Me And My Car: Porsche fan is on third Stuttgart stallion, a 2000 911 Carrera 4

Ms Rina Tan and her 2000 Porsche 911 Carrera 4.
Ms Rina Tan and her 2000 Porsche 911 Carrera 4.PHOTO: SARJEET SINGH

SINGAPORE - Businesswoman Rina Tan loves Porsches. She has had two Boxsters - a 3.4-litre Boxster S (code 987)and a 987 S with a 3.2-litre engine.

Three years ago, the 47-year-old switched to a red 911 Carrera 4 (996 model). In the evenings, she drives with the sunroof drawn and windows down to enjoy the roar of its flat-six 3.4-litre engine.

The car, manufactured in 2000, has an automatic Tiptronic transmission and all-wheel drive.

Ms Tan says she bought it because she needed the extra space provided by the two rear seats. She fetches her 12-year-old daughter Georgia and her friends from school, which was not possible in the two-seater Boxsters.

The extra space also comes in handy for her real estate business, as she sometimes has to transport household items like rugs. To do so, she has to flatten the passenger seat. She says the car can even fit a four-step ladder.

Not surprisingly, she is a member and treasurer of a local Porsche car club known as P9 Club. Members get a magnetic decal with their assigned number. Ms Tan's one is "07", with her name below it.

"My car is well-known at my daughter's school. They call it Rina's car because of the decal," she says.

Her ride also attracts attention from men. "They would point to the car - not me - before giving the thumbs up," she laughs.

She did not get as much scrutiny when she was driving the convertible Boxsters, even with the top down.

"I bought the 911 from a pilot and it came with the registration SKV 9110K," she says, pointing out that it can be read as "911 OK".

"When I first got into the car for a test drive, I could not see much out of it and thought I could not buy it," she recalls, explaining that the previous owner had set the seat quite low.

But once she adjusted the seat height, she was sold.

She has not changed anythingabout the car, adding that she loves the factory "Aero" bodykit, which comprises a front bumper lip, side skirts and rear spoiler.

"It has been very reliable, even though it is old and has now clocked about 200,000km," she says. "A reliable car means it is an easy and affordable car to maintain."

She has driven her Porsches to Malaysia with the car club on many occasions for weekend breakfasts and overnight stops in Malacca - evident in the countless stone chips to the front of the sports car - and looks forward to the border reopening.

"I love the handling of the 911 better than the Boxsters, but I miss the convertibles," she says. "I used to have the top down at night and play my favourite music."

The 996 model is iconic, being the first 911 to have a water-cooled engine following generations of air-cooled power plants. First launched in 1997, it has recently been categorised by the German marque as a classic model.

Ms Tan hopes to keep her ride till it is 35 years old and convert it to a classic car registration.

"I intend to pass it on to my girl," she says.

After that, she hopes to get a newer 911 model - likely a convertible.


What's in the boot?


PHOTO: SARJEET SINGH

- Bag of plastic sheets and a large piece of cloth for protecting the upholstery when she carries large items

- Shoes

- Two 5kg dumbbells for gym