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To some, it's just a car. (bit of a rant, NOT OT)

To some, a Porsche is just a car. No different from a Camry or Corrola or Altima, a means to get from point A to point B, albeit potentially very quickly.

To some, a Porsche is just a car... but not to me. I don't mean this as a form of "Porsches are superior to all other cars" snobbery (although if one is to believe the majority of the international motoring press, they almost certainly are). Nor do I mean this statement as a kind of "Porsches are a status symbol and thereby worthy of everyone's awe" kind of self-importance. I mean this statement as a kind of pragmatism...my Porsche is more than just a car because it means much more to me than just a way to get from point A to point B (albeit potentially very quickly).

Let me explain.

Tonight at work, I had one of those terrible nights. Stuck-up locals leaving pathetic tips despite their six-figure incomes. Teenage kids barely trying to hide their giggling at my name (yes, I know I have a girl's first name. Get over it). New managers-in-training that feel as though "communication" means speaking to the staff as though they are children. It was one of those nights when the fact that I am paying my own way through graduate school was the only thing keeping my from putting in my two weeks notice.

Which also got me thinking... yeah that college degree was really helpful. Two years after graduation and I'm waiting on Connecticut's quasi-wealthy in a chain restaurant, which they mistakingly believe to be one of two things: 1) a fine dining restaurant, where their every whim is catered to unquestioningly no matter how sour their attitude or manners, or 2) their own private daycare service, where their barely-toddler offspring are allowed to run screaming between the aisles of tables.

But I digress.

Yeah, it was one of those bad nights. It was one of those nights when all you really want is to go home, but the process seems to be impeded by every possible obstacle - last minute tables, "campers" (customers that sit and sit and sit with the check in front of them without paying. Don't they realize that they can sit as long as they want AND the waiter can go home if they would only pay their bill?), inept managers, you name it.

So, it was a terrible night. But you know what? Almost all of the night's stress was massaged somewhere between leaving the restaurant's parking lot and entering my garage bay.

To some, a Porsche is just a car.

What makes my Porsche more than just a car isn't only the driving experience - although it certainly helps. It isn't the community of Porsche owners - the PCA, Pelican Parts, Rennlist, Excellence magazine - with their in-jokes and willingness to assist any other member of the community - although that helps too. And it certainly isn't the shiny Porsche badge on the hood, although that would be enough for many.

No, what makes my Porsche more than just a car in my eyes has to do with the ownership experience. I can literally say that the car has been maintained with my sweat and blood; if CSI were to search the chassis for my DNA, I am positive they would be able to find evidence of many a scraped knuckle among the grease, grime, and oil. It is the fact that when I bought the car, it was a bit scrappy-looking (although astoundingly low-mileage) - badly bent front spoiler, ugly cracked and discolored stone guards, ripped seats and shift boot, ugly or missing speaker covers... it WAS a Porsche, but it wasn't the nicest Porsche. Now, however... well, now I proudly show it in a weekly car show.

It is the fact that I bought the car with my own hard-earned cash when I was just a teenager, at a time when my friends' parents were buying them brand-new Volkswagens and Hondas as graduation presents.

Come to think of it, four or five years on, my twenty-one year-old Porsche runs better than any of those aforementioned friends' cars that were brand-new four or five years ago. I attribute this to a mixture of one-part Porsche quality and two parts anal-retentive maintainence.

During the drive home, I didn't even turn on the radio. I just wanted to hear the engine. I wanted to drive my car the way that I imagined endurance race car drivers drove THEIR daily-driver Porsches - responsibly, with complete concentration, and striving for the goal for which Porsches were intended: fun.

And there's the key. My car... no, my PORSCHE, makes me happy. It is fun. It's fun to drive, it's fun to read about, it's fun to talk about. I spend an awful lot of time on the Pelican Parts bulletin boards. To me, names like Peter Morgan, Harm Lagaay, Bruce Anderson, Stefan Wilkenson, Walter Rohrl, and Alois Ruf hold tangible meaning. A car ceases to be a car when it makes the owner definitively happy... in other words, when it becomes a hobby.

