Oliver Mezger has a long familial history with this particular Porsche 911. When he was just a boy laying in bed while his father Hans worked late, the car was a lullaby to let young Oliver know that his father had arrived home from a long day of making Porsches go faster, and he was free to fade into the depths of slumber. The family’s house was on a hill with an 18 percent grade, and the glorious tune of an aircooled Porsche flat six, as he puts it, would put him right to sleep. “By the time he got up the hill, I would be asleep. My father worked a lot during the week, but Sundays were sacred family time,” remembers Mezger the younger.
Mezger the elder was the progenitor of that air-cooled six, and was intimately familiar with both the engine and the sounds it made. Hans was among the most influential engineers at Porsche, developing everything from the flat-twelve engine in the 917 which dominated at Le Mans to the TAG Turbo engine found in Niki Lauda and Alain Prost’s Formula One World Championship winning cars. Back in 1979 Mezger brought home this Grand Prix White Carrera 3.0, which he’d used as a test vehicle at Weissach. It would be his street Porsche until his death last June.
The car served for decades as Mezger’s occasional around-town runabout for a weekend drive or a jaunt to get coffee. Between October 1979 and June 2020 the car only covered about 11,000 kilometers. It had served several thousand more kilometers under Porsche’s care as a test vehicle than it ever did as a road-legal driver. Because Mezger was always driving the newest and most advanced 911s, his old car was reserved for special occasions. Even as a nonagenarian, Mezger was concerned with getting the car out and giving it a bit of exercise. According to Porsche, during one of the last interviews the man ever gave he spoke about getting his 3.0 Carrera back on the road soon. It needed a few minor things because it hadn’t been driven in a few years.
Oliver, now having long been an adult himself, decided to get the car back up and running to celebrate his father’s life. For the one year anniversary of the passing of Hans, Oliver again drove the old 911 for the first time in quite some time. “The car will stay in the family’s hands and will be driven on special occasions. I’ll be visiting my father at the cemetery in it, and I’ll definitely be taking a trip to the Porsche Museum in his honour,” he says. The Mezger family used to take trips to Zell am See every summer in the 911 with its roof rack loaded down. He commented also that he’d like to recreate those journeys; “Maybe one day I’ll even drive it to Zell am See,” remarked Oliver.