Happiness Is Collecting Unloved Porsches and Driving Them Hard

In a world of paint-to-sample GT3s, Cyrus Jilla’s collection of overlooked, colorful Porsches is a breath of fresh air.

byKyle Cheromcha|
Happiness Is Collecting Unloved Porsches and Driving Them Hard


Cyrus Jilla has a few rules for his Porsches: they have to be underdogs, they have to be great colors, and they have to get driven hard.

There are countless ways to build a car collection—brands, models, themes, eras, prices, you name it—but I think you'll agree that Cyrus' approach is a breath of fresh air. Especially in the famously... exacting world of Porsche, where super limited editions and paint-to-sample masterpieces take up so much room in the zeitgeist.

That's why he set out to build a stable of the unloved, the under-appreciated, and the overlooked Porsches: a 1986 944 Turbo, 2004 911 Carrera 4S, 2008 Boxster S Limited Edition, and a 2012 Cayman R. It doesn't matter to him that they're not the fastest or the sharpest—all he cares about is that they're Porsches, and they drive sublime. He calls it the Jelly Belly Collection. We call it one hell of a garage. Check it out in this week's episode of CARISMA on YouTube:

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The automotive industry exists to sell new cars, and the internet exists to debate about them, so even for a heritage-minded brand like Porsche, there's a psychic pull from its newest models that drags people out of the recent past. Five years ago, you couldn't say "996" without someone making a fried egg joke. Two years ago, the incredible Cayman GT4 RS reordered our memories and made the whole 982 generation seem like a preface; forget the 981.

But come on—these are still Porsches. Even the base models are a fantastic time, and people like Cyrus can find true joy in that knowledge. It also doesn't hurt that Cyrus is a bit of an underdog himself, starting out as a 17-year-old spending his entire savings on a $1500 944. After college he got a job at a dealership washing cars, eventually worked his way up into sales, and built his own success that allowed him to splurge on his passion.

He could've gone all in on a new 911. But he felt the call of his teenage self and went for the Speed Yellow 2004 996. At first, he was stressed enough about putting miles on it that he covered up the odometer with a piece of electrical tape. But when he decided to fulfill a childhood dream and jump at a salvage-title 944 Turbo that no one else wanted, he realized how incredible it felt to drive these cars truly unconcerned. That changed everything.

Now, his goal is to make his Cayman R the highest-mileage example on the planet. Godspeed, Cyrus.

Want to be featured in a future video, or know someone who might? Hit us up: youtube@thedrive.com