If there’s one thing the over 600 members of our Club have in common, it’s a love of cars and a belief that Porsche makes some of the finest automobiles in the world. Even so, there are other capable and entertaining cars on the road; Club member and 911 Carrera owner Paul Budlong reflects on what it’s like to drive one.
Mixing It Up
Recently I was out to lunch with a friend. While we were eating he mentioned he had purchased a Porsche about a year ago after already purchasing another sports car. He received a call from a salesman with whom he had been in touch about purchasing a Porsche. The salesman told him a Porsche was available- would he like to take a look at it? Having purchased another vehicle since their initial conversation he hesitated but then decided to take a look. He told me that after seeing the Porsche he decided to buy it even though he had the other car. That was no surprise to me-we all do that with our cherished rides. The day we had lunch my friend had driven his other car. He asked if I wanted to take a look. I kept looking for what I thought would be his car but we were running out of vehicles when he said to me, “well, what do you think?” I said, “the Vette?” he smiled and said, “that’s it”. Now I have been a Porsche lover since my first one in 1970; but, before that I was a muscle car kid who loved any kind of car that went fast and preferably made a lot of noise. Hot Rods, Corvettes, Muscle Cars, whatever; just make it fast. All of a sudden, without any filtering of my reaction or tempering of my response, I said, “wow, super!” I may have surprised him, after all we are Porsche owners. He opened the driver’s door and said, “get in”, which I promptly did. Now I have been watching Corvettes the last seven years or so, coming of age at Le Mans, and have been feeling a little weak in my allegiance to my Marque even though I feel great behind the wheel. “Would you like to drive it?” “Love to!”came out of my mouth before I could be coy. The car is a late model though not the new Stingray. The inside surprised me. It was business like and very comfortable and the construction materials were better than I had expected. The truth is, I had been wondering for a while what these cars were like inside and how did they drive. Now I was about to find out, and I couldn’t wait. The push button start brought the car to life almost instantly, so quick it surprised me and almost simultaneously seduced me with the low growl of the big American V8. (Here’s where I’d insert a smiley face if I knew how to do it in Word.) The car starts to move easily and smoothly. We had to drive city streets for a short while till we got to a stretch of open road, where I could accelerate and get an idea of the power curve. It comes on strong and quick and well, the car is fast. It’s faster than mine and I’m liking it! I sure am grinning.
I slowed to a relaxing speed and shortly turned around to head back as my friend was pressed for time. Still, I wanted to experience the car from a dead stop without any other vehicles around. I got my wish. First gear and it’s off like a rocket. As I really get into it I break the rear tires loose causing a slight fish tailing which the car doesn’t mind at all; it is easy to control. Second gear and it’s heading for the barn! OK now I have to give it back to it’s owner- leaving me wondering what its like in the turns. I parked the car and we said goodbye. I got into my car; wow the seats are hard. It started right up same as it always does- turns over twice and lights up, with the audible reminder that mine was not a big block V8. As I drove away I was suddenly aware how everything in my car happened suddenly, precisely and firmly without any care for appealing to my sensual side. It became immediately apparent to me the two different car manufacturers’ philosophy in creating their cars. I can’t say one is wrong and one is right its just two different approaches to building a car. I can say that I relished the opportunity to experience something new and increase my driving experience. In the end I still want my car, but I can also appreciate the other carmaker’s approach. If you tried it you might be surprised how much fun it is. Come on, loosen up, no one said you have to buy it