Before considering buying a 911 this is not a bad first question to ask. So.......................what IS so special about them?
The answer is just about everything!
The build quality is second to none. They are unbelievably strong as the entire body is arched (ask an architect) and particularly with the earlier ones the steel used is a heavy gauge. No 'paper bags' from Zuffenhausen! These cars are a tribute to German engineering in its purest form.
The controls and interior are functional. A very large rev counter is the main feature on the dashboard and it is right in front of your face at all times, where it should be. Sitting inside a 911 is much like being at the flight controls of an aircraft. Tough, rugged, functional, and quite basic. This is not a car for someone who likes poncing around with toys, it is a thoroughbred.
They do whatever they are asked to do. Put your foot on the brake pedal and the car stops. That may seem obvious but a lot of cars are not very good in that department! Put your foot on the accelerator pedal and the car squats down and just goes until you slacken off again. Contrary to popular opinion, largely from people who have never driven one, 911s do not go into tailspins at every opportunity unless you do something stupid in which case
any car will probably leave the road quite quickly. One of the most common causes of a tailspin is taking a bend too fast (for the driver anyway), bottling out and slackening off the accelerator pedal or braking. The whole process can of course be speeded up by doing both! As I said, something stupid. Driven well, and these are definitely cars for drivers rather than motorists, they are very rewarding and extremely nimble.
ZERO depreciation on a classic 911 so not the waste of money that some people maintain when they talk of car purchases....other people's anyway.
The flat-six air-cooled engine is phenomenal and sounds it too. It has very different sounds depending on engine speed ranging from a solid burble at idle speed to a sort of metallic shriek under hard acceleration. You will not need to worry about ICE in these cars. You won't be able to hear it and, believe me, you won't want to! This is possibly the most common reason why people make complimentary remarks about my car. Many conversations with strangers at filling stations etc. begin with the words 'Wow, what a fabulous engine sound!'
They can be surprisingly straightforward to work on given a few basic skills and a bit of common sense.
They don't cost an arm and a leg to buy OR to run compared to many other marques if you get a good one................see my other guides for some hints there.
They are not temperamental in any way and are as happy screaming down the autobahn at 150mph and more all day long or pottering up hills in slow traffic in 5th gear. Try doing THAT in the 'sensible', 'practical' car that many suggest as a better alternative.
Well maintained ones don't break either. Failures are rare. Not much more I can say on that one from my own experience. My own has 'failed' just twice in ten years. The first time was when a driveshaft died after giving about 2 years warning that it was on the way out. The second time was when the car went over a big bump in the road and the engine died on me. The fuel pump relay had wiggled loose a bit and, seconds later after plugging it back in properly, I was on my way again.
Yes, and this is one which most people will be looking for, the performance is breathtaking. The 911 is a car with some serious 'grunt' which is why they had such spectacular success on the race track, and still do. Most cars from other manufacturers are so far removed from their 'track version' that we are not even talking about the same car as the one you see in the showroom. Not so with the 911. The full-blown track version is just a few very basic steps away from the showroom version which makes racing a very real possibility if you want to go in that direction.
THE PORSCHE 911. WHAT IS SO SPECIAL ABOUT THEM?
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21 February 2010
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