Porsche en Ferrari, twee legendarische merken die velen tot de verbeelding spreken, toch lijken het ook twee verschillende kampen, die als rivaliserende voetbalclubs naar elkaars wielen kijken. Kevin groeit op in Hong Kong, stad vol files en supercars. Al sinds zijn prille jeugd zit de liefde voor Ferrari in zijn systeem en als de kans zich voordoet word de poster van de gele Ferrari 360 boven zijn bed werkelijkheid. Ondanks zijn diepgewortelde liefde voor het merk uit Maranello, kwam enige jaren geleden ook het merk uit Stuttgart op zijn pad, onderstaand het verhaal van Kevin.
Stuttgart or Maranello, what will it be?
Being an eighties baby born and raised in Hong Kong, where I grew up with numerous Ferraris as my father would trade-in one after another throughout my childhood; I can spot the difference between a 308GTB and a GTBqv before knowing how to tie my shoelaces. On the good days, I would hand tools to my father and try to be helpful; but on most days, I test my father’s patience by doing things like pressing on the horn while he was working in front or turn the ignition off when he just jump started the car (just to name a few instances).
The point is I enjoyed being around the Ferraris growing up and becoming a Tifosi seems inevitable. Fast forward to my late teens, I still remember vividly one of my favorite Windows wallpaper was a rolling shot of a yellow 360 Modena, an official press release photo by Ferrari. It was love at first sight for me on the 360. There was never a day that goes by without imagining owning one ever since it was released in 1999. Fifteen years later, an identical 1999 360 Modena in Giallo Modena (yellow) resides in my garage; non-challenge rear grille and black interior, just like the one in the wallpaper.
I waited patiently for the right car to come along; and when it did, it was everything I wanted and more. I would roam around the car for hours just to admire the shape and lines of it; it looks perfect in every angle and it has aged extraordinarily well over time. It is a rare sample with manual gearbox which had 39,000km on the clock. The car was well taken care of over the years with full service history; and the ex-owner has fitted bits of Carbon Fiber interior and engine compartment trims, along with a Koenig exhaust. Even though it is fifteen years old and living in one of the most exotic cars populated city (other than Monaco and London), it is still a head-turner and people appreciate it. It is always an occasion to drive it and never fails to put a smile on my face. Each gear change with the clunky gated shifter is a holy experience. The high revving engine goes in perfect harmony with the thundering exhaust; the exhaust note changes at different rev range, the exhaust valve opens at 3,000RPM with a deep growl and it fully opens up to a high pitch scream from 5,500RPM all the way to a mind boggling 8,700RPM redline. It tempts you to roll down the windows and be a little naughty in the tunnel every time.
The other car I own is a 1990 Porsche 911 (Type 964) Carrera 2 with manual gearbox in Grand Prix White. Instead of going for the 964RS looks and performance like most hardcore Rennlisters do, I beg to differ. I went with a set of 993RS style 3-piece alloys mated with sticky Goodyear F1 tires, a RS America fixed rear spoiler and some lowered coilovers. Further upgrades for handling and power are in the pipeline.
If you asked me 10 years ago “What do you think about Porsche 911s?”, I will give you a disgusted look and rave on about how boring they look and sound. Today, I am a changed man; the change occurred when my friend let me have a go in his Guard Red 964 Carrera 4 three years ago. There is nothing ordinary about the 964; the heavy power-assist steering, the non-adjustable steering rack, the pedals that do not line up with the steering wheel (making your driving position somewhat awkward)… etc., the list goes on.
Most importantly, they drive like nothing else. The steering is not the most precise, but it gives you all the feel you need and want, the chunky clubsport steering wheel on mine enhance that feel even better. The manual gearbox feels mechanical and solid, making gear changes and rev-matching so at ease. The 3.6L flat six boxer engine is an art piece; it might merely has less than 250bhp and only redline at 7k RPM, but it just revs, revs and revs. It is far from being the perfect car, but everything about it is authentic, it is not pretentious and that is the beauty of it.
The raw driving experience is second to none in my book, with the bonus of being the last Porsche that holds the iconic silhouette of classic 911s. It is much slower and far less dramatic than the Ferrari, but it begs for you to drive; the crave grows stronger like a drug addiction the longer you let it sit in the garage. It might not look as stunning as the Ferrari, but when I am in the driver seat, I slap on my leather gloves and my shades, turn the ignition key and just drive; nothing else really matters. The seducing lines and the lively V8 puts a soul in the Prancing Horse, I am still deeply in love with this dream car of mine; but the Porsche is the ultimate driving machine. If I can only keep one out of the two, I will pick the Porsche every time.