I've never known a car win hearts like this Riviera Blue 997 GT3. I've shown so many people the pictures of this car from our Welsh roadtrip on my iPhone the muscle memory in my thumb for the sequence of moves to dig out the photos is now a reflex action. I've shown it to mates. I've shown it to family. I've shown it to the guys at Singer. Everyone takes the photo in for a moment, pauses and then the 'wow', 'lovely', 'just beautiful' compliments flow.
Not just me either. I was chatting with another hack about this and he laughed about being at a table of other scribblers at a launch recently and the question of 'favourite ever car' came up. One by one iPhones came out and the same Riviera Blue GT3 would appear, the bearer wearing a guilty smile. In its two years and 17,150 hard-driven miles on the press fleet this GT3 has been driven by pretty much everyone in the business. And cast its spell on each one.
PH got the last drive before it went into the dealer network. And now it's surfaced at the Glasgow Official Porsche Centre, up for £87,850 with a two-year warranty. At least I'm assuming it's the car formerly known as 911 GB - Riviera Blue is an unusual colour and it lists 'Press vehicle' among its features. Got to be it.
And now the question no doubt to be debated in the comments thread to follow. Does this 'provenance' add to its value or detract?
Given that it's the second most expensive non-RS 997 GT3 in the PH classifieds and the one that's only couple of grand more has done a little over a third of the mileage would you really want to take the risk? Two arguments here; the one against that it's been ragged by every hack in the business from the workie on up and racked up more mis-shifts and track miles than any other comparable GT3.
The one for that between each of those loans it'll have been prepped and checked to the nth degree, making it likely both the hardest driven and best maintained GT3 anywhere. I loved the fact that when I was driving it into the office the clock tripped on the hour precisely as the pips went on the Today programme - one of those geeky little details suggesting whoever had gone through the car had paid attention to those OCD little things only a proper nerd would bother with. And if that spirit of fastidiousness extends to the engine, gearbox and suspension too the prospective buyer will have nothing to worry about.