This post was originally published on Motoring Middle East 10 October, 2011

Rudy George Shukri ex-royal Porsche 911

Back in 1984, with Porsche confirming the future of the 911 range, having flirted with the idea of replacing it entirely with the much phatter 928 muscly V8 tourer, the mid-80s saw the return of the ‘Carrera’ name after nearly a decade. This generation 911 is regarded by many as the last of the original 911 series.

Having stumbled upon this beautifully presented example in Dubai, belonging to the delightful Rudy George Shukri, we couldn’t resist bagging a few shots and taking a trip down memory lane to the 1980s heyday when all the most hard-charging yuppies drove Porsche 911s up Wall Street and around London’s Square Mile.

And boy did they have it good. A new for that year (and now iconic) 3.2 flat six motor had been introduced with 231bhp at 5900rpm, which might not sound like much these days, but in this lightweight car (about 1200kg) it achieved a very respectable 0-97kph (0-60mph) time of 5.4secs and a top speed of 242kph according to Autocar magazine.

Initially the old gearbox was carried over, but in time for this 1987 car a new transmission from Getrag (still five-speed) was introduced with a hydraulically operated clutch.

This 911 was offered in three body styles: coupe, Targa and cabriolet and US prices in 1984 ranged from $31,950 to $36,450 (AED 118k to 134k). Nowadays a good example like this would set you back about the same ($30-40k) if purchased in the States.

Rudy, however, bought this car right here in Dubai, back in February 2008. “She was in pretty bad shape, but drivable,” he says. “The interior was completely worn out but the engine was running fine. After I washed it, I sat to admire its elegance, and the name ‘Sarah’ came to mind – elegant yet vigorous, sexy yet classic, fascinating yet realistic…”

Well we don’t know what kind of Sarahs Rudy knows but this car sported the “M491 Option” (also known as Supersport in the UK) which is essentially what became commonly referred to as the “Turbo look”. Hence that big whale tail rear spoiler.

This particular car also has quite a colourful history because it was previously owned by someone in Riyadh, KSA after having been a resident of the King Hussein Museum in Jordan! And as if the Royal provenance wasn’t enough to lend it gravitas, it also survived a terrorist attack. Trouble is that having thus been damaged and further weather beaten, it was in need of quite a bit of love and care, so it’s taken Rudy well over three years to get it to this shape, and he says he’s still not finished.

Even so, he uses it fairly regularly – good man! But why the devotion to this old Porsche?

Rudy explains: “…one reason – I was seven… my uncle… a 1974 911… trip to get ice cream… I fell in love..”

How sweet is that?!

 

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