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Old May 24th, 2006, 04:04 PM   #1
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Location: Roseville, California
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My new Boxster, with a story

Last Friday I bought my first Porsche, a new '06 Boxster, 5-speed stick. What a thrilling ride it is! Here's a bit of a story about how it came about.

I'm a lifelong motorcycle rider who's always been interested in cars but have never found one as satisfying (read: thrilling) as bikes. What's funny is that until last February I had zero experience with Porsche. None. Never sat in one, rode in one, drove one. Of any kind. Ever. Porsche had just never been on my automotive radar. But for a couple years I've been thinking about something that might replace the motorcycle. It would have to be a sports car. Nissan 350Z, BMW Z4, Mercedes, tried them all, none were interesting. Drove the new Corvette, which I really wanted to like, but was unmoved. What's left? Decided to check out Porsche, basically as a last resort. I'd read about the Cayman, so I drove out to the local dealer. Beautiful facility. Was sitting in a Boxster S and the girl dangled the keys, so off we went. And I must say from the moment that car started moving, I was smiling. The throttle was eager, the clutch was like butter, the shifter felt perfect, the car was smooth and light and made beautiful noises. And we were still in the parking lot! (Really.) Those winding roads east of town? By my first S curve it was obvious that I was driving something special. The car was just different. Connected. Liquid. Felt like a fish darting through water. Then I touched the brakes. Sensational. Strong, smooth, linear. (Since then I've learned that Porsche is famous for its brakes, and that my impressions of the car overall are common to Porsche drivers going back to the 1940s. It's in the DNA.) As the slogan says, "There is no substitute." This isn't just ad copy; the car is palpably different. Anyway, in 20 minutes I was back at the dealer, a grinning convert.

I spent the next 10 weeks devouring everything Porsche. I drove another Boxster S -- this time with the top down -- I drove the base Boxster, and I drove the Cayman. I spent time on online forums. I heard Carrera snobs tell me the Boxster was a poor man's Porsche. Others sniffed at the Boxster's "paltry" 240 horsepower. Yet every magazine review exalted this car. Automobile magazine recently called the Boxster "one of the 20 best cars ever built." My own instincts told me that the base Boxster would be great -- and right. The S model has 40 more horsepower and another gear but costs $9,000 more. The difference day to day is slight. The 911 is Porsche's flagship and faster still, but it handles no better on the street, and it's very expensive. The Cayman is a super car, very fast, noticeably stiffer than the Boxster, but quite a bit more expensive, and besides, I'd decided I wanted a roadster. (The image of my wife and I breezing through wine country or down Highway 1 or snaking through the Sierras was irresistible.)

So I went shopping. It's a good time, because it's near the end of the model year, and there are a lot of Boxsters on lots. I pored over Porsche's amazing options list (the longer I looked, the shorter it got). I got on the Internet and found what I wanted two hours away -- Midnight blue on black, lightly optioned -- the only new Boxster in this color combo currently on the ground in California, just off the boat, 10 miles on the clock, sticker: $51,365. Two weeks before, my local dealer had had a one-weekend sale discounting its Boxsters $6,000. Knowing this, I told the new dealer I'd consider the car only if he'd take $6,000 off the sticker, and he agreed without haggling. The $45,365 result is 1.5% above invoice, and I'm happy. It's not cheap, but it's a GREAT price for a brand-new Porsche, and it was do-able on my budget. Now that I have it, I know I made the best choice regardless of cost.

Break-in requires 2,000 miles, during which the engine is not to exceed 4,200 rpm and no full-throttle starts. Even at that, this car is considerably faster than I expected, completely satisfying. On a 2,850 lb. car, 240 hp. provides a LOT of thrust. I'm all grins.

So now I'm driving and getting to know the car and loving it. I'm guessing that in a year I'll know if I want more -- sport chrono, short shifter, bi-xenons, full leather, etc. -- but for now it's all good. Who'da thought? I know now what Porsche is about. This is a special car.
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Old May 24th, 2006, 04:17 PM   #2
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Location: Bay Area
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Congrats on your decision!
I had a BMW Z3 before the Boxster and the driving experience in a Porsche is totally different. Before I got the Boxster, I looked at an SLK. My reaction after driving an SLK was disappointment. I thought it was supposed to be a sporty car, but driving it around the street made me get out of the car looking like this ====> (Where's the fun?)
I knew SLK's only came in automatic transmissions, but there is no push at all while driving normally. Eventually, I came across the Boxster and ended up look like this ===>

Anyways, Welcome!
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Old May 24th, 2006, 07:16 PM   #3
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Re; My new Boxster

Well done and well said, neighbor (I'm in Roseville, too). Your experience was similar to mine first time out with my '99 996 a few years ago. When it came time to move on, I drove the '06 987 and 987S and was thoroughly impressed with both. I still am. Drove an '06 Corvette too but just couldn't bring myself to do it! I bought my 987S from the local dealer after watching it come off the truck and a drive similar to yours (maybe even with same sales girl, err, sales person). Anyway, I was sold and bought it. The hardest part is the 2,000 mile break in!!!
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Old May 24th, 2006, 08:41 PM   #4
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Congratulations on the new ride. For me as soon as they fired up the motor the only thought in my mind was "s*#t." Because at that moment I knew I was going to take a big hit in the wallet. One drive is all it takes, amazing isn't it?
I'm not one to normally buy into marketing tag lines but in this case, as you have already discovered, truly "there is no substitute."
Also, don't forget about the Babblers Brunch every other month. I'm pretty new to the Porsche fold myself and there are very nice people to be met at the brunch.
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Old May 24th, 2006, 11:15 PM   #5
BoxsterBob - San Carlos
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Congrats! Enjoy your new ride and post some pictures when you can.
'99 Boxster - 130k+ miles Ocean Blue/Black/Savanna Beige
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Old May 28th, 2006, 11:17 AM   #6
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Hi, SurfCity.

Congratulations on your great new car and thanks for your excellent post.

Our Boxster stories are similar. Prior to getting my 987, my only personal experience with Porsche was briefly riding shotgun in an early Boxster owned by a guy who couldn't drive. I also had spent more time riding bikes than driving cars, so my standards for how a car should feel are also based on motorcycles.

Having recently returned from two long weekends to wine country (Mendocino and Paso Robles), I can attest to how well suited the Boxster is to top-down driving on Highway 1 with wine in tow and in sight. Have a great time and drive in good health!


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Old May 30th, 2006, 12:10 PM   #7
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Citrus Heights & Grass Valley
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Thumbs up New Boxster choice

I went through the nearly identical scenario a year ago. Rounded up all the usual suspects, and the Boxster was the last left standing. The Rocklin dealer didn't have what I wanted in a 987, but a Bay Area dealer made an offer not to refuse on a Carrera white/sand beige model that fit the bill. No regrets about the choice made! Joined the local PCA (SVR) and the first tour of the High Sierra was a blast. There are many Porsches in the area...see you on the road sometime.

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