About halfway home, halfway to the terrible night being totally cleansed away, I found myself stuck behind a slow-moving 996 Carrera 4 Cabriolet Tiptronic. "Wait," I hear you say, "how could he possibly know it was a Tiptronic?" Well, somehow the driver managed to flick a cigarette out of the car while dialing his cell phone with the other hand, so I am assuming that shifting isn't an issue for this well-heeled local.

Ah, yes, the new-Porsche owner. Judging by the fact that it's a Cabrio, Tiptronic, and definitely not a GT3, I think we can paint a pretty clear picture of what Porsche ownership means to our multi-tasking friend. The kind of person that wouldn't know a monkey wrench from a torque wrench, I would imagine. The kind of person for whom "do-it-yourself maintainence" means driving the car to the Official Porsche Dealership for its 3000-mile oil change.

To him, a Porsche is just a car. I, however, will never have this problem.

-CJF
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Current Stable: Black 07 Porsche Cayman S: FabSpeed Maxflo Exhaust; VividRacing ECU Tune; IPD Competition Plenum; 997GT3 Throttle Body; De-Snork'd.2011 Acura MDX. 2008 Mazda 3. Gone But Not Forgotten:Garnet Red 86 Porsche 951("The Purple Pig"). Silver 09 Mini Cooper S ("Mighty Mouse"). Alpine White 83 Porsche 944 ("Alpine Wolf"). Guards Red 84 Porsche 944. Green 97 Volvo 850 Wagon ("The Viridian Falcon").

Last edited by CJFusco; 08-28-2004 at 08:07 PM..
Old 08-28-2004, 07:53 PM
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bro you couldnt have said it any better than I have. Sure, some of my friends make fun of me cuse my car isnt in poor shape (body wise) and I lost a few friends who were against me buying the car because they thought it would make me one of those 'rich snobs'. I didnt turn into one of them, yet i lost friends anyway. Half of my friends got new WRXs or EVOs or GTis and stuff...I was never a kid who got big stuff like that. I never was 'in style' or wore the designer clothes in school or was really popular. My graduation present was a gold chain, which I have been wearing ever since.

My family never had money, and we could always make ends meet, we just never had extra money like that. My friends have the nice cars and get all the girls, and always wonder why I dont have one riding shotgun. Because all the girls around here are materialistic *****es, and I would rather spend my hard earned money somewhere under the hood than taking some ***** out and not have a 100% chance of getting something in return. Heck, I bought the Porsche with that kinda money..cuse it will always be there in the morning when you wake up, it will be there when you go to sleep, and it will never leave you, like some *****.

I love to work on my car, even if I bust my knuckles or jam my fingers in something. I got the clutch to do monday night...Im sure it will be hell, but I'll be loving every minute of it, because its something else on the car that I can say 'hey, I did this myself'. I cannot describe the emotions I get when I spend two weeks building and putting together a motor together with my blood and sweat (yeah they got sharp edges LOL) and it starts on the first try and runs like a dream with no problems, and you get to watch the customer leave very happy. I just finished building my first Subaru motor, so Im anxious on wednesday when its in the car to see how it runs.

Every last one of my cars just isnt a car to me. Even my 87 Isuzu Trooper 2 wasnt just a truck to me. I tried to keep the maintenance on it (I didnt know very much back then), I kept it spotless inside and out, and the paint was always shining.

The problems you have at work are the same reason why I left my previous job. I used to work for a high end wheel and stereo shop because they paid well and it was good work. When he moved us out of the warehouse and sold it because he couldnt pay for it...I got shoved into a small back room which is no bigger than 20x20. I had to share that room with the stereo guys, who made sub boxes and fiberglass stuff. I was breathing that stuff in daily, and dust always covered everything. Not to mention it gets very hot back there and the little fan we have does little to nothing. Then try to put 24" wheels on someones truck when its 100 degrees in the shop. Working conditions got out of control,and I gave my two weeks notice.

