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24 Sep 2015

Pure Driving Pleasure


The all time world's best driver's cars were 911s made by Porsche between 1963 and 1973.After 1973 the 911 started to get paunchy until today it is obese.The pick of the crop of the early cars were the LWB versions made between 1969 and 1973.I count myself very fortunate to own a 1971 car. There are three levels of 911s made between 1969 and 1973-the base model,the T, then the E and the supercar the S.
Now the last models of the S the 2.4 version are the absolute pick of the crop but even the base T is a superb driver's car .
Mine is a T with some engine mods - done long ago probably an E camshaft and some other tweeks. It has Weber carbs and a 5 speed 901 gearbox.It is only a 2.2 litre but it just loves to rev and the noise is something else.The engine drives just the wheels and the fan/alternator -there is no aircon compressor and no power steering pump.There isn't that much power but what there is goes to the wheels.
I have lightened the car by removing the radio and aerial and fitting lighter seats and a few other tweeks.It weighs only 1013 kg with the full sized spare wheel,jack,tools and a quarter of tank of fuel.
The car has standard narrow Fuchs wheels and 195/70 tyres all round.Lowering the ride height and fitting wide wheels and wide low profile tyres degrades the ride,handling and particularly the poise of an early 911.I believe in keeping the car as it left the factory.The good Dr Porsche knew best.
Driving it is physical.There is little insulation.There is plenty of NVH-noise,vibration and harshness. Hooray. There is no power steering,no brake booster -of course no ABS or traction control-and the clutch is cable operated.
Competent Porsche drivers just love the early cars. Driving them quickly needs skill. Incompetent drivers bag them.

Last week in company with Craig Duthie in his 911S I had a superb long high speed drive on magnificent roads. We covered a lot of ground in glorious weather.In some places the roads were very rough-I dented the fuel tank bottoming out at high speed on a very bad hump caused by trucks breaking up the road.
We travelled north of Morpeth in NSW.Craig has found an Australian Nurburgring. It is long,fast,it dives up and down and there is very little traffic. The panoramas in all directions are wonderful. Pure Driving Pleasure. Now if the local council could just resurface it.

Some photos from our drive.Only a few.The driving was that good. Why waste time taking photos when we could be driving.




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