x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Driver has always dreamed of owning a Porsche

Mazen Hayek has always loved Posrche, so when the MBC spokesman was able to buy a 911 Carrera S Coupe last year it was a dream come true.

Mazen Hayek enjoys the attention his car gets: “Kids love the 911, mums in large SUVs admire it, it even evokes wonder in women of all ages and tastes.” Pawan Singh / The National
Mazen Hayek enjoys the attention his car gets: “Kids love the 911, mums in large SUVs admire it, it even evokes wonder in women of all ages and tastes.” Pawan Singh / The National

Mazen Hayek loves his 2009 Porsche 911 Carrera S coupe so much he actually wishes his commute to work was longer than four minutes. The Lebanese Porsche enthusiast is the spokesman for the MBC Group and he has lived in Dubai since 2004. "The Porsche 911 has been, and remains, a motoring icon for more than 45 years - both the 911 and its owner are neither understated nor overstated," Hayek enthuses when asked why he loves his car.

It doesn't take long for him to be in full flight when talking about the specific reasons why the model is so special to him. "The chassis is rock solid, the road handling too, the loud, flat-six 3.8L engine music delivers 385hp and an exhilarating acceleration from zero to 100kph in 4.5 seconds." Then there are the "faster-than-ever gear shifts", Michelin Pilot Sport tyres that "make you feel like driving on a rail track", a "breathtaking braking system" and "stunning craftsmanship" of the grey-on-brown leather interior.

While the four-door Porsche Panamera may be marketed towards those who want a sporty Stuttgart machine but have a couple of children in tow, Hayek says his 911 is fine for the family and they fit well in the backseat: "My kids love the 911's 2+2 configuration." Hayek likens the process of buying his car to a romance. "The dream started since early childhood days," he recalls. "The flirt started early summer 2009, the act was made on October 10, 2009 at Porsche Centre in Dubai and the love affair goes on and on daily."

This love affair sometimes involves other drivers as the car attracts attention. "When at the red light, you don't look around when you're in a 911 - you're actually stared at," he laughs. Hayek is also quick to point out that he doesn't drive like a maniac and is amused by the attention when he drives at the speed limit: "When driving at 80kph on the highway, other drivers pass you by and look with envy and admiration on how you're able to behave and show self-control.

"Kids love the 911, mums in large SUVs admire it, it even evokes wonder in women of all ages and tastes," he says. Aside from expecting to get flagged up for three speeding tickets next time he registers the car, he has not had any major brushes with the law in his 911. "So, it looks like I'm a relatively responsible driver - relatively," says Hayek. However, he has raised the ire of his neighbours on one occasion.

"I love to wash my 911 all by myself in the morning so neighbours are often very kind and send out nice compliments to the car-obsessed boy in me," he says. "But one day, one of our neighbors came shouting at me, mainly because of the loud noise of my water high pressure cleaner. He said: 'Man, it's 7am in the morning on a Friday: don't you have other toys to play with other than this one?'". The "car-obsessed boy" who dreamed of a Porsche says he started to drive at rather a young age. "[I learnt to drive] in Lebanon when I was still a schoolboy, but I was way under-age for a legal driver - I was 12 years old back then in war-torn Beirut."

As he now has his dream car, he says there are only a few reasons why he'd ever sell the 911: "If the Porsche Centre in Dubai grants me an upgrade to a brand-new 2011 911 Turbo S in sky blue-on-black at a fairly acceptable trade-in, if my two kids can't fit in the 911's 2+2 configuration anymore or if the all-new 2011 Audi S8 finally comes to deliver a truly tempting and more comfortable luxurious alternative to the 911."

The S8 may end up winning if only because of Hayek's height. "You know, the 911's relatively small dimensions might be an issue for a 186cm tall guy like me - what a temptation," he says. But for now, the 911 stays. "For an everyday sports car, nothing compares with the 911 in delivering an overall driving experience - especially after a long day at the office." 

glewis@thenational.ae