Earlier this summer I took a look at a 2003 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa that, in short, was stunning. I know you are probably scratching your head and trying to figure out how a 996 Porsche can be stunning, but trust me, that is one of the finest 996 examples I’ve seen in a long time. Problem was, it was on the other side of the ocean and the steering wheel was also on the other side. Great news for our English friends, but not ideal for us Yanks. Wouldn’t you know, another attractive 996 Targa popped up for sale outside of Chicago with a bunch of maintenance done, including the IMS bearing, and has a fairly reasonable price. A possible downside? Only two pedals.
Last week Porsche announced the new 992 Turbo S and of course, the stats were bonkers. All you really need to know is that it does 0-60 mph in 2.5 seconds and will top out a little north of 200 mph. Much to no one’s surprise, it will be an 8-speed PDK gearbox with almost zero chance of a 6 or 7-speed manual gearbox given that the entire 991 Turbo generation did not offer a true manual gearbox. I totally get why, and you can’t blame Porsche for not offering it. First, the majority of 911 Turbo buyers don’t want a three pedal car, and if they did, as soon as they smashed the throttle in first gear, they’d be banging it off the redline. As much as we like to think we are all amazing drivers, your dentist Gary is not. That means if you do want a 911 Turbo with a 6-speed manual gearbox, you have to venture all the way back to the 997 generation.
This 2012 911 Turbo up for sale in New York is just 1 of 163 examples produced for the North American market with the 6-speed compared to the significantly more PDK cars. That means finding one is very a tough task to say the least. Finding one in Carrera White with a Carrera Red interior and just 6,000 miles? Bring your checkbook.
We could argue the merits of what made the “ultimate” 924/944/968 all day long. A lot depends on what you consider the most desirable, or most pure form. Take that argument to the 911 range, and it becomes even more convoluted. Is it the 901? The RS? The Turbo Carrera? For me, it’s this car.
If the Ferrari F40 was the pin-up hero for most teenage boys, the Porsche 959 was its arch-enemy, and was the car I was always interested in. The F40 was a pared down street racer, while the 959 sported experimental exotic technologies that even 30 years later most cars don’t have – 6 speed manual? Yep. Active suspension? Yep, that too. Hollow spoke wheels with tire pressure monitoring system? Sure, we can do that. Kevlar composite body? Why not? Active torque splitting all-wheel drive system? Let’s give it a go. A technological Tour de Force, the 959 wowed crowds with all of these shocking options when it was launched in a still hard to believe 1985, beating the F40 to the market.
Even at the time it was released, the 959 was a bit of an enigma – did Porsche want to win Le Mans or Paris Dakar with it? Well, it did both – Paris Dakar outright, and it won its class at Le Mans. It was also one of the fastest production cars in the world, with a sub-4 second 0-60 time – something that modern supercars still strive for. Did I mention this car is the best part of 30 years old? Like all of the dream cars that remained firmly out of U.S. buyers hands, the 959 remained a forbidden fruit for many years. But today, even if your name isn’t Gates or Seinfeld, you can own in the U.S. one of the most highly sought after cars ever made – a Carrera White 1987 Porsche 959 Komfort: