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Old 06-24-2016, 10:08 PM   #1
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The Odyssey (Porsche, not Honda)

I've been looking for a Boxster for several months, and eventually decided that I wanted a 987.2 S with a manual transmission. Unfortunately, here in Colorado 987.2's are few and far between lately, and the only couple I've seen have been PDK. So I expanded my search nationwide and thought I was pretty clever when I paid $350 to have a car shipped up from Texas to my local Carmax. It looked good in the photos (don't they all?) and the price was fair.

Unfortunately, it was not money well-spent. The previous owner had plasti-dipped the wheels and this had not been completely removed. One wheel had been re-sprayed to fix curb rash, and they didn't even bother to mask off the tire. Plus, the PO had hastily removed an amplifier, as evidenced by dozens of remnants of stripped wires in the front trunk. My mind flashed to the image of a kindly old man who carefully wiped each lug nut with a cloth diaper before reinstalling them and torquing them with care as he patted the car lovingly on the fender. This PO obviously wasn't that guy, so the image was replaced with a sideways ballcap-wearing doofus sporting a neckbeard and planning his next foray down to PepBoys to get some bling. I didn't want to buy that guy's car. Too many yellow flags for me, plus Carmax does not allow PPI's. Funny thing is, I'm really glad Carmax left the car in its original condition and didn't clean it up.

Fast forward a few weeks and my family is vacationing in Florida. Apparently (according to some random guy), South Florida is the second biggest market for Boxsters in the USA. California would be first, I reckon, but the random guy didn't really say. I found about 12 Boxsters in FL that were worth considering, and after many sleepless hours on the computer, poring over Carfaxes and scrutinizing photos with a magnifying glass, I had narrowed the list to about four.

One was a PDK base model, which only reassured me that I wanted a manual S. This car was at a Mitsubishi dealer, and walking into that place was like walking into one of those Old West saloons in the movies - except there was no old-timey piano playing in the corner. Everyone in there looked depressed and bitter, sitting slumped around various tables scattered around the showroom. I think one fella was looking around the ceiling for a good place to hang himself with a phone cord. I got out of there pretty quick.

Another car turned out to have no heated seats. That's a deal-breaker for me, since it gets cold at night in Colorado, even in the summer, and I'm going to drive it every day there isn't snow on the ground.

A third car was at a Porsche dealer, and was generally nice other than having wheels I disliked. Unfortunately the dealership was creepy. It took them 10 minutes to figure out if they still had the car, and then the saleslady proceeded to show me all the dandy features of the car, such as the glove compartment, the visors, the cup holders, and every other mundane part she could point at. When she wasn't telling me about how the car comes with 4 tires and a nifty speedometer thingy, she was offering me water. I swear, she must have had Tourette's or something. I think, no lie, that she offered me water at least 15 times. Maybe she was trying to drug me. I've heard that happens.

I drove the car and we went back to the dealership to ask the service manager what he knew about the car's service history. He was less than interested in helping me, and gave me a condescending attitude. I believe any grown man who wears a pink shirt and shiny tie has no business giving anyone attitude. I bit my tongue and walked back into the showroom, although I was tempted to flick a booger onto his little fancy-man shirt.

I thanked the saleslady for her time and told her I had a couple other cars to see. About that time the manager came up and proceeded to do his best "what do I have to do to get you to buy this car right now" routine. My 12-year-old son was with me, so it was a nice teaching opportunity for him to see some of the games car dealers play. Oh, and they didn't allow PPI's at that dealership. Boooo.

Finally we went to another place and checked out a car that had all the features I wanted and was priced right. The dealership was friendly and free of obvious weirdos. They welcomed a PPI. The car looked great and drove like new.

I contacted Pedro Bonilla of Pedro's Garage, and he came by a couple days later to inspect the car. He did a great job, and the car mostly passed inspection. He did notice, however, that the rear tires were different in tread and treadwear rating. I brought this up to the sales guy, but he was un-moved. Oh well, the price was still better than anything I was going to find in Colorado, so I went ahead and bought the car. A couple days later I had the rear tires replaced with a matching set.

The final matter of concern was getting the car back to Colorado, a 26 hour trip. I logged over 10 hours the first day and stopped overnight in Kentucky, where my family of origin still lives. While I was there, my brother gave me a couple of rifles to bring home with me for my sons. The next leg of my journey would take me through Illinois, which is notorious for their gun laws, so I tiptoed through that state and never got above the speed limit. The original plan was to stop in central Kansas and break the remaining trip into two 8 hour days. When I got to the hotel, however, I was feeling fresh as a daisy - so I cancelled the reservation and got back on the interstate. I arrived home safe and sound at 10:45 PM.

Surprisingly, that 16 hour drive was pretty easy. The car runs great on the interstate and the seats are extremely comