Caffeine&Machine cultofmachine Garage C&M Garage: Phil’s Porsche 964 RS

C&M Garage: Phil’s Porsche 964 RS

Meet the 1992 Porsche 964 RS that C&M founder Phil has used for just about everything over the past 20 years.

Part 1

This is my 1992 Porsche 964 RS, and it’s a car that’s been in the McGovern family garage for two decades now. During that time, it’s travelled more of the world than most cars get to, and soon it’s getting a well-deserved overhaul. More on that in a minute.

But first, here’s how I came by it. It was a fateful day in the early 2000s. My dad and I had been down to Autofarm in Bicester to cast our eye over a 911 3.2 they had for sale. While that particular machine didn’t give us an immediate spark, as we walked through the storage barn following our test drive this Red Baron called out from the corner of the room. We took a closer look.

That closer look led to the RS magically appearing in the garage at home. When the 964 RS was released the UK motoring press gave it a bit of a battering – they felt it was too nasty, stiff and fierce. That had the result of keeping values rather low at the time, which meant it unexpectedly fell within our budget. I was so wet behind the ears that I didn’t care what anyone had written – it was a RennSport and we could afford it.

What followed was an adventure and an automotive love affair like no other. From those early days trying to understand the dynamics and the monumental step up in performance from our Porsche 912 (more on that in a future installment), the 964 has grown to be the yardstick to which I find myself judging every car I drive. Even all these years later, the way this car can take a strip of tarmac by the scruff of the neck and hustle is nuts. Stacked up against much more modern machinery, it holds its head high in the sky and always seems to want more.

It wasn’t a smooth ride in the early days though. As a youngster back then – I was only in my early 20s – the concept and subsequent ramifications of any destruction were exceptional. Yes, I enjoyed the car and got to understand some elements of the dynamic quirks of an air-cooled 911, but I was conscious I’d been nowhere near the limit of what it could do.

All that changed during the car’s next adventure; life in the UAE, where I moved in 2006. An early air-cooled 911 was a rare sight in the Gulf back in the mid 2000s, let alone an RS, which I’ve always found to be such a sticky vehicle when it comes to attracting conversation with strangers. Those random street chats led to invites to experience the Dubai Autodrome, so we obviously took the opportunity of having a seriously impressive race track in our back garden and ran with it. Those crisp weekend mornings in Dubai became the perfect reason to go and get under the skin of a quirky machine to wrangle around at speed and the Autodrome was the perfect playground.

It’s not all been about track time and ultimate skids though. The 964 has proven itself to be the most wondrous of travel partners. Over the years it’s been to some fabulous places, and given me the most incredible experiences. From my first steps at the Nürburgring, to high-speed runs on the Autobahn, the mountains of Oman and the desert landscape of the UAE, the RS has been there with me as my ultimate machine.

Over the last few years, the RS has been back in the UK, chasing adventures and smashing out the mileage. It is, however, now time for a makeover, as the years of being ‘that’ car have taken their toll. The patina the car carried with pride will be making way for a fresh lick of paint. It’s heading to the workshop of Greg Howell of Southam Bodies in Warwickshire for a much-deserved makeover.

We’re going to be following Greg and his team as they strip it down and go town, giving the RS everything it deserves. So, stay tuned.

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