This is one of those "First they meet, then they fight, then they f..." stories. A classic tale of how one's idea about a car can be blown away by actually living day to day with it and achieving a true bond between man and machine.
This is my Boxster story.
It all started as a joke. I'm a big fan of David Duchovny's Californication character Hank Moody. I kind of identify myself to a lot of his ways and challenges he faces. Thus, when I came to spend a couple months in SoCal, I couldn't help but want to buy a Convertible Porsche as a daily driver (kind of a cliché I know). I may be a big time automotive enthusiast, but Porsche never attracted me, probably because of the crowds most often seen driving them, especially in Los Angeles. But somehow, I found appealing Hank's way of purposedly neglecting his, as if saying "Yeah, I got a Porsche but I don't care, Motherf......rrrrrrrrr"
Boxster overlooking DTLA
I started looking for a perfect replica of his 90's 911 convertible but quickly found they were still in the mid 20s range with dubious quality problems. A little too much for a joke. So I did a really simple thing. I went on LA's Craigslist and looked for the cheapest Porsche I could find. And what I found was a 1999, silver Porsche Boxster with red interior. Allegedly functioningfine, but with busted seats and bodywork, as well as a missing hood emblem. This was exactly what I was looking for, and everything for under $6K!
The deal with Tyler was quickly made, and I soon took delivery of my California cruiser, fully expecting an engine failure or breakdown within a few weeks, even days. I had no expectation whatsoever and considered this purchase as an experiment : just how bad could it be for that price, anyway?
I must say day after day the car kept on growing on me, first for not failing (and actually everything in it worked properly, from electric top to heated seats), second for actually being a pretty damn good car!
Road to perdition
I took it to the Malibu Canyons to find out that the chassis is well balanced, and the steering a real delight : crisp and precise which is very surprising for a 15+ year old sports car with 112000 miles on the clock.
The engine is a modest 2.5L with 6 cylinders gives you 204 HP. While it's no speed demon, it has plenty of torque in the low revs spectrum, enabling you to stay in fifth gear in almost any situation above 30mph. But above 3800 is where things happen. The engine has a very distinctive howl that comes with a welcome boost that enchants the ears. Kind of the Porsche's take on the Honda V-TEC, I guess.
What won me over was when I found out how many miles per gallon I could achieve with it. think of a number.... it's higher than you think. On a trip to Vegas, I achieved 32 MPG! And on the way back, I used only half of the 16 gallon the tank holds. Add on top of that the ability to stuff in both boots the entirety of my travel apparel, and you probably get the ultimate bachelor's car ever made. Cheap to buy and run, fast, reliable, good looking and practical. It will take you far and do everything you ask from it, and even more.
It's quite the head turner too, especially considering the outrageous number of 986 wandering around town. Maybe it's because of the special wheels and really nice color combo? Maybe because I actually drive it with the top down, unlike most owners? The point is I get as many compliments and pictures taken as when I drive some of my more famous movie cars. When I ask why the enthusiasm, some answer "it's a classic, man!" Mind blown... Did I ever mention a three days driving around Hollywood in full mud attire, thumbs up everywhere and people yelling "Going offroad in a Porsche huh? Badass dude!"
More on that later
The Boxster has been my best friend for the past few months, literally. Nothing brought me more joy than hopping into its cabin and figuring out what would be the next adventure. From Vegas to San Francisco, I've traveled around quite a bit and added up 9000 miles to the clock in less than three months.
I just didn’t expect just how good this car would turn out to be. Overall, this Porsche Boxster 986 has surprised me in more than one way by being easy to get along with, a great all around feel, frugal gasoline budget, comfort, handling and more. This car has been looked down ever since its firts release, probably because it was the “cheap Porsche”, and owners of the 911 Nomenklatura couldn’t tolerate that drivers with more humble wallets could sport the same badge. Even less in a car that despite being cheaper, had better balance than their overpriced beetles, thanks to a mid mounted engine.
The Porsche Boxster 986 is indeed an under-recognized classic.
I'm now back in Europe and left the Mursche behind me (Yeah, that's now her name, as in Muddy Porsche).
See you soon old girl, you're now more than a means of transportation to me.
You're an extension of my personality.