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Air-Cooled, Water-Cooled - What's Your Porsche?

Many of us have at least two Porsches in the garage; an air-cooled Porsche and a water-cooled Porsche.

The Classic Porsche of the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s that introduced us to the brand is fun and nostalgic, but it is sometimes hard to beat the modern conveniences offered by a 21st Century Porsche.

When do you use which Porsche?

I’ll be honest, I love my original 1986 Porsche Carrera as it brings up so many emotions every time that I drive it, but sometimes I just want the powerful air conditioning on the hot day, or the warm heated seats on a cold day that my 2009 911 offers. My modern 997 Porsche has become my daily driver Porsche while my Classic Air-Cooled Porsches are my special drivers for those special moments.

What are those special moments: it may be the local Show and Shine car event, it may be the drive with my friends and their classic Porsches through the mountain roads, or it may be just that quiet time in the garage shining, futzing and admiring the Porsche that was always my dream car: an air-cooled Porsche 911. Of course when I bought my first 1986 Porsche 911 (that I still own and drive today) I didn’t have a choice. Only air-cooled Porsches existed. The hum and whine of the fan on this unique, powerful flat six said it all: speed, performance and German precision.

But that was then, and this is now. Automotive engineering has progressed dramatically from a performance and convenience standpoint. As the modern automobile evolved, and my needs and desires evolved it was only natural that my Porsche evolved. So instead of only living in the past with my air-cooled Porsche I went to the dark side two years ago and added a 2009 Twin Turbo 911 to my 1973 and 1986 Porsches sharing my garage. And, I did consider it going to the dark side. How could a real Porsche aficionado like myself even consider a water-cooled Porsche let alone buy one and drive one.

You know what, it is pretty nice. I now have the best of both worlds: the comfort and convenience of a modern automobile with the performance and engineering of a Porsche, but I can slip back into the days where a Porsche was a Porsche. With the air-cooled flat six engine came a certain element of rawness, a distinctive engine sound, and a tight suspension and steering that allowed a driver to be a driver as you muscled a non-power assisted steering and braking car around the curves.

But, you know what, it is not bad after a spirited mountain drive in my ’86 to hop into the 997, turn up the air and the tunes, and cruise into town for dinner with my bride in my shiny black 911.

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