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Air-Cooled Haven: A Mecca For Porschephiles

(Editor’s Note: This story was first published in the Man Cave section of Power Wheels Magazine Volume 2 Issue 6.) I was a college student when I saw my first Porsche 911 in 1988. It was a silver 930 Turbo with a whale tail that a student borrowed from his dad. I was a bit disappointed when I heard the air-cooled Porsche start because it sounded like my Volkswagen Brasilia at idle. But my lowly and boxy VW never made anybody’s head turn like the 930 did. I fell for Porsche 911s from that day on.

Thirty-odd years later and I find myself in a garage somewhere south of Metro Manila looking at a collection of air-cooled Porsches. For security reasons, the owner, who wanted to remain anonymous, asked me not to disclose the location of his remarkable collection but allowed me and wife, Shawie, to freely take photos and inspect each car.

Collectible Porsches

“I wanted to invest my money in something I can really enjoy”, said the owner. “I love the classic ‘tear drop’ shape of the 911 but I found the early Type 901 models way too expensive. When Porsche introduced the liquid-cooled 996-series in 1997, I felt that the air-cooled models will soon become collectible so I decided to collect the Turbo models, which are the top-of-line 911 variants.”

He got all three Porsche Turbo generations: a white 930, a silver 964, and a green 993. “I then realized that the 964 series, which was produced from 1988 to 1995, featured the classic shape of the 911, but with smoother front and rear bumpers, smooth rocker panels and myriad performance improvements”, he added. “The engine grew from 3.2 to 3.6 liters; power was considerably increased and drivability was improved with power steering and ABS.”

Completing the Set

“You can say that I fell in love with the Porsche 964”, he proudly declared. “Most Porsche purists would rather go for the earlier 930/G-series or the later 993-series with its multi-link rear suspension but I really liked the 964-series since it was 85 percent newer than the previous model it replaced. In contrast, the 993 was only 30 percent improved over the 964. I just love it.”

And love it, he did. He completed his Porsche 964 set with a white Carrera 2 Targa, a blue Carrera 2 Cabriolet convertible, and a couple of coupes with whale tails – a black wide-body Carrera and an ultra-rare red Carrera RS 3.6 model. “I was really proud of my collection of modern air-cooled Porsches until I realized that I lacked one more model – the Speedster.”

The Crown Jewel

“I searched and searched for a suitable model to complete my 964 collection until I found this Porsche 964 Speedster finished in Ferrari Fly Yellow”, he narrated. “It is a rare factory-applied color that came with a Certificate of Authenticity and a tag inside the front boot. It’s so rare that I got a front bra to protect it from stone chips and road debris when I drive it around.”

He later acquired a red wide-body 993 Carrera coupe with a GT2 rear spoiler just for kicks. “I love the way it looks and I thought, why not?” He is not thinking of expanding his collection to complete the Porsche 993 set, though. “I don’t have space in my garage anymore. Besides, the prices of air-cooled Porsches have become ridiculously expensive.”

One More 964

At the time of the interview, he was on the lookout for a genuine 1993 964 Jubileum 30 Jahre, a wide-body 964 that was made to commemorate the 30th anniversary jubilee of the 911, which celebrated its 50th in 2013. “I could have my black wide-body 964 made into a Jubileum 30 Jahre, but it wouldn’t be authentic. I am always after authenticity for my collection.”

Meanwhile, he contends himself with acquiring books about Porsches, scale-model cars and Porsche memorabilia. He also built a den in his home to house these Porsche-related items, which have also become increasingly collectible.

“Now that I am retired, I can just sit in my favorite chair and look at my collection any time I want to. It gives me great pleasure just to gaze at those classic tear drop shapes in different colors lined up in my garage. And that is why I collect them,” he concludes. We can never argue with that.