What’s in a number?

Posted: February 24, 2008 by The Car Spy in Left Hand Drive, Porsche
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

A 911 by any other number…….

The 993 911 evolved from the 964 in the early 90’s and in a relatively short lifespan of only 5 years turned into the 996 which begat the 997.

Knowing your Porsche 911 is very much a numbers game and although ‘911’ was its given number at birth, it is the internal factory code that we mostly use to describe a particular model. Nothing wrong with that of course. There is probably no other car ever produced that is more referred to by its ‘undercover’ number than the iconic 911.

So what happens after 998 and 999? They could always fill in the gaps from 965 to 992. Does it really matter? Probably not. Out of all of the 9xx combinations it is likely that the 993 will be the one that is remembered for a very long time. Why? Well because it was the last of the air-cooled flat-six cars to be produced by Porsche and that’s enough to bring a tear to the eye for most hardcore 911 fetishists.

Why did they drop the air-gulping, charactersitic wailing boxer in favour of a design that used a more traditional method of cooling? Well it has to do with saving the planet and being able to go even faster. Seems like a contradiction in terms but we are talking about Porsche here you know!

The engineers at Stuttgart had a dilemma – they knew that tough emission laws had to be met to keep the 911 in production but in light of increased competition they also had to get the car’s engine to produce the necessary nags to join the horserace that was developing between BMW, Mercedes and Audi.

They did a great job of course. How they can still produce a car with the engine in the wrong place (from a law of physics point of view) and yet set the benchmark for all others in the 21st century is indeed a remarkable achievement.  

Back to the 993. It turns out that it was really a stop-gap model after all. The brains of the company were already working on the 996 as the first 993 rolled out of the factory gate in 1993. It seems that its gravestone was being carved at the same time.

But the 993 lives on – even the latest 997 doffs its cap at the 993’s signature curves and stand-up headlights. Residuals are rock-solid too. Such is the demand for the 993 that those with up to 100k miles on the clock are fetching high prices – higher than early 996’s in fact. The Turbo’s have gone ballistic and you need a big cheque book to acquire a  special variant such as the RS!

The 993 on the website is a cracker. Only 22,000 miles and with paintwork that looks as though it has just come from the factory. Drives superbly too with its Tiptronic gearbox changing effortlessly and quietly. After loads of calls it looks like this one is on it’s way back to its country of origin – a gentleman from Germany is buying this 993 for his wife. Now there is one lucky lady!

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