In the second instalment of a 4-part series in celebration of Continental’s 75th birthday in South Africa, we head for the Koue Bokkeveld with Calvin Fisher and his 2010 Porsche Cayenne 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel, a car that has taken him and his family on a number of off-road adventures. To make the Cayenne an even better candidate for a tribute film such as this, it is also the 20th anniversary of Porsche’s first SUV.
Find out more about Continental Tyre’s history and why so many brands fit them as standard.
Words: Wilhelm Lutjeharms, Photos: Justin Pinto
It doesn’t take long to figure out that Calvin Fisher is an automotive enthusiast. In fact, he has taken things a step further by also recently acquiring his motorcycle leaner’s licence. Apart from that, his day job entails being a motoring journalist and content creator. Plus, he has another couple of cars in his garage… This passion is thankfully also shared in, and with, his family.
Where it all started
“I grew up on the Cape Flats and for us freedom meant car keys, a full tank… or actually any amount of fuel. My earliest car memories are of my dad’s Chevy on family road trips – and that has really stuck with me. Those have been such good memories that today I own a Chevrolet 4100 just like he had. If I don’t drive the Cayenne, I do try to spend some time in the Chevy.
“In the early Nineties, the car culture scene I was growing up in was very much on the street. Cars that appealed to me back then were the Nissan Skyline 2.8, Toyota’s Cressida 24-valve and a Nissan EXA Turbo. At the time I didn’t know what these cars were, but I knew I loved them and realised I was forever changed by those experiences.
“Through the years I never really understood the appeal of a Porsche and I was never blown away by them… until I got to drive a 911 for the first time. That experience quickly changed my view! Over the years I got to drive a few more, and I went from respecting the brand to loving it.
“I realised that owning a 911 wasn’t really compatible with being an adult and having kids. I wanted a car that I could still love and use on a daily basis. After the controversial first generation, I think the design department at Porsche nailed it aesthetically with the 957-generation Cayenne. I love it so much that even if I could have any Cayenne, I’ll still pick mine.
“My plan was always to go on adventures with this car and before I bought it I decided what I wanted. I decided on a turbodiesel with standard suspension and not air suspension. It is fitted with the 3.0-litre, V6 turbodiesel engine which is similar to the unit found in the VW Amarok. The result is that we’ve done trips to Tankwa Karoo and we’ve camped in various places, always via a lot of gravel roads. Every time she has held up perfectly. All that I’ve done to make these trips possible is to fit a good pair of off-road tyres as well as a roof rack. Inside I’ve also fitted a OneNav Android Auto navigation system that features a 12.1-inch screen that I can use for off-line maps and to listen to my music. I’m a massive nerd and love connecting my phone and having this technology at hand. We really use this car like the way it will be portrayed in a brochure and not parked at the mall.
“The thing that I love the most about the Cayenne is the freedom that comes with it. The fact that if I see a place I know I can get there. It is real 4×4 at the end of the day and I treat it as such. In terms of buying cars, this is probably the first time it has been a sensible decision that has also been a passionate one for me.
“Every car I’ve ever owned I’ve felt the need to tinker on, style or upgrade the performance. Maybe it is an age thing, but I’m at the point now where I don’t feel like doing any of those things. Now, any changes I want to make to this car, it must be to improve it based on my lifestyle. And this is now my lifestyle, going anywhere I want, pitching a tent really quick and camping next to a river.”
The first camping trip
Calvin eagerly shares his first camping experience with the Cayenne, a car he admits is not regularly seen at the nation’s campsites.
“We rolled into this established camping site, with all the locals in their Toyota Fortuners, Hiluxes and Ford Rangers. And there we were, with our Porsche and our tent on the roof. Initially there were some stares and it was a kind of a weird moment. But, we had a jol, enjoyed a braai and a lekker swim. It is definitely not your typical car that you will see at South Africa’s camping sites, but I’m working on that! I now have an on-road wheel and tyre combo as well as an off-road wheel and tyre combo, depending on what I want to do.”
Calvin enjoys his Cayenne equally as much on the gravel as on the tarmac. “Today when we did Gydo Pass, as well as all the twisty roads leading up to it, I put it in Sport mode and she tackles the corners very well.
“There is something incredibly satisfying about owning this car. To me this Cayenne looks brilliant and I can carry my entire family in the car to several adventures throughout the year. That means everything to me.”