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Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
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Tale of an epic drive.

Saturday was a sunny day with pure blue skies. The leaves were changing nicely, Montana beckoned, and my 16yo son and I were home alone as my wife is visiting our daughter at college. Hmm, what to do with a mechanically fresh 1984 Porsche 944 in Guards Red sitting on fresh Pirellis and two dudes?

Off we went eastbound to the Kingston exit, where we headed for Thompson Pass up a very rural N. Idaho road along a gorgeous, chuckling river. I let my son Dirk (16) drive and he was pretty excited at his first trip in the Porsche. We took off the roof at a gas stop where I filled it up with 92 octane pure gas (no ethanol).

It's about 20 miles of interstate and we were both impressed how well it rode due to the new schocks and struts - matched up Sachs all around. The heater easily kept up with the roof air. Once off the freeway, the roads immediately switched to full on twisty mountain roads. We stopped for particularly vivid trees.


Our first task was to get over Thompson Pass, and down into the city of Thompson for lunch. We stopped for snacks at a little general store and got chips and juice. Dirk continued to drive and was getting some practice in passing cars on a twisty road. The car never missed a beat, but Dirk noted there is a big center dead spot on the steering. I explained the left tie rod was loose and that's what he was feeling.

Cresting the Pass, we hardly made it to the down side when the Porsche hit a patch of ice and the car's tail snapped out. Dirk used his skills and countersteered and we never missed a beat. I was impressed. From then on, we considered any damp road to be slick until we got off the mountain. Into the town of Thompson Falls, we ate at Millies, home of some seriously good food, huge portions, and the best selection of home made pies I have seen in some time.

Launching on southward, our next destination was Quinn's Hot Springs resort where we parked the 944 out front and went in for a soak. The sky stayed pure blue and we met some fun folks while the sun slowly sank to the west.

Back in the car, I took over the wheel and the new Koito lamps did a magnificent job on the dark backroads. The lowbeams have a nice modern car feel to their beam pattern. On high beam you will think you've died and gone to heaven. These lamps have superior optics to any incandescent I have ever seen.

We jumped on the I-90 after a half hour and at 80mph plus the car really rode well, Between the new tires and the fresh dampers, we were impressed that there was no fatigue or annoying suspension input. The blower speeds were well chosen for heat on a fall day, etc.

All in all, a day well spent. We got a few cheery waves and got to know if the car could do a long drive of a 1000 miles or more without wearing out the passengers (yes).
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84 944, 87 Vanagon, 88 Mitsubishi Van Wagon, 1990 Audi 90 20V Quattro sedan, 1992 Lexus LS400, 1993 LandCruiser, 1997 LandCruiser, 2017 Subaru Outback.
Old 10-30-2017, 12:06 AM
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Sounds like a fun drive

Between I-90 and 200 east of Lake Pend Oreille is about as away from people as you could get in a 944. It's a triangle of land I've circumnavigated dozens of times by car but I've only seen by airplane.
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Old 10-30-2017, 01:48 AM
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Way cool, that is what these cars are made for, running the backroads with no particular place to be on a crisp fall day. I usually take the roof panel off, and run with the heat also.
Old 10-30-2017, 02:11 AM
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Well done!
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1983 944n/a
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Old 10-30-2017, 04:36 AM
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The car looks great!

I am jealous of your drive, I need to get a little seat time myself.

Sounds like the car performed well. Glad you had a chance to enjoy it before the winter settles in.
Old 10-30-2017, 10:14 AM
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Doug, an absolutely fantastic way to use a "Therapy Car."

And enjoy the time with your son, they grow up way too soon.
Old 10-30-2017, 12:31 PM
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Very nice!
I think Fall is the best time for these types of runs: Windows down and the heat on...
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Old 10-30-2017, 01:56 PM
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Very good!

Well it wasn't Banff but it looks like a good day cruise. Yes you would be hard pressed to find a more comfortable long distance cruiser. Being tall and nicely padded I find slipping behind the wheel is a bit of an art form but once there it has tons of room and it just fits right in every way. 10 hour trips just breeze by. In contrast our Jetta TDI is easy enough to get in but my knees are jammed up against that huge pregnant dash and after a couple hours my throttle leg starts to get serious cramps. But - I just love the fuel economy!

My 944s both suck in a lot of exhaust with the roof off, especially with the windows up and at lower speeds. Are they all like that?

Last edited by OPRN; 11-02-2017 at 06:32 PM..
Old 11-02-2017, 06:26 PM
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Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
 
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Thanks, guys. I appreciate the kind and well aimed good thoughts. If you've been following this, you'll also know the car was owned by Dirk's grandfather. My Dad owned it for decades and sold it to me this summer.

