Dec 20, 2012

GranTourismo dreams on a Elantra budget

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

  The forthcoming Cameron "Camshaft" Crabtree, due in March has me looking for a daily commuter.   This need is not exciting and the funds I plan to spend even less exciting.  Figuring most of my cash will be going toward diapers, formula and Legos,  I suspect older cars with higher miles should fit the bill. A car with about 100,000 miles should be adequately broken in.

2012 Volkswagon Golf-R.  4 doors, 4WD and diesel "economy"
The AWD Golf R is as cool as any Subaru, but a bit less prepubescent
Perfect in every way except one small thing,  the R runs about $40K.

So this Volkswagon serves primarily as inspiration only:
Inspiration #1    GTI's, the older the better, sadly I've yet to find a 4-door.
Inspiration #2   4-Door TDI Golfs.  Somehow diesels are esoterically cool


I'm not suggest anything cliche' like selling my Porsche for a Chevy Volt.  Selling the Carrera is  out of the question because my wife wouldn't stand for it, which is why I married her.

Now 2 models old, Audi S4s are cool and now cheap enough.
The 2001-2  Audi S4's are an ideal choice except,  I'm scared.

I have fears of multiple, expensive service costs. You know, the ones the sellers proudly list in their Craigslist adds.  People run down lists of parts they've replace on these cars like a grocery list.  To me that list says "if these repairs weren't done on any Audi you're considering, then you're screwed."  Turbo replacement seems the big deal with these, it's never been done on the sub $10k cars and it runs over $4,000 to do it.   Hence my observation, you don't have to be rich to buy, but you do have to be rich to own an Audi S4.  


So, with a $5-10,000 budget in mind and an awareness of high mileage car repair costs, I proceded to the mountain.  My sacred ritual of obsessing over Craigslist ads begins again.  Some peyote would help about now.


Volvo's AWD V60R sedans have the heart of a sports car. Okay maybe not.
They do have Brembo brakes and the spirit of a sports car. Which is enough.
w/high miles they're $10K but I'll need $4K for annual tranny replacements.


After painstaking reflection, I've clarified exactly what I need.  An elite sports sedan or wagon priced like a pile of shit.   It will need to be a super high mileage car, very reliable and also inexpensive to repair.  Furthermore, it should currently need no repairs whatsoever and have perfect body and paint.  Toss in modern safety, high performance, 4 doors, leather interior for easy child and dog vomit cleaning and good winter traction.  No problem.


2nd Generation M3 Sedans are affordable but I do have concerns.
They are not good all weather machines with rear wheel drive.
BMW parts aren't too cheap and most I find are pretty damn tired.
The car must be small. Smaller than a Volvo V70R wagon, or a BMW M5 sedan.  Small enough to easily park downtown.   Parking garages are a pain in a big car on a daily basis.  A good turning radius and on the street and parallel parking capability are all real issues.  My Carrera isn't pampered like some maniacs cars but I don't park it on the street all day, especially in winter.  Hey, don't laugh, I can drive my car in inclement weather, but I'm not a fool.  We've all seen those ice-sliding metro bus video's on You-Tube.


The car must be big, I mean freaking huge!  Well, actually just big enough to haul the baby or dog.  I've said if before, the mutt has ruined my life.   I can only say that because he can't read.  Golden retrievers are very sensitive.   I like vehicles that can do everything well.  I hate logistical cluster f**ks.  If you are dropping the dog off and then return to pick him up and you've got the "wrong car" thats a big pain in my ass.  So yes, I want most of my cars to be compatible with my god damn dog.  Sue me.

 The Lexus is300 has been around for a while so it cheap and handsome.
I'm still trying to decide if a sporty interior makes it a sports sedan or not.
An aluminum shifter and speedo that looks like a TAG-Heuer seems sporty

But seriously, aside from being a poor snow car, Toyota's reliability  is a key player in why this car makes my list.  It's definitely a candidate... too bad they are as common in Seattle as breast implants in LA.

