So I got this text. "Cancel whatever plans you have on the 23rd" along with a screenshot of a conversation.
Don't have to ask me twice. Calendar officially wiped clean. When my benefactor asks if I want to drive, I drop what I'm doing.
On the agenda is a '73 Carrera RS, a '77 930 Turbo Carrera, '92 964 Turbo S2, a Lotus Elise Sport, and an imported E30 M3 Sport Evolution.
I get to his place, and he asks if I don't mind pulling the S2 out of the garage. Well...the garage is the size of a small closet, and the garage door looks narrower than the front of the car, much less the rear hips. I was careful, and was just a tad nervous.
The S2 was filthy as he actually drives his cars, and it's been wet out.
Yeah...I'm in love
Love the graphics on the 930
Hopped into the S2 to get gas
This thing is a looker
My reaction when I get to drive a 1 of 20 rare as hell 964
On the Golden Gate on our way to the Marin headlands
So the S2. Gutless under 3k, but it doesn't struggle if you're driving nicely. Really comes on boost after 4,500 rpm, so in the tight stuff, it was a lot of dropping back into 1st. Thankfully G50 trannys slot right in, especially if you double clutch. Steering doesn't have the nervous shuffle of early 911's, but it's just as communicative. While the car was dampened well and had really low NVH, it weight transferred really well, and loaded the outside rear tire well when you'd trail brake, so you could just lay the weight with the brakes, get into the boost and just rocket it out of turns.
Unlike the Kremer, the gearbox was friendly, quick, and the gear ratios were spaced well to keep it on boost, but if you were caught sleeping you would have to row it down a gear to get it to chase the RS with the instant on power of the NA MFI engine.
So we stopped for a photo op after 20 miles of some epic roads that chased the coast north of San Francisco
So I got handed this
My feelings on the matter:
So this car. Gear change is typical of an older 911. It's vague, slow, and you don't want to hustle the shifter. The engine? OMG the engine. Pulls like monster past 3,000rpm, has usable torque at low rpm, and it pops, bangs, backfires, shoots flames, and just sounds downright pissed off at all times. Lift after a WOT pull? It's louder on decel than it was at WOT with a glorious note that reminds me of watching RSR cars lap at the historics. While it's not as loud as the race cars, the engine note is 100% there. It's the quieter older sister against the brash RSR sound.
The steering is pure old 911. It's wiggles, dances, moves, follows the road imperfections, follows the grip, tells you where to place it when the tail rotates, and is a joy all in all. The more grip you generate the more the wheel quiets down some; it's happiest when the car is loaded mid corner.
The suspension is a lot sharper and stiffer than my friends '71 911T hotrod. It doesn't quite throw grip away over bumps, but it's close. My friends '71 deals with road imperfections better, but it's a lot more imprecise when you're hustling. The RS is a lot easier to place. With Avons on it, the RS does wiggle around while it gets a little slip angle in the tires, and when you trail brake, the rear takes a little longer than the 964 to load up, and it's easier to over do it requiring some steering corrections. Unlike the 964, the immediate power makes it easier to keep the tail loaded with the throttle.
So we are driving along, and come across what can only be described as a water hazard. Owner of the RS is a few cars ahead, and he charges through it, so off I go through it too. Sound on for my feeling on the matter
I know McMike...I know. Vertical video. Not my fault.
We stop for another photo op.
Complaint list with the RS is short. I'm too big for the car. I'm 6'2'' with long legs, and I'm stuffed into it. I fit in my friends '71 just fine, but these seats, this seat rail, etc just smush me in there. Also, for whatever reason, the steering wheel seems further right than my friends '71.
Whatever. It's a '73 RS. Where there's a will there is a way. IDK if took 10lb's of butter and those human pushers that Japanese trains use to smash passengers in at rush hour, I will fit and make it work.
So the 964 is blocking the road for a photo, and a park ranger shows up and asks us to move along. 964 says "nope" and won't restart. Grounding strap is being a pain, but we get it out of the road.
I jump into the '77 930, and head out to the coast while some of the other cars are being shot. The 930 compared to the RS and the 964 is more like a GT car. It's soft, gentle, has a lot more squat and dive, and this one doesn't have the wait and whack turbo that the 964 has. The clutch in it is light, the 4spd shifts great. It's pretty direct and light, which doesn't match the other 930's I've driven or the Kremer. All in all, it's more plush, softer, but an incredible well sorted 930. Doesn't crackle and pop on decel like the 964 S2 does, but it was a riot.
Off to the E30. This is an old worn out example:
Dogleg Getrag box like my E9 had!!
Good old Lave-Glace issues. You know.
The Sport Evolution takes a normal M3 up a notch. .2L bigger engine, it works below the power band well, the gearbox is slick and shifts great with no notch or hesitation at the synrcho, but it has the typical Getrag rubberyness. Steering is slow compared to the other cars, but it's a fun momentum car. I have a ton of seat time in US spec M3's, and this one was faster, a lot sharper mid corner, dampened better, and overall was more fun to drive.
I'm not an E30 M3 leg humper though; the TCL god's chariot meme's from days past are lost on me. They're only really good when you're hammering on them, and in daily use a 325is is a better car. That being said, I wasn't commuting to work, but exploring coastal roads, so I was happy with it. Whatever brake pads were in it didn't have great initial bite, and man they were hot by time we parked for a final photo, and that's the only car that had brakes that warmed up.
The Elise? I used to sell them. It's cool. I had a VVTL-i issue and wouldn't always come on the cam, so it was a fun momentum machine.
So it was time to pack it in, so we dropped the cars off, grabbed my rental, and went to a German restaurant for lunch and a much needed beer.
What. A. Day.
Thanks for reading!!
EDIT: Here's links to articles that were written about those cars and our time with them
'73 Carrera RS
964 Turbo S2
E30 Sport Evo