Granite Green

A timelessly beautiful car like a Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 can be perfectly shown off to best advantage everywhere – on a helicopter landing pad as well as on the road. An entertaining journey through time with Christian Geistdörfer.

Right entry, 50 left, attention, 300 straight ahead full, 100 right, 200 straight ahead, right full. If Christian Geistdörfer had his legendary 'prayer book' in his hand today, and if he sat on the passenger seat to navigate the driver up the last few metres to Michelsburg, it would sound something like that.

Christian Geistdörfer, 911 Carrera 3.2, Michelsburg, St. Lorenzen-Moos, Italy, 2021, Porsche AG
Those who, like Christian Geistdörfer have their own garage with mountain and castle views, are welcome to turn parking into a celebration.

But today he drives his own 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2, one of the first G Models with the smooth G50 transmission. It is one of only 238 models in Granite Green Metallic, 231 PS, with sunroof, without air conditioning. “I never looked for this specific colour, but the combination with the interior in Olive Green inspired me," he says. "The Porsche was exported to Rome two months after German delivery and was registered by a hotelier there,” says the 66-year-old, referring to the number plate, which still begins with "Roma". “Once a vehicle has been registered in Italy, the number plate can remain on the car. It not only looks good, it's also great for history.”

Key word: “history”. Between 1980 and 1984, Walter Röhrl – the race and rally legend for whom Christian was co-driver – won the Monte Carlo Rally four times, in four different cars; on snow, gravel and asphalt in alternation. Not only because of Röhrl’s inimitable ideal line, but also thanks to their meticulous preparation, the two defeated more powerful rivals, time and again . They were a well-rehearsed team and entrusted each other with their lives. The first Monte victory in 1980 was one of the best experiences of both of their careers.

Almost 40 years later things are quieter around Christian. Well at least you might think so. Two years ago he published his biography 'Walter und ich' [Walter and I]. He doesn't have to prove anything to anyone today. Born in Munich, he seems to be more thoughtful now. Gone are the wild parties where dishes were smashed and chairs thrown around. A few weeks ago, he became a grandfather for the first time. He has kept his carefree smile, whether he is sitting at the wheel listening to the surging noise of the engine at more than 4,000 rpm – or greeting his buddy Carlo Marcati.

Christian Geistdörfer, Carlo Marcati, l-r, Michelsburg, St. Lorenzen-Moos, Italy, 2021, Porsche AG
Christian Geistdörfer visiting his buddy Carlo Marcati at the Michelsburg in St. Lorenzen-Moos. Built in the late 11th century, it is one of the oldest castles in the historic Tyrol region.

On the last few metres to Michelsburg, the sound of the G Model flattens out a little, walking pace, too much gravel leads the way to this historic building, whose history dates back to the year 995. The year the entire complex was built is given as 1091. Carlo, born and raised in Bruneck, dreamed of living in this castle for a long time. In 1990 he made his move and bought the ruin in western Pustertal, which had been left to decay, and had it reconstructed for 20 years according to strict monument protection regulations. The 69-year-old property manager and former beverage wholesaler lives up there in 1,800 square metres with his cat Luna and a pair of falcons.

911 Carrera 3.2, Michelsburg, St. Lorenzen-Moos, Italy, 2021, Porsche AG
The number plate that Christian Geistdörfer was allowed to keep when buying the Porsche 911: Roma. For a fan of Italy like him this was the icing on the cake – befitting of the history of the vehicle.

Christian and Carlo met 42 years ago at the Hahnenkamm race in Kitzbühel. For seven years, Christian coordinated the sponsorship activities of the Warsteiner brewery and, as a result, came to Formula One many years ago. There and later in DTM the two worked together time and again. In winter they meet in Kitzbühel, every year. Last season Christian fell so badly while skiing that he slipped 150 metres down the slope, unconscious, demolishing his back and literally burning his face on the snow.

Christian Geistdörfer, Michelsburg, St. Lorenzen-Moos, Italy, 2021, Porsche AG
More than 40 years after the first Monte victory things have become quieter around Christian Geistdörfer. Two years ago he published his biography “Walter und ich” [Walter and I]. He doesn't have to prove anything to anyone today.

Externally, only a fist-sized spot on his right cheek reminds us of his lucky escape. “I’ve had two accidents so far, in which my life was played out in black and white pictures in front of me," he says. "Both times I saw childhood memories that I had long forgotten. In the skiing accident I was lucky to have been unconscious, so a review of my life didn’t have to pass before me."

On his website, Christian divides his life into three sections: the world rally champion, the entrepreneur, the person – in that order. As he wrote in his biography about the world rally champion, his second life as an entrepreneur was already well-planned during his time as a co-driver, among other things with the establishment of an event agency.

Christian Geistdörfer is a private person who lives in Malta and Munich, but can still be found at all kinds of car events. If he had to beam himself back to a decade, he would immediately set the time machine for the 1980s. “Back then everything was slower," he says. "Today we read e-mails when we are travelling, are constantly on our smartphones, always available. In the 1980s, the music was great, life was slower and somehow more worth living,” he sums up, without seeming like an everything-was-better-then cynic.

Christian Geistdörfer is a private person who lives in Malta and Munich, but can still be found at all kinds of car events. If he had to beam himself back to a decade, he would immediately set the time machine for the 1980s. “Back then everything was slower," he says. "Today we read e-mails when we are travelling, are constantly on our smartphones, always available. In the 1980s, the music was great, life was slower and somehow more worth living,” he sums up, without seeming like an everything-was-better-then cynic.

Maybe that’s exactly why he enjoys getting into his 911 in Munich and driving so much, to visit old friends who live in a castle and to visit friends who don’t live in a castle. Around the corner, beyond national borders, just driving, slow and fast in alternation, alone or in pairs, no music, only the Zuffenhausen sound of the 1980s. The way into the future could then read like this in Christian’s prayer book: straight ahead full, turn around from time to time, remember the beautiful things and then full straight ahead again, here and there beautiful curves.

Christian Geistdörfer, 911 Carrera 3.2, Michelsburg, St. Lorenzen-Moos, Italy, 2021, Porsche AG
Christian Geistdörfer looks back at the 1980s with fondness. In those days, without mobile phones, life was slower. It was a great time. Especially sitting behind the wheel of 911 Carrera 3.2 while indulging in the past.

Info

Text first published in the magazine „Porsche Klassik“, special edition „8 generations 911“

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