Liveries. One look at a certain combination of colors and brands and we’re instantly transported to a time and place we might never have been. Type ‘Apple Car’ into your Google and you’ll undoubtedly be drowned in rumors of an upcoming iCar or something called ‘Project Titan’, but for true aficionado’s of the sport the Apple brand has entirely different and more exciting connotations when linked with the automotive world. It’s one we often forget, but one that was thoroughly reinforced to me through a truly memorable drive this morning.
The last time I saw my friend’s GT3RS it wore a vivid shade of Porsche Gelbgrün, applied before delivery in Adelaide as one of the highest quality and most comprehensive vinyl wrap jobs I’d ever seen. There were many benefits in taking this path as opposed to custom ordering the color from factory, one of them being that the Gelbgrün choice would be reversible one day. I kind of always knew this RS wouldn’t be green forever, but nobody could have foreseen that its next identity would come along so quickly.
And here we are, presenting the world’s first GT3RS to wear a ‘distressed’ interpretation of the famous Apple Computer livery that adorned the 1980 LeMans Porsche 935 K3 entry of Allan Moffat and Bob Garretson. In terms of knock-out punches from a street car, this is about as wild as it gets on the kerbside.
Famed Florida based graphic design company Skepple Inc. are at the forefront of the distressed look right now, and have applied it to a host of iconic Porsche liveries wrapping a handful 991 GT3RS’ around the world recently – Rothmans, Jägermeister and Martini have been done, and now Apple Computer joins them. Skepple will only do one car in each livery, so any distressed liveried Porsche in the Apple stripes you see on the internet from now is a copy of this car.
First, the livery is adapted to fit the GT3 as ‘new’, and then once the layout is perfected the distressed effect is digitally applied as required. The detail is incredible – there’s a mark on the rear bumper where another car has hit it, wheel marks on the doors, finger prints and brush marks where people have rubbed against it, and scratch marks where the door number and IMSA sticker are peeling to reveal the stripes underneath.
The digital file was designed in Florida and then printed locally as a 1.5m wide, several meter long sticker which then painstakingly applied by the team at D&S Tint. Once the printed vinyl was on, the whole car was wrapped in a clear matte to soften the appearance. The effect, for anyone who knows what I mean, is not too dissimilar to when major manufacturers paint a clear over their race-stained LeMans winners before putting them into a museum.
Present for our little run was another 991 GT3 RS, a pair of 991 GT3’s, a 997.2 GT3 RS, a 991 Turbo, a pair of 458 Italia’s and an AMG GT S. What a glorious symphony to fill the hills with – the gruff bark of the Porsche’s, the sopranic wail of the Ferrari’s and the deep bass boom of the AMG.
My friend’s RS has had a few upgrades since our last drive in addition to the wrap. Brake wise, the optional PCCB calipers and rotors have been ditched in favor of carbon ceramics from MOV’IT which provide more feel and better modulation, and the rear side windows have been swapped for those from a Cup Car.
It was these that provided a slight bit of angst, given how those in Adelaide are well aware that spring has most definitely not yet sprung. To save the rear of the RS turning into a high-speed wading pool, some waterproof and motorsport approved duct tape was carefully applied.
The Adelaide Hills have been battered by storms and torrential downpours this winter, and everywhere we went there were signs that things were not all back to normal. Regular washouts from driveways and gravel on the road from recent floods gave extra reason to drive with care.
The further we went, the heavier the rain became. We remarked that in these conditions the 991 Turbo was the car to have – slightly narrower tyres, four wheel drive and heated seats. The RS felt somewhat squirmy on its fat Michelin Pilot Sport Cup’s which are clearly designed with sunny Portimão track days in mind. Not that it was undriveable or slow by any stretch of the imagination, but that same surefootedness and feeling of rock solid grip that we had enjoyed a few months beforehand in the dry was not with us in the wet.
With the weather setting in even more, we finished up at breakfast and pointed our little train toward Macclesfield. We remarked that despite how the GT3 RS is Porsche’s most hardcore road offering at the moment, it’s actually a surprisingly civil beast given its level of performance. It’s always there, on the boil when you want it, that tacho needle just aching to kiss the number nine. It’s ready to turn in at the merest whisper of a thought and willing to hold that line no matter what, yet I wouldn’t hesitate to drive the thing across the country on a whim.
Forget the performance figures and the lairy YouTube video’s of these things going sideways, because it’s this streak of usability that is possibly the greatest achievement of the modern super sports car.
We arced around possibly the best freeway on-ramp in South Australia and shot up the hill toward Bridgewater, following in the spray of the RS ahead in a moment that felt straight out of an international endurance race.
We crested the mountain again at Crafers and began our descent back into Adelaide. Hanging out of the GT3 being blasted with that foggy air at 100km/h, these are amongst the most physically painful photos I’ve ever taken. The right side of my face became numb and was pelted with little bullets of water, my eyes watered so much I could hardly see through the viewfinder. But I’m pretty sure that the results justify the temporary discomfort.
Words and photos by Andrew Coles.
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