Porsche 911T 2.2 Driven

The Porsche 911T is a great car if not a little short on outright pace. But what if you increased the power and added some classy Steve McQueen styling cues from the 911 he drove in the film Le Mans? We took a trip to Great Escape Classic Car Hire to review one such modified 911T and can tell you it is not far off from being the perfect weekend companion.

I like originality and so it seems does the market because untouched examples of most marks will often exceed the values of those that have been modified. So does that make it bad thing? Not necessarily, it just might impact future values. In this case when you take a humble Porsche 911T and model it on the one owned in real life by Steve McQueen, King of Cool, and driven by him in the film Le Mans, then there is a very strong argument for doing so. The result in this case offers an immensely satisfying, tight and tidy, Porsche 911 driving experience with subtle looks that lift it well above those same humble beginnings.

The fact this particular Porsche 911T is left hand drive and we are driving it in the UK isn’t a problem either. Early 911’s are relatively small and compact by modern standards and so fit on our roads with room to spare either side. That makes keeping safely out of the way of oncoming traffic quite straight forward without risk of nasty consequences. In fact given how well this particular car drives I don’t think I would want it any other way. Audio clip below shares what the car sounds like both inside and out.

Porsche 911T
Cool looking Porsche 911T has been styled on the one owned by Steve McQueen and driven by him in the film Le Mans

The dark grey hue, lowered suspension, Fuch alloys and clean exterior profile of this Porsche 911T work really well together to provide a convincing copy of the original. Inside is normal 911 fair, something I really like, particularly the centrally positioned rev counter and in this car’s case a well-judged small diameter thick rimmed sports steering wheel. To help lift the car’s performance on the road a larger capacity 2,200cc flat six engine has also been fitted. The higher torque makes this Porsche 911T feel quicker than the earlier 2000cc engined cars, but does not compromise the handling like say fitting the larger and weightier 3000cc unit might.

As well as the ice cool Steve McQueen styling this modified Porsche 911T feels absolutely brilliant out on the road, with the nose delivering that trademark bobble over undulating road surfaces, which once you realise is just what it does, being totally engaging. The brakes are well up to the job, requiring an Alfa GTV like whole leg press to the similarly floor mounted pedal. Pedals that sit towards the centre of the car incidentally, feeling strange to start with and then not something that enters your mind ever again after just a few minutes. It is therefore very easy to keep pace with modern traffic in all circumstances. The difference between this car and something more current, is that you are the one having all of the fun.

Porsche 911T
Subtle modifications make this Porsche 911T very special indeed

As always the acid test for any road car is can it entertain whilst keeping within the legal speed limits? Modern performance cars struggle with this aspect because many of them have been set up to deliver fast lap times for the subsequent bragging rights. Doing so means time sapping movement on the road is removed and therefore it isn’t until you’re well above the speed limit that the car starts to move around at all giving an indication of what it is really all about. Renault Megane 250RS being a case in point. No such worries here, with the pepped up Porsche 911T you get all that feedback and more from 40mph accompanied by a glorious flat six soundtrack.

Steve McQueen styled 911T shows how modifying your classic is not necessarily a bad thing.

How does this car make you feel?

In one word: Cool

As a favourite meal: Hot chillie served with rice chips and peas

Anything Else: Trying to stop yourself handing over cash to buy it on the spot

Key Ingredients: Those looks, peppered up performance, trademark Porsche front end bobble and diminutive size. The fact it is left hand drive also adds a touch of authenticity.

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With thanks to Great Escape Classic Car Hire

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