Porsche's Best-Kept Secret
Robb Report Singapore|November 2020
Psst. Have you heard about Zuffenhausen’s programme to build the 911 or Cayenne of your dreams?
Jason H Harper

Jorge Carnicero is a blue man. Many of the numerous cars he owns are blue. His daily uniform is a blue button-up Ralph Lauren shirt, blue jeans and a blue baseball cap. And in June 2018, as he was sitting in the Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta, surrounded by colour samples, he was about to order yet another blue car.

“Jorge, your friend just ordered a car in that shade,” Yana Perros told him gently. “Let me play devil’s advocate.”

The Porsche manager laid a new sample next to the brown interior leather that Carnicero liked. The painted tile, shaped like a 911 Carrera, was a vibrant green.

Carnicero, 68, is a horse breeder who divides his time between Kentucky and Florida, and he cheerily admits that his love of Porsche – the marque and the cars – borders on obsession. He has owned more than he remembers and will happily go on about the subject for hours.

This visit to Atlanta was special. In conjunction with a little-known individualisation and customising entity at Porsche called Exclusive Manufaktur (EM) – which the company doesn’t even advertise – Carnicero was bent on creating the Porsche of his dreams.

Perros is one of three EM managers charged with travelling around North America to help in-the-know clients navigate the process, guiding them both literally and spiritually. It’s her job to figure out what delights a customer, and decide how and when to push them to create a car that gives them a singular experience.

“Many customers say, ‘I want to build the most perfect Porsche for me’, but don’t know how to get there,” says Perros. “So I ask them what do they do in their daily life and what are their passions.”

Carnicero says he is conservative when it comes to design. He had worked with EM on previous vehicles but describes those builds as opportunities to “stick my toe in creatively”. Perros suspected that nudging him beyond his tried-and-true blue might be the key to unlocking his ultimate 911.

And Porsche had recently released its millionth 911 in sparkling Irish Green, a fact that had not escaped Carnicero. Now his eyes swept from the blue paint sample on one side to the brown leather in the centre and then to the British Racing Green. “Huh,” he murmured. “Interesting.”

Two years later, in late June 2020, Carnicero is back yet again in Atlanta, this time to take delivery of a 911 Speedster in British Racing Green and tarpan-brown leather with silver stitching. Super-sport-oriented GT cars like the Speedster are traditionally offered only with black interiors, so Carnicero’s will instantly stand apart.

But it won’t be lonely in his garage. Because on that June day two years earlier, he had an idea that would eventually evolve into a much bigger project. He didn’t want just one perfect Porsche. He was actually planning to assemble a triad of ideal 911s. All would share certain elements – like the exterior paint colour – but each would also have its own raison d’etre. After he ordered a GT3 Touring and began the process of customisation, he soon signed for the second, a GT2 RS. As those builds progressed, he pulled the trigger on the Speedster.

“I wanted three different and unique GT cars,” he says with glee.

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