For years, Porsche lovers have admired (and occasionally purchased from) the Sloan Cars collection, which spans over 50 rare and unique Porsches at any given time. Browsing the Sloan Cars website is like being in a candy-store. Recently I had the chance to talk with Richard and Brett Sloan to learn a little more about what they do.
IMG: You have one of the most impressive Porsche collections in the world. Where did it all start, and at what point did you realize it was going to be more than one or two?
RS: My passion for cars has been with me since childhood. As I child my mother always told me I could have any car I wanted… as long as I worked hard. Maybe I took her words too literally since I work non-stop to keep my “sweet tooth” happy! For as long as I can remember I’ve always had an every day driver plus a weekend warrior. Back in 1976, I started my own technology business and as a reward for my hard work, just like mom used to say, I bought my first 911, a silver on black “S”.
During the 80′s I started to collect cars that I dreamed about owning as a kid – mainly muscle cars but I always had a few German cars. My obsession turned into a full time hobby, and before I knew it I had about a dozen cars in front of my house. I’m just lucky I had understanding neighbors! But my favorite manufacturer has always been Porsche. They continue to improve their product over time which meant I had to own every deviation. Even though I owned many other cars over the years, there are very few things that compare to the driving experience behind the wheel of a 911…
IMG: Can you describe a few of the key things you look for in a car before adding it to your collection?
RS: As a collector I have a very strict set of rules leading up to a purchase. Over the years I’ve learned from my experiences to look out for certain “red flags”. I always do a PPI (Pre-Purchase Inspection) with a compression test to make sure everything is running properly. I am VERY concerned with originality, meaning the smallest amount of bodywork can ruin the whole deal for me. Since 1974, Porsche fully galvanized their bodies so rust usually is not an issue. But before paintless dent removal a lot of people had paint work done for the smallest blemishes. I inspect every one of my cars with a paint measurer, which tells me the thickness of the paint. I check out all the body edges making sure that there are no masking marks and that everything is factory smooth. The factory does such an amazing job with fit and finish which makes my job even easier to notice anything that looks like it has been repainted or if body lines don’t match up.
A test drive is usually the last step after everything has checked out. For the most part low miles and originality are the strongest selling points for me. I like to know who owned the car previously; I love meeting people that are the original owners and the stories they have to backup the condition of their cars. Porsche enthusiasts are very passionate about their cars so it’s always great to see that they have kept all the paperwork for the past 20-30 years which fully documents the car’s past, it is like finding an automotive treasure.
IMG: It seems like you’ve owned them all. Is there a white whale? The one you just can’t seem to get your hands on.
RS: There are a few cars out there that I would love to own. Off the top of my head it would have to be a 1967 911 Police car, of which they only made three. One is in the Porsche Museum, one in the Dutch Police Museum and the other happens to be in the States in a private collection. I’m always on the hunt for one-off cars from the “Special Wishes Program” which was at its height of popularity during the 80s. I love finding cars with special factory paint jobs or one-off factory interiors.
My son, on the other hand, loves the early cars so he’s always on the look out for factory race cars such as RSs or RSRs. Both of us are always on the hunt to purchase or consign some of the rarest examples of 911s and 356s in the world so don’t be afraid to contact me if you have something in your collection that falls into this special category.
IMG: You’ve been collecting Porsches for a long time. What advice can you give to those of us newer to the hobby?
RS: The only advice I can give someone who hasn’t owned a Porsche before is to go out and drive each model. They differ so much over the years with the advancements in engine performance and suspension. I have tons of people that currently own the newer water cooled cars that are looking to “back date” their cars with buying an air cooled 911. They are usually torn between the 80′s 911s or the later 993s for their creature comforts. I always ask what kind of driving they are going to use their Porsche for and usually I can figure out what would best fit them. For example, if I have client that is looking for a car to drive back roads on the weekends and just wants to tear up the “twisties” I lean them towards a 1980′s SC or Carrera. A later model with a G50 transmission (hydraulic clutch) for those who might drive it in traffic or metropolitan cities. If someone wants an air cooled car but just can’t give up power assisted steering, ABS, dual air bags, etc. I will show them the full line of 993s – the most advanced series 911s built. But honestly I have had people that approach me for a 993 and just fall in love with the classic lines of an early SC when they see it in person, so you never know!
Brett on the other hand is extremely passionate about the early 911s (especially carbureted cars) so when a client comes in looking for that raw and edgy driving experience I let them take a drive with him in his car. Usually they come back with a huge smile from experiencing the smells and noises these little old cars make.
With that said, these cars differ in driving experience as much as the people who own them. Porsche offers such a wide range of products that it’s crucial to experience them first hand in order to make the right purchase. Someone might think an early single turbo 930 is a cool car to own (which they are!) but might be intimidated by the fact the car demands an above average driver to harness its power. Both my son and I are available to discuss any concerns a first time Porsche owner might have so please feel free to contact us if you are interested in anything we have to offer.
RS: My favorite Porsche, hmm… this might take awhile! It’s like picking your favorite child! There are so many factors that play into this answer, but if I had to choose one I would have to go with the 1997 993 Twin Turbo S. It’s rare. It’s fast. It’s classic. It’s everything a Porsche should be and I wish there were more out there to purchase (only 182 were made). As one of the last air cooled models (they stopped making air cooled 911s in 1998) these later cars are the pinnacle of the series. I can’t explain in words how driving one of these is truly a moving experience.
Brett on the other hand would completely disagree with me by saying the older models ask more of the driver’s input to be able to drive them to their fullest potential and are therefore more rewarding in the end. Overall owning any air cooled car is a privilege since (unfortunately) these cars are just not made the way they used to be. You really notice the hand built craftsmanship that went into producing these cars and how they were only improved over the years to achieve the perfect blend of performance and comfort. I hope I don’t sound like I am speaking badly of the water cooled cars, I just feel that the air cooled cars are the foundation of the 911 series and my loyalty will be always with these models.
IMG: Does the passion only lie with Porsche or can you give us a favorite non-Porsche?
RS: My son wants to answer this one.
BS: Over the years my dad has owned hundreds of cars but the one that was closest to his heart was a 1968 Shelby GT350 in Acapulco blue with white racing strips. As he mentioned earlier he always had about a dozen cars in front of the house but this car was special, it was his “baby”. I have fond memories of weekend rides and cruise nights which pretty much laid down the foundation for my love of cars. I remember the day he sold it, after the client picked it up and drove it away my father sat down at the kitchen table and to my surprise he was tearing up! For years I remember my father buying and selling cars for sport (he always says that the hunt is the best part!) but for the first time I realized that these cars can become part of the family.
Thanks again to Richard and Brett Sloan for taking the time to share their story with us. If you’d like to check out the constantly changing Sloan Cars collection, visit sloancars.com.