The word “purist” is probably used in connection to fans of the Porsche 911 than it is for any other car and possibly any other brand. That is because the connection that enthusiasts form with air-cooled 911s is strong, and as some 911 fans will tell you, it’s stronger than quite a few marriages. Not everybody understands this, although the reviewer in this video freely admits that his “not getting it” is almost certainly related to his never having driven one before.

The example he finds to drive is a pretty well-used one. The owner inherited it from his father, and it’s a Frankenstein’s monster of 911, with bits from cars all thrown together. So this 1970 911 has an engine and transmission from a 1985 model. But that’s okay, because the first generation of the car lasted from 1963 until 1989. Parts of the car’s bodywork don’t match other parts, and a significant portion of the interior has been removed. But the reviewer falls in love with it anyway, because none of that other stuff is important. It’s all about what the car is like to drive, and those old 911s do not disappoint in that department.

1970 Porsche 911

1970 Porsche 911S owned by Steve McQueen Exterior
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Porsche purists have found any number of reasons to complain over the years, from water cooling to power steering and sometimes even upholstery options. But it’s an understandable thing to get defensive about. It’s one thing for the GT3 to switch to a sequential gearbox, that’s a track car and the PDK is faster, but for a car built for the road, what you want is for it to be engaging. The current Type 991 911s are amazing cars, and they give you a driving experience that you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else, especially for the price. But the old air-cooled cars are in a whole different league.
You can check out our review of Steve McQueen’s 1970 911 here.

Jacob Joseph
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