Monday morning 11 a.m. Berlin-Kreuzberg In the distance a roar could be heard, and a 1979 Porsche 911 SC turns around the corner. Window down, Markus Kavka, in good humour. In his Porsche, he seems to have managed to bypass the ageing process altogether. Kavka still looks exactly the same as he did during his heyday at VIVA and MTV.
How long have you been driving Porsche?
For more than ten years. Apart from the car stereo, the car is in its original condition. The seats are a little tired and the roof lining slightly frayed. That will be my next project. Otherwise: My car has around 200,000 kilometres on the clock and still runs reliably.
How did you come to be fascinated with Porsche?
As a child, one of my first model cars was a Porsche. But I can also tell you exactly the first time that I really became aware of a real Porsche. We were out on a family outing, somewhere near Ingolstadt where I grew up. A Porsche 911 Targa was parked in the car park. Just the sight of it was enough to thrill me. And then this guy jumped in and started her up. I have never been so startled in my life. Then suddenly I started to laugh, a really childish, enthusiastic laugh. I can still remember that moment now, as if it were yesterday. I can still remember the hairs on my arms standing up on end.
At that time, could you already envision driving a Porsche yourself one day?
Probably not quite yet at the age of seven. However, my father would have liked to have a Porsche as well, but he was not able to afford it. As a child, I thought: When I grow up, I will save up to buy one. And that took quite some time. Today I am a proud owner and I have a model car again as well – a precise copy of my car. It is next to my bed so that every morning when I wake up, or when I go to bed in the evening, I can always look at the Porsche. My girlfriend gave it to me for my birthday. After all, Porsche played a starring role in our love story.
Do tell, you can’t leave it there.
I met my girlfriend more than two years ago at a shoot. After that, we did not have any contact with each other until at some point we started writing to each other. A short while later, we agreed to meet up and I collected her from a work event. She did not yet know what type of car I drove. I came around the corner in my Porsche, she got in and we blasted off up to the Baltic coast for three days. I will never forget that my great love story started in this actual car.
While Markus Kavka is talking, he is driving around Berlin. Past the Kottbusser Tor, along Skalitzer Strasse to the Oberbaum bridge which connects East and West Berlin. He does not need a Sat Nav, he has been living in the capital for more than ten years now. Initially in Friedrichshain, and in Kreuzberg for some years now. When he drives through the neighbourhood in his Porsche, you can see how people on the street stop and do a double-take.
What do you like best about your Porsche?
The sound of the engine. I am a music journalist and complete music fan and actually always like listening to music. That is why I bought myself a car radio. That was one of the most pointless purchases I have ever made. It was expensive as well. I also installed an extra power amplifier and an extra subwoofer. Ultimately I have probably only switched the system on around three times. Because it really doesn’t matter what comes out, nothing is quite as nice as the sound of this engine.
And your Porsche is also in a striking colour.
My model is a petrol-blue metallic colour. This is relatively rare as not many of them were made. The special feature of this colour is the various nuances. When the sun shines, it shines in Caribbean greeny-blue. If it is cloudy, then it goes more in the direction of deep-blue Atlantic ocean colour. I could simply sit and stare at this car for hours at a time – simply because of the colour.
Why did it have to be precisely this Porsche?
The shape of the 911 is so sleek and unassuming – a timeless classic. But to be honest: If I could afford it and had enough space, then I would easily have another 50 Porsches.
And if you could have just one more, which one would it be?
No doubt the one that Steve McQueen drove in the film “LeMans”. A black Targa 911 S. Just the opening scene in “LeMans”, when Steve McQueen – one of the coolest men in film history – climbs into the car, starts it up and drives off. It gives me goosebumps.
Markus Kavka is a real Porsche aficionado. He talks about his fascination for the design just as enthusiastically as about the American laws on fenders or the advantages of Hackmesser rims. You briefly forget that the person standing in front of you is one of Germany’s most prolific music journalists. The way he talks about his car means you would not be surprised if while doing so, he was wiping his oily fingers off on his boiler suit.
Shortly afterwards, he is Markus Kavka again, the music journalist: Looking directly into the camera, impish grin, and then he says: “Thank you so much for your attention, and goodbye.” He revs up the engine one last time. You can see Kavka through the windscreen, laughing. It is the enthusiastic childish laughter. Just the same as back then, when he was seven years old and fell in love with the sound of a Porsche engine. The love which is still as strong today.