Shelby Daniels doesn’t remember a time in his life where cars weren’t the main focus. As a kid, his parents took him to the fair… one of those sketchy fairs. And at that fair, there was a dart game. Throw the dart at a balloon, and if the balloon pops, you get the prize behind it. Well against all odds, Shelby popped one of those rigged balloons… and the prize behind it was a totally 80’s poster of a Porsche 930… with the dark silhouette, and the car sitting on water, etc. A little weird, since it was at least the later 90’s when he won it…
But anyway – that poster went straight up on his bedroom wall as a kid, and stayed there until well… probably today! Or at least until he moved out. The point is, that Porsche poster left a mark on Shelby.
As Shelby came of driving-age, he was really into Japanese imports, as so many of us are.
So for a first car, he went out & bought a turbo Z32 300zx… which seemed like a good choice to a stupid 16-year-old kid who didn’t know any better. What could possibly go wrong? Against all odds, he built that car on a shoestring budget working at McDonalds. It was pretty much a total nightmare to work on, but Shelby got through it because he frankly didn’t know any better. He just figured all cars were that complicated. As he got a little older, he began to realize, “Heck if I can keep a Z32 turbo running… I should be able to handle a Euro, right?.” So he got into VW stuff.
Shelby got a yellow MK4 GTI & loved it, but he kind of maxed out the performance capabilities of that car pretty quickly (at the time at least).
Next up was an STI hatch, and that car taught him A LOT. For example, it taught him that you CAN in fact go too far on a build. lol. And that there is in fact – a point to where it’s not even fun anymore. And it will literally cause you to go insane.
Through all of these cars, Shelby Daniels loved & he learned. But he reeeeeeeeally still wanted that Porsche. There was just something about ‘em. It wasn’t the flash, and for Shelby, it definitely wasn’t the prestige… but it was more of the pedigree. Childhood dream stuff, remember? Shelby was fascinated with the inner-workings of the cars. He was intoxicated by the 80s/90s endurance racing heritage. He wanted stock in it.
Problem was – 80s & 90s 911 prices had already shot through the roof at this point. And it happened just before Shelby was able to get one. The only 911 that fit into Shelby’s financial budget was a 996. But the 996 just didn’t ‘do it for him’ the way the the older/smaller/simpler 911s did. He ended up stumbling across a Cayman S… a car that he had really never considered up to that point. And all the sudden, a new light began to shine on the car.
I mean look – the 987 Cayman S has a 3.4 flat-6. So the engine displacement is almost there with the 911. But it’s a smaller chassis. It’s mid-engine. And in a lot of ways, if you shed all the bullshit, it’s a little more radical, and closer to the purity of old 911s… than a new 911 is. The 987 S is a strong sports car that’s right on the cusp of that technological threshold, where you can still drive it, rather than it driving you. And if you think about it, minimal technology is something that’s NOT available anymore on new cars. It’s obsolete.
A Hard Pill to Swallow
As an enthusiast, Shelby LOVES the driving experience that this car delivers. It really is sensory-spiking, especially with some modifications & attitude. But as a Porsche owner who had dreamt about owning a Porsche for so long, sometimes Shelby feels a bit disenchanted (as I do) with the modern-day Porsche community as a whole. There are a lot of Porsche Weenies out there, who get off thinking they’re preserving the integrity of the brand. But they’re stereotyping it. The exclusivity is becoming a little too exclusive, if you know what I mean. And for real car enthusiasts who’ve grown up in the glory days lusting over Porsches, it’s a hard pill to swallow.
Shelby’s advice?? Don’t let any delicate assholes tarnish your perception of Porsche. They might be trending. But there are still guys out there like Magnus Walker for example… who remind us what true Porsche ownership/appreciation is all about. A real car enthusiast doesn’t see social circles… they see fellow car enthusiasts. They put their cars out there for the world. They throw kids in the car for photos. And they inspire future car fanatics… rather than un-inspire them.
If we’re not careful out here, we’re gonna end up with a bunch of shitheads running around the car community. And it won’t take long (maybe a generation) to run out of steam. Keep the kids inspired, so they don’t go to something else.
2006 Porsche Cayman S
- EvoMSit software (RS370 tune)
- Fabspeed v-flow intake
- IPD plenum
- IPD 997 GT3 throttle body conversion
- BBI underdrive pulley
- Fabspeed long-tube race headers
- Borla S-Type cat back exhaust
- Porsche short-shift kit with Cup-style cables
- H&R sport springs
- H&R sway bars
- was a non-PASM car (no active suspension)
Body and Aero:
- Getty Designs 60” Interseries wing
- Getty Designs Interseries duck bill
- RHR performance front canards
- Joe Toth Composites 987.1 front splitter
19×9-19×10.5 Authentic 996 Gemballa BiTurbo wheels
Text by Wooley Photos by Ben Whiles