Raymond bought his Porsche in July 2022 and freely admits that all he does is drive his car and enjoy it. After a year of illness, he’s never had a good run in the car, but he’s really looking forward to the tour.
Raymond bought the car from Liaz Jakhara of Zul Racing, without any second thoughts. Liaz had owned the car since 2014 and had done an incredible amount of work on it, fitting a new red soft top hood, turbo wheels, and a full brake refurbishment. The engine and gearbox had been removed to do the IMS bearing properly, changing the cam chains-guides-tensioners, and removing the heads for refurbishment and to check the bores. All radiators including the air con were replaced with genuine Porsche replacements, as were the exhaust headers. Raymond says that all credit for the car lies with Liaz, who restores Formula 1 cars from the 70s and 80s, and who hardly used the Porsche.
The 996-generation car was very much the model that hauled the Porsche 911 into the modern era. Porsche realised that the 911 had to attract customers who used to be attracted to the Porsche 928 and Mercedes SL, whilst at the same time being able to see off cars such as the Honda NSX and Lotus Esprit V8. The first 996 series cars arrived in October 1997, in rear-wheel drive Carrera 2 form. Porsche then launched the Carrera 4 in October 1998.
The 996 was a far bigger car than its 993 predecessor and a good deal more practical as a result. The design was closer related to the Boxster than the previous shape 911: over 40% of the componentry was shared. This was visible most of all inside, where the previous haphazard array of knobs and switches were replaced with the Boxster's far more cohesive layout. The front boot was bigger too, but you could not fit more than two bags in it. Antilock brakes and twin front airbags were also included, although side bags and the excellent Porsche Stability Management electronics were extra.