“The asphalt‘s on fire”

BILSTEIN B6 shock absorber for a Porsche 993 Targa

The Porsche 993 marks a real break in the 911 history: The “eleven” built between 1993 and 1998 was the last 911 with an air-cooled boxer engine. All generations afterwards rolled off the production line with a water-cooling system. Today Johann Ferstl owns one of the last air-cooled Porsche 911. And as so often with classic Porsche models, this nine-eleven also has an interesting history.

Why the Ferstl family decided on the 993 is such an episode. “My wife was actually the trigger,” reveals Johann Ferstl with a smile. “Our neighbour bought herself a Porsche Boxster. My wife was of the opinion that she would like such a car too”.

But because Johann Ferstl, who restored cars himself for a long time, has a weakness for classic cars, a modern Boxster was naturally out of the question. The choice fell on a 911 of the 993 series, but because Mrs. Ferstl had in mind a sports car that was reasonably suitable for everyday use, Johann Ferstl decided with captivating logic: “If you want something practical, we’ll look for a Targa!”

No sooner said than done. With the help of a friendly Porsche specialist, Johann Ferstl bought a stylish silver-coloured Porsche 993 Targa, built in 1997, with a large glass sunroof. “The 993 was in good condition,” recalls the 65-year-old. “What was not in the advertisement, however, was that it was a re-import from Japan”. The prominent first owner: The former boss of the Japanese electronics giant Sony. “It is always an experience to buy such an old car”, says Johann Ferstl.

Since then Mrs. Ferstl has been driving the 911 frequently. But Johann Ferstl is also keen to use the 286 hp sports car for trips. On one of these trips it happened: On a long motorway bend in the Bavarian forest, Johann Ferstl noticed: “Something seems to be wrong here”. To be exact, the opposite was the case: the Targa really rocked up. The standard twin-tube shock absorbers quickly reached their limits at the faster pace. Now it was time to carefully release the accelerator and return to the local workshop.

The decision was quickly made: the 993 was to be fitted with new shock absorbers. The first step was to visit the BILSTEIN website: “The search function is a great help,” says Johann Ferstl. The choice fell on BILSTEIN B6 shock absorbers: “My mechanic said to me: Take the B6, fit them and you won’t have any more problems,” reveals the sports car fan.

The advantage of our BILSTEIN B6 shock absorbers is that they have their own tuning, which has been determined in driving tests and follows the BILSTEIN philosophy of “comfort and sport”. Compared to the standard 993 twin-tube shock absorbers, our B6 mono-tube shock absorbers have a larger working piston area, which provides greater damping force and better handling. Due to the so-called upside-down design with the characteristic “thick piston rod”, the front axle leg can also absorb considerably higher lateral forces, which is reflected in more precise steering behaviour. By the way: the engineers at Porsche also noticed an improvement in the driving characteristics of the 993 after the conversion to BILSTEIN B6 shock absorbers, so that the new Porsche Classic shock absorbers for the 993 are manufactured and marketed using single-tube technology.

Thanks to the new shock absorbers, the Ferstls can once again safely enjoy the unique driving dynamics of the 911 and the wonderful sound of the 3.6-litre six-cylinder boxer engine with the glass roof open. Johann Ferstl and his wife can also enjoy excursions into the Bavarian forest or on such famous Alpine roads as the Großglockner or the Jaufenpass

And as it should be, these trips are really celebrated. And again Johann Ferstl can’t resist a certain smile: “On some country roads, the asphalt burns. This can also be seen in the fact that the fingernail prints of my wife can still be seen on the side of the passenger seat two days later”.

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