What a summer. While I did not spend nearly as much of it in the car as I would have liked the Last Call Cruise a couple of weekends back was a nice way to close it out. More on that later, let's get the boring stuff out of the way.
How is the 930? Well….it's been awesome-ish. When we last talked the plan was to throttle back on dumping money into it and spend more time enjoying it as it sat. I can't quite stretch it and call that plan a success, though it also wasn't a total failure.
- Spring Plate Bushings — Done
- Alignment — Done
- Corner Balance — Done
- Driverside front shock — Done
- Turbo inlet hose — Done
- New oil cooler — Done
- New oil cooler fan — Done
- New overboost switch — Done
- New seat spacers — Done
- New seat switch — Done
- Factory Turbo Fuchs — Acquired
The spring plate bushing job has been looming for too long so in it went. This is a crappy job, usually involving burning the old rubber off, not something I was excited to tackle myself. Once done the car would need an alignment, leveling and corner balance. In true 930 fashion the quote to complete all this would turn out to be irrelevant. The first hitch was somewhat predictably the front driver side strut being original was shot (the PO had done the passenger side, who the hell does one strut and not the pair?). So that got handled as well.
I was hoping that after resetting the suspension I could get a little more camber out the front to go a little lower. No love there, those damn Ruf wheels continue to be a poor investment/bad choice on my part. The shop had some used 21mm 944 spacers (Ruf recommends 15mm) that we ended up tossing on the rear, the car looked much better. Sticking to my ethos of 'if that's good, more must be better' I bolted up the factory 930 spacers (28mm). Bingo…the car looks so much more…correct. Ride height I will have to tackle in the spring.
Next up was our old friend the overboost cutout circuit. I figured it was time to see if someone else could figure out why I was getting a face full of dash on the first few full boost pulls of the day…some days. We replaced what appeared be a pretty new overboost switch and the problem got better but it still happens occasionally. I tested the wastegate with some compressed air and it is definitely functioning but since my gauge goes from 5psi to 25psi it is hard to say with confidence it is opening at its prescribed one bar setting. Another spring project.
I decided to address the oil cooler leak which had occurred after changing out the oil lines. The 'Porsche complications' came hard and fast. The old oil cooler threads were done for so there was no saving the cooler.
In went a brand new cooler and predictably in a case of 'while you're in there' the guys wanted to see if they could install the oil cooler fan that didn't want to fit last time it was in for service. A little bracket wizardry and the fan is in so that's a nice bit of insurance to have on hot/heavy traffic days. Since there were issues with sourcing the cooler it ended up being more expensive than planned (86 is a one year only cooler, NLA from Porsche). As a concession the shop offered to see why there was a slight drip from the valve covers for free. If you are keeping score at home I had these done the first week I had the car. They replaced both lower cover gaskets and get this….are you sitting down? The 930 doesn't leak a single drop of oil….and it even has oil in it! Now that's not to say there isn't more work to be done on the whole oil outside the motor front but hey….I will take what I can get.
So how does it handle now you ask? Well, it's like when you buy a brand new pair of running shoes. You just feel…..like running everywhere, you are ready for action…..and if you're anything like me you quite literally 'spring' into the donut shop. That's the new 930. It's a real sportsing car now!
The car feels like it has actual mechanical grip and dare I say, it almost inspires confidence. You aren't looking at the far side of every back road apex and envisioning a smoldering mass of twisted metal and an absurdly fabricated accident report. Push your luck and rear end will still remind you that all your weight is hanging out behind the wheels. All that being said, you have a full two extra seconds of shouting to yourself 'get it on!' before you regret your hubris, an improvement by any measure. Up on the freeway, get this, you can drive with one hand on the wheel. Heresy!
With the old war horse freshly sealed and set up I decided to join some folks for a cruise out to Winthrop Washington on Hwy 20. The road is absolutely mind blowing and only open in the summer, it's nothing but empty endless switchbacks for nearly 2hours. While that was fantastic, the real treat is as it always is, the company you keep.
While I love getting the Porsche out for some exercise with friends, it is not without some trepidation though. The 930 feels distinctly awkward in a parking lot full of newer metal. While I love the newer stuff coming from Audi and BMW the old Porsche is…….just a different thing. In a pack of pacing, preening alpha males the 930 is the old silverback gorilla brooding in the corner. It's the dirty old sledge hammer at the bottom of the tool box. Used but not necessarily used up. In a world of computerized whiz bang driver modes and paddle shifted acceleration the 930 offers only a 'Hulk Smash!" approach to driving dynamics. I'm rambling…
Pulled off at a scenic overlook while the cars cooled we watched a caravan of newish Ferraris tear past. Then a very old gentleman wheeled into the parking by himself in a 997.1 Turbo. Love seeing that, love being out with my tribe.
The whole routine of 'standing around in a parking lot telling each other how cool we are' was eventually interrupted by a labored V12 shouting its way up the grade. My first thought was 'my god man, go down a gear' then I saw what was making the racket, a white 88 Lamborghini Countach. After I was done shouting and pointing like a hooplehead (Deadwood is still the best series ever on HBO) my composure was reigned back in and we got on the road. In my head though I kept thinking about how rare it was to actually see a Countach in the 'wild'. Now I have to pause here.
I know, I know, it's just an old Lamborghini. Something which functions more as mile post in time more than anything resembling a sporting vehicle. For me though it's a bit more special. As a kid I never had a Countach poster, instead I had a two mile ride on my Huffy 50 to an exotic car dealer on Long Island. I spent the proverbial 'countless hours' annoying salesmen with questions and hovering around a red on white Countach 5000QV. I would trade lunch runs to the deli for the sales folks to get some seat time. I don't know who knew me better, the deli folks or the dealership sales staff. Either way, the Countach is still special to me. If you wanted to be seen in 1986 you had three choices of cars, the Countach, Testarossa or a 930. The Porsche being by a large margin the more pedestrian of choices. I suppose if you were a little weird you went with a Pantera.
So imagine my reaction when we rounded a bend and there in front of me was the Lambo. I did my best Peloton25 impression and hung back at a respectable distance, not that he ever probably saw me behind him, rear wing and all. Eventually the folks I was with in their newfangled S4s, S6s and one expertly piloted Tdi Golf tired of this and left us behind. So I did something I never could have imagined myself doing in my wildest of dreams.
I spent an hour carving up deserted twisty mountain roads in my Porsche 911 Turbo with a Lamborghini Countach. Listening to both our cars pop, crackle and burble through turns and then being treated the Lambos V12 wail post apex was….epic. It felt like two old guys had busted themselves out of the retirement home for an unsupervised jaunt. Grandpas out cruising for tail, once again. I can think of no finer way to close the book on my first summer of 930 ownership.
Thanks for tuning in.