No classics, meaning no older than say 20 yrs.  Carburetor tuning is quickly becoming a lost art so those are out.  Then first generation EFI is pretty primitive too so early 80's cars are out too.   Granted, cars like the 80's BMW 325ix AWD are interestingly cool to me but I know myself and don't want to get caught into any restoration vortex.

The car needs 4 doors.  Access to the Recaro baby seat I've registered for on Amazon.com is best with 4 doors.  5 doors are okay, but sport wagons are kind of sad.  Sad like my current sport SUV which I've donated to my wife.   She'll be trading it in for the least sporty thing in the world, an Explorer.  Another plus to 4 door sedans is the doors are smaller and open easier in tight places in Seattle.



2002 Subaru WRX Sedans.  Crappy cloth interior, so a Limited is in order.
The wagon is common and boring, which my wife thinks all Subaru's are.

These attract cops like moths to a lamp post, and you will get tired of the question is it an STi ? to which you will have to answer "no." That will be sad.


The car must be cool enough for me to look in the mirror each morning.   I am under no misconceptions here... my car will not be extremely cool. It may have to be old and tired, but it  can still be somewhat cool.    I know the list of exceptional sports sedans/wagons is quite short, especially when you have so little money budgeted.   That said, I'm willing to accept a family sedan with even some feeble attempt at sportiness.  I just need an  R, S, SVT, SS, AMG or SRT etc.  It's sad, but I need whatever initials are required to retain some semblance of the manhood I want my son to admire.  It needs some small hint of a connection to a real sports car so I can lie to myself.


Car guys shouldn't need an introduction to the SHO but here's one anyway.
Any 90's Taurus SHO contains a tremendously respectable Yamaha motor.
The down side is that motor is wrapped in a Taurus.  Think about it though
$5K for the Super-High-Output Motor and $5K for fixing the Taurus parts.

The Taurus is so damn ugly I've chosen to include an engine photo only.
This actually is a pretty interesting domestic candidate, wish it was AWD.


The car must not be cool.  Yep, you're seeing the dichotomy.  This is some heavy shit.   I need it to be cool enough so I'm not a car guy sellout, but it can't be a distraction from the Carrera's coolness either.  There just isn't enough money or time to put Brembo brake kits on my daily driver and the Carrera.  Not with all the upcoming diaper changing anyway.

Japanese reliability,   WRX power,  AWD and Leather.
Dogs: no problem.   Baby transport: sure.   Ski trip: yep.
The Forester XT is the only Turbo variant of this wagon.
 2005 w/Manual trans please.  Toss in some STi parts when
nobody's looking and violet!.

This is my runaway favorite,  the XT comes with the utility of an SUV, and a certain esoteric coolness due to it's WRX roots in Japan. If they offered an STi version it would be cooler still. Again, the wife hates Subaru's but if I buy one in secret, perhaps she'll warm to it in time.  I'll just tell her its a Saab.
None of these cars keep me up at night.  I do dream of finding a 2012 Golf R with a salvaged title and 350K miles on the odometer.   My wife, on the other hand, has nightmares about me buying a Subaru or Taurus.  I'd say any of these cars could be the next baby hauler for the Crabtree family provided the condition was right.  Ideally a car with one owner and a convincing service history.   Carfax be damned, even a fender bender might be just what the financial doctor ordered.  It would probably be smart if I drove one or two before buying.  Then again, maybe just a Kia and some Zoloft.



Oct 1, 2012

Garage Envy

I'm moving back into my most favorite garage tomorrow.  I can confess, I did envy the cool garages belonging to everyone other than me had.  Yes, I hated you.  Now that I am "home" with an enviable garage all my own, your lives will all be spared.

All pictures are compliments of the Rennlist Dicussion Forums.  Thanks guys.




Just think of me as like a deposed dictator who's just regained his position through the use of an elite fighting force backed by the CIA. I'm back jack!  With nary a buck to spend on car wax, but I'm here damnit, and it's all mine.  Except for the half that now will belong to my wife.  A small price to pay.

Cowhorn's RS pretty much is the definition of envy.  


