June 9, 2018

Why I bought my first Porsche – Bob Smith

I always liked sports cars. I grew up in the age of the MG, Triumph, Austin Healy, Jaguar, etc. For me, a sports car was always a two-seat roadster. An MGB was high on my list. My college roommate worked in Alaska during the summer and he had a “bug-eye” Sprite at his home in Oregon that I drove back to Michigan for the next school year – which clinched my love for sports cars.

I was never quite sure about the Porsche 356. It was kind of a weird bathtub shape. When the 912/911 came out they were a little more attractive, but they had that solid roof. The early Porsche cabriolet was awkward.

With three kids to raise, I was never able to justify a sports car. As the kids grew and moved on with their lives, I found a low mileage 1996 Miata that reminded me of the old MGB’s. I bought it and soon it seemed like I was driving it eight months out of the year while my company car sat unused – except for winter driving or meetings with clients.

When Porsche released the Boxster, it immediately caught my attention. A two-seat roadster… AND it was a mid-engine Porsche. I drove a few and liked the handling and the additional room in the cockpit, but I really liked the two trunks. (My wife and I had started taking annual road trips in the Miata and the extra power and room was very desirable.)

In December of 2001 I was on the internet looking for good deals on a used Boxster. I checked a dealer site in Cincinnati that had quite a few new Boxsters, but no used ones. A half hour later I got a call from a salesman at the dealership (I don’t recall putting in any contact info but somehow…) and he wanted to sell me a Boxster. I declined, saying I was not in the market for a new one. He asked how much I was willing to spend and I gave him my budget, he laughed, and I reiterated that I was looking for a used one. He asked what I would pay for a new one so I gave him a low number and again he laughed. We closed with pleasantries and over the next few weeks he called me once or twice daily wanting to know if I had found a used Boxster yet, and dropping his price each time on the new one. Finally, in January, he offered to sell me the Boxster at my price and demanded my credit card to put a deposit on the car. (Sales are slow for Porsches in January in Cincinnati.) My wonderful wife said “go for it” so I became the proud owner of a 2002 Boxster.

My son and I drove to Cincinnati the next weekend to retrieve the car. The drive home on summer tires in January is another story. We have added a bunch of miles and memorable road trips over the next 16 ½ years.
Oh, I’ve also grown to love the 356’s and the early 911’s and all things Porsche.