Cars play a big part in your life, don’t they?
Definitely. I love them and can spend hours driving around. I love road trips too, especially with a convertible. I love models that are out of the ordinary — whether they have a unique body kit, special colour or are limited editions, etc. With the price of petrol here, I don’t mind burning a full tank in just a day or two. In France, a litre costs close to Dh10.
That’s obscene. Anyway, how did your passion for Porsches begin?
It started when I was a little boy. I used to collect miniature models and I remember my first one was a Porsche. It even had a replica key and I’d take it to school and pretend that the car was parked outside.
There’s no need to pretend anymore — you’ve got a Cayman S and it is a beauty…
Thank you. I knew my next car would have to be a Porsche, and most likely a Cayman. I used to own an Audi TT S Line limited edition — it was my first venture into sportscars. There were a few features that the Porsche had to have such as GPS, digital touchscreen, PDK gearbox and the Sport package. I had three colours in mind — black, red or white. I found the one I was looking for after just a few days of searching. It ticked all the boxes and even had extra features such as a carbon-fibre trim package and full Carrera red leather interior. On top of that it had a perfectly good mechanical report, there was no damage to the body and it was still under warranty.
I had to go for it. It took me few days to negotiate the price; but with a bit of give and take, it was mine.
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But before you bought the Cayman S, you were hiring all sorts of cars for a while, weren’t you...
That’s right. I have had a lot of cars in my life but only owned two. I just love the idea of trying and driving new cars. I am also a big Audi fan, so I got the latest A1 and A4 S Line models and probably drove all the available engines in the range. At one point, I was just switching cars every week. Each time there was a new model, I had to try it. On the weekends, I liked to indulge myself trying some naughtier models like the BMW Z4, Mercedes-Benz E 250 convertible and the Porsche Boxster S.
You’re in a committed relationship now, though. Have you spent much money on the Cayman since buying it?
Well, I had to take care of the exterior and had two options available — fit a body kit or get a foil design done on it. The first option would have meant removing and altering the body structure a lot and I was not up for that. So I went for the second option, making my own design using examples online for inspiration and, after getting all the paperwork to add a different colour, I went to the guys at Fibra Foil.
They did an amazing job adding the iconic Porsche Design stripes and chequered flag on the sides, rear wing and something only real fans would know — the model number of the car — 987 S on the side doors, too. Gulf Foil sorted out my rims, getting me the two-tone black and red finish that I really wanted. It was real precision work. The whole job only took about a week and I spent about Dh4,000 — as I negotiated hard.
You’re a wheeler dealer. Tell us about the 3.4-litre flat-six boxer engine and just how blistering is the performance and handling?
What really impresses me is the way this car sticks to the road. No matter how hard you push it, especially at high speed in the corners, it remains incredibly stable. This is mostly due to the mid-engine layout, which produces fabulous balance. Of course, once you also turn off the PSM (Porsche Stability Management) function, you’d better be ready to take the heat. Regarding performance, it has 320bhp, which is sufficient for open roads. There is a Sports and Sports Plus mode that can make the driving more challenging. I like to take it to Yas Marina with the Porsche Club UAE so I can exploit the car’s full potential.
Good man. What do you like best about your Cayman and why?
It’s unique. I love the black and red exterior, the rims and the all-red interior. The car looks very aggressive, so much so that when people see this monster in their rear-view mirror, they give way without me having to flash my lights at them. It also gets a lot of attention and people’s reaction to it can be funny at times. I once heard a little kid ask his mum if the car was a Ferrari, and I also often see people pose for pictures with it. There have even been times when I’ve been asked to rev the engine at traffic lights.
What’s funny about this car is that I get spotted everywhere I go. With such a noticeable car, it is difficult to be discreet.
You plan to keep this for a while, but are there any other cars that interest you?
I already have my eye on the 911 Turbo. I think it will be my next big project. I will also be checking out the 2013 model Cayman and seeing if it’s worth an upgrade. Once you’re bitten by the Porsche bug, it’s difficult to recover from it.