When Jorge Carnicero talks about how it all began, how he met his “first great love” back in 1971, a radiant smile spreads across his face. And quickly disappears. “I made the biggest mistake of my life,” he says. After buying that gorgeous silver metallic Porsche 911 S, he heedlessly let it go—an unbelievable folly that haunts him to this day—to buy a different, new 911. “I’ve often thought about tracking down that Porsche,” says Carnicero, a sixty-eight-year-old horse breeder from Lexington, Kentucky. “It’s like the first love of your life, whom you let go. Only later do you realize what a mistake that was.”
“The car won my heart.” Jorge Carnicero
A sticker on the rear side window exerted what turned out to be an irresistible appeal. It read “Porsche Markenweltmeister 69, 70, 71.” Carnicero didn’t speak German and had no connection with racing at the time, and thus didn’t know that “Markenweltmeister” meant “Manufacturers’ World Champion” in the World Sportscar Championship. So he asked around. The answer opened the door to a world that he has never wanted to leave. “The car’s appearance won my heart. But the story behind it, which started with that sticker, swept me off my feet.” He has tried to recapture that inimitable feeling, that eagerness and excitement, ever since. Although he has owned countless Porsches since 1971 and also had them configured to his specifications by the Exclusive Manufaktur, it’s only now, nearly fifty years later, that he has come close to his ideal conception of a Porsche.
The car is now a Porsche 911 GT3 Touring. Carnicero worked on his new love with Porsche’s individualization experts for nearly a year, making about a dozen trips to the North American headquarters in Atlanta, laying plans, revising them, comparing colors, and studying the structure of fabrics. On a number of occasions he changed his mind. “I was a real bother,” he says with a laugh. And at some point the idea—the emotion that was originally evoked by the sticker on the side window of that first Porsche—returned. Carnicero’s new GT3 Touring also sports the emblem of the Manufacturer’s World Champion.
“I love craftsmanship.” Jorge Carnicero
He found a special material and place for it: in leather on the central console. It now reads “Porsche Markenweltmeister 15, 16, 17” in remembrance of his first great flame. Transported to the present. And built for the future.
This tiny detail reflects the essence of Carnicero’s delight in the unique design of his dream car. “A lot of people say it’s just a car, but that tells me they don’t understand. When you discover the history behind this work of art, it opens up an entire world of potential,” says Carnicero, who has a degree in visual arts from Georgetown University. “The more you understand a work of art, the greater your passion for it. And precisely that is what Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur makes possible. It opens door after door to a new world—which draws you in.”
The focus on design and engineering that dominated the many discussions with the people at the Manufaktur has helped Carnicero better understand his cars today. This particular sports car, for example, is more than just a beautiful vehicle. It’s now part of a story. Carnicero’s father, an aviation engineer, taught young Jorge to examine the design and engineering that went into objects in order to appreciate their true value. “With all the mass-produced goods these days, that approach is often no longer relevant,” he observes. “You don’t have this emotional connection anymore.” He rediscovered it in the creative process with the Manufaktur, noting simply, “I love craftsmanship.”
He took a very targeted approach to configuring his GT3 Touring. In questions of color he even consulted an artist and friend, the landscape painter Tom Neel. Carnicero’s model for his GT3 Touring was the millionth Porsche 911, a car that rolled from the production line in 2017 painted Irish Green. He wanted his own car to be very similar, which meant overcoming a certain internal resistance. “I’ve never been a fan of green,” he remarks. “Blue has always been my favorite color—but you have to keep an open mind. The experts at Porsche and Tom Neel have expanded my horizons.” So despite his previous fondness for blue, his GT3 was painted British Racing Green in the Paint-to-Sample program at Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur. It’s complemented by an interior featuring leather in Espresso with black accents and contrast stitching in Luxor Beige.
Satin-finished mahogany—an option not available for standard-production cars—highlights the historical concept. When Carnicero beheld his almost-finished creation for the first time at the Exclusive Manufaktur in Zuffenhausen, he stood motionless for a long time, afraid that his ideas would ultimately disappoint him in reality. Any fear of that type was unfounded. A few weeks later he met his creation a second time: completely finished, in Atlanta, following its trip across the Atlantic. He was speechless. “It looks even better than in my wildest dreams.”
Carnicero displayed his new GT3 for a while at the headquarters of Porsche Cars North America. The car was very well received and is a superb recommendation for the Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur. At some point in the future, Carnicero plans to pass on his Porsche collection to his two children, a daughter and a son. “The cars should be my own type of legacy,” he says. “Which now includes the GT3 Touring—my masterpiece.”
Text first published in the Porsche customer magazine Christophorus, No. 393.