Porsche fan sits in a Porsche 718 Boxster

Old love never rusts: an everlasting classic Porsche story

How a familiar four-wheeled family friend arrived back in one 911 fan’s life

Sometimes, things we thought we’d lost can have a funny way of finding their way back to us. Just ask 911 owner Matthew Kanniah, who found that a blast from the past became quite the Porsche reunion

Porsche love bug

It was in the 1990s that I first caught the Porsche bug. Growing up in a small farming town in Free State province in South Africa with little money, times were often hard – but we did the best with what we had. My father saved up everything that he could in the late 1980s with the goal of being able to buy his first Porsche. Finally, the big day came. Arriving from the home of Porsche itself, the 718 RSK replica rolled straight from Germany and into my father’s life, immediately becoming the most fawned-over family member. It wasn’t much, but it really was my father’s dream car. Even through a troubled economy, loss of income and more children, the car’s presence endured. It was already a family mainstay by the time I was born. Surrounded and raised by a petrolhead family, this deep love for classic Porsche cars was instilled in me.

The rusted, old-timer Porsche 718 replica in silver
A snapshot of Porsche heritage: the Kanniah family’s 718 RSK replica

O Porsche, where art thou?

Over the years, life happened – work changed, apartheid ended, and we moved to Johannesburg in 1997. It was sadly during this period of transition that the Porsche disappeared. As a five-year-old kid, I didn’t know where the car had ended up, but although it had vanished, my deep desire for Porsche had not. During my school years my enthusiasm for the brand – and especially the iconic 911 – never faded, and while many of my peers went gooey-eyed over other luxury cars, my passion for Porsche heritage intensified.

Work car, play car

Into adulthood, I started to use my passion for cars to guide my future. It led to me being accepted as a contributor for a car website in 2015. This was the perfect opportunity to showcase my knowledge about classic Porsche cars and more, as well as giving me the opportunity to embark on my future career as a professional photographer and motoring journalist. Being able to combine work with what I was passionate about ignited my success. It allowed my dreams to turn into a reality and then that reality into long-term career.

Then, in 2018, I realised another dream, when my work attracted the attention of Porsche South Africa. This spawned an international trip to the UAE to drive the new Porsche 718 Cayman and Boxster variants. After a childhood growing up loving classic Porsche cars, I was now finally able to experience a modern-day Porsche vehicle first-hand. It left me in complete awe of the brand and the cars it produces.

Porsche classic fan stands in 718 Cayman and Boxster
Matthew’s dream came true when Porsche South Africa flew him to the UEA to try out the 718 Cayman and Boxster

The classic Porsche that rekindled a flame

When I returned home, I received a phone call from my father saying that he had a surprise for me. He said that he’d tracked down a long-lost family item after almost two decades. When I saw him, my father took out his phone and showed me a photograph of a dusty, old, rusted car. I was left lost for words. It was the very same beloved Porsche he had bought back in 1987. As a young journalist and car enthusiast, this was everything to me. Looking at that photograph filled me with so much Porsche nostalgia, so many timeless memories.

Rear view of the 911 Carrera 4 (991)
Matthew is now the proud owner of his very own 911 Carrera 4

Today I am a 911 Carrera 4 owner and a lifelong fan of Porsche heritage. So it was a no-brainer to take on a personal project to restore this classic vehicle with which I had so much of a personal connection. It felt like the perfect way to ensure that our family will continue to have Porsche running through our veins – a legacy to be handed down through the generations. From my father’s purchase to the present day, this tale has now spanned over three decades. It felt like the Porsche itself had found its way back to my father and I. Fate had reunited us – and this time I’m pretty sure that it will be for keeps.

Two 718 Caymans and a 911 Carrera surround Porsche fan
Surrounded by Porsche passion on the track in the United Arab Emirates

Your 911 story starts here

Build your 911
Black 911 Turbo S from rear side view on runway