Your average 911 driver is about 15 years from his final rest, seriously overweight and most likely a banker.

At least that was the common preconception in my hometown back in the early 80’s. So when I decided to get one myself, at the tender age of 32, I knew that times had changed. Unless I was going to spend the next decade and a half hitting the McDonald’s drive-through a handful of times a day. Then drop dead from malnutrition before my midlife crisis had a chance to properly get off the ground.

I was living in London at the time and had mentioned to my friend – car fanatic Ernie Logen – that I was interested in getting a classic, low-mileage Carrera. Shortly after, he found me a beautiful white convertible with black Fuchs alloys and only 30,000 original miles on it. So I got on a plane to Frankfurt and he chauffeured me down to Koblenz to check out the 911. It was beautiful but fortunately for me there were a couple of issues with the engine which the seller agreed to have fixed before I picked it up. This gave me time to speak to Mr. and Mrs. Seegers – (back in ’86) she had famously bent her body across the front end of a Ferrari Dino 246 for me so I could enter the saucy photograph into a competition. They were independent Porsche specialists and quickly tore apart my uncurbed enthusiasm. A number of things were not original and therefore the car would have been a bad choice if I wanted its value to appreciate.

So instead of buying the Cabrio, I joined a private members’ club that owned a large number of classics. Over the next two years I enjoyed driving not only a 911 (despite not being a big fan of the 996, that Turbo sure was plenty fast and a lot of fun),

996 Turbo shot in NYC

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I also got my hands on some rare beauties like this 60’s suicide door Lincoln Continental, a number of Ferraris, Bentleys and Rollers, a beautiful Citroen DS and an old Aston Martin.

Citroen DS - on a day trip to Norfolk

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In ’91 I had met a German who simply bought all those cars for himself. When his father had some kind of issue with the tax man and fled across the border to Switzerland, 24-year old Bernd took over daddy’s business: a chain of sex shops that made such vast amounts of cash, my young friend was able to have a large hangar built. Which he then filled with exclusive sports cars from Italy, Britain and Germany. I had just finished school and enjoyed a few months training under Donato Passarotto at a small workshop servicing Lamborghinis. Bernd would show up every other week with a different car. As designated driver for the coffee run, I was about to take off in the mechanic’s little Fiat when the King of X-rated Toy Sales chucked me the key to his 964 Carrera4. Who knew that the short trip to the shop could turn into an unforgettable half hour of adrenalin overload?

I was hooked.

But not quite prepared for what easily made it into my top 5 of all time personal highlights. For 3 days around my 26th birthday I was actually paid to drive hundreds of miles down some of the most scenic British roads. In a brand new 993 Turbo S (one of only 33 to be delivered to the UK). That yellow dream of a car could out-accelerate (and smoke less than) an F16 and out-brake a bullet hitting a concrete wall. Having just returned from our trip, my friend Dan temporarily forgot that he was now back in his own car. After delivering his favourite line “Watch this!”, he slid his 944 past the flower-encrusted centrepiece of the local roundabout and smashed the back end of his prized possession into the ditch just on the other side. Two hooded thieves – cruising past in a stolen XR3i – shook their heads in utter contempt.

Some years later, on my way to the airport, I had an unfortunate encounter with a postman. Charles Bukowski‘s co-worker had pushed my 7-Series sideways across Edgeware Road. He wasn’t riding a typical delivery bicycle either but was instead driving a 40-ton Royal Mail truck. Upon hearing his lame excuse “Sorry mate, I didn’t see ya!”, I was tempted to suggest that he probably shouldn’t be driving around London in a vehicle bigger than the Buckingham Palace. The silver lining around that cloud appeared when my BMW went in for its repair. The rental car company couldn’t get me the pre-booked 745i, so they dropped off a Jaguar XK8 Convertible on 20 inch rims. The crappy interior made me wonder if I was driving an old Fiesta. So they replaced the Jag with this 997 Carrera S.

Sif Agustsdottir flying past Battersea power station

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Which reminds me of my upcoming project: shooting a one-of-a-kind 997 Turbo for a private collector.

In the meantime I will be thinking of a new approach to convincing my wife of something that might seem like a no-brainer to you: selling her 2-door Accord to replace it with the most reliable sports car on the planet: a 911.

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