You have got to have a decent garage or the other guys in the neighborhood won't envy you properly.  When a car guy's garage door is open, nearby "domesticated" husbands need to look yearningly as they pass.  They should walk past with baby carriages and point to educate their young, all whilst consumed with envy.  Baby or no baby, they should know it ain't that hard to keep your car-guy self respect.  We must bear witness and help them to sell those minivans, read and then learn.
A clear source of envy for me, due to the lift.
Thanks Steve

A cooler garage is still easier to accomplish than you might think.  Even when those children of yours might demand food and books for school, there is still a way to retain ones manhood.  Thats because any garage can deliver fulfillment.  So don't have garage envy, rather be the source.  With a little thinking you can get your groove on too.

David, That white one's in danger if an earthquake occurs.  I'll take it off  your hands.

Perhaps you don't have cable and a spare flatscreen TV for a garage entertainment of your dreams. Don't give up just yet.  Wifi streaming of TopGear would work fine too.   I know you've probably got an old decommissioned laptop right?  Better yet,  just tell that special someone you want to upgrade them to the new iPad-3 and viola, spare iPad for the garage.  See, theres no need to give up and watch American Idol in the living room just yet.

AKFC's  red accent wall should really match those calipers.
See, now you have a winter project :)

Flooring is of course paramount for an ideal garage experience.  Even something as simple as indoor-outdoor carpeting or a coin top rubber mat will make an impact.  Nothing makes you feel good about your car like a bad ass floor.  An improved floor makes finding that small screw you just dropped easier too.  Do your homework though, upkeep can be a bummer if you choose wrong.   The Racedeck pictured with me above was expensive, but covered uneven seams in the concrete really well.  I cost me a motorcycle, I sold my Husqvarna to fund it.    Don't let that happen to you, be rich or sell a child or kidney instead. 

Flecks on a painted epoxy floor are great,  Epoxy comes from many sources.
One rule with epoxy is one word:  Prep.


Those huge 6ft florescent bulbs were hard to dispose of when they burnt out.

Flooring, and paneling makes the garage like a living space.  Very very good.

Don't underestimate good visibility.  Think screw in fluorescents at a bare minimum, they can be much brighter than comparable incandescents.  Then spend up from there if you can.   Think in other ways about light too.  Consider painting your garage with illumination in mind as well.  No that doesn't mean glow in the dark paint, but rather light reflecting colors and textures.  Paint's cheap and can help spread that light around well, giving more bang for the buck than any other garage modification. Dark colors like charcoal might match your GT500 but it won't optimize light.
White paint, fluorescent light, small television.
Well done, now pass me that 15mm socket.


When wax or oil end up on your walls you'll appreciate choosing gloss or semigloss paint. Good lighting and light painted walls will pay off when cleaning that ride. Important note though, soiled, well used, cars are still the coolest.  They do, however, at least need the potential to be clean.  Only then can you truly brag about choosing not to clean them.



Why don't I have one of these?

Most of us work with the garage door open when doing projects for better ventilation as well as lighting.  In Seattle I find working with my garage door open is a great way to meet drunks and losers. Open windows make better sense but are a potential access point for thieves that noticed your stuff when you had the garage door open.  Try installing a bathroom style electric vent in smaller garages.  Mine's wired to a timer set it to 15 minutes after drives.  That keeps the gasoline and rubber smells down to a minimum.  Remember, my garage is connected to the master bedroom, and somebody in there doesn't appreciate the smell of limited slip additive.  Besides you can buy scented candles that resemble motor oil later instead.

963K993's recycling of track tires is enviable for sure.
I'd prefer some soiled handprints on that towel though.


Bad ass storage is every car guys dream.  You don't need to buy them, just take left overs from craigslist or that upcoming kitchen remodel.  Besides you know that kitchen is getting a remodel before your garage ever will.  Paint those old cabinets to match the garage, and change the handles to something cool for crying out loud.  Think left over rod bearing caps, door handles etc.  My larger grey cabinets below were cheap (Lowes $150ea) and are good for hiding those things your sweetheart tells you "must" go in the garage. Nobody needs to know they actually store Christmass ornaments.

