Welcome to Sunday Matinee, where we highlight classic car reviews or other longer videos I find on YouTube. Kick back and enjoy this blast from the past.

Man, everyone's still so pissed about the 2014 Porsche 911 GT3, aren't they? No available manual and electronic steering have lots of Porsche purists grinding their teeth.


But it's not the first time Porsche has done something radical. Heck, they've gone much crazier than this, like back in the 1990s when they had the gall — the unfathomable arrogance! — to stop air-cooling the 911. This sacrilege had enthusiasts practically marching to Stuttgart with pitchforks and torches.

So to satisfy some of the non-believers, Porsche made a stripped-down, racing-focused version of the 996 that they called the GT3. And in this Top Gear clip from 1999, Tiff Needell seemed quite pleased with it.

Yes, it had many of the luxury amenities you'd expect in a modern Porsche. Air conditioning! A CD player! Electric windows! But it ditched the electric seats for Recaros, lost the backseat entirely, added some garish aerodynamic add-ons and a lowered suspension, and boasted a then-stratospheric 7,800 RPM redline. With sharpened handling and 360 horsepower on tap, the 996 GT3 was a middle finger in the air to the people who said Porsche had gone soft.

So what does all this mean? It means that Porsche is all about evolution. Though they may enrage their faithful from time to time, just like the man who won the Australian Grand Prix this weekend, they know what they're doing.

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