words by andy mcculley photos by felix stobinski
“To me, the Autobahn is synonymous for freedom; a freedom to respect and sustain — without question. The thrill of legally driving one's car to the limit is just indescribable.”
With an aerial map tattoo of the Nürburgring on his right foot, Felix Stobinski undoubtedly is a car enthusiast. He was fortunate to grow up in a family of motorsport aficionados; so naturally, he developed a love for racing and a persistent affinity to own a Porsche at an early age. He’s also fortunate to call Germany home, a country that offers some of the best unobstructed venues for motoring thrills, two of which include the Autobahn and the Nürburgring.
Felix’s Porsche craving began the first time he got behind the wheel of his father’s 911. It immediately became apparent to him that he would never be deemed to drive a “mainstream” vehicle like most adults. Well, Felix adhered to his internal promise, and when he was 18, he decided it was time to buy his first Porsche. With his knowledge of racing, Felix chose to go with a transaxled Porsche, as the weight ratios were virtually equivalent at both ends of the car— basically, better balance equates to superior handling. His search eventually led him to purchase a 944, a car that he still owns, drives, and races today.
Over the years, Felix has tastefully modified his car to better suit his racing hobby. His 944 proudly sports the Martini Racing livery in black, Bilstein running gear, a Heigo clubsport brace, carbon fiber interior trim, a TechArt sport steering wheel, TechArt Formula rims, and clear indicators on the front and side. With these performance mods, Felix has managed to create a car that’s equally versatile on the Nürburgring as it is on autobahn.
"the ‘ring is perhaps the most significant representation of Germany’s deep automobile history."
According to Felix, the distinctive Martini livery serves two purposes; one, to make his car stand out, and two, to emphasize his fanaticism for motorsports. He wanted his 944 to commemorate some of Porsche’s Martini and Rossi sponsored race cars, including the 911 RSR, the 917, and the 936.
It should be obvious by now that he has a distinctive love for the Nürburgring, the tattoo cements this. Felix not only loves the track itself, but loves and respects the history of the ‘ring. According to Felix, the ‘ring is perhaps the most significant representation of Germany’s deep automobile history. He describes it as magical, having many memories of camping out and watching 24 hour races at the ‘ring, and regularly taking his 944 to track days there.
Thanks to the modifications, Felix says that the track days bring him optimal joy. In addition to regularly participating in track days at the Nürburgring, Felix enjoys the distinctive opportunity to legally push his car to the max on Germany’s legendary public road system, the autobahn. According to Felix, the autobahn is synonymous with freedom. He says that the experience of legally testing the performance of his 944 is indescribable.
My area of interest in our interview with Felix is his knowledge of the 944 market in Germany. According to Felix, 944 prices are steadily increasing, but overall prices remain affordable. He goes on to suggest that part of the increase in prices can be attributed to people getting around the 944’s former reputation as a “housewife” or “Hausfrauenporsche” car.
This change in public opinion has increased demand for 944’s. People are finally recognizing that the 944 is indeed a brilliantly engineered piece of machinery and with this recognition comes a pool of enthusiasts who are fascinated with them. Felix says that the transaxle Porsche enthusiast groups are becoming more popular, and members regularly meet and stay in touch via online forums. What this does is creates a social aspect to ownership that serves as a wealth of technical knowledge and a tight camaraderie that crosses borders and oceans.