Some day I'll keep piles of money in these cabinets,  to afford  parts.
One cabinet has the back cut out and is actually a closet for my cycle gear


Size matters,  don't let anyone lie to you.  Deeper, wider garages, with plenty of room are cooler than yours.  Tall ceilings mean you can install that lift nobody's bought you yet.   But if room just isn't that plentiful you could try high mounted shelves instead of cabinets.  Or, my favorite solution: buy a smaller sports car.  Just about any problem can be fixed with the purchase of a new vehicle.   



RJT, decorating the ceiling is uniquely cool.  But watch for gravity storms.
Plumbing.  My garage has a door to the master bedroom, which I appreciate when I need to take a leak or grope someone.  It also has plumbing for a washer and dryer, so shop towels don't need to intermingle with ladies undergarments.  If at all possible shoot for at least for a source of warm water to wash stuff as well as your car in winter.  This is often easier than you think since many times the hot water heater isn't far from the garage.  Tell no one, or people will want to wash their dogs in your driveway.

Posters, and other stuff are easy, you had a bedroom as a teenager right, same idea.  I personally can't keep my interest on any a single car or manufacturer long enough to get a good theme going.   I am thinking about photos of cars I've owned as a theme.   A sad, humble theme that includes my Pontiac Sunbird and two Nissan trucks.

Don't let the red floor partitioning distract you from envying that cool plane.
Thanks RudyP

Climate control is a garage status symbol for sure.  No self respecting car guy should have to work with cold fingers.   Heaters really sap the electricity though, so unless you pay the bills yourself each month,  try hard to insulate and weather-seal that big hole called the garage door.  Then buy a sweater.

I wish more was going on in my garage, instead of in my mind.
Thanks Mat



Magdaddy's got the heat and lighting figured out.  

Sometime's you are most passionate BEFORE you get that good garage.  

See
Michael's garage cluttered or saturated with ideal car guy toys.
Things could be worse. 
ilko's done amazing things in this small space


Just remember, it's not important how good your garage is, just how much better it is than your neighbors'.   Let them focus on the landscaping.




late arrivals that bear appreciation:

nothing motivates like freezing your but off
levtron, ilko's passion warmed him through the garage free years.  


Roof racks on Carrera's are very very cool.   sfish C4  thanks for the pic

Sep 14, 2012

Project Modest Garage

One of my favorite things to do is work in the garage with the sound of auto racing in the background.   I'm not a big fan of watching auto racing on TV mind you, but I enjoy the sounds and commentary as it motivates me to organize my tools, wax my car, or bleed my brakes.  Frankly, as a renter, I'd accepted defeat on having an awesome garage and began daydreaming of manly days alone, at Starbucks.
It may be ugly but in Seattle garages either have abandoned MG's in them or have been converted to mother-in-law apartments.  Both highly offensive. 



After 2 double lattes recently I decided renting is no excuse for not having a cool garage.   A few hundred dollars spent for the garage improvement is no different than new curtains and throw rugs.    The landlord, Jeremy, agreed to coat the roof with sealant and install a new garage door.   Twas time to kick some ass.

Ideal garages are not easy to accomplish when children demand new soccer shoes, and the trash cans need a home that the raccoons can't reach.  But even a suboptimal rented garage like mine can deliver some fulfillment.   I forwent the heater and flooring, and commenced with core improvements.

Core improvement #1 is to keep it dry and bright (especially if you can't work with the door open because perhaps you live in a bad neighborhood).  After a little research, I selected Drylok paint, to keep the walls from absorbing the little light I had.  It also seals out water that can seep through the kind of concret walls an old garage might have.  Dryloc has sand-like additives to fill holes in cinder blocks or concrete.  The resulting texture is abrasive so you have to make sure it doesn't scrape your door paint.  It took 8 gallons for a 2 car garage.    My plan was to affixe a composite plastic (Trex) trim piece where my doors and bumper  might contact the walls.

Entertainment while painting was arranged through a wifi router-booster so I could stream TopGear through my iPad.
Under those booties I've got my driving shoes on.  Trying to keep the mood.

