20 Sep 2013

Stelvio Pass and thoughts on the 911

Son Toby has been travelling in Europe and sent me this photo from the Stelvio Pass in Italy which has been rated as the best driving road in the world by some and as Europe's most dangerous road by others.
He said that it was full of motorcyclists and Porsches this particular morning.
I would love to take my 2.2 911 or indeed any early model Porsche over it.Something small and nimble and with a very lively engine and above all else an engaging drive.I would not be so keen about taking over one of the latest 911s-so big and bloated and with so many driver's aids combining to result in an uninvolving driving experience.
The latest 991 model 911 maybe an engineering and technological marvel but it's no longer a pure sports car to my mind.Sure the GT3 version is a sports racing car but those on the track are far removed from the showroom 911 Carreras.
But at the end of the day who am I to criticise Porsche -I just read this week that in terms of % margin on sales Porsche is the most profitable car maker in the world making over $20,000 margin per car.The formula works for them.Just a pity that they do not have a high tech but basic pure sports car in the spirit of the original 901.In some ways today's Toyota 86 is more akin to the original Porsche 901 philosophy than the 991 911.Food for thought.
Whilst Porsche has been making a big deal of the 50th anniversary of the 911 and emphasising the bloodline running from the first 911 to the latest iteration I feel that the Cayman is now the true descendant of the first 911 in that it is a relatively nimble Porsche sports car whilst the 911 has become a Grand Tourer albeit one with very limited luggage capacity.Ironically today's 991 model 911 is more like a 2 door Panamera with the engine in the back.
This was really brought home to me last weekend at the 50th anniversary event in Sydney.There were a few late model 911s participating and mixed with the beautiful svelte early cars they looked corpulent.Like whales swimming with dolphins.


  1. Thanks for a brilliant blog !

    As an ex-911S owner (aircooled mid 70s 2.7 engined machine) .... and now Adelaide based racing cyclist ... I see sees something quite painfully different in the Stelvio Pass. I see a challenging and asphyxiating climb :) Ouch !

    I actually found my way here after looking for a camera upgrade. Have been looking for reasons to justify the purchase of a Leica X model camera for the last few weeks now.

    Your wonderful images and content posted here really nail the decision for me. Handmade bikes, old 911's .. Leicas. There is a common thread there for sure, and I get it. It sure makes sense to me.

    Looking forward to getting my first ever Leica next week now.
    Cheers for the inspiration.


  2. Steve, thanks for your kind comments.They are very much appreciated.
    Yes the Leica X1 is a quite superb camera and it really done wonders for my photography but as you may have read in a much earlier post I really struggled with it for the first few months.The focussing can be slow and having just one fixed lens seems very restricting if you are used to a zoom lens .Take your jpegs on the natural setting and you must buy an optical viewfinder because the LCD screen is very dim.If you are buying the X2 get the EVF or at least the Olympus one which fits.