If you’re a genuine sports car fan you already know the historical significance of the Porsche 911. Introduced in 1963, with an air-cooled “flat 6” horizontally-opposed engine located over the rear axle, the Porsche 911 is the most iconic sports car in the history of sports cars. It’s been made for the longest continuous timeframe (nope, that other sports car you’re thinking about missed model year 1983…), and the 911’s basic shape/proportions have never wavered, despite seven generations of 911 and a switch from an air-cooled to a water-cooled engine in 1999.
It was this combination of facts that led me to purchase a 2009 Porsche 911 Carerra S in 2014. This was about a year before the new Ford GT was shown in Detroit. I had no idea that car was coming, and I was looking for an alternative to my 2005 Ford GT, which was and always will be an amazing car. However, I wanted a more well-rounded sports car, suitable for the mean streets of Southern California. That meant only two pedals (my 2005 Ford GT answered my manual transmission needs), a comfortable ride, and, in a pinch, the ability to carry more than two people.
I also asked myself a simple question: If I could buy only one more toy car for the rest of my life, what would I buy? Everything from a first-generation Acura NSX to a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air went through my mind, but as soon as I remembered the Porsche 911 I had my answer. Again, the 911 is the most iconic sports car ever made, and I’ve talked to enough 911 owners to know they are extremely well engineered and extremely well built, making the modern Porsche 911 one of the most dependable sports cars ever created.
Once my search began I was initially surprised by the number of black, white, and some-form-of-silver 911s on the used car market. I mean sure, those are all popular colors, but they were so dominant in the Porsche 911 used market I immediately decided I would not buy a 911 in any of those colors. However, filtering those colors out of my online search also filtered out at least 90 percent of 911 models for sale.
Despite my limited choices of non-black-0r-white-or-silver 911s, I held to my standards and browsed the remaining red, blue, green, orange, and yellow models. I wanted a 2009 or newer 911 because I liked the updated look and features that started with the 997.2 models built from 2009 to 2012. Ultimately I decided on the certified pre-owned 2009 911 Carerra S seen in these photos. I also liked that this generation of 911 still had hydraulic power steering, but also had the newly-introduced PDK dual-clutch transmission.
Horsepower for the 2009 Porsche 911 Carerra S came from a 3.8-liter horizontally-opposed 6 cylinder engine, rated at 385 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. With the PDK dual-clutch transmission this 911 could do zero-to-60 in 3.9 seconds. The hydraulic steering provides superb feedback during aggressive driving, and the adjustable suspension and throttle response offered when switching to “Sport” or “Sport Plus” mode created a wide range of driving dynamics. The PDK made it easy to live with in LA traffic as well as super-quick during spirited driving.
My 911 Carerra S was painted German Racing Green (yes, that’s its real name) and featured a Sand Beige interior, giving it classic British sports car colors that looked stunning on a 911. During my 3 years with this 911 it received repeated compliments for the color combo. The car was also flawless in terms of trouble-free dependability. Probably the lowest-maintenance car I’ve ever owned.
I only exercised my 911, the way it’s supposed to be driven, a few times. My travel schedule for work and the need to drive test cars reduced my seat time substantially. In 3 years I only drove the car about 7,000 miles, which depressed me at the time and still does whenever I think about it. But even my limited experience in the 911 confirmed the well-deserved status this sports car has attained. I would have never sold it if Ford hadn’t introduced a new Ford GT and allocated one for my purchase.
That said, I fully intend to own another 997.2 Porsche 911. Maybe I’ll go 4S or even Turbo when I do. These cars are fabulous.