Saturday, July 23, 2011

Bad Boy Part 1

After we sold the 944S, there was a period of several years, well to be more accurate 8 years, 2 months and 14 days when I was Porsche-less. It was a tough time. We had two infants – youngsters - prepubescent boys and therefore had a litany of mini-vans, SUV’s and wagons. It was not exactly inspiring.

I had just received a hand-me-down company car; a purple (or more accurately plum) colored Dodge Intrepid and I HATED IT. Every mile was torture, what a piece of crap. I called the guy that had it before me (he had left the company for greener pastures…or at least that is what he said) and asked him “What where you thinking…Purple?” He said it did not look like that in the brochure…”dude, purple is purple, you can tell even from a brochure it was a crappy color. Face it, you screwed up and I have to live with it.” At the same time, we needed to get out of the mini-van we had, our kids were getting bigger and we needed something that was a step up…we needed an SUV.

So my wife hit the newspapers, this was when there were still actually car ads in the paper, before everything was online. And she found something… I was headed home in the lovely Intrepid from Houston and she called me on my cell phone. “How fast can you get to Midlothian?” She asked. “I dunno, maybe 40 minutes, why?” Not sure why my wife was asking me to drive out of my way to Midlothian. “I found a deal.” I should have known.

Well she did find a deal. A young family had got in over their head and had leased two vehicles: a Ford Expedition and a truck. They had to unload them…fast. Here were the details: take over their lease payments, they would pay the transfer fee - $300 and give us $600 cash because they had gone over their mileage. Let me get this straight, we call the leasing company, fill out a form, have it approved based on our credit and we get this Expedition and we get a check from this family for $600? Was this legit? I called the lease company, it was. Oh and did I mention that these folks had put a lot down on the two vehicles so the lease payments were low? I took the exit towards Midlothian as fast as I could.

Test drove the SUV, it was perfect, a Black Expedition XLT with tan cloth interior and 4WD. It was really a nice truck. I told the gal we would take it. My wife worked with the lease company and in a couple of days we had the Expedition for the balance of its lease, or about 36 months. And a check for $600. Perfect. Fact is, I like big SUV’s, they are safe, sit up high and get really terrible gas mileage, but did I mention they were safe?

So the mini van was gone, thank god. Replaced with a 1997 Ford Expedition – things were looking up. So in ’99 I left my cushy / stable job and took the plunge into DOT COM (or rather DOT BOMB) world. I needed new wheels since I had to turn in my company car. During the exit process, they asked me if I wanted to buy it. I had to think about it for a while, like 4-5 nanoseconds before I said no F’ing way or something like that. So I went shopping. Looked everywhere, wanted something cool and I was close to pulling the trigger on a 2000 BMW 3-Series. But because my budget was pretty low, it was a stripper, it had like zero options, not even metallic paint. My pragmatic wife cautioned me not to get the stripper 3-Series. She maintained there were other options. Looking online one day at the website (such as it was) for the lease company we had our Expedition through, I found out they had a lease return lot in the mid-cities. Hmmm, they had treated us pretty good, so why not check out the lot.

I pulled up and met the sales guy. Told him I was looking for a 3-Series and they had a couple, but nothing that lit my fuse. Well he asked me what my budget was and I told him my range. He said he might have something interesting. We went out back. There crowded by a bunch of crappy cars was a dusty ’99 BMW 5-Series with very few miles. It was silver, gray leather, LOADED(!) and it had a very rare (at least in the US) 5-speed manual. And he could get me in the car for less money then my budget. A lot less money. Why so low? I asked him. Easy…it had a manual transmission, nobody wanted a BMW 5-Series with a manual transmission. I did! It was mine.

Picked it up on a very rainy night, it was pouring. So of course I had to completely detail it the next day. I loved that car; it was awesome. But it was doomed too. I was making pretty good bucks in the Dot Com space and I realized I could get rid of the BMW and get back into a Porsche. It went up for sale. Funny I did the same thing with the BMW that the folks did with the Expedition, except I had equity and made the guy who took over the payments pay the transfer fee and give me $1500 cash. Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do…or can get away with.

One quick BMW story before we go on… as a part of my Dot Com job, I was doing a lot of work with a well know PC manufacturer in Austin and was down there every week (sometimes twice a week), but frequently for 3-4 days at a time. My best friend had some gigs at a huge club opening for a bunch of touring bands and he asked me to play the gigs, since he needed a bass player. It was like 6 gigs over a three-week period and it dovetailed nicely with my business trips. I said yes.

So picture this, struggling musicians pulling up in a variety of barely running cars and trucks, getting out and lugging old nasty amps and such, dressed in grungy jeans and tee shirts. I pull up in a new BMW 5-Series, pull out a new Ashdown amp and am dressed in my hip Armani duds…the juxtaposition was interesting to say the least. I was the best dressed person in the club and my wife looked especially HOT in her black Jill Sanders outfit. Yeah, success sucks, or so I hear. But we played some great gigs and in the case of one touring band, blew their collective asses off the stage. It was a good night.

In 2001 I decided that it was time to get back into the Porsche scene, so I started looking around. I test drove a few cars, but nothing really stood out. I did not mind waiting until I found the right car, I could be patient. Then one day I logged into the Dallas Morning News website and clicked the link to the car ads and looked at the Porsches for sale. Usually there were a few cars listed, most were either basket cases or brand news ones way beyond my budget and means.

But there was this car, a 1976 Porsche 911 Turbo Carrera or 930. It was nearby, it was in my price range. I grabbed the phone and called the number listed. A guy answered the phone and laughed, he had just listed the ad only moments before, but already had like 6 calls. He was a commercial airline pilot and was not flying that day. He asked me how fast I could get to his house. I said fifteen minutes. He said I better hurry.

He met me at his front door and walked me around to the garage and opened the door with the automatic opener. The door rolled up and the sight of the Porsche 930 literally took my breath away. I had to have it. What cinched the deal was we drove to the place where I had most of my mechanical work done to all my previous Porsches and BMW’s. I really trusted these guys. The owner of the 930 trusted these guys too. The service manager told me this was the best 930 they had ever cared for; it really needed nothing. Here are some shots that the Pervious Owner (PO) sent me. Enjoy, but there are better ones to come…

Not for one minute had I ever imagined that I would be able to own the car of my teenage fantasies. A 1976 Porsche 911 Turbo Carrera / 930, number 408 of 630 imported into the US. Wow. Normally we do not name our cars, but we christened this one – Bad Boy. It was.

See you all next time.

No comments:

Post a Comment