Dawn touches the mountain first, hurtling across space, howling and furious. We see it as quiet light gilding the pines, grey turning to gold, but a hundred and fifty million kilometres away atoms scream in their death throes, roiling and boiling and breaking apart into raw energy.
Behind me, six miniature suns ignite, one after another, a staccato punctuation rising to a single wail. Each piston is firing twenty times a second as the needle on the red dial swings clockwise towards redline, each combustion chamber is filled, fired, evacuated, shunted out the centre exhaust and straight into the ear canal.
The wind of speed becomes a tempest, the symphony of fire out-shouted by the effects of its thrust. All is tearing tumult, empty road and whoop of joy. Hairpin, late-brake, heel-stab, downshift, steady throttle, grip-grip-grip through the corner, then a little too early on the throttle and hip-pivot out of it, flying ever upwards. The flat-six sounds its barbaric yawp in the wilderness, shades of ancient Visigoth and Vandal. Civilization is sundered, tarmac to be stormed and sacked.
Below me, the city sleeps, a lone cruise liner ferrying its passengers into port. They’re travelling, and I am merely driving on a road that leads to nowhere, but there’s little doubt as to who’s actually being transported.
Too early for tourists, too early for cyclists; the mountain is mine and the road is empty. I reach the top, loop back, make the run again as the tsunami of photons comes shooting out across space to smash against the rocky outcroppings and dense green forests.
The bugs are out in force as I loop around at the top, the tarmac of the lot scrawled with the graffiti of last night’s hellions. The engine growls and grumbles happily, a little red beast sated – for now. I shut it off and circle with my camera, swatting away the no-see-’ems. It’s silent, but not for long. There, just on the edge of hearing, there is another. Another flat-six turbine-whine, this one higher pitched, with the roar of an air-cooled engine. They are coming – today, the morning and the mountain belong to Stuttgart.
As an aspirational brand, Porsche has almost always been within grasp. The 911, it has been said, is the greatest argument for capitalism ever, and while the average consumer might feel their eyes bug out at the options list of a new one, or the staggering recent appreciation of the 993 and 964 years, if you work hard enough, you can still put some kind of 911 in your driveway.