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Porsche 911 Pushing 50

By Jason H. Harper - 2013-04-11T11:09:31Z

Photograph by Scott Eells/Bloomberg

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1974 Porsche 911

It’s so loud in here that I might as well be operating farm machinery. The cabin reeks of gas, wafting in from the flat-six engine located in the rear of the car. My shoulders are sore from cranking the heavy steering wheel and the frame of the car bucks with every bump in the road.

I’m having the time of my life.

A buddy and I are flinging a 1970s Porsche 911 down a narrow road. The tiny car is white, with black “Carrera” lettering down the side and a sizable wing jutting from the rear. It looks so classic, so throw-back sexy, that I could just leer at it all afternoon.

No, on second thought, I’d rather drive. It’s a street- legal race car of the era, a regular 1974 model customized to compete on the racetrack. It was fast back then. These days, a Honda Accord is quicker.

Left, the 1974 Porche 911. The model was heavily modified after it was built, with an eye to making it more capable on the racetrack.