Looks better already with coat #1

I replaced the two bulbs in the garage with fluorescent ones.  I decided I wouldn't replace the fixtures in a place that I was only renting.  Fluorescents take longer to warm up but offer more wattage for the small size.  After about 6 minutes, it's much brighter than the previous incandescent bulbs.  


Placed in the middle as a shrine to the gods: the tool box was enshrouded and placed in the middle of the work space.    The smaller item is a crankshaft/flywheel end table that has been exiled to the garage. Go figure?


The wife didn't help, she was busy with stupid stuff like unpacking and reassembling furniture.


See, that second coat is what fills the holes.

Once you get that first coat of paint on, don't wimp out and quit.  You've come this far... go get that second coat on.  Trust me.  You've already got your painting clothes on, and besides, if you finish early, somebody will ask you to take out the garbage or fix the garbage disposal again.   

Motorcycle of my recent past.  Kinda bummed there wasn't room for it anymore  But now there's room in my wallet.
Once the painting was done, I placed my motorcycle inside to measure just how high I needed to mount the shelves.   Shelves were the inexpensive and simple... the most basic option available at the hardware store.  In retrospect, I could have bought them on Craigslist for $50, I bet.  In such small spaces, you want them mounted nice and high, that way you can move around without poking your eye out.

   The BMW leaked a gasoline, the best fix was a new Ducati.   An unorthodox solution, I know.



Oh, one more thing. Now that I'm finished, I've learned we are moving in 2 weeks.  

I've go two words for the next tenant and the landlord:  
You're welcome



No sooner than the paint in the Garage dried, my entire situation changed.  My selflessness in bringing the rental's garage to glory was immediately rewarded.  The car gods "smiled" upon me with an ample, or shall I say a litany, of life complications that require moving, again.   This time, back into our home in Bellevue.   The timing is far from ideal, but there is a definite automotive upside...

Two cars deep and two cars wide it held my old cars well.
Huge fluorescents and skylights make for good visibility day or night.
That upside is that 5 years ago, we made remodeling the garage here our very first priority.  I poke fun at the spouse for comedy, but clearly she's a car guy too.

The door beyond the Carrera goes directly to the master bathroom.
You can't see: exhaust vents, heat, pluming and lots of big cabinets

The wife chose colors and painted the cabinets, beams and walls.
Don't scoff at the my Cobra replica,  it paid for my 993 Carrera S



and why do I have to move? For more space...   

who says kids ruin everything and force you to buy minivans?  Stay tuned


Jul 3, 2012

less is more

As I peruse the various fancy cars in my favorite venues I keep coming back to thinking that less is more.  I think its rebellion or resentment that cars have become so complicated, so heavy, and so damn expensive.   The horsepower race is only part of it,  safety and amenities have also added to the bottom line in the way of more weight, more size, more money, etc.   It's not that I don't appreciate what a modern high-performance car can do, but rather I also see our future with these cars.   It's a future looking for replacement parking cameras, and finding up-to-date software for a defunct navigation  system.     Planned obsolescence is one thing, but these countless technologies are getting excessive.

Lets start with size.  The newest Boxster is huge.  Try a Porsche 914-6  which is nice and small.  Less weight means a reasonable motor gets you great acceleration.  With that mid engine you get some pretty ideal handling and it doesn't require any on-board computer, either.   Which brings me to another question, why the hell do people buy Porsche Stability Management for a mid-engined Boxster anyway?  Mid-engined cars are inherently perfectly stable, how bad of a driver can you possibly be?

No air conditioning.  It's okay, just imagine it's a modern track package.  Think Speedster, Clubsport or RS America.  In the Northwest that  removable roof should be good enough.  I know, you're sad because it has no heated seats, which help so much with your constipation.


Speaking of constipation, the Ariel Atom will scare the shit out of you. Motorcycle acceleration in a car-like vehicle is quite fun.  Less weight is the theme for sure.  Just look at all that carbon.  Ariel  cut all the sound-deadening material, cut the body panels, and even cut the damn doors out, too.   Sadly the Atom fails in the cost category, it isn't less money, that's for sure. With storage akin to a Kawasaki Ninja its kinda difficult to bring home a frozen pizza.  That's a deal breaker for me. 



