These words are from Ryan, and not ours. Enjoy!
I’ve long been searching for the right moment to enter the world of 911 ownership, it’s a terrible cliché but as a kid it was always 911 models that excited me the most. From Bad Boys to Rothmans Rally Cars, I always thought 911s were cool. Not too flash and packed with engineering, the Porsche 911 was always the car for me. With that in mind, you might be surprised to find that my perfect first 911 is actually a Cayman, but bear with me while I explain my reasoning…
Given an unlimited budget, narrowing down which 911 to purchase is a pretty pleasant experience, but back to the real world where desirable Porsche prices rocket faster than you submit an AutoTrader search the GT3 dream slips further and further out of reach. When Porsche seed was first planted some 6-7 years ago you could pick up a half decent 964 for around £15,000. With the benefit of hindsight perhaps I should have pulled the trigger back then and these words would read very differently. Knowing that whichever Porsche I chose would see track action I decided to look at the lower priced options on the table, rather than going in big and potentially ruining an investment in a tangle of twisted metal.
For not much more cash than a two-year-old Volkswagen Golf you can have the keys to a fair few modern Porsche models and as a huge 911 fan the search began with low mileage 996 3.6s and higher mileage 997s. It quickly became apparent that any of the potential suitors would need fairly heavy adaptation to be suitable for track use. Around this time I kept stumbling upon Cayman track builds online and the mind cogs started turning. It may not be the 996 GT3 I’d once dreamed of, but as an entry into Porsche ownership it’s not a terrible place to start.
Upon investigation it seemed the 987 Cayman S was a critics favorite, being described as more nimble and forgiving than a 911. The added bonus of luggage space front and back seemed pretty cool too, but where’s the catch? Aside from ‘not being a 911’ it really didn’t seem there was one, so the search cranked up a notch.
Knowing I would be at very least changing the seats and remapping the car, my ideal spec was a silver car with reasonable mileage, PASM and a Porsche Sports Exhaust. Sports Chrono seemed an unneeded frivolity I didn’t want navigation or anything that would add too much weight. By this point the idea of creating my own Clubsport style Cayman had grown out of any reasonable proportion, to the point where I already had excel spread sheets full of aftermarket parts.
Then, as if by fate (or more likely obsessive trawling of the internet), the perfect car came up just 20 miles away. In an instant I’d been on the phone and asked to view the car and arranged a time. That evening, a slightly bemused, now ex-owner chuckled ‘that was the fastest sale in the history of anyone ever selling cars, was it underpriced?’ Probably, but I’d got my silver Cayman S.
The next evening I collected the car and began to get to know it in earnest. Driving back in traffic I couldn’t work out if I’d made the right decision and it’s by no means love a first sight. I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t really really like the guards red seatbelts and dials, but maybe that’s the soft styling rubbing off on me. With my name firmly on the logbook it’s full steam ahead to mold this car into the perfect track and road machine, but first things first, lets put a smaller steering wheel in so I can actually get out…