With all the Porsches that I have owned and driven, Air Brigade member Don T. was surprised to learn that I had never ridden in a Porsche 993, let alone have a first drive of a Porsche 993.
The opportunity came when Don offered to pick me up after dropping off my 1968 Porsche 911HR at Bowman Vintage Restoration in Hickory, North Carolina. I am having suspension updates to my car and Don is interested in similar updates to his 993 so he wanted to understand the capabilities of Bowman. We were both impressed and the Hot Rod is being worked on now and Don’s 993 scheduled for June.
When Don learned that I had never been in a 993, the offer came to drive it. I am always hesitant to drive someone’s car, because each air-cooled Porsche has its quirks on how to drive it and you have the owner looking over your shoulder.
The chance to drive a 993 for the first time couldn’t be passed up. Don has a beautiful 1995 Porsche 993 Cabriolet in black over a grey leather interior.
My first experience was with Don driving the car while I rode shotgun. The acceleration of the 3.6-liter flat-six engine mated to the G50 transmission was immediately impressive and the power curve was far ahead of the 3.2-liter of my 1986 Porsche Carrera. While riding as a passenger it gave me a chance to observe the cockpit. The fit and finish was terrific and Don’s 993 has the chrome gauge rings available from Rennline that greatly enhanced the instrument panel look. The comfort was superb.
I took over the controls of the 993 next which really gave me the chance to evaluate the drive of a Porsche 993. Everything I experienced as a passenger was bore out as the drive. Power to spare and far exceeding my ‘86’s 3.2-liter.
The G50 transmission was everything that is raved about with the improvements over the 915 transmissions. There was never a hesitation over moving through the gate from one gear to the next. The spring tension in the gearbox efficiently moved me from one gear to the next.
I am embarrassed to say that because of the power, smoothness of the transmission and sound deadening in the car, I was cruising along in fourth gear when I should have been in sixth. Don politely noted that there were two more gears that I could use. Oops! That is the problem driving a car you don’t know with the owner.
The initial drive consisted of country road sweepers and straightaways that allowed me to become comfortable with the car and understand the powerband. I was impressed: the car is quiet, even with the sport exhaust (we had the top up which clearly is insulated for sound deadening), comfortable to ride in and had power to spare with a smooth shifting transmission.
I can understand the allure of a 993 especially to new-to air-cooled Porsche owners.
So, now the downside: this car is too good and drives more like a modern Porsche instead of the visceral experience of an early 911 or a G-Series 911. So, a lot comes down to what you are looking for in a Porsche driving experience: comfort, power and a historical air-cooled Porsche drive, or the raw visceral experience that ‘60’s and ‘70’s Porsches used to make their mark and dominate race tracks across the world.
As my previous article regarding Classic Air-Cooled Porsches versus Modern Air-Cooled Porsches noted; if you have experience with older air-cooled Porsches stay with the early cars, but if you are coming from modern, water-cooled Porsches, you may want to consider a 964 or 993 as the modern Air-Cooled Porsche bridge to the Porsche history.
I'll be honest, I started looking at Porsche 993's for sale and then caught myself realizing that my garage is full. I did come across this 1996 Porsche 993 that would be at the top of my list, if I was in the market to buy.
Arena Red 1996 Porsche 993 for Sale
Available at Barnaba Autosport in Illinois: https://www.barnabaautosport.com/vdp/17398282/Used-1996-Porsche-911-Carrera-Coupe-for-sale-in-Batavia--IL-60510
Unicorn color according to PCA Rennbow: Arena Red
Cashmere full leather interior
Only 27,668 miles
17” cup wheels
Limited Slip Differential
Other Porsches can be viewed at the Barnaba Autosport web site: https://www.barnabaautosport.com/
Tags: Porsche 993 Drive, Porsche 993 for sale, Barnaba Autosport Porsches for sale