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Old 03-05-2014, 10:09 AM   #1
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Austin to Vegas in a 986 - Long

I picked up a new to me 2003 986S (65k miles) from a Porsche dealership in Austin TX.

The adventure starts on a perfect sunny Friday afternoon as I point the car west on I-10 and set the GPS for home (north of Vegas). Very impressive hiway tracking/handling- almost seemed to steer itself. Even in some very high wind areas- very stable.

Before long traffic started to thin out and the road was almost empty- except for--- DEER! At least Texas uses high fences and most of the deer were on the other side, but not all. The worst - I came around a bend and was looking at the radio- and drifted into the left lane. As I corrected- there was a deer in the right lane that I surely would have tagged Ė it came out of nowhere. The guardian angel of the highway was watching out for me.

I ran out of steam in Van Horn and found a great little motel for $30. The Porsche was a little out of place among the station wagons and old trucks.

Saturday was fine day to continue west- towards El Paso and Tucson and then north.

Lots of road construction thru the El Paso area, no worries Ė until within sight of the I-10/I-25 split. The car started pulling slightly left. Tire low? Hiway ruts? Just as I was making plans to pull over and check- thump/thump/thump. Those Germans do put together a good tire kit. Had the tire off in just a minute and the spare was full! (Whew)

5 miles up the road was Big O tire- they were super busy but after telling them I would remount the tire myself- he slipped me in. But no Michelinís in stock until Monday- so I went with the no name Sailun tire for $150 all in. The Michelin had picked up a small nail, and the hole was typically one I would plug myself, but (lucky for me) no kit or compressor. Good thing, after looking at the inside of the tire- it was damaged and would have held air but would not be safe at all. Now Iím rethinking my tire plug program.

Heading into the Tucson the dark clouds were building and the radio had reports of a serious storm moving thru the area. So even though the temps had risen to the point of putting the top down- I left it up. It was a soaker of a storm, and didnít really let up until I was almost out of AZ.

My biggest worry was that I would ingest water or have a short out in the middle of nowhere in the dark. But the car was amazing and never a hiccup. The windows were fully Rain-xíd and the proved to be most helpful as the wipers had quite a squeal. I never really needed to use them- even in the hardest downpour- unless I was in traffic.

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Old 03-05-2014, 10:10 AM   #2
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Part 2

oopps - cant add pics to an edit I guess...

Last edited by Davev; 03-05-2014 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:19 AM   #3
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part 2- really

The rain slowed progress down enough that I didn’t make it home on day two- spent the night in an upscale (not) motel 6 in Kingman AZ.

The final leg was perfect and I took the back way along the Lake Mead Shoreline road- where you’re never actually near the shore, but then it’s not really a lake. Uneventful except for the beauty of the area and a Mustang and Charger I hooked up with on I-15 for a 15 mile run over xxx mph. I assumed one of them had a detector.

My impressions of the car in general:
1. Super comfy seats- never had soreness or a need to get out and stretch
2. Nice road manners for long freeway stretches
3. Fuel mileage not so good when running over 85 mph.
4. Reliable and safe in heavy rain
5. A little lifter noise on cold mornings
6. No oil consumption after 1350 miles of high speed use
7. TPMS would be nice
8. Stock exhaust is nice for traveling
9. Bose system excellent (Sat radio soon)
10. No leaks in the heaviest of rain
11. I now trust this car in any conditions or situations

My thanks to all who post here. I went way back in time and read a crazy amount about the 986. Very interesting and helpful.

Last edited by Davev; 03-05-2014 at 11:01 AM.
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:21 AM   #4
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Congrats.. quite a journey on your new ride already!
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:39 AM   #5
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Ahhh, nothing better than a road trip with a great car.
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:49 AM   #6
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That's where I bought my car from last year--same color. Congrats on making the journey! Sounds like you and the car have bonded.
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:20 AM   #7
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Thanks for the great write up and pics Dave. Don't feel bad about the tire. I have bought 6 tires in the last 6 months what with a puncture, buying rear snow tires and all season radials. And I got rid of the safety lock nuts and put regular nuts on.

Really enjoyed your pics. You have such beautiful scenery down south. Looks like a great car.G.
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:20 AM   #8
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I think that you're ready to write for Car and Driver! Great story and pic's!
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:32 AM   #9
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Congrats on the new car.

Now you need to take a Porsche Performance Driving School to learn how to really drive the car to its potential, have a ton of fun and make a bunch of new Porsche friends.

With the Porsche PDS course under your belt you would have been able to meet the deer head on in the middle of the road in your lane, shifted weight to the front tires, dodged the deer, hit the gas to shift the weight back and avoid a spinout and smack the deers ass with your left hand on the way by, and all on wet pavement at 60 mph.

James Bond definitely took that Porsche PDS and its gotten him out of a jam countless times.
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Old 03-05-2014, 12:06 PM   #10
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Nice story and pics! Thanks for sharing with a garage bound guy in the snowy NE
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Old 03-05-2014, 12:09 PM   #11
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Awesome... congrats! I see this forum has great taste in colors and wheels and roadtrips. Mine was 2000 miles starting on the German Autobahn.

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Old 03-05-2014, 01:04 PM   #12
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I drove from Houston to SoCal to NorCal through Death Valley into Vegas and then back to Houston in 18 days with the wife in 2004 a year after I bought my 1997. The car ran like a top the entire time.

Glad to hear your donut spare held air and worked for you. I've had an awful time finding a replacement tire for my donut rim... my tire is both very old and was driven with very little air in it and the sidewall has been compromised.
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Old 03-05-2014, 03:53 PM   #13
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After driving Vegas to Death Valley and back this past Saturday (in Vegas for the weekend) in a rental car - I'm very tempted to drive from Houston to Utah in the Boxster. It's so much fun to drive mountain and curvy roads that we just don't have around here. Done plenty of cross country road trips so distance isn't a problem and I've been to Utah so I know how beautiful it is at the national parks!
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Old 03-05-2014, 05:35 PM   #14
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Congrats. Never a saw a bose unit in the cubby like that.

If you are so inclined, please post the asking price from the dealer. No need to post the price paid we'll assume you haggled some.

I saw my skin doctor recently. He said I should get in the habit of wearing sunscreen under me pants. He must have picked up the fact that I spend many hours sitting in a convertible. Apparently jeans are not UV protected and he noticed more sun spots than he wants to see.

That tire would make a good Salvador Dali painting for your garage.
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Old 03-05-2014, 07:17 PM   #15
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Nice write up thanks for sharing this experience. Welcome to the forum.
What we're dealing with here is a complete lack of respect for the law.
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:05 PM   #16
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I loved the story! Nothing beats a great roadtrip!
Sucks about the flat tire, very glad you were able to get out of that one easily.
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:24 PM   #17
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Sounds like fun. Especially in Texas if we hit a deer, someone's fridge would be full of roadkill filets.
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:28 PM   #18
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looks like a great drive to me!
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:31 PM   #19
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Sounds like a great trip, thanks for sharing.

I followed the same path for a while last year while delivering a 34' RT medical van from Dayton OH to SoCal. We went far south to avoid major snowstorms along the I 40. The van was a pig and I longed for my Boxster every day.
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:23 PM   #20
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Glad you enjoyed the trip report. While not my first Porsche, it's for sure the best one I've owned.

Dealer was asking 15k. Nice gents and a nice shop. I did stop along the way and picked up some SPF70 lotion. Probably too late for my weathered face - but maybe I can save my legs. Ha

Last edited by Davev; 03-05-2014 at 09:44 PM.
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