Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Vanity Plates

I've more or less decided not to get Vanity Plates for this car, as it is a cop magnet already. I'm a big enough target with the whale tail, plus my past history likely has all of the cops in the Greater Cleveland area doing a jig at the thought of me in a 911. I picture grizzled old veterans gathered around the water cooler, telling the young pups "Happy days are here again." "You will never miss a quota now." That sound you heard? That was the laughter in Columbus when the title went through.

That said, if I WERE to get vanity plates, does anyone have any suggestions? I thought OLD SKOOL because it is a very old 911, still air cooled and relatively light weight. Others?

Saturday, February 24, 2007

I'm infatuated with this car

This is kind of stupid to admit to, but I am infatuated with this car. I have not even driven it for an hour. The tachometer has only been above 4000 twice - once at my dad's and once the other night when Tim and Carol gave me a lift home from the train station. I really have no experience with it yet. But I do love owning it.

I bought three books on 911's so far - The Used 911 Story, Porsche 911 Performance Handbook , and a shop manual. I have read all three. I actually have studied how the suspension works, because I wondered about the torsion bars.

I really need to drive this car. Gotta cut this short, Andy wants a walk.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

I need to buy a radar detector

So, I have had the car for a full week today. I have a) driven it home, very carefully 2) driven it over to my dad's for a brief visit and iii) taken it out to recharge the battery. I know I said I was going to leave it in the garage until spring. But the insurance card came today. I had to put it in the car, then I messed around with the radio, the dash, the sun roof, etcetera after I put the card in the car. So I had the bright idea that perhaps I should run it for a bit to recharge the battery - just in case. Duff and I played horse around with the cars to get the 911 out of the garage. Once it was running, where do I decide to take the car? Around the block briefly? Let it idle in the garage perhaps? Maybe just run it down the highway? No - of course not. I decide to take it down into the valley. I think, one quick lap - down Stinchcomb, across the river and back up behind the hospital. No problem. Just enough to warm it up, not enough to get salt all over it. So, I just get down Stinchcomb hill, turn left and take it up into third gear. I'm not going fast at all. Just turning over at 2000 rpm. Cruising. What to my wondering eyes does appear? A Cop. I go into Steve Pack's patented routine - oh sh*t, oh f**k, mess around with driver's license, etcetera. Those of you who know the routine, know what I was doing. It is a magic voodoo dance to avoid getting a ticket. Usually, it works. Usually I am driving a PT Cruiser. He pulls me over. I think I made his night. I explained that I had JUST. . . GOT . . . THE . . . CAR. I wasn't used to it. It got away from me. I grovel. He gives me a warning.

I have got to get a radar detector.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

In the garage . . .

The car is now in the garage, hopefully until spring. I think I will be tempted to take it out on occasion, when the weather is nice. I'm going to try to avoid that temptation till late April. Wish me luck!

Monday, February 5, 2007

Superbowl Sunday

I took the car out one more time before the spring. I wanted to take it over to my parents house, so my Dad could see it. Dad has always wanted a 911, but he never made any serious attempts to buy one. I thought I would surprise him, so I did not tell him about the car.

On the way over, I started to get some heat out of the car - it was -5 F or so outside. I took the car down through the valley, since it was a toasty 0 F or maybe even + 5 F in the car. The valley is a massive public park in Cleveland that winds along several rivers. I have used it as my own private test track for years. One time I took my Chevy Beretta down there and was driving a bit too fast. The road took a sharp left corner, dipped down, crossed the river in a ford, then dipped up and into a sharp right corner. That Beretta crossed the river sideways in a skid. How I ever survived to be 40 I will never know. I have driven my old 924, my 1973 Chevy Impala, my Honda Civic, all of my cars on these roads at stupid rates of speed. I'm still sticking to the "no going over 4000 rpm until the engine warms up" rule. Unfortunately, the car never really warmed up. When the car is oil / air cooled, -5 F is a bit much to run around in. But it was still nice to tool along at a normal pace on the roads I used to daydream about running a 911 along. I'm just starting to get the handle of the car, so it was all for the best.

Dad was suitably surprised when I asked him to come outside. He did not have on a jacket, or socks, but ignored the cold and stayed outside for 15 minutes running all over the car. I took him around the block and, just for 1 gear, let the car run up to the red line. WHOOSH - I finally understood why I bought this thing. It was very nice, very fast. Dad's comment was "You are going to get yourself in trouble with this thing." It was said in a light laughing tone. When we got back to the house, he let me tuck it into his garage.

Mom took a look at it through the door, but said she would wait for spring before she takes a ride in it. We went in, had a great meal and watched the game together. When I got back to my home, the car was warmed up quite well and I thought that Duff had not had a chance to ride with me yet. I went in and got her. She came out, sat in the car and the headlights stopped working. I am sure that we just blew a fuse, but still . . . I think the car might not like her.

If this were true, I would have to make a very tough decision - should I sell the car? Or should I get a divorce?

Lets hope it doesn't come to that, shall we?

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Picked up the 911 today

Okay, today I picked up my 911. Bizarre experience. There is no manual. There is no documentation of the service history. The car was pretty much as I expected. There are a couple of minor items that were not visible in the photos. A bit of rust here and there, the interior is a bit more worn, but overall pretty much as I expected. Stoddard was great. They detailed the car before I got there. They put a full tank of gas in the car. They took care of the paper work quickly and so on.

Driving home, I was very cautious with the car. I did not rev over 4000 until the temperature lifted off the bottom peg. Duffy, my patient and understanding wife, followed me out of the dealership. At some point we lost each other. I turned around to find her, then had to turn around again. During the second turnaround I hit a patch of snow. Whiz - bang, just that fast, the car swapped ends. SCARY. Made me very nervous on the highway. I was very aware of every patch of ice, snow and possible wet areas, let me tell you. I did not want to speed at all in the car.

It was a gorgeous winter day here - about 28 with clear blue skies. As I drove past downtown and onto the west side, the skies darkened, snow started to fall and I got very cold shivers down my spine. My drive took me on a bit of road called "dead man's curve". It is a very sharp left turn, about 90 degrees, right in the middle of a 4 lane highway. I wanted to zip through it at top speed, but after the issue in the parking lot, I took it at a more normal turn of speed. Some guy in a Olds 98 nearly side swiped me at the next on ramp.

We had seen an accident near Lyndale on our way to the dealer. We were not sure why. On the way home, I found out why and nearly had one myself. The road had not been cleared through a corner. There was still about 5 inches of snow, just cleared out where people's tires went. I hit that and almost lost it again.

Then there were the heater controls. I had no idea how to make them work. I just read online that I need to a) pull up the levers on the floor b) move the levers on the dash and ignore the levers down by the gear shift. Bizarre. I must locate a manual for this car. I'll post new pictures once I get to a PC with a USB port.

Oh, one last thing, as I got home it started to snow in the car. I think the window seals need to be replaced.