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Part 4: Taking the BIG step up !

Progression of an automotive enthusiast

Part 4: Taking the BIG step up !

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Filed under: Opinion, European Sport Cars, Porsche
Part 4:  Taking the BIG step up !

Once you have made the decision to sell your car, and you make it safely through to the other side, it’s time to begin the project car cycle all over again.

 For me, the cycle time of my more recent project car projects has been getting a little too short, sometimes even overlapping slightly with each other. This makes the costs sky rocket and the learning curve all the more steep. My freshly revised plan, once I finally reset the cycle (mental note: must sell Project Z4M!), will have a strong emphasis on “enjoying”; and that means that my next car will be with me for a very long time.

2009 911 S

Perhaps all of my years of building various German project cars with the quest for modern Porsche 911 levels of performance have finally taken their toll. Am I truly tired of seriously modifying my cars? Or am I not keeping them long enough to fully enjoy them? Or maybe I just detest the selling process, period? As mentioned in an earlier blog: “we move up in automotive hierarchy, as we move through life with our successes”. Hmmmm, a little older and wiser, and hopefully a little bit richer too. I believe I have now come to the conclusion that is it time for me to just to buy the car I want right from the factory, and be done with it. Years ago, I was quite happy to own a 15 to 20 year old Porsche 911, why not just buy the newest one I can justify and enjoy it for 15 to 20 years, or more? This may actually save me money in the long run with my storied history of project cars, and heck, I’ve never actually purchased a brand new Porsche. I could check off another point on my life’s “bucket list”. But can I really give up my lifelong project car hobby? I believe I can, …for a brand new 911.

Porsche, there (really) is no substitute. This may be quite true, but there is absolutely no doubt about the fact that: Porsches are very expensive. However, in this day of high volume and debatable quality automobiles, you definitely do get what you pay for. Moving up into the exclusive modern supercar category though, there are many much higher priced sports cars with performance and build quality that are on an equal plane to a Porsche 911. This is what makes a 911 such an amazing sports car bargain. And I do love a good deal, even if it is in a relative sense.

 

2009 Cayman S

 Still, as a consumer and performance enthusiast, Porsche really has me right where they want me - near the top of the 911 line! Some simple “test” calculations on the Porsche website using the “Build Your Porsche” web-tool demonstrates this nicely. Let’s say from a performance elitist perspective, we will only consider Porsche rear wheel drive coupes. When one builds a Cayman to your performance and creature comfort specifications coming in at say, ~$55,000, its easy to see the performance and prestige value in spending another $10,000 and moving up to a Cayman S. Similarly, after building a Cayman S, one figures, hey, I should just go the extra mile to pay the extra $15,000 and move up to the 911 Carrera. Plunking down a further $11,000 on top of that puts you at over $90,000, and into the Carrera S. Of course, this all cash flow dependent, and it also depends on where you are at on the “performance ladder” with your current set of wheels. Once you get up to the Carrera S level, things may begin to calm down a bit and you might end up being extremely happy stopping right here. This is because the law of diminishing returns begins to come into play, unless of course, your pockets are slightly deeper, and the “devil” on your left shoulder ensures that your need for speed prevails. The next level is a big jump of over $20,000 to the new GT3 territory starting at $112,200, with the extra 50 bhp, LSD, firmer tuned suspension, centerlock wheels, improved brakes, areodynamics, leather/alcanterra interior, and other added goodies; what is a poor defenseless track junky to do?

 

2009 GT2

In this context, and in my opinion, the 997 GT3 Mk2 is indeed an excellent deal, because one would surely have to mod that Carrera S, … just a touch (minimum $10,000). Now this is where I personally stop, and my sense of reason and reality take over. Sure, one can spend even more on a GT3 RS (no official announcement yet), or step up to the AWD 911 Turbo at $130,000, or even the new GT2 at $194,000. The main questions is: how fast do you want to go?


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