In late 2006 my passion for Porsche that had been kindled by owning a boxster lead me to search for a 911. In February 2007 I found a lovely, well used 964 carrera 2 coupe in GP white and embarked on a new adventure. This running report is about my 964 that would be used for high days, holidays and track days and be a 'project car'. It wouldn't matter if it spent time waiting for things to be fixed as it wouldn't be used as a daily driver.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

964 vs Boxster (Apr 07)

The bumper scrape incident has been pushed to the back of my mind because yesterday I chose to drive the 964 the long way to work (twisty road) and today did the same drive in the boxster. A sort of mini test to see how they faired against each other.

First the 964.

Now that I'm getting used to its charms I'm a lot more confident in it's abilities. It's a beautiful car to balance on the throttle round long sweeping bends. Feed in a bit more throttle and you can feel the nose push wide. Back off a little and you can tighten its line at the end of the bend before giving it some right foot welly onto the straight. The best gear on this twisty road was undoubtly second, fabulous for belting out the other side of a tight corner and a wonderful overtaking gear. I came across a couple of cars tootling down the lane travelling well below the NSL. Each time it was; check the road was clear, move out, indicate, clutch in, big throttle blip whilst slamming her down to second, clutch out, back on the throttle, feel the back of the car hunker down and roar past the plodder whilst pulling 6,000+ rpm on the tacho . In an instant I'm back on the left side of the road and grabbing 3rd gear as she hits 70 mph (before slowing back down).

The other part of the car's charm is its ability to shock and surprise you. Hit a bump or depression at speed (especially one that affects only one side of the car) and your either airborn for a millisecond or one tyre finds more grip than the other. For a very brief moment the steering goes very light as though you're no longer in control . But before you know it the obstacle has been traversed and everything's connected to the road again. At first I was un-nerved by these mini heart stoppers but now I just accept them as part of the drama of driving this car and realise that you have to hold it by the scruff of its neck and make it behave.

Second the Boxster.

I used to think the boxster is easy to drive and after having the 964 I now know it is easy to drive. Through the same bends I could carry quite a bit more speed and just point it round them on steady throttle. In the box you can feel all four wheels gripping (especially the front) as you hug the inside of the bend. It's not as quick out the other side and therefore would lose ground on the '64 but if it had been in front it would have already been well away because of that extra cornering ability .

Over the same bumps and dips the boxster remained flat and un-flustered by the road surface. No drama. Never makes you anxious. I could just focus on the road ahead and let the superb chassis soak up anything that the surface threw at it. The box is a lot quieter than the 964 so doesn't always feel as fast but a quick glance at the speedo and I soon realised that was an illusion because it was going very quickly indeed! Quite possibly quicker overall than the previous day when I was in the other one. And definitely the one I would choose to get down that road as fast as possible if a life depended on it.


Over the same road in almost identical conditions both cars delivered pure driving enjoyment in different ways. I would liken the boxster to a thorough-bred that you point, coax and carress and the 964 to a wild stallion that you hang on to and use liberal doses of a whip to make it obey your commands.

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