But seriously, lets talk about money here.  Cars are not only huge but they cost too much.   People's payment books are so big they have nothing left for maintenance or upgrades.   Oh and those upgrades will likely trip your service engine light anyway.  After 4 years of payments your car isn't paid off and the car is now about as reliable as a 4 year old laptop.   I finally understand why all the cars in the futuristic movie Gattaca were classics, they were the only cars that could survive into the future.  I really should take a moment and mention Uma Thurman here, eh?  Forget it, this is a car blog.

actually for sale for $15K with 20K miles in Portland a few weeks back.

I know it's just a Fox bodied Mustang, but hear me out.  There are days I dream of selling the Carrera and buying myself a pristine expample this car. This 1993 SVT Mustang Cobra was the last ever 302ci pushrod V8 powered SVT Cobra, that didn't look like shit anyway.  The '93 Cobra was lean and sexy unlike the two tone Mustang GT.  I'd say for those of you that dig Mustangs this is the one to buy.  No, it won't do 200mph, but it is pretty damn cool. And realistically, how many seconds do you think you'd actually drive 200mph in your whole life anyway? 

This car is the end of a great evolution of an American icon, but it's still got less in the form of complexity than it's relatives.  With only 2 valves per cylinder, It's  about as easy to repair as your old BMW bicycle.   Other than power windows and power steering, its a very basic sports car.  It's fuel injected, which is simpler than carburation, but it's not complicated by later onboard diagnositcs. That means the computer focuses on making the car run, not on emissions or brakes or handling or keeping your coffee the right temperature. One thing that people who drive in the rain need to keep in mind with a live axle mustang is that they have less traction too, so buy tires carefully. 

Car and Driver named the E36 M3 the best handling car at any price.when it wss new

Okay, so maybe the BMW E36 M3 isn't a perfect example of less is more, but let me explain.  The E30 might be your first choice since older is often simpler and therefore less complicated.  Wrong, it had a race motor and parts are not less but rather more hard to get and more expensive.  The E36 used a hopped up version of the basic in-line 6 cylinder that BMW is famous for.  That's a motor that has been thoroughly sorted out over the years. So, by virtue of how limited and knowable the issues are, it is the simplest M3 to buy.  It is fast enough to thrill, but has less to go wrong than the also affordable E46.  The E46 came with shit navigation, complicated HD radios and finicky VANOS intakes, both of which are a pain in the ass to diagnose and repair.  Which version will you want in your garage when it's 30 years old?  Remember too, that all your extra cash is going towards training bras and soccer equipment by then.

Any older 911 starts at $20,000 minimum,once you get it road ready.  Amazing examples like his will be more.
There's the hard to find, but not hard to afford 1977 Porsche, or any 911 from 1970-1988, for that matter.   Absolutely indestructible, as long as you're not afraid to burn a little oil.   Timeless cool factor, a slow car in comparison to today's VTEC Honda Accords, but with the great handling and manual steering you won't notice.   Less complicated than any new car even half as cool, you'll be getting admired by every German car owner you pass. Even though you may not do it yourself it will be relatively easy to repair, since they are so well engineered.  Simple parts do fail, like switches and window seals, nothing complicated about that.  Oh, and I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the A/C doesn't work for shit, so if it's hot where you live expect to spend some serious cash on a retrofit.   You know it's way cooler than that Honda S2000  you've been looking at.  Just one thing, you may actually need to learn to drive if you go this route because Carreras don't forgive the indecisive in turns.

With no back seats, the Elise may be TOO mush less for some.

You really don't have to get an older car to get less.  The Lotus Elise is super small, light and the motor is not over engineered because it doesn't need to be.  A little more like an actual car than the Ariel Atom, the Elise doesn't take the less concept too far, for instance it has doors and functions in the rain.  More fun at the track and less stuff to fix - that's the theme here.   It's nice to see a car that is great for reasons like good materials, great chassis dynamics and intelligent weight distribution.   All that practical minimalist thinking, with a modern reliable motor too.  Who needs carpeting, it just gets dog hair on it anyway.


