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Porsche. Rimes with Power and of course, only a real man can tame it. Especially if we’re talking early 911’s. But why then, did Disney choose a Porsche 911 of the later 996 variant for the leading female role in their animated movie “Cars”?

Any reasonably loyal ViaRETRO reader will of course already know that I thoroughly love the Porsche 911. Any early longhood and the G-series equally. Yes thank you, I’ll have either. 964? Well, if I can’t have a longhood or a G-series. 993? A fabulous sportscar too, no doubt. In fact, while I would still prefer an earlier 911, I recently confessed just how much a stunning 993 Turbo impressed me during a test drive. But the 996? Hmmm… just hold your horses good Sir. Isn’t it a little too feminine?

The complete 911 family. Or at least it was up until 2004. The original to the left and then from the top down, G-series, 964, 993 and finally the water-cooled 996.

Surely I’m not the only one to feel this way? If I were, Disney wouldn’t have chosen the 996 as the only modern car to have a role in their movie “Cars” – and as the lead female character, no less. Her name is Sally Carrera and she is a 2002 Porsche 911. So a 996, of course. All of which translates into 320hp and a not unsubstantial 285 km/h or 178 mph – uhmm… and feminine curves. Initially I struggled a little with all of this until I read somewhere that during Disney’s initial research, Sally was intended to be a Ford Mustang. Clearly, that would have never worked! Just imagine Lightning McQueen falling in love with proper V8 American classic. I think not…

Pictures courtesy of: Disney

Instead, Disney chose to doom the 996’s image and reputation. I’ve never quite been able to pinpoint why I felt so strongly in my preference for the earlier 911s. The easy answer was perhaps simply that the earlier cars – obviously – were older. Though there had to be more to it… And that’s when I suddenly remembered Sally Carrera, and not least the story of how Disney chose the 996 over a Mustang because of its feminine curves. There you have it – clearly, that (and Sally’s rather toe-cringing pinstripe under her rear spoiler) must be the explanation.

1969. A good vintage for a 911. Yes thank you, and I’m perfectly happy with a Targa too – jawohl.

I’m no longer entirely sure? Am I just a hopeless romantic with a profound passion for old cars? I certainly hold a lot of both admiration and sympathy for Doc Hudson in the movie. The charismatic Luigi and the talented Guido make me smile too. Though Mater is probably just a bit too rusty for my liking, Flo just isn’t my type, and Lightning McQueen – well, he has stickers as headlights…

In the meantime though, Sally Carrera has become a youngtimer. So maybe she’s alright anyway? Maybe.

The G-series. Perhaps the best all-rounder when we’re talking classic 911s.

Have I gone too far this time? Should we immediately ban all talk of 15 – 20 year old Porsches on ViaRETRO? Should we in the future always stick to Porsches which have carpet on their lower doorcards? Let us know what you think and whether Sally Carrera might have influenced your perception of the 996 too? Or are there other reasons why we prefer the older models?

The very creation of those 996 curves. The designers name in Pinky. Need I say more…?


3 Responses

  1. Dave Leadbetter

    Claus, your impassioned article certainly provides food for thought but I’m not sure cartoons are supposed to offer consumer advice, or define your purchasing decisions. Saying that, I wouldn’t touch anything from ACME Corporation having seen all the quite serious problems that Coyote keeps having.

  2. yrhmblhst

    Mater rules. This is not open to question.
    As for the 996, to me the issue is water [and the bearing thing and a couple of other problems that shouldnt have been let out the door] as opposed to looks. As I really like girls myself, the feminine-ish shape of the car is no particular detriment, its the nose that kills it for me. Personally, I prefer the looks of it over the 964 series, tho the other earlier cars are all much more aesthetically pleasing than the later unit.
    As for Sally Carrera… I understand and kinda relate to the character. I may have a bit extra empathy for her too as the “real” Sally and her business are located only some ~ 60 miles from where I sit. But that tramp stamp hasta go…

  3. Tony Wawryk

    Well, I can’t say I’ve ever let a cartoon influence my car buying decisions, or indeed any other decisions, so I’m with @dave-leadbetter on that.
    I have however owned two 996’s, after first establishing that I could fit a 5-piece drumkit plus stands and cymbals in one (I used to be in a covers band); checking this ability caused some amusement at the dealer’s, and the answer was – easily :). The first one was a silver 1999 3.4-litre, which was written off in the only serious accident I’ve had in 43 years of driving after a crash on the M40. Despite the extensive damage to the car, both doors were openable and my son and I got out of the car without a scratch. I’d only had it 4 months – after waiting until the age of 48 to finally get a Porsche, so it was replaced with another one – a 2001 3.6-litre that I bought in 2004.
    I have to say that while I loved driving it, Porsche’s reputation for building bullet-proof cars was not enhanced by my car – it dropped all it’s oil one morning requiring a replacement engine, which a couple of years later began to start smoking big-time, to the point where I felt I had to sell the car before getting hit with another huge bill. I might have been unlucky, but it did tarnish the experience somewhat.
    A 996 is now the cheapest way into 911 ownership, and it’s an under-rated drive. I can live with the “fried-egg” headlamps, but it’s not a pretty face – the 997 was a big improvement on it, but I’m with @yrhmblhst in that all its predecessors bar the 964 are better looking.


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