A Porsche stole this Sicilian-born chef’s heart as a child. Now he drives a 2005 Porsche 911 Carrera 997 of his own

“It’s a very unique car,” said Roberto Marotta about the 997. “You don’t see any other cars that looks like a Porsche Carrera.

By Renée Suen Wheels.ca

Aug 13, 2022 4 min. read

Article was updated a year ago

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Chef Roberto Marotta is known for serving modern Sicilian and Mediterranean fare at his celebrated Toronto restaurants, Ardo and Dova. Growing up in Milazzo, located on the northeast coast of Sicily, his love for food was inspired by his mother’s cooking.

His love of cars – especially silver ones – comes from his father. In addition to his own vehicles, the senior Marotta had a friend who would leave his silver Porsche 911 Carrera with the family for a couple of weeks during the summer. Marotta would go for drives in the sportscar with his father and knew that one day he wanted to own one.

Two years ago, Marotta, who moved from Sicily to Toronto in 2009, learned that his dream car was available. He headed to BMW Toronto and purchased his 2005 Porsche 911 Carrera 997. Marotta tells us why he loves his vehicle.

“It’s a very unique car,” said Marotta about the 997. “You don’t see any other cars that looks like a Porsche Carrera. It’s a classic design since 1961. It is more modern looking today, but Porsche has always maintained its shape. I believe the version my father’s friend owned had an air-cooled engine, which is nearly impossible to buy today.

2005 2005 Porsche 911 Carrera 997

“My car is a 2005 Carrera 997. That was the last year that Porsche maintained, in my opinion, the true characteristic of a Porsche. It was the last model before they got too much into electronics. I love the new Porsches, don’t get me wrong, but the 2005 was the last where there’s less technology involved, and you can feel the rear-wheel drive. My model has the automatic steering wheel-mounted gearbox, and I can change the gear from the steering wheel.”

“I always look forward to driving the car, but not in the winter because it came from Vancouver and has never seen snow. I drive it as much as I can, at least once a week. Every time I drive the car, I discover something new. It’s a unique kind of feeling. It has a very fun sound. The smell inside my car is unique. It might be the leather, but the inside smells nice. It also has this beautiful ceiling that’s made of suede.”

“I use the car. It's not just a good-looking car that I drive through Yorkville. The Porsche has a frunk (a trunk in the front), and sometimes I carry wine in it. I take it to the market. I’ve gone to pick up a suckling pig that was in a clear bag from St. Lawrence Market and I put in the front of the car to drop off at the restaurant. That was an interesting day.

2005 2005 Porsche 911 Carrera 997

“I don’t plan to ever sell or trade this car for a new one. (My son) Leonardo already says he wants to learn to drive it, and I want him to enjoy it one day. This is a car that would stay with me as long as it can.”

A CLOSER LOOK: 2005 Porsche 911 Carrera 997

The sound

“I love the sound,” said Marotta. “The first time my son sat in the car he said, ‘Wow, this sounds like a real car’ when I turned on the engine. You feel it a little bit more in the back than in the driver’s seat. I don’t think other cars give you the same vibe or feeling.”

The engine

“The rear wheel engine is something that I really love,” said Marotta. “I love the way the car drives, the control and the traction from the back wheels.”

SUB: The shifting

“The gear shifting is impressive,” said Marotta. “If you are in fourth gear, you can shift it down to get more torque. It’s meant to be driven aggressively. I always get invited by my friend to bring the car to the racetrack. I would love to, but I prefer enjoying my car the way I do.”


  • BODY STYLE: 2+2-seater fixed-head coupe

  • DRIVE METHOD: Rear-wheel drive

  • ENGINE: Water-cooled DOHC 24-valve boxer flat six, 325-hp; 295 lb.-ft. torque

  • FUEL ECONOMY (CITY/HIGHWAY): 16.1/8.1 litres per 100 kilometres

  • CARGO VOLUME: 135 litres

  • PRICE: Originally starting at $69,300 (U.S.)

This article was edited for space and clarity. To be featured in Why I Love My Vehicle?, email us at wheels@thestar.ca. Renée S. Suen is a Toronto-based lifestyle writer and photographer. Follow her on Twitter: @rssuen.




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