Thought of the day: appreciate your asset

It was a sunny day, without a cloud in the sky, and only blue brightness. The perfect day for a drive into one of those small towns with a mix of winding roads and long stretches – perfect to really get a feel for your Porsche. This is normally the time when you hear a story about the car’s handling, the awesome drive one had, even a tale of mechanical tragedies or events that occurred and were overcome on such a drive. All of them inspiring and some with great lessons learned.

Unfortunately, over the past few years I have noticed a disturbing trend, not with the beautiful cars that are Porsches, but involving the owners and drivers of these cars.

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Okay, now that I have your attention, here is some background. I fell in love with these cars – I mean works of art – in my early teens, when I was introduced to a 911 by a neighbour in Los Angeles who happened to be an up and coming young actor, with famous parents. He took me under his wing as the younger brother he never had. He originally owned a classic Corvette that we would load surfboards into and ride to the beach along the winding roads of Sunset Boulevard.

These were good times, but it was not until he sold the Corvette and drove home in a convertible 911SC, that my jaw dropped, and my world changed forever. After experiencing the ride and the artistry of this car, I knew what I would strive for in my life – it was to own one of these pieces of art. I have personally owned three of these great masterpieces, and have driven a few others, ranging from my first Porsche, a brown 1974 911 to the newer 996 and 997 models. Yes, that’s right, my first Porsche was brown, and it was the coolest thing to me, it drove fantastically and, living in LA, it was certainly an eye-catcher.

Regrettably, though, it seems that the majority of people who own 911s do not have the same mind-set as those true enthusiasts of Porsche, rather they own or drive them as a symbol representing their prideful ideas of personal financial prestige.

Case in point, I have owned a multitude of motorcycles, but it was not until I rode my motorcycle on the road for the first time that I was introduced to a fraternity of brothers and sisters. As I was riding down the street and motorcyclists were approaching from the opposing lane, they would stretch out their arm, with their hand slightly flat and a slight wave. I did not understand what it meant, and assumed they were alerting me to a problem, so I pulled over to inspect the bike, but it seemed fine. As I stood by looking admiringly at my new bike, another motorcyclist stopped by to assist. As I explained my situation, he laughed, and let me in on the secret. The wave was simply a gesture of camaraderie and respect, regardless of what you rode; a welcome to a fraternity of riders on two wheels and the love of riding, with diversity in styles appreciated. We stood there admiring each other’s machines, enjoying laughs and stories, and he gave me tips on riding. He invited me to tag along with him, as he was meeting a group of friends. As it turned out, this man was a CEO of a major corporation, who I would have never met if it was not for two wheels on the road.

Fast-forward and my experiences with Porsche owners are drastically different. After purchasing my 911, just before sunset on a beautiful day, and driving it home on a traffic-free road, I felt like the luckiest guy in the world, knowing I was driving a piece of art history, and enjoying every sound and rattle. As I came across other Porsche drivers, I thought they must feel the same way, not only about their car, but mine as well. To my dismay, though, I did not receive a wave or a smile, only a shrug and sometimes not even a glance.

Okay, I thought, no biggie, maybe those three owners of newer Porsches were having a bad day. A few days later, I drove to a local eatery and parked next to a newer, beautiful 911. As I exited my car, the owner of that great Porsche made direct eye contact as he got out of his, but never said a word, only rolled his eyes. Nonetheless, I made a compliment about his car, to which he replied, “Thanks, it cost a lot, so be careful not to scratch it.”

Another time, I asked a lady driving a brand-new silver 911 what she thought of the water-cooled engines, to which she responded by stating that, “I didn’t buy the car to understand how it works, but because it looked expensive.” It was also a Tiptronic, but that’s a whole other story.

I can give a multitude of similar experiences that seem to be indicative for a majority of owners I have met. It seems that a certain segment have taken the art that is Porsche and turned it into a false identity that is only a showcase to the world, to look at them and not appreciate the gift of art they are blessed to own.

The point that I am trying to convey respectfully is to be humble. Your Porsche is a work of art so appreciate it, enjoy it, from old-school to new, and if you drive it only for show, then drive it right and remember – Porsche, there is no substitute.

Thanks to Total 911 reader Maurice Medel for his thought of the day

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