March 21, 2018

Why I bought my first Porsche – Curtis Howe

All my life I have wanted a Corvette. I love cars and have had my share of classics through the years; 68 Charger, 69 Camaro and a 1957 Chevy Convertible (wish I still had any of them). But the Corvette had always eluded me. Something to do with a wife and kids I think. In the meantime, my friend at work (let’s just call him Mr. Enabler) had purchased some Porsche thing. He had done the same type of longing, researching and traveled to Virginia or something like that to get it.

As chance would have it, I work just around the corner from the local Porsche dealer and drive by it quite often on the way to lunch, etc. One day I happened to notice this really great looking car setting on the end of the row and decided to take a quick look. I thought wow, Porsche actually makes a great looking vehicle. This Cayman, whatever that was, was way better looking than any 911. And the price was really much less than I would have thought. It was actually very competitive with the Corvettes I was looking at. I started thinking…..local, certified pre-owned warranty, lower mileage than most of the Corvettes, and really good looking.

To put an end to these heretical thoughts, I called my wife to come look at the car. Surely she would not condone such an action as buying a Porsche. She immediately decided this Cayman thing was way sexier than a Corvette and of course we should get it instead. BUT I WANT A CORVETTE!

This brings us back to Mr. Enabler. Since he knew all about Porsches and had done significant research I asked him to go on a test drive with me. I thought it would be impressive and help to arrive at the dealership in a 996 C4S (what is happening to me). He, of course, thought the car was excellent and what a great deal. The car drove fantastic and felt tight like it was hugging me. You guessed it, the test drive ended up with me owning a 2008 Porsche Cayman Base w/tiptronic— BYE-BYE CORVETTE DREAM. Never did I think I would own a Porsche.

That brings us to today.

Mr. Enabler wants to go to lunch. He is looking at a great Porsche 930 Turbo clone in Arkansas and wants to show me some pictures, etc. We decide to go to Arby’s. Guess where Arby’s is? Right next to the Porsche dealer, so we have to cruise through the lot. And what just happens to be sitting in that same spot on the end of the row…..a 2011 Cayman S. We stop and take a look. Great price, 20,000 miles, CPO, fully loaded (original sticker $75,500). Someone hates me, I know it.

I can’t resist the temptation to check out the Cayman S and go to the dealer site for the details. Everything is as it should be, all the things I have thought about over the last three years. I can’t stop myself, I call my wife in a desperate hope that she will be saner than I am. “Honey, how would you like to bring the Porsche over? There is a 2011 S at the dealer and we could see what they would give us on trade.” She has to say no….”Sure as soon as I am done…I’ll bring it.” NO! YOU ARE SUPPOSE TO SAY NO!

She picks me up at work and we head to the dealer. She, not being an informed Porsche person says, “It is exactly the same car except for the satellite radio antenna”. I immediately go into are you kidding me mode, 75 more HP, true PDK, Sport Chrono, etc., etc., and red calipers! None of which phase her except the heated AND VENTILATED seats (it is black on black and does get hot inside).

At this point, we have to take a test drive or look stupid. And of course, we have to let them look at the old car to value the trade. So we hop in and take it for a spin. All the while I am trying to find things I don’t like about it…the steering wheel just has a big round center instead of a cool triangle, it feels looser (never pushed the Sport or Sport Plus button), it’s showing an error in the dynamic headlight alignment system. She says, “Wow this is way quicker than the other one.” Who is this person next to me?

My only hope is that they will low-ball me on the trade and I can walk away a disappointed (but sane) man. So here comes the general manager with his trade offer, get ready to look disappointed. “I rarely put a car in the excellent category, but you have taken good care of it and I want to do good by a good customer… mind is screaming don’t do this to me…… dollar.” Then in a daze, I hear my wife say, “How can you turn that down?” A few moments later the papers are signed and I now own a 2011 Cayman S instead of a 2008 Cayman Base.