H2O. One hydrogen molecule and 2 oxygen molecules come
together to create water. The planet is covered with approximately 70% of it
and our bodies are made up of about 60%. Your car’s engine would protest
quickly without it unless, of course, you own a Porsche 911 that was built
prior to 1998. Yes, all of the older 911’s engines not only were (and still
are) in the back of the car but cooled with a giant fan attached to the
alternator and driven by a belt. It’s amazing that a company as talented,
skilled and foreword thinking as the engineering giant Porsche is would
continue to build a car that had no radiator, no water pump, no coolant hoses,
no thermostats and no environmentally toxic antifreeze.
Well on second thought maybe that makes a lot of sense. Think
of the weight savings by not adding all those parts that eventually fail
anyway. Ask any true hard-core Porsche enthusiast about water cooling and
he/she will quickly turn their nose in the air and tell you that a true Porsche
911 cannot be water cooled. There is nothing like the sound of that fan
whirring away that gives the air cooled 911 it’s signature sound. Porsche has
had a ridiculously successful racing career using the air-cooled engine
platform so why change a good thing?
Well like everything in life there are compromises. Although
you won’t find any antifreeze in an older 911 they carry a ridiculous amount of
oil. How does 3 gallons sound to you? Imagine taking your car to
QickyJiffySupperDon’tStop Lube for an oil change and they talk you into
purchasing the synthetic oil. You would pay $100 just for the oil! Ouch! The
car does have big oil coolers up front with electric fans to keep it cool in
traffic so not too much gain there. Another problem is air cooled motors cannot
run as efficiently as water-cooled ones due to looser internal clearances.
So, if you’re a Porsche purist and the thought of H20
running through the car’s veins makes you bend over like a punch in the stomach
read no further. This month’s car is a 911 Carrera Cabriolet (coded 996 by
Porsche) and is liquid cooled. It was probably built around 2000 and has a 3.4
liter flat six boasting 320 horse power which should get the car going to about
177mph. I have a customer with 2000 911 that I have had the pleasure of driving
and I don’t care how the engine is cooled the car just plain kicks ass!