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04 Jul 2021

Sharp focus: Firepower and fun

Matt Brown can’t stop telling people how much he loves his 986 Boxster 550 Spyder Anniversary Edition

Your first impression of Matt Brown might be that he’s someone more likely to gallivant around in a heroically muddy Land Rover than a lively and pristine Porsche. But you’d be wrong. In fact, you’ll probably need the Land Rover and a tow cable to get the keys to his beloved 986 Boxster 550 Spyder Anniversary Edition from his hand.
Born into a family of farmers and gunmakers, Matt grew up in a village in Worcestershire and spent his 20s as a professional musician before becoming a photographer. He specialises in high-end gun photography and also helps out with the brand side of the family business, which is already looking forward to its centenary in 2038. The family are also exceptionally loyal Subaru owners, Matt says, adding: “But I am firmly a Porsche man now.”

The reason why goes back a bit, and the original spark was his first experience with a Porsche and with exhilarating speed in general. His mother’s cousin took him out in her 930 Turbo one day and hit 100mph on a slip road, which had a marked effect on the young Matt.
There were a few cars that could have gone equally fast at the time but he says of that drive: “It formed a connection in my mind between Porsche and fun that has seemingly never broken. I had a poster of that car on my wall for the rest of my youth, as well as countless models, with a firmly held belief that I would one day own one.”
He hasn’t got his hands on a 930 just yet and is clearly tempted by the 993 Carrera 2 coupe too, but today Matt is the very proud owner of a 986 Boxster 550 Spyder Anniversary Edition. “Some call it the last of the analogue special editions, but it is certainly the first Boxster special edition and it is not just a numbered plaque,” he explains.

Matt has given his car a great deal of thought and attention, and the story begins with the day he decided that it was time to start looking for a new car…

“I wanted it to have a certain something – the kind of quality only usually found in very exclusive cars, way beyond what I was willing to spend,” he says. “I found that special something one day when I stumbled upon a 550 Spyder Anniversary Edition. It just looked so right in a way the other cars on my list didn’t. I went straight to see that car and, although I was told upon arrival about a load of issues the garage chose to leave out of the advert, it did allow me to see that stance and the amazing paintwork in the metal. It had that certain something that I was looking for, the thing that was missing in everything else I was looking at.
“It wasn’t long before I found another belonging to a very kind and enthusiastic owner who filmed every aspect of the car for me in such a way as to allow me to buy the car before seeing it in person due to the lockdown restrictions. Upon collection, I fell completely in love and that’s the reason you’re reading this now – I just can’t stop telling people how great it is.
“It has made me re-evaluate a lot of what I thought I knew about cars. I enjoy every trip in it and that engine sound is just to die for in a world of subdued turbos or piped-in fakery. I always say the key word is ‘balance’; not just the beautifully balanced chassis, but how balanced every aspect is.
“Whether well judged or just by chance, it’s got the perfect amount of power. There’s just enough grip to make it feel safe, but you can wag the tail any time you like. Not too heavy, but not flimsy. Not too expensive, but not cheap. Old enough to feel classic, but still useable and seemingly reliable (touch wood). The list goes on and is true for all the 986s. This is not any 986, though, and quite a few minor additions make a difference when put together.
“Firstly, there is the paint. GT silver is a stunning shade on any car and, although it is a readily available colour in the options list today, in 2004 it was reserved for the Carrera GT, the 40th Anniversary 911 and this Boxster. I think it is the best colour for a 986 and you have to have this edition to get it. Add to that the body-coloured trim on the interior and they really start to look a step up from a regular Boxster. They have lightweight Carrera wheels which could be optioned on any Boxster, but these have two-tone paint with darker seal grey spokes that just look amazing, particularly as they fill the arches so well.

“You get sports seats, a unique handbrake and gear knob, chrome-ringed black dials and the numbered plaque to finish off the interior changes. They have the extended leather in either cocoa brown or in grey, which I have here. They also have a 6hp power increase that feels like it adds even more due to using the new air intake from the 987, meaning these cars use 987 air filters, and a unique double-stacked exhaust pipe. They came with a quick shifter too. When you consider all these options on their own, they really are the best specified 986 you could get and that’s before you consider the unique aspects.
“Through market forces and a healthy dose of chance, these cars have become absolutely perfect and at a ridiculous price when you look at how much other special edition Porsches go for. It is far more than the sum of its parts and the car has completely bowled me over. There is not a doubt in my mind that it will become a future classic with the ever-increasing reputation of the 986 generally and with just how amazing it looks.”
Matt’s prized Boxster has even been given a name. Perhaps that demonstrates better than anything else ever could that it isn’t just a car to him anymore.“I think this is what they call a keeper and, if I do end up buying another of those dream Porsches, it will be as a sister to Peachy,” he says. “My wife likes to name all our cars and so we went with Peachy, partly after Ferdinand Piëch, grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, but also as the car is just such a peach.”
Matt has written much more about his car and his thoughts on its place in the Porsche range on his blog, which you can find at

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