Me And My Car: A passion for Porsche

As a teen, Yong Jiunn Siong had two posters in his room – one of 1970s American actress Farrah Fawcett in a red swimsuit and the other of a Porsche 911 Turbo (Type 930) in black.

His first car was more down to earth than the 911 Turbo. It was a Honda Civic, acquired not long after he graduated and started work as an accountant. It was followed by a series of Honda and BMW models.

But 10 years ago, Mr Yong decided to fulfil his childhood dream and bought a 1984 Porsche 911 Turbo – just like the one in the poster. He named it Black Mamba, but it was not quite what he dreamt it would be.

As with 911 rides of that era, it did not have sophisticated stability systems to mitigate the challenges of a powerful rear-engined car. And like many before him, Mr Yong found himself spinning out in the wet – twice.

The 53-year-old partner at accountancy group PwC says: “As they say, never meet your heroes. Now I know why they call it the widow-maker – 300hp at the rear wheels of an old 911 is not to be trifled with.”

In 2012, he added a 2007 fluorescent green Porsche 997 GT3 RS to his garage, followed three years later by a 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 (the very first 911 sold by local Porsche agent Stuttgart Auto).

In 2015, he acquired the car featured here – a 1996 993 C4S.

“I’m truly grateful to my lovely wife for bearing with me and my passion through the years,” he says.

“I understand that buying four Porsches without first telling your better half might be grounds for a divorce.”

Still, he would rather not disclose how much he has splurged on the four cars.

Mr Yong met his wife Shirleen, 52, while he was conducting an audit of the bank she worked for. They have a son, 21, and a daughter, 18 – both students.

What’s in the car?

• A Porsche Classic tool kit

• A Michelin air pump

• Mobil 1 engine oil

• A pair of pliers

• Tyre sealant

• A fire extinguisher

• A safety triangle and car jack

• A first-aid kit

• A pair of gloves

“My son shares my passion for cars,” Mr Yong says. “But I am not about to let him take the Porsches out just yet.”

Of the four Porsches, he says his mint condition C4S is his favourite, “simply because she is the most beautiful 911 in my opinion”. Also, it is “the last and best air-cooled 911 which drives like a modern 911”.

“The air-conditioner actually works and it has a great-sounding hi-fi system,” he adds.

He has driven it to Malaysia and Thailand. So far it has covered 120,000 km in the past 24 years, with just one engine rebuild, and is free of oil leaks. But on most weekdays, his wife drops him off at the office in her BMW 535i.

Mr Yong is vice-president of the Porsche Club of Singapore, which has around 400 members. “I am looking forward to doing more for the club in the coming years,” he says.

The Porsche fan’s collection extends to scale models. “I have all the generations of the GT3 RS in 1:18 scale,” he says.

When he is not behind the wheel, Mr Yong is often relaxing at home in Serangoon Garden. He has a Dolby home theatre system in his basement, which he stocks with 4K and Blu-ray movies.

As for his other childhood love, he has since moved on to more masculine idols.

“I am thankful I can still watch Steve McQueen (late American matinee idol of the 1960s and 1970s) race his Porsche 917 on the big screen,” he says, referring to how the coronavirus pandemic has put all driving events on hold and drove him to stay home.

When things are back to normal, he may yet buy another Porsche. “I often dream about another GT3 RS,” he confesses.

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