People often grumble that the latest Porsche 911s have become more grand-tourers than sports cars – a sentiment I can sympathise with but one which suggests that older 911s aren’t good for long distances. They are!
Although the Porsche 911 is usually praised for its handling prowess, it has actually aways been a great car for long journeys. It’s big torquey flat-six engine makes for effortless high-speed cruising, while its seats are eminently comfortable.
Even so, I have to confess that I baulked at the thought of driving a 30-year-old 3.2 Carrera from Chichester to Scotland earlier this week – that’s a 460-mile one-way trip. Southern England was basking in warm sunshine, even when I left at 6am and I wasn’t looking forward to being stuck in a car without air-conditioning for seven hours. In the event, though, it wasn’t a problem as from Birmingham northwards I was driving through torrential rain and the temperature dropped accordingly.
Driving on motorways in heavy rain is tough going but the old Porsche inspired confidence and I arrived at my destination feeling surprisingly fresh. It would be a lie to say I enjoyed the whole journey, but that was because of the dreadful weather not the car, which performed faultlessly. In fact, I was quite sorry to say goodbye to it at the end of the trip!
As an aside, I drove back home in a six-years-younger Jaguar XJS, which I assumed would be luxury after the Porsche but, actually, it wasn’t. The seating position wasn’t as good, the seats were less supportive, and the car didn’t inspire the same confidence as the Porsche. That said, after 460 miles in it, I did grow to like the old barge in a funny sort of way!
The weather was too wet to take photos of the 911 enroute but here are a few from when we had it in stock.