We all have the image that throughout the late 80s/early 90s hordes of red-braced stockbrokers were bombing around the capital in red 911s filling the coffers back in Stuttgart; but in reality, Porsche sales in the affluent years of John Major’s Britain were starting to flag. While the 911 still had its diehard fans, its other two models were starting to get a little long in the tooth. The 968 and 928 were based on designs first penned in the early 1970s, and good as they were, if Porsche was to survive it needed to inject some sparkle back into the brand.

In 1996 the company’s saviour came in the form of a new entry level mid-engined sports car; the first Porsche to be known by a name rather than a number. When the motoring press first got their hands on the little two-seater they lauded its poise and handling; Top Gear’s overlord even describing its road holding as “Balletic.” However, some journalists were disappointed by the lack of power delivered by the water-cooled 2.5-litre. Clarkson, in typical fashion, went further by claiming, “it couldn’t pull a greased stick out of a pig’s bottom.” Nice one Jezza.

PorscheBoxster-02

Porsche answered its critics by adding the 3.2 litre Boxster S to its line-up in 2000. This car went on to win a clutch of awards, ranging from Canada’sLe Guide de l’Auto magazine’s and MotorWeek’s”Car of the Year,”to the “Most Sex Appeal” award byAmerican Women Motorscene. And I suppose that last award sort of sums up the Boxster key downside, especially when compared to other more raw sports cars like the Elise, S2000 or even the hotter Z4s. It’s perhaps a little too easy to live with – I know my MotorPunk companions aren’t big fans. However, look at the stats: every model had more than 200bhp, it has that lovely flat-six wail when hoofed, it’s mid-engined and beautifully balanced, they have a very posh badge on the front and, best of all, you can now pick up a less-loved and leggy example for a mere £3k.

Despite several revisions, and a major facelift in 2009 and, I think the original Boxster retained a handsome understated style that’s aged pretty well over the last 18 years. By contrast, JC said it was as stylish as a used bar of soap. However, unlike him the latest Boxster has lost weight as it matured, thanks to the clever use of exotic metals from the four corners of the periodic table and lashings of carbon fibre. Interestingly, the 3rd generation 3.4-litre Boxster S now has more grunt than an early 930 Turbo, but you’ll need and early 1st generation 986 Boxster to qualify for any CarClub 18-30 outings. If you do have one then you’ll be more than welcome to join us on track at Blyton Park next spring; and if it happens to be one of the first 2.5-litre cars then we’ll supply the pig, if you can bring the Vaseline, and together we’ll prove them wrong.

Dr. O

Photocredits – OSX via Wikipedia

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