Fitting Fuchs® wheels to a classic Porsche 911
The 911 fan who enhanced his 996 with the legendary rims
View of Porsche 911 (Type 996) through café window
After spending years driving Porsche sportscars in computer games, being driven around in his dad’s Boxster as a teen, and dreaming constantly about owning a 911 (type 996) like the one he saw on his walk to school, Matt Page has achieved his childhood dream, having just fitted Porsche Classic Fuchs® wheels to his very own 996
It’s the time of day that photographers and film makers call the ‘golden hour’ – that period of the evening, just before sunset, where the sun softens and reddens, casting a spell over the world. It’s Matt Page’s favourite time of day. And not just because he works in film making (he’s head of production for a film company in Manchester, England). It’s also when Matt can really enjoy his 911 (type 996) Carrera 2 the most – particularly if he’s driving around the winding roads of the Pennines, the sprawling hill range running up the spine of northern England that sits on his doorstep. This is Matt’s Porsche story today, but it really began 20 years ago. Like many a kid growing up in the ’90s, much of it was spent playing on computer games, like Need For Speed Hot Pursuit 2. And he’d always pick a 911 (type 996) Turbo to drive. There was also a real-life example that further fuelled a growing obsession, in the shape of another 996, a 911 Targa, that he’d pass every day on his walk to school. “It’s still on my daily dog walk,” says Matt. “But when I was in high school, I remember seeing it and just thinking, where is my career path going to go? If only, at some stage in my life, I can get to a point where I could own one of these – but you never really imagine this will ever actually be the case.”
Arctic Silver Porsche 911 (996) driving through northern English countryside
Take me home, country road: Matt Page’s Porsche 911 (type 996) in its element
The journey to owning a Porsche 911But then, in the early throes of this 911 love affair, Porsche came even closer to home. Matt calls his dad an “adrenaline junkie”, especially motorbikes and racing and – as an engineer by trade – very mechanically minded. Family cars were to be worked on, not just driven and left outside the house, and his dad encouraged Matt to hand him spanners and wrenches as he tinkered away under the bonnet. One day, Matt came home to find his dad’s hot hatch replaced by a Porsche Boxster on the driveway. “And that was really it,” says Matt. “Suddenly, as my parents had one, a Porsche became more attainable for me.”His dad would eventually have to sell the Boxster when ill health prompted early retirement. But by then, Matt was on the not-so-slippery slope to multiple car ownership. Like his father, hot hatches were his entry point to having fun behind the wheel. “It helped me learn the differences between certain types of powertrains, about handling and aerodynamics,” explains Matt. Some 17 cars later, by Matt’s estimation, it was finally time to make the move towards owning what he saw as the ultimate sportscar – a 911.
Porsche 911 (996) on cobbled streets in Manchester city centre
True daily driver: Matt uses his 911 on his commute to work in Manchester
Finding the right Porsche 911“I’d been keeping an eye out,” recalls Matt. “I knew that I wanted a 911 with the aero kit because if I went for a standard car, my eyes would be drawn to any other cars I saw with it on. Of course, I wanted a 996 Turbo or a GT3, but I had to be realistic. I narrowed it down to a classic Carrera 2 with a 3.4-litre engine. Nothing bigger as I knew I wanted to run it as my daily car, so kept it nice and simple. And I wanted it cable driven as I wanted that fun feeling – something that felt raw and raspy when you put your foot down.”And then he saw it on a used car website. A dream 996 that ticked all the boxes: a Carrera 2, manual, with a 3.4-litre engine, GT3 Alloys, M030 suspension with 154,000 miles on the clock… and, of course, an aero kit. And it was in North Wales too, so a relatively short hop from his home in north-west England. On a test drive, Matt quickly realised that this was like no other vehicle he had driven before. He grinned all the way back home afterwards and put a bid in for the car. The only downside was that the vendor then disappeared for a fortnight on holiday, so Matt was left hanging on. But then he’d already been waiting an entire lifetime to become a Porsche sportscar owner – so why stress about that?
