loaded with some tasty mods and feels very quick for a C2. It had the X51 Power Pack from the factory which adds an extra oil pump, extra radiator, baffles in the sump to prevent oil starvation, new pistons, ported intakes, higher limiter amongst others. Then a few extra mods were added by Gemballa in Sydney, giving it a coilover set all round, a remap, lightweight Speedline/Gemballa wheels, body kit and an exhaust that absolutely roars - coupled with the flat-six induction growl, It is by far my favourite bit of the car. Harsh ride, supercar sound and more revy characteristics make a huge transformation from standard 996 C2s that I've driven."

Things I hate:
"Literally, the only bugbear I have with the car is the centre armrest cubby. The button to open it lies right where my elbow falls, so I have to lock it to stop it constantly being popped open. But then you have to take the keys out to get at it. The lack of glovebox doesn't bother me as the doors have surprisingly deep bins in them. The ride is very low which means I have to plan trips to the supermarket or take a different car."

"It hasn't been cheap, A bit of rubber bit of pipe flicked up on the road and punched through the front bumper, not long after the sump kissed a speed hump at 5mph. A new GT3 front bar was around 2,000 pounds from Porsche direct, throw in paint, mesh, a new aftermarket deep sump as the current one was unavailable and the total repair bill was an approximate $10,000. Thank god for insurance. A new lightweight battery was approximately 200 pounds, self-performed fluid changes set back a few hundred. New front pads coming up for around the 350 pounds mark, new tyres approximately 2,000 pounds and preventative work on some hydraulic tensioners likely to be the same."

Where I've been:
"Have done a few long road trips to the south of Western Australia where there are lots of long, windy roads to stretch her legs on; the longest I've driven is probably 6 hours which took me past Albany. Also had a track day which was bad for the tyre budget but great for the adrenaline! Later in the year, I'm planning a trip to the Pacific Highway in New South Wales which I am looking forward to.

"I'd love to ship it back home to the UK and go on a Nurburgring sprint (which I may well do in the coming year if I haven't traded in!)"

What next?
"I'm after some GT2 seats and have a GT3 wheel ready to put in and she'll be perfect in my eyes. I love that it's N/A but if the engine goes pop I've always told myself I will sling in a Turbo unit. I run a small dealership, so it's a perfect excuse to get to try other cars so I'm not in a rush to trade-in and am enjoying it too much, but when I do the next goal is an early Gallardo (yep, also in yellow!)."

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Comments (20) Join the discussion on the forum

  • STiG911 03 Jul 2017

    Bit of a find, that!

    Not many people know that the X51 option for the 996 was considerably more serious than it is in later 911s. The idea was to re-work several areas of the M96 series engine for the GT3 as a fall-back in case the Mezger didn't turn out right.

    Owners with an X51 optioned 996 are sitting on a very rare beast, worth more than they might realise.

  • big_rob_sydney 03 Jul 2017

    Brave man to run something like that in Oz. But you only live once. Enjoy.

  • housen 03 Jul 2017

    big_rob_sydney said:
    Brave man to run something like that in Oz. But you only live once. Enjoy.
    why what happens if u drive a Porsche in aus ?

  • GrandAndrew 03 Jul 2017

    Lovely looking thing!

    The colour really makes it!

  • Dafuq 03 Jul 2017

    housen said:
    big_rob_sydney said:
    Brave man to run something like that in Oz. But you only live once. Enjoy.
    why what happens if u drive a Porsche in aus ?
    Apart from the fact the natives can't drive and don't give a sht about their own bodywork, let alone yours........,

    Any decent European metal is roughly 2-3 x more expensive to buy and get serviced here.

    Oh, and the cops will pull you over and find something to fine you for because your car is 'loud' or 'looks like you were probably speeding'

    Other than that, nowt, everything is rosey wink

    Edited by Dafuq on Monday 3rd July 13:07

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