The triangle mentioned is indeed pretty desolate. We've also gone up and done that route in some of our other cars over the years. We are pretty spoiled with some really cool roads. Perhaps some in the NW would enjoy a fun 2 day backroads tour here in the area? I'd be happy to put it on. It would be hard to find a rural road around here that is NOT along a body of water with mountains as backdrop.

I'm also pretty pumped on the Idaho license plate I got when I registered this car. For once I was not going to put a vanity plate or a wildlife plate on this car. The guy at the DMV was taking a long time looking at his screen. Then he said something like "Cool!" and proudly spun the screen toward me and said - "hey this plate is available - want it?". Yep. My plate will read "84944". Turns out he's a car guy and I had mentioned the whole "bought Dad's car and restored it" thing. Cool, or what? So its just a regular plate but he's actually requesting they make the plate for me and send it.
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84 944, 87 Vanagon, 88 Mitsubishi Van Wagon, 1990 Audi 90 20V Quattro sedan, 1992 Lexus LS400, 1993 LandCruiser, 1997 LandCruiser, 2017 Subaru Outback.
Old 11-02-2017, 11:35 PM
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Nice one on the plate!

We have hundreds of miles of desolate back roads here too, gravel or paved, take your pick. Very few trees or hills to get in the way of the view, the only curves are around the odd stinky alkaline slough or correction line. Tens of thousands of acres crops and pasture land with the occasional herd of cows. In fact after a while on the road you swear you can almost look far enough ahead to see your own tail lights... but never quite catch up to them!!

No fuel stations or washroom opportunities for hours at a time... enough wind to put your steering wheel a 1/4 turn off center and don't stop for a wee on the side of the road or you will lose it to the mosquitoes!

Anyone for a tour out this way?

No?

Really!... that's odd!
Old 11-03-2017, 04:30 AM
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Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
 
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Not sure where Coronation is, but I've seen nowhere in Alberta that I would not want to visit again. Pretty country. And, can you imagine getting a group of 944s to go from N. Idaho to Banff, to Jasper and back? Half of them would want to stay!!
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84 944, 87 Vanagon, 88 Mitsubishi Van Wagon, 1990 Audi 90 20V Quattro sedan, 1992 Lexus LS400, 1993 LandCruiser, 1997 LandCruiser, 2017 Subaru Outback.
Old 11-03-2017, 11:23 PM
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Actually it is not as bad as I made out but it is very flat and can be a bit of a tedious drive at times. The up side to this part of the world is that for the most part there has not been as much human interference and there is at times and in places amazing wild life viewing opportunities. I just get a bit frustrated living out here with sports car itches and no place to scratch them. About the best you can do is stand on the loud peddle and wait for a speeding ticket!

If you ever get a bunch of guys together, consider going on west from Banff into BC, down through the Okanogan, Penticton and exit out the south at Bonners Ferry. Or if you had more time, west of Jasper to Prince George, down to Kamloops, back to Vernon and then south to Bonners. Some amazing country in there!

Let me know if you do and I will do my best to join you for part of the trip with a couple 944s... or a 944 and a Dune Buggy...
Old 11-04-2017, 06:40 AM
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Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
 
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Ah I looked up your town last night. I bet you do have large untrammeled areas and wildlife.
Thats a great route suggestion and the Dune Buggy would be a welcome fun mixer. Perhaps our Vanagon would serve as a sag wagon if we wanted to camp. Carries a lot of sleeping bags n tents.

Last edited by IdahoDoug; 11-04-2017 at 08:45 AM..
Old 11-04-2017, 08:32 AM
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This is our tent trailer - as in - the trailer that we throw our tent into!
Old 11-06-2017, 08:12 PM
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Tossed this in just because this is a 944 thread and I would hate to rub someone the wrong way and get punted for posting too many VW pictures!



Note: there is a second one in the back ground... everyone happy?

Last edited by OPRN; 11-06-2017 at 08:23 PM..
Old 11-06-2017, 08:21 PM
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Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
 
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That's very cool! I applaud your rig and hope it gathers no dust during 2018. We enjoyed nosing around BC parks a lot during 2017 with the free Canadian park passes you guys handed out in celebration of the anniversary of your system! Very cool.

Doug
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84 944, 87 Vanagon, 88 Mitsubishi Van Wagon, 1990 Audi 90 20V Quattro sedan, 1992 Lexus LS400, 1993 LandCruiser, 1997 LandCruiser, 2017 Subaru Outback.
Old 11-06-2017, 08:21 PM
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Didn't gather any moss last summer. This is us at the summit in the Rodger's Pass on out way to Vernon BC. It was really smoky due to all the forest fires, hopefully not that way in 2018! As you can see my Missus grins like a teenaged kid every time she gets in that thing. I'm hoping to have a fresh engine in it for this coming season.



Another picture of one of our 944s to appease the Gods and bring good fortune.

Last edited by OPRN; 11-07-2017 at 04:22 AM..
Old 11-07-2017, 04:14 AM
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