Close-up of Porsche Classic Fuchs rims on Porsche 911 (996)
Fitting his 911 with Fuchs wheels from Porsche Classic was more than a finishing touch for Matt
While Matt’s ownership so far of the 996 hasn’t been without a little bit of drama – after having some work done, an unlicensed driver ploughed into him requiring some remedial attention – it’s been everything he ever dreamed about and more. The 996 had always been the one for him – “they were the ones I saw flying around when I grew up” – primarily because it was the current 911 model when his interest in Porsche was sparked. “As the first 911 of the water-cooled era, they are the starting point to the faster and more efficient engines,” says Matt. “It’s where efficiency and speed started to really increase when Porsche realised what they could get out of a flat six.”
Man at wheel of Porsche 911 (996) on city streets
Fun times ahead: Matt describes his 911 as a “keeper”
Fitting Fuchs wheels to a Porsche 911Recently, there’s been one rather stunning new addition to Matt’s 911. It now wears a set of black Fuchs® wheels from Porsche Classic, an all-new reinterpretation of the historic Fuchs® wheel that first appeared on the 911 S in 1966. Having been specially developed for that breathtaking one-off, the 911 Classic Club Coupe, Porsche Classic have now made them available across a wide range of the vehicles they take care of. Having been retired from the official Porsche range back in 1989, this is also the first time they can be seen on the 996. And Matt has been the recipient of one of the very first sets. “They suit the car so nicely,” he says of the 18-inch aluminium wheels with that unforgettable cloverleaf shape. “The Fuchs® wheels have instantly made my car look even more like a classic. It’s given it a heritage look and a touch of drama. I was truly excited when I saw them in the flesh and even more when I got to drive with them on. They definitely feel lighter. I already had what I feel was a unique car and it’s now gone up an extra notch.”
Cinnamon brown leather interior of Porsche 911 (996)
The interior of the 996 is a refined and luxurious place to be
And Matt has been intensely bedding them in – the 996 is his daily driver on his commute into Manchester each day, as well as regular trips out onto the wide-open roads near him. “I live right by some beautiful twisty country roads,” says Matt. “The kind of roads that you’re not massively tempted to break the speed limit on. They are just great roads in the quieter hours where you can go around corners at the speed limit and still be pushing it. Here, you can really feel that the 911 is a car with racing in its blood. Everything just seems to fall into place. It’s where it really comes alive.”
Man exits Porsche 911 (996) on city centre cobbled streets
After strongly enhancing the look of his 996 with the Fuchs® wheels, Matt’s next job will be some remedial paintwork
The future is… another Porsche 911?Matt says this 911 is a keeper and he has firm plans to hand it down to his children (when they come along). “My kids might not be into cars, but if they can inherit something that I was really passionate about, then that’s all that matters to me.”He admits that over time it will make less sense to run his 911 as a daily car (“I’d even think about converting it to electric if we really had to at some point”). Which begs the question – what next? “I would like to say an air-cooled 911. I really want to know what it is all about,” he says. “I’m intrigued by them. And I would obviously love a Taycan too.” In the meantime, there’s work to be done on the paintwork. He’s committed to keeping the original Arctic Silver colour of his car as it “…it feels classy, and I love the way that it looks when the light hits it a certain way.”
Porsche 911 (996) on cobbled streets in Manchester city centre
When looking for his 996 Carrera 2, Matt craved one with an aero kit – you can see why
A daily driver Porsche 911, unleashed on the open roadWhich takes us right back to the golden hour again. After a long day at work, chances are you will find Matt catching the last dying rays in the 996, on the snaking roads north of Manchester. Occasionally he might stop, park up and, being a keen photographer, take a few photos. But for the most part it’s about him, his 911 and the road ahead. “I feel like I’ve experienced more with my 911 than with all the cars I’ve driven before put together,” says Matt. “Later on in the day, when there’s nobody else on the road, that’s when you really build a personal connection with your car. With every other car that I have owned, within a couple of months, I would be starting to look around for the next one to see what I may have been missing out on. But now I have my 911, I’ve finally stopped chasing the next one.”
Man sits on bonnet of Porsche 911 (996) overlooking countryside
Town or country, Matt’s 996 looks at home in both
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