How different, however I had forgotten all that in the twenty odd years since I last drove a production ClubSport, which I was able to do again earlier this week. I drove it in some fairly exotic company (a Carrera GT and a 4.0-litre 997 GT3 RS) but on narrow, give and take and usually wet roads it was amazing how easy it was to keep up with its wider, less nimble stablemates. They felt like racehorses, the ClubSport like a greyhound. It was so agile, so communicative and so pure. And you don’t even need to worry about those old 911 traits like locking its wheels under braking in the wet: it’s a condition modern tyres have almost completely eliminated at road speeds.
But despite being so light, so focussed and such fun, what really struck me as I drove was how usable it was, and not just because of those compact dimensions. Sound deadening or not, this is not a noisy car and what sounds it makes are absolutely delicious. The ride is also fine, which may have something to do with the tyres. You wouldn’t want to use such an old and valuable car as a daily driver but as the go anywhere, do anything recreation it would be absolutely superb.
One last thing. This generation of 911 has the reputation of being the best built of all, and it shows. The car I drove had done 130,000 miles, many of them hard, on road and track. But because of what it is and the fact it has been fastidiously maintained throughout its life, there was not so much as a squeak or rattle to hint at its age or mileage. Sadly I can’t afford even a standard Carrera, let alone a ClubSport, but I can scarcely put into words how happy I was to have made its acquaintance again after all these years.
Photography courtesy of Bonhams.