The Porsche 911 first broke cover in 1963, morphing over the years from the svelte, elfin Audrey Hepburn of the sportscar world into the current swollen-hipped, muscular Serena Williams-esque ballistic bruiser beloved of city traders, nouveau riche entrepreneurs, and mid-life crisis divorcees.
While the early cars were slow and fragile – and the later cars very fast and almost indestructible – many enthusiasts think the 3.0-litre and 3.2-litre 911 SC (for ‘Super Carrera’) from the late seventies and eighties is the purest evocation and the one that best balances classic looks with decent performance and better-than-average reliability – and a well fettled 911 is a very quick and reliable car indeed.
And you can forget the car’s notoriety for spitting drivers off the road backwards because while the flat-six, air-cooled (actually oil-cooled, but who’s quibbling?) aluminium engine might hang ponderously behind the rear axle line, the handling is surprisingly benign - as long as you don’t do anything really silly, obviously…
The 3.2-litre Carrera, which was only offered between 1984 and 1989, is impressively quick with 60mph coming up in 5.4 seconds on its way to a top speed of 150mph courtesy of its 234bhp engine.
This incarnation of the 911 is still a relative lightweight compared to the later cars and gets away with delicate front tyres for better balanced handling and sublime steering feedback, plus vented disc brakes all round for serious stopping power. It sounds amazing too; the lack of a water jacket means that the raw, almost unsilenced engine blares directly behind you, accompanied, of course, by one of the world’s great exhaust notes.
The interior is practically bombproof, which means you can forgive its sometimes-wayward ergonomics. It’s comfortable too, with supportive seats and one of the best driving positions in the business. It even offers four-up motoring, although the rear seat is best occupied by pre-teen children rather than fully fledged adults.