Watch how capricious a classic Porsche 911 can get when it's driven too hard

Porsche 911 near-miss
The Porsche 911 has historically been one of the more challenging sports cars to master on the road and especially on the track. Most of the car’s weight is situated right over the rear axle, so the coupe is more prone to over-steering than its mid- or front-engined rivals. Some amateur video footage shot in the Alps shows how capricious Porsche’s rear-engined machine can be when it’s driven a little bit too hard.

The first part of the video shows a second-generation Volkswagen GTI in full race regalia. It’s a pretty cool machine, but ignore it, as that’s not what we’re here to see. The bright red Porsche shows its nose about 16 seconds into the film. The driver brakes for the bend and hits the apex; so far, so good. Not a split second later he’s drifting sideways across the course, which looks like a public road that’s been closed specifically for the event. A cacophony of flat-six engine roars and tire squeals soon follows.

The 911 surprisingly doesn’t spin out. The driver manages to regain control of the car through a series of quick, thoughtful, and surgically precise steering inputs. By the time the back end stops dancing around, the car’s nose is pointed towards a ditch that a few unsuspecting trees call home. It’s uh-oh moment number two for the man behind the wheel, but he manages to save his car once again. The Porsche finished the stage without damage, unless it crashed farther up the road after the camera stopped rolling. We’re not sure we can say the same about the driver’s underwear. Given the current price of Porsche parts, though, we’d rather buy new trousers than a new fender.

Modern electronic driving aids such as a traction control system would have likely prevented the driver from spinning out in the first place, but the spirit of a classic Porsche (and the pure experience you get when you’re sitting behind the wheel) would be completely diluted by technology. That’s why driving a vintage 911 hard takes an immense amount of practice. The line between being in control and being out of control is a fine one, and there’s often no going back once it’s been crossed.

We admire the driver’s razor-sharp reflexes, but luck certainly played a part in keeping his pride and joy in one piece.

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