The Porsche 911, at least to me, is the most iconic automobile in production today. I didn’t always like the 911. As a child I thought they were boring as they were so common on the road. A Porsche could never cause the same excitement as a Ferrari or Lamborghini, but in my teen years I finally started taking to them. While working at a car dealership as a lot attendant I finally saw what I thought was the perfect sports car. A dealership across from us had a 964 Turbo for sale and it was beautiful. It’s wide rear-end and simple design commanded my attention. I walked past that car every day for months until it was sold. It was the car that bit me with the 911 bug.
Though the 911 has transformed over 50 years of production, each generation is unquestionably a 911. The 911 has utilized water-cooled flat-sixes since late 1998, but true 911 enthusiasts often pine for the air-cooled variants of the past. The last generation of the air-cooled 911 was called the 993. This generation is regarded as the best 911 by many die hard fans, but the softened lines and rounder nose just don’t do it for me. I still like the 993, I just don’t love it. I may be biased thanks to my short romance with the 964 Turbo as mentioned above, but I believe the 964 is the generation to own rather than the 993. The 964’s aesthetics are more reminiscent of the early 911 and sport more aggressive lines. The headlights stand up proudly and create the classic front-end look of the iconic car. I always find myself admiring these cars in the street and have now been lucky enough to experience the car for myself.
Jordan’s 964 is a euro-spec 911 Carrera 2 and is a rare non-sunroof model. He has owned the car since 2011 and has transformed the car into his ideal 964. When he bought the car it was completely stock and had a few aesthetic issues with the paint and bodywork. His 964 now looks exceptional for a nearly 25 year old car and his tasteful modifications have only added to the vehicles presence. A set of KW Variant 3 coil-overs mounted with camber plates and Rennline monoball top-mounts stiffen up the chassis and snug the car down to the road. Polyurethane bushings have been added to the A-Arms as well in order to improve steering feel and handling. Porsche Cup I wheels have been fitted to the car as well. Jordan had them restored and painted in black which gives the car a subtle aggressive touch. The final result is an aggressive stance that is not over-the-top and completely useable. This is one of those times where you get the best from function and form.
The interior of the car has been stripped and cleaned up with RS door cards and carpets. The useless rear seats have been removed and the front seats have been replaced with Recaro SPG seats that hold you tightly in place. The steering wheel has also been replaced with a Porsche Motorsport steering wheel produced by Momo. These interior changes may seem small but they have shed weight from the car and improved the driving feel. The new interior is purposeful and helps the 911 give off a race car vibe from inside.
The engine has been left as standard though small changes have been made to improve the 3.6L flat-six. RS motor-mounts allow greater engine response as well as the RS lightweight flywheel. An RS shift lever as well as an FD Motorsport “Golden Rod” shift rod improve the feel while rowing through the gears. The secondary muffler has also been bypassed resulting in increased response as well as more sound coming from the wonderful air-cooled motor. On top of the performance upgrades Jordan has replaced numerous original parts in order to restore the shine the car once had off of the production line. The car has also been repainted in it’s original slate grey metallic and new taillights were installed.
After meeting with Jordan and having a ride in the 964 he asked me if I would like to drive it. I was not planning on asking him if I could drive the car but it was a welcome surprise. It was my first time driving an air-cooled 911 and I won’t soon forget it. The throttle response was impressive, probably thanks to some of the modifications done to the car. Step on the throttle and you are rewarded with a wave of torque at seemingly any RPM. The steering ratio was nice and tight requiring small amounts of steering angle to guide the 911 around bends. Steering response was also impressive as the car would turn in at the slightest nudge of the Porsche Motorsports wheel. When it was time to stop, the brakes were also incredibly communicative. The pedal required a reassuring amount of pressure allowing you to easily modulate the stopping power. Overall, driving the 964 confirmed my desire to own an air-cooled 911 for myself. Jordan’s take on the iconic Porsche is executed in such a way that nothing seems out of place. Modifications have been made in areas that require improvement and allow the 911’s true character to shine through. I thoroughly enjoyed the car and hope it is not my last experience behind the wheel of an air-cooled icon.