A Very Special Porsche 911 - CHRIS HARRIS ON CARS

Uploaded by drive on 04.04.2012


CHRIS HARRIS: It would be highly irregular of me to
share with you the way we fund these lovely Drive videos, but
suffice to say I'm kind of given a budget.
I have to spend it in the best way possible to create the
best footage possible.
Not a vast amount of money.
So I've had to make a tough choice this year.
I've decided that rather than spend lots of money on fuel
for me knocking around in big V8 cars every day, I was going
to spend less money doing that, and buy a
diesel estate car.
So a few weeks ago I bought a diesel
Passat Volkswagen estate.
100 horsepower.
And boy, did I cop some absolute S-H-one-T for that.
Everyone said I was being boring.
I should be living the dream.
I should be the person that pushes all of this stuff.
And there I was buying a Passat.
But there are two reasons why I'm quite happy in my Passat.
First of all, it's a very nice car.
2,800 quid.
Reliable, comfortable, heated front seats--
45 to the gallon.
You know what?
It gets me where I need to go to.
Second thing-- well, I'm sort of cheating here
and being a bit smug--
I get to drive stuff like this.
So I don't really mind.
CHRIS HARRIS: This is a Porsche 911 rally car built
for Francis Tuttle, Ltd.
I think they make the best old running 911s in the world, but
then I'm a bit biased, because the boss Richard Tuttle--
the skinny, bald one you're about to see--
is a mate of mine.
For his team, this was just a scheduled test for suspension
and gear box.
I merely went along for the jolly.
You know, the whole rally vibe is more relaxed than racing.
People smile and cool stuff just tends to happen.
Wide, isn't it?

Why have you made a classic rally 911 that's got a dog box
in it and about 340, 350 horsepower?
Isn't that a bit, sort of, defeating the point of the
whole object of the game?
RICHARD TUTTLE: It's not historic, if
that's what you mean.
CHRIS HARRIS: It's a post-historic, is it?
RICHARD TUTTLE: Well, no, it's not post-historic.
It's Belgian rules.
CHRIS HARRIS: What does that mean?
That's what it means.
It means as long as you use the original crank case you
can do whatever you want.
Which is great.
So you can make it bigger.
As long as you don't actually [INAUDIBLE] gear box, you can
do whatever you want.
Hence the dog box.
And as long as you don't go below the homologated weight.
Which is what?
RICHARD TUTTLE: About 970 I think.
CHRIS HARRIS: So what's this weigh?
RICHARD TUTTLE: Just about 1,000 and just--
CHRIS HARRIS: So it's 1,000 kilograms--
RICHARD TUTTLE: 350 horsepower.
CHRIS HARRIS: And it's geared to do 120 miles an hour?
CHRIS HARRIS: It's a ridiculous good bit of kit.
RICHARD TUTTLE: Yeah, but quite surprising, it's not bad
for a 1970s auto, is it?
You're pretending that you're working today, but really--
So we've also just been out now and obviously you're
driving the car like a rally driver, and you're trying to
think about the circuit driving thing.
But it's interesting watching you, because you try the
circuit driving thing for about a minute.
I mean, I've got the concentration span of a sort
of slightly genetically deformed goldfish, so I would
say that you get bored of it after about a
minute, don't you?
And then you just think [BLEEP]
I'll go sideways.
RICHARD TUTTLE: Pretty sure there's a compliment in there
somewhere, but yeah, you're right.
What [INAUDIBLE] doing is giving us more grip.
Because [INAUDIBLE] gives you more grip.
Then you just push a bit harder until
you lose your grip.

It just gets really--
which is what we like.
CHRIS HARRIS: How much does a car like that cost?
RICHARD TUTTLE: Something in that region.
If we built another one.
This is evolved a little bit.
So it is probably a little less painful.
CHRIS HARRIS: And what does that race against?
RICHARD TUTTLE: Anything that looks old but isn't.
And bear in mind, we are within the rules.
CHRIS HARRIS: Are you suggesting that some cars are
not within the rules?
CHRIS HARRIS: So what are you against?
RICHARD TUTTLE: There's not a quick Stratos.

There's a whole lot of Opel products that go quickly.
They never used to.
But really, 911 and Escort, really.
That's where we're at.
And some very quick Opels.
But I don't know anything about them
CHRIS HARRIS: So the main advances with this thing is
traction, isn't it?
CHRIS HARRIS: So you just come out a corner, bang,
open it up and go?
RICHARD TUTTLE: Yeah, and Belgium's very unique.
You've got a lot of square junctions, so you need to
brake late into them, and get out of them quick.
And the 911 does that beautifully.
The way some of the Belgian boys drive their Escorts
defies belief.
CHRIS HARRIS: What, do they get the car
literally backed in?
RICHARD TUTTLE: Yeah, a long way before, and then big skids
on the way out.
But we can beat them with this car easily.

CHRIS HARRIS: So this is the good bit of the day.
They've done their tests.
They've played with their dampers.
They've changed their struts.
They've changed their roll bars.
And now I get to have a skid in the car.
Which is what it's all about.
And it's moments like this that I remember when I'm doing
73 miles per hour down the M5 in my Passat 100 PD TDI.
So now it's my turn.

Now I can't drive this car quite the way Richard can.
But it's just a lovely collection of noises.
Dog gear box whine.
And I did 365 horsepower.
Yeah, boys.
I'm indulging myself here.
This is not a car test.
This is just a car that I wanted to drive.
It's a classic 911.
Watch this.
You back it in.
Straightaway it wants to over steer.

The gear box is just a thing of joy.
I'm actually clutching up and down at the moment because I
want to save the dogs.

So why am I driving this car?
Well it's a little bit more than just wanting to drive it
Of course, that is half the case.
A lot of people ask me what is the driving I
really like the most?
Well, do you know what?
This isn't the North [INAUDIBLE], but this is a
little test track in the Midlands in England.
But this car is everything about driving for me.
I'm doing everything myself, you know?
If I back it in the car will over steer.
There's no electronics to help me there.

If you get it a bit wrong it punishes you.
But it's just awesome.
And that dog gear box--
as he misses a shift--
is sensational.

Everything you do has an effect on the
behavior of the car.

And that is real driving.

365 horsepower, dog gearbox, historic racing 911.
This is where it's at.
Tell you what.
If I won the lottery, this is what I'd be doing.

It's also quite heartening to drive a 911
that's a proper 911.
This isn't a 997 or a 991.
If you back off it will just rotate.
This car feels like it wants to rotate every single time
you back off the throttle.
I love the challenge.

So there you go.
This is my kind of driving.