I have a bachelors degree in Avionics, and Im now almost 2 years graduated, and I still dont have a job from it. I was gaurenteed a job when I started in late 1999. Then 9/11 happened, and me and my friends watched our job opportunities go right out the window. I could have been making $90K a year easy, but it just doesnt work out like that. I now work for a reputable DSM shop on Long Island, prolly the only one ON the island that does good work. Sure I dont have a/c and it gets hot sometimes, but I do what I love to do...and thats work on cars and build motors.

Sometimes it gets frustrating for me, and when the day is over I go home. I drive the Porsche home. By the time I get home, my grumpyness is gone and I feel a whole lot better. I got a radio installed 2 weeks ago, and I still rarely use it, because I would much rather listen to an 8V scream to redline, than some repetitive crap they put on the radio.

I'm sure you could find a better job sooner or later. Ive been in your position before...every job up to this one..since 1998 when i moved up here has been like yours...and I kept with it, kept it all under my breath, and just quit it every time, and found something better and better.

you have a girls name? I always thought cyle (is that how you spell it? Im tryin to put it together from your answering machine LOL) was a guys name
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Last edited by bluebullet; 08-28-2004 at 10:04 PM..
Old 08-28-2004, 09:49 PM
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my real first name is Cortney. My brother's name is Kyle.

I've always written under the name "CJ" to avoid confusion.

I would go by the name "CJ" in real life, if it weren't for a funny story... by the fifth grade or so, I was starting to get sick of my name. I went to a small Catholic school, so by the time that my classmates realized I had an odd name, they were too old to care anyhow; so i never got picked on for my name except for some good-natured teasing from my friends.

But I WAS embarrassed telling strangers that my name was Cortney, so I started thinking about having people call me CJ. That is until an 8th-grader in my school was caught, um, pleasuring himself in the men's room. His name? CJ. His new nickname? Constant Jerker. Too many of my classmates knew about the story for me to go by CJ in the "real world" with any shred of dignity
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Current Stable: Black 07 Porsche Cayman S: FabSpeed Maxflo Exhaust; VividRacing ECU Tune; IPD Competition Plenum; 997GT3 Throttle Body; De-Snork'd.2011 Acura MDX. 2008 Mazda 3. Gone But Not Forgotten:Garnet Red 86 Porsche 951("The Purple Pig"). Silver 09 Mini Cooper S ("Mighty Mouse"). Alpine White 83 Porsche 944 ("Alpine Wolf"). Guards Red 84 Porsche 944. Green 97 Volvo 850 Wagon ("The Viridian Falcon").
Old 08-29-2004, 06:04 AM
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A lot can be said for surviving a bad day and walking to your 944 in the parking lot when its all over.

Personal philosophies aside, my car is almost 20 years old and looks/runs better than most cars on my street. My sister drives an '02 Chevy Cavalier and it literally looks like it went through World War II. That's a fact. Every time I see it, I crack a wry smile and look down with a suble shake of the head.

But its very telling. Attitudes of car care. Some - sorry - MOST people simply don't care for their car properly and see it as a utility. And there's nothing wrong with that, per se, but it just amazes me how much $$$ people sink into a monthly car payment. The joke is on them, IMHO.
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Old 08-29-2004, 01:45 PM
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My 944 *is* just a car. I drive it every day. Unlike many of you, I don't spend lots of $$$ on performance improvements and I could care less about the cosmetics (which is good, 'cause the paint is horrible.) I did splurge any buy a se of IceShark's headlights and I'm glad I did, but other than that I have done no non-essential work to the car, although I do try to be scrupulous about maintenance.

But, it's a damned good car. I can't think of any new car for less than $40K that woule be nearly as enjoyable to drive. That's why I still have the 944 Even if I have to dump $400 into it a month (which I don't) I figure I'm still coming out ahead of the game.

nate
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Old 08-29-2004, 04:27 PM
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