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Posts from the ‘Dream Garage’ Category

30
May

White Knuckle Ride

List great things that came from the 1970’s.  Really, give it a go.  Stumped, right?  It’s even harder when you restrict your list to the automotive realm.  Ahh, the years that gifted us with polyester, disco and the Mustang II.  It wasn’t all bad though… case in point – oh to be alive in the wondrous year 1973.  George Steinbrenner bought my beloved Yankees, Dark Side of the Moon hit record stores (for the younger folks, there were these places… oh never mind) and Porsche released perhaps the most iconic version of their iconic 911.

Being negative four years old at the time, I must admit that I don’t have much recollection of ’73, but as a Porschephile and life long Yankee fan – I give thanks for this year which would re-shape my two most beloved dynasties.  Flash-forward to Memorial Day weekend 2011… while taking a leisurely drive up the PCH, something caught my eye.  Something white, something Porsche shaped… something… ah yes, something special indeed.  A new European classics dealer had parked what must be a 73’ RS clone in their front window – they thought that might drive some traffic their way, and they were right.  I have always wanted one, and in I went to kick tires and tell them their price was a bit high.  I parked my modern 911, strolled in casually, and upon first sight, my jaw hit  black Converse.  Every detail was correct, there was patina around the mirrors…  IT. WAS. REAL.

 I walked around the RS a few times, absorbing in the details, restraining myself from taking the driver seat and making motor noises.  I have been car obsessed for decades, and have never wanted to drive anything more.  In my head, I was in Monaco, wait no… the Stelvio pass – yes, and it was a perfect day.  Blue skies overhead, just enough of a breeze to justify a leather jacket – I am Steve McQueen!  The RS oozes cool.  Park this relic next to its modern day counterpart, say a 4.0 GT3 RS, and the lineage is obvious.  However, whereas the 4.0 screams “HEY, OVER HERE! LOOK AT ME!”, the 2.7 gives e a steely gaze, and whispers something effortlessly cool.

The 2.7 and 4.0 are different cars for different times.  While I can’t admit to having driven either (sigh), I can say that while my own modern 911 crushes the ’84 Targa I learned to drive on in every measureable category – there is something to be said for the nostalgia any classic Porsche.  The weight of the controls, the whooshing of an air-cooled motor, and perhaps oddly; my favorite feature of classic Porsches – the “click” of those perfectly crafted doors.  On paper, the new car certainly asserts its dominance:

CATEGORY

1973 2.7 RS

2011 4.0 GT3 RS

HP

210 @ 6,300

500 @ 8,250

Torque

202 @ 5,100

339 @ 5,750

Weight

2,414 lbs

2,998 lbs

Length

161.5 inches

175.6 inches

Width

65 inches

72.9 inches

Height

52 inches

50.4 inches

Wheelbase

89.4 inches

92.7 inches

0-60

5.5 seconds

3.8 seconds

Top Speed

150 mph

193 mph

What cannot be extracted from numbers is the feel and experience of driving these cars.  While I  hope for a world in which both can    be parked next to my (also imaginary) Carrera GT, I would struggle to pick one.  This is a major  statement for me, someone who as  a  general rule isn’t into older cars.  As a performance enthusiast, give me the newer, hotter, more  reliable machine any day of the  week.  Of course, there are exceptions – and for me, the soul, passion and pedigree of the 2.7 RS is  too much to resist.   Why?  Two  words from the RS’ creation story.  Race homologated.  Like a few of my other all time favorites  (E30 M3, Ferrari 288 GTO,  Porsche 959), the 2.7 RS was built and sold so that it would be eligible for entry in the European GT Championship.  Rule changes in 1972 left the (amazing) 917 ineligible for further competition.  Porsche then took their production 911S, and readied it for racing with additions of a larger 2,687cc 2.7 liter motor, stiffened suspension, larger brakes, wheels and rear fenders, lighter body panels and glass… and last but not least – that beautiful duck tail spoiler.  All in all, 9 pre-production prototypes were built in 1972, and 1,580 examples were sold to the public between 1973 & 1974.

 I fear that the $270,000 2.7 RS will not sell quickly, and that my daily drive past its glass enclosed home will render my days  useless, as I sit and daydream about ripping up canyon roads in my perfect retro-racer.  A wise man once said, you can live in your  car, but you can’t drive your house.  I wonder how my wife would feel about… oh, never mind.

For now, I leave you with a man living such a dream – check out one of my automotive hero’s, Jay Kay of Jamiroquai, as he tears it up in his gorgeous RS  

13
May

Next up in my dream garage

In kicking off my dream garage, I had to start in the most logical place – with my favorite car of all time.  In doing so, I selected the seemingly perfect Mclaren F1.  As the mighty Mac currently trades for more than $3,000,000, and most of them sit in temperature controlled vaults – it is difficult to picture a scenario ending with me behind an F1’s carbon fiber wheel.  Certainly, in compiling this drool inducing list, there will be more fantasy world hyper-exotica, but for spot #2, I run in an entirely different direction, and bestow my pick on something just a bit different.

Picture this car: 3,500 lbs, 380 HP & 325 lb ft of bone crushing torque… Recaro’s, floating rotors at front & rear, and it only comes with a 3 pedal setup.  Any guesses? Read more »

12
May

If you could fill your dream garage

What would be in it?  Mine starts here…

It is my favorite car of all time.  That is saying a lot considering one important fact… I have never driven one, and more than likely never will.

I love every last detail of the Mclaren F1, from it’s long list of innovations, to its record breaking pace and central driving position.  This is a machine built with a singular purpose, a cost is no object quest to create the worlds premier four wheeled speed instrument. The McLaren is not a supercar in the modern tradition.  When I first encountered one, a perfect silver example in the Park Lane, London showroom – I was in awe of it’s minute stature.  To put it in perspective, the Mclaren hypercar is as wide as a new Porsche Boxster… and shorter by 3 inches.  Not enough?  The carbon monocoque chassis seats 3 adults, packs a 6.1 liter BMW V12 kicking out an insane 627 hp, goes more than 240 mph in a straight line, and weighs only 500 lbs more than an S2 Lotus Elise.  I feel the point needs repeating… 627 hp… smaller than a Boxster… and weightless by comparison. Read more »