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Old Porkers - Editor's Letter

About old 911s and rare dyno success.

I’m convinced every current VW owner is a future Porsche driver. I’ve not conducted a scientific study but my data is based on a wide sample group and it’s almost certainly 100% accurate!

There’s obviously a genuine connection between Porsche and VW that goes back to the first People’s Car being designed for Adolf Hitler by Ferdinand Porsche, and continues today with VW’s ownership of Porsche.

But beyond the physical, there’s also a spiritual connection between the brands, where both stand for similar values – performance, quality, prestige. And while many of us are introduced to European motoring by either an air-cooled Beetle or a water-cooled Golf/Jetta, most of us dream of owning a Porsche 911.

Many of the GTI owners we feature in the mag have bought a 911 by the time we meet them again. Many people get there by way of an Audi or a BMW, but eventually we all assume we’re going to own a 911.

I’ll admit, I had a poster of the 930 Turbo on my wall. Unfortunately, my first ride in a modified 930T was scary. And my dreams were finally shattered when I drove a mid- ’90s Carrera 4. The pedals came out of the floor, the ride was harsh and it wasn’t as fast as the Sierra RS Cosworth I had at the time. I’m ashamed to admit, I parked it after a few hours and took the Ford…

But seeing what Rauh-Welt Begriff has done to restore the reputation of the slightly unloved 911/964/993, it’s got me thinking about one of these older cars again. You can pick them up relatively cheap, and they look like a million dollars when modified.

Fortunately, James Tate brought me crashing back to reality with his story of 993 Carrera 2 ownership. It can be found in this issue as a cautionary tale for anybody who’s thinking about running out and buying one.

While it seems like a potential nightmare, few people regret buying a 911. But you need to be realistic about running costs. And it’s the flaws that give these cars character. That’s why we hanker after a pristine Mk2 or a beater Mk1: you have to engage with the car, anticipate its needs and sustain the hardship for those precious moments of perfection when the right road is beneath your wheels.

Dyno Victory
I can’t count the number of products tested and dyno sessions I’ve attended. I hate to see a car doing 100mph stationary, its engine screaming for mercy. And that’s especially true when the parts don’t even work!

With modern technology, it’s increasingly difficult for tuners to find extra power. This might be one reason it took us so long to mod the 2.0T in our Project A3. We’d worked with the same engine in our Project Mk5 GLI with mixed results, so we embarked on our A3 build with trepidation.

I don’t know whether it was the cooler weather, or if the Audi engine responds better, or whether more miles had loosened things up. Whatever, we were amazed at the numbers. Everything we fitted gave an increase that you could feel on the road.

Perhaps we shouldn’t have been so gun-shy, but we’re constantly explaining to tuners why their parts didn’t work in our independent tests after they’d seen big numbers themselves. All we can do is try to remove the variables and stand behind our tests. This time we hit gold.

The car feels amazing. It has similar torque to an Audi TT S and we achieved it without compromising other areas.

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