Before last year, James Oliver and Nicky Stevenson were each leading the single life, career-focussed professionals who had yet to meet the sort of significant other who could share their work-life balance and consuming passion for cars.
A financial advisor in southwest England, 38-year-old Oliver drove a Taycan Turbo S in Carmine Red, while Stevenson, the managing director of a high-end estate agency, was the proud owner of a 718 GTS in the very same shade. “I’d just got promoted and didn’t have kids,” explains the 34-year-old, “so I decided it was as good a time as any to get a sports car. I test drove a few rivals, and then a few Porsches, and I just fell in love with the brand.”
Oliver’s affection for Porsche was no less strong, and had been simmering for several more years. “I was always the kid who had a picture of a 911 on the bedroom wall,” he says, “and I bought my first Porsche in 2014 – a Boxster S. That was followed by a 911 Carrera S that I should never have sold, and my Taycan which I love.”
Desire for more power and performance
Stevenson’s desire for even more power and performance, and Oliver’s regret at selling his beloved 911, would soon point both of them towards the recently launched 718 Cayman GT4 (718 Cayman GT4: Fuel consumption* combined (WLTP) 11.1 – 10.7 l/100 km, CO₂ emissions* combined (WLTP) 251 – 242 g/km, Fuel consumption* combined (NEDC) 10.9 – 10.2 l/100 km, CO₂ emissions* combined (NEDC) 249 – 232 g/km). “My GTS was the 2.5-litre turbocharged car,” explains Stevenson, “so with 4.0-litres and natural aspiration, the GT4 was a step up. It looked incredible and so much fun to drive.”
Unbeknownst to her at the time, Oliver was having similar thoughts: “I missed my 911 but wanted something that was more race-oriented,” he says. “The GT4 offered a more analogue driving experience with a free-revving, naturally aspirated engine. And it was sure to sound fantastic.”
Meeting in an online GT4 owners’ group
Stevenson secured an allocation from Porsche Centre Sheffield where she had bought her GTS, while after an extensive search, Oliver managed to track down an early car in his dream spec of Python Green at Porsche Centre Edinburgh. Shortly afterwards, the pair separately joined an online GT4 owners’ group where Stevenson began asking for opinions about her preferred colour choice of Shark Blue. Soon she and Oliver, who was now in possession of his car, were in regular discussions about all things Porsche and stayed in contact while Stevenson’s GT4 was in build.
A few weeks later, Oliver took the plunge and invited Stevenson to attend Simply Porsche, a popular spring event held in the grounds of Beaulieu House, home to the British National Motor Museum. With her GT4 recently delivered, Stevenson tentatively agreed and the pair met for the first time over an early breakfast among a group of fellow Porsche owners who immediately assumed they were already a couple.
Journey from strangers to soulmates
The assumption was not that wide of the mark, for Oliver and Stevenson did indeed begin dating shortly afterwards, embarking upon a whirlwind romance that saw the pair get engaged while on holiday in Croatia less than a year later. Bookending their rapid journey from strangers to soulmates, the couple returned to the next staging of Simply Porsche in 2022, still in their beloved and unmistakable brace of brightly coloured GT4s, but now formally betrothed.
Ever since that first meeting, Oliver and Stevenson’s love affair with Porsche seems to have grown in tandem with their own. The couple continue to drive their cars together, and have recently visited the Porsche Museum in Zuffenhausen, undertaken hot laps of the Nordschleife and attended a round of the Carrera Cup at Donington Park. And some four months on from their engagement, busy careers and a Porsche-heavy social life are now sharing diary space with planning for their wedding, scheduled for the summer of 2023.
True to form, the big day will have a strong Porsche theme, with tables for the reception named either after Porsche models or colours. The bride will arrive at the church in Oliver’s Taycan Turbo S, the best man in Stevenson’s GT4 and the groom in a Paint To Sample 911 GT3 that he takes delivery of in the autumn. This car, finished in Ultraviolet, will then whisk the newlyweds away from the wedding party for the start of their new life together as husband and wife. “The GT3 and my GT4 are definitely keepers,” Stevenson reflects. “The GT4 will always be closest to my heart. After all, we’d never have met without it.”