Voice activated navigation, artificially created stability systems,  windows that sense the rain, curb detectors to protect your 20" wheels, back up cameras, Alcantara wrapped glove boxes. Who the hell did you buy that car for anyway? Those are all fantastic for your minivan or perhaps your Aston Martin, that you'll keep for a 2 year lease.  If your money means anything to you, try another plan. Learn to drive and then get a passenger for your navigation, the UI works better anyway.

Jun 17, 2012

993FEST 2012.

2012's  First and hopefully annual
993 Fest

Special thanks to Hans Schut aka Rennlist's jo-hans.
Without his photos this would just be a bunch a smart-ass commentary and lies. but now iat least it has photos

Its hard to criticize the competition when they are all the same model, but not impossible. 

I'm so excited after returning from this event I can barely get the words onto this blog.  Basically, the event is self-explanatory.  Many of the 993 centric Porsche enthusiasts wanted their own special event.  So Nathan (more about him later) put on an event for us.  Word spread through the usual venues like Rennlist, Yahoo group, and Facebook.  The date was Father's Day weekend, not chosen to exclude fathers, but rather because it was soon and didn't conflict with any track events.   The first 993FEST was born.

The iron used for the red paint's pigment makes the car heavier and hence slower.   I tried to hold back so Nathan could keep up. which is complicated when you are behind, but i'm that good.
little known fact,  white cars are innately more waterproof, because the pigment is less porous. 

While the route is not a secret, I won't be sharing it.  It was relatively secluded, if the roads were inundated with punks like your, then we'd have problems with the man.   In true Seattle fashion it began with rain.  It didn't rain for long, nor did we drive on major highways for long either.  

this looks like rain, but its actually just a bunch of water cooled cars ahead of us overheating


Our group consisted of pretty experienced drivers.  Track time beyond simple drivers education was apparent in our group.  I didn't interview everyone, but it was apparent by everyone's driving style.  I tried to keep the track veterans in front of me, so they couldn't learn any of my secret driving techniques and steal them.

Three colors that are not white, like mine. But I guess what's important is that they are Porsche 993s.   And,  hey, at least they aren't Tiptronic cars.


I'm hanging in back, that's where the best photos are taken from, otherwise i'd be in the lead.   Although I was clearly in the fastest car and the best driver, keep in mind I was driving the entire trip one-handed.  Somebody needed to take the photographs and I had no camera man/woman.

These photos of the cars close together are all taken either parking or stopping for the group to reassemble.   The driver skill/comfort level hierarchy was setup from front to back so the group spread  easily when underway.  In other words, with minimal passing and everybody had enough room to be comfortable once we reached warp speed.   Although I've not spent a ton of track time in my Carrera, I basically lived at Pacific Raceway from 1999-2001 so I was plenty fast.  I  still drove near the back of the lineup, but that's just because the sun was in my eyes :)

we all know what "yellow" means.  he's chicken, of my white Carrera

Once we arrived at our first rest stop, a Starbucks, we'd been driving about 2 hours.  I had to stifle the urge to run up and hug Nathan.  I'd been on tours that were fun, I'd been on tours with crazy morons too.  This was a perfect run for a group of folks all with like mindedness and the same car model designation in common.  The 993



When the area's were particularly stimulating a brave, fearless man proceded ahead to blaze a trail.  A hero proceded ahead into danger to clear a path for his 993 Festers.  Meanwhile everyone else prepared emotionally for the epic portion of the jaunt in quiet meditation.  What was that brave soul's name and how can they ever repay him?

tossing everyone's keys on the table proved confusing when it was time to go, apparently mine were't the only keys where the porsche badge fell out.


The rendezvous point for the groups to converge was at Snipes Brewing.  And no, we didn't drink beer. We take our driving way too seriously for that.   www.snipesmountain.com   

that's me, i'm the one in the Porsche

By this point now the group had grown to about 16 cars, somebody correct me if I'm wrong because I never counted.   Another hour was spent on the road before Richland for a bit more twisties.  Some sections were pretty open, and  as speed climbed many people later commented that handling was degrading in their cars.  Heat was the problem, shocks and tires had been in the heat for over 4 hours by now.  Perhaps getting a good workout from the secondary roads and sunshine.  I estimate my tire pressure was likely over 47psi in front and over 52psi in the rear.  Clearly in hindsight I/we should have checked our tire pressures before departing Snipes brewery.  But we were just too drunk I guess (it's a joke, dumbass).  If you are treating the road like you're at a track day then you should treat your car like its at a track day too.  Check that tire pressure!



these two spent too much time trying to wash the black off.  Nathan's going to bill them for the water they used.
Once arriving at our destination, some of us went to our hotel to clean up.  Others cleaned up their cars instead.  I may have looked like crap, but damn my Carrera was clean.  Happily many others shared my philosophy. While waiting our turn at the pressure washer we enjoyed the inventory at Nathan's establishment. www.cvluxurycars.com 
 
it was a shame Nathan didn't have any interesting cars at his establishment
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Columbia-Valley-Luxury-Cars/288434210930

Another high point of the event was the spread Nathan had arranged for us.  I neglected to get photos, but the food was great, and much appreciated.  Bottled water and even a beer was served and consumed with gratitude.   Later I saw ice cream too. 

Contrary to popular belief we Porsche drivers can't park for shit.  I think its because we spend all that time parking diagonally in far corners of parking lots.   But again, a hero emerged who with the help of some smart asses got these cars parked in fairly good, C+ quality, arrangement. Just like my college GPA.   Hey, didn't you ever hear the term "perfect is the enemy of good"?

clearly we placed the black cars out front out of pity.  After all, they are the furthest color from white.


No amount of pictures can possibly capture the fun.  Frankly it's futile to try, you just have to go on one of these events to really enjoy it.   Our group wasn't for the faint of heart, but rarely did anyone do anything that made me ashamed to be a part of it either.  Events this cool don't happen without somebody making the effort and taking initiative.  Thanks again Nathan.

i keep being told it handles better with my head inside the cockpit,  but I was taught to drive by a golden retriever.


There are faster cars.  Hell there are cars that handle better too, and they can be had for less money too.    I'm sure glad I found mine.  But the relationship all of us have with our 993 Carreras is more complex than that.  It's special.

When somethings hotter than red what do you call it?  White-Hot!  I rest my point.
Arrangements were made for most of us to share the same motel, although I got up early I heard talk of a breakfast get together.  Perhaps groups road home the long way too.   I typed this blog all night to the musical sounds of the Le Mans 24-hour race, which opened the door for my next blog subject maybe, hybrids?    A perfect day, and a perfect beginning of a new annual tradition I suspect.


So many good pics,  more below.








Nathan's establishment,  you couldn't find a more car-centric guy.
Our leader Nathan, took the initiative and made this more than an idea.  He made it happen.  Often you go to a cool dealership hoping a car guy will be running it and you are disappointed.  I personally get sick to my stomach going into dealerships.  But the alternative of buying a hard to find car on the web isn't much better. It's not that you can't ge lucky, but you've got to be patient and tolerate some odd behavior an paranoia.  Those sellers can be downright weird (see buying online blog, its funny if I do say so myself).   Nathan is a car guy to the bone, he's clearly in it because the CARS are his passion.  My kind of guy.







I don't know why he's so happy.  He just got blown away by a white C2S.  at least that's how I remember it.






again,  metallic paint makes the car heavier due to the metallic particles.  which is why this car couldn't keep up with me.   people really need to do their homework before buying.  like I did.  



commonly known fact in Germany,  white cars are fastest.  that's why Porsche uses white cars in marketing campaigns 
another theory is they paint the slower cars red so they look faster.  that's why firetrucks are red too.
But, I like my excess iron pigment theory better.


If you arrange the cars, nobody can stop you from putting your own car dead center.


I took all my photos in RAW format, which was big "fail" using a old slow PC.  Hans pics saved the day.

I'm trying hard to come up with some wise-ass comment, I'll keep trying.



are you going in 2013?  http://993fest.com