Enthusiasts are people who are really passionate about something. I am a Porsche enthusiast. Anyone who has met my Vita will not have doubted this for an instant. And as is the case with enthusiasts, they are very particular, as far as their passion is concerned. This even extends to the colour of the oil filter. But let’s start at the beginning:
When I was working for Porsche in the 1980s – or more precisely, in engine development at Weissach, 20 kilometres west of Zuffenhausen – I obtained a Porsche Carrera. I spent the following years restoring it, paying great attention to authenticity. I think I have been successful. Around 10 years ago, I discovered that the red OE oil filters fitted by Porsche in the 1970s/1980s and produced in those days by Purolator in Germany had been replaced by black ones. For many people, this is perhaps just a minor detail, particularly as there is no difference technically. For the enthusiast, however, it is a source of irritation because the oil filter is clearly visible in the engine compartment of the Porsche 911. After all, black is definitely not red.
Of course, I had to accept this as a fact and conveniently, was able to fit our MANN-FILTER W940/29 on the vehicle. The underlying thought was however still niggling me. When organising a large international meeting to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Porsche Carrera RS, I had an idea. How about reviving the red oil filter as a MANN+HUMMEL special edition, to mark this occasion? As I had moved to a filter company in 1995, I was after all very well placed!
I expressed this wish and received approval. An exclusive 500 series was therefore produced by the prototype department in Marklkofen, with the colleagues there tackling the task with enthusiasm. With MANN-FILTER sponsoring the event, the filters were then passed to me for distribution free-of-charge to participants, organisers, sponsors, event partners and helpers. Some filters also went to former Porsche colleagues and other owners of this classic car, and they were all very pleased. I had invited the famous rally driver Walter Röhrl to attend this meeting, and he too found the filter very good. He was particularly impressed by the inscription ‘The MANN-FILTER RS, driven by only 500 men’. This reflected the original advertising slogan for the Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 in 1972 (‘The Carrera RS, driven by only 500 men’).
Eventually, those responsible for Porsche Classic spares heard about the red oil filters and invited MANN+HUMMEL to submit a quotation. As we had in the meantime acquired Purolator and thus held the rights to the brand name, we were able to submit a quotation for an almost identical replica of the original red Purolator oil filter.
Porsche Classic presented the result of our labours in August 2014 during the Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring: for two Porsche 911 models and one 928 model manufactured in or before 1995, the red Purolator oil filter ‘Made in Germany’ is back. Available to Porsche Classic customers at the same price as the previous ‘non-original’ version. This also delighted Magnus Walker, Porsche enthusiast from Los Angeles and ambassador for the sports car manufacturer. I met him at the event, and straight away he congratulated me for this important step for all Porsche aficionados.