I don’t usually have time for Porsches that pretend to be something they’re not unless, perhaps, they have the power to match their looks. With this in mind, then, I approached this early 996 Carrera with some trepidation, as it had been made to look like a GT3.
It was a more effective job than most GT3 wannabes, though. Not only did it have the full Aerokit body additions (front and rear spoilers, side skirts) the interior had been kitted out to match, with the correct bucket seats (but thankfully no harnesses), no rear seats, and colour-coded centre console and dials.
At first glance, it looked very like a genuine GT3, although I was relieved to see it had not been badged such – that would have been naff.
What really surprised me, though, was how much I enjoyed driving the Porsche. Of course, it didn’t feel like a GT3 – it didn’t have the power or the firm suspension – but that was good. So often, people mess up decent 911s by adding rock-hard suspension in the belief that will improve the handling but, nine times out of ten, they don’t get the set-up right and end up with a car that’s horrible to drive.
This one, though, handled beautifully and was a real hoot to drive, despite being on what I was told was a standard suspension set-up. Unlike many early 996s, this one had obviously been properly maintained and I’m betting had had new dampers fitted, so handled as a 911 should. Maybe the seats helped contribute to the sporty feel of the car, too.
I’m still not convinced that a GT3 fake is a good idea (although a little bit of me was disappointed to hear that this £15,000 car had been sold) but this does go to prove that the 996 is a very good and competent Porsche 911, so long as you find a good example.