A post by Swade, asking 'A question from a reader….. Which Porsche 911 should he buy?', had me remembering the only Porsche 911 I've ever liked.
For some reason I'm immune to '911 desire'* as they really do nothing for me except for memories of one experience. Back in 1999 I had the fastest auto ride in my life around the Pukekohe track as a passenger in a Lighting Direct Porsche 911 GT Le Mans Turbo with Kiwi race driver Owen Evans driving in 'one arm mode'.
Owen's left arm was crushed in a horrific land speed record attempt crash (car was LHD and it went out the door aperture as the car rolled multiple times). Southward Museum have the remains of that car on display (photo from my 2019 A2O road trip):
His left arm was rebuilt enough to allow him to hold the wheel, while shifting (still manual lever) gears etc, but not much more. He drove competitively for years afterwards favouring his right arm!
While the ride experience was remarkable, my first ride in a race car on slicks, it was the braking intensity and cornering speeds that surprised more than pure acceleration. I remember being as intrigued to see Owen's driving, semi-locked left arm/hand holding the wheel while the right dealt with gearshifts, up close as much as the ride itself.
The other thing I remember was on the drive home, heading down the Bombay Hills seemingly crawling along, and looking down to see the speedo of my Uno 45s over the speed limit. Had to rapidly recalibrate!
While trying to recall details I found this recent OWEN EVANS – A RACE HISTORY 1973-2008 written by Jim Barclay. Think the car I rode in was the 1998 car on Jim's page. I have photos somewhere, but they are pre-digital and haven't yet scanned them.
* The only Porsche I have ever liked, design wise, was the 928, especially the later 928S and S4.