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Test Drives

I’ve been a freelance motoring journalist for almost 20 years and had the opportunity to drive some amazing Porsches. I currently write features and a regular column for Classic Porsche magazine. Here’s a selection of road and circuit tested cars….

906 test drive at Brands Hatch. They were brave to drive nothing more than a collection of small steel tubes covered by a fibreglass skin. You don’t want to crash one of these, they would sweep the remaining bits into a couple of plastic shopping bags, but what a sublime racer.

906 at Brands

906 at Goodwood

A 35,000 mile, unrestored 911 RS Carrera. The owner was extremely generous and allowed me to spend an entire day driving hard through the English countryside. What a sublime car – the perfect blend of just the right amount of power, balance and brakes. They are as good to drive as everyone says they are!

911 RS RHD 2

911 RS RHDThe 1973 Sebring-winning RSR, tested at Silverstone. A wet track, 305hp, none of this modern nonsense like traction control or ABS, and a significant piece of Porsche history… Don’t bend it! Rain interrupted the day and while everyone else dived in for wets I got a few laps alone on the GP circuit in the ultimate incarnation of the air-cooled 911. If there is a better way of getting close to God I’ve not experienced it.

911 RSR (Sebring winner at Silverstone 3)

911 RSR (Sebring winner at Silverstone 2)

911 RSR (Sebring winner at Silverstone)

A lovely restored 356 Speedster – I can see the appeal of owning one, even if it’s not in SoCal.

Black 356 Speedster 2

Black-356-Speedster

962 at Silverstone – amazing car, so complex and the ultimate incarnation of the flat-6 motor….

962 at Silverstone

962 engine

Test driving the 1968 Mugello class-winning 911 TR. One of only four right hand drive TR’s made and the only one with a 906 engine. The sound of that engine will live with me to the day I die.

911TR

911 TR 906 motor

They X-rayed the Titanium con rods to check for cracks… 911TR titanium conrod

Another RHD 911 TR, this time driven over fast, wet and winding roads in Sussex…

911TR (Aussie car)

Just like buses, here’s the third of four RHD 911 factory TR’s!

Autofarm TR

Porsche’s prettiest plastic prototype in my view, the lovely 910. Now owned by a friend and prepared by Jota Racing.

910 static

910 engine

My 2.2s in the French Alps. Drive an early 911 3,500 miles across Europe, taking in Classic Le Mans, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Pagani, Ducati, then back over the Alps, and get paid to write about it… result!

911 road trip (in Alps)

A two owner from new 356A and every last service, repair, part and fill up with petrol documented in two huge history files… just amazing.

356A (Roy Maybey)

The East African winning factory 911 SC test driven in the depths of an English winter. A far cry from the deserts of Africa!

911SC Safari

A comparison of 911SC and 964 race cars at Brands Hatch. A rare opportunity to compare two generations of 911 race cars back to back on the same track, both prepared by the championship winning team at Paragon.

paragon racecars 1

Paragon racecars 2

GT1 at Silverstone – until you’ve been in a Le Mans racer you haven’t been fast. Any road car ever built just seems pedestrian, especially through the corners. After the first lap I caught the sound of a slightly unhinged, maniacal laughter above the sound of the engine, straight-cut gearbox and tyre roar. Then I realised it was me laughing in my helmet. Madness or joy? Probably a mixture of both.

GT1 at Silverstone

A 1956 Speedster driven to Goodwood on an epic 120 mile round trip through the fast and flowing A-roads of Sussex. A lovely car and a wonderful excuse to drive one of the original classics. Unfortunately it poured with rain for most of the trip so the hood stayed firmly up and I got a lovely case of ‘Speedster hunch’ that required two chiropractor treatments to straighten. Unless you’re adept at human origami save this car for summer driving.

356 speedster

Speedster Classic Porsche Mag Cover