Which offers the best driving experience - the old-school Porsche 911 or the technology-riddled contemporary incarnation of Germany’s long-running road rocket? It’s old vs. new like never before with Anglia Car Auction's 8th April sale.
Words: Calum Brown
Pictures: Anglia Car Auctions
While we understand that modern equivalents of timeless classics push the boundaries of safety, comfort and handling to new levels - are they a patch on the originals in terms of elation and driving experience? The Porsche 911 is the perfect case in point. Does heavy duty crash protection and now commonplace electronic driving aids strip away the raw aspect of excitement so sought after by petrolheads the world over?
On paper at least, the podium place is easily taken by the modern manifestation - cracking 60mph from a standstill in less than 4 seconds and continuing on to well past the legendary 200mph mark. Fuel consumption even pushes 22mpg. The original 911 isn’t exactly slow, especially in ‘S’ form - where it can crack 138mph and destroy the 0-60mph sprint in 7.4 seconds - but for those hunting a cold sweat with an adrenaline filled, tarmac snorting car equivalent to a missile launcher, the original may appear lacklustre.
This is to be expected however, as Porsche have had over fifty years to tune the beloved 911 into perfect shape. Gazing over the original 1963 example, with its air-cooled 2.0-litre unit and underlying shape so familiar with the modern 911, it’s hard not to feel the raw appeal of 911 geneses. It feels light and is keen to rev, with a keen fixation on oversteer - it’s certainly a car that requires your full attention. Not that the current Porsche 911 acts in a gentlemanly manner when undertaking some lairy driving manoeuvres. If these cars were a family, their surname would be Manson.
Both are capable of developing a tail-led slip angle with the slightest unwary twitch of the steering wheel, but the difference between old and new boils down to one aspect: the current model is (slightly) more forgiving when regaining control. A bit like Margaret Thatcher would be more forgiving than Vlad the Impaler.
While the new car may have better protection should the turbo lag spin you backwards through an Aga showroom, and offer improved reliability from advanced mechanicals alongside preferable comfort levels and sound deadening - it lacks the same soul oozing out of the older versions.
Perhaps it’s the clean cut noise from the 1960s exhaust that leaves the prevailing scream spouted from today’s 911 sounding a bit too techno, or the smooth styling donned by the first models that results in a new Porsche 911 appearing overly brutish. All we can determine is that the 1960s 911 is nicer to look at, more satisfying to hear when driving past and far fresher to drive. It’s far less comfortable and nowhere near as quick, yet the feeling of heritage within an original 911 is near impossible to beat.
It makes financial sense too - with classic Porsche 911s climbing up the cost ladder, as new-fangled examples slip down the huge depreciation ladder - unless you go for a special edition, which costs more than a house in the first place.
In essence, it all boils down to personal preference - but for a slice of Porsche history and raw, exciting automotive pleasure, we can’t recommend the original 911 enough.