Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Signs full of portent

I belong to a group on Tribe called Porsche-philes. The first guy to respond to my inquires about buying a used 911 was Shamus. He was really very supportive and had a number of books to recommend, steps to follow and things to watch out for. Shortly after my post, he purchased a 1977 911. I recently followed up with him to see how the experience went. I've quoted a few relevant passages below.

". . . the rear sway bar mount was cracked (a common problem) and the shocks in the rear had to be replaced. My mechanic recommends flushing the brakes every three years, so I had that done. The battery was the wrong size, and badly jury rigged into the compartment, so I just replaced the battery rather than weld a clamp for it. . . "

". . . After a couple of months, I noticed that every time I used my turn signal with the lights on, the highbeams would come on. Again, it's a common problem because of the way the headlights are wired. $300 for that. I've also discovered that the cigarette lighter doesn't work, which is a problem, in that the spare tire inflates with a little pump that plugs into the cigarette lighter. It wasn't the fuse, so that's something for taking it back to the shop. . . ."

". . . The biggest annoyance is that there's a leak, and it rains a lot here. . . while I consider whether I spend a grand to replace all the seals . . ."

". . . The pop off valve ended up being the big story for me last year. I was getting some stalling upon deceleration, you know, just cruising up to a stop sign. The guys at the mechanics just said that it could be a hundred things, and you might just have to put up with that. Then one day, it just didn't start. After consulting with Pelican Parts, they said that likely it was the pop off valve. Sure enough, it had popped out, and taking apart the air box and popping it back in got the car running. But then I ended up having it pop out on me at a stop light, and later on the interstate, and I had to do roadside or middle of the road repairs. That was no fun, but at least it first broke down in my parking spot, and I was able to know what it was and how to fix it. Once the valve was replaced, the stalling on deceleration went away. I guess it was just leaking before it popped out. . ."

Ah, the joys of classic car ownership! I have great things to look forward to.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

I am insane

I just bought a car on eBay. This is insane. What the hell was I thinking? I know what I was thinking. I was thinking "There is no way this car is going to sell for that price" THAT is what I was thinking. My little entertainment of bid chicken has cost me a nice chunk of change.

Let me explain. I love surfing eBay. I love looking and dreaming about all of the cars, boats, houses, stereo equipment etcetra that I could buy. I sometimes even bid on it, just to give myself a little lift. After I have bid on something I like to think "I could be the owner of a Ferrari right now." It gives me a little boost, a lighter step, a longer stride. Of course, I always under bid the blue book on the car, just to be safe. I've never even come close to being the winning bidder. Well, this time it bit me.

I have put a down payment on this car. Even though I was not too serious about buying the car, I still can't pass on the price. I have bought the car. The car of my dreams. The car I always said "Someday, someday when I am rich, I will own that car." Of course, I'm not rich. But I own it none the less. I just bought, for $11,100.00, a 1979 911 SC. Low blue book on the car is $15,000. This blog is my personal journal of the ownership trials and tribulations of buying a "cheap used sports car". I put that in quotes because there is no such thing as a cheap used sports car. The seller always knows something you don't. Plus, most people who buy sports cars use them, a lot. "Use them, abuse them and put them away wet" is the way my old boss used to put it. I am setting my expectations low right now. I expect that I will have this car in the shop very often, and it will cost me a ton of money to own and run. We will see. We are on this journey together, you and my invisible non existent audience. I hope that I will be able to look back on this time and laugh.

I saw a 'Malcolm in the middle' episode yesterday which featured a car torturing him with it's need for repair, service and general disdain for his love. I laughed heartily at his trials and tribulations. I hope that was not signs full of portent.

I've included the eBay pictures. Those of you who get to see the car in person can compare to reality and comment.



I've attached the pictures from the eBay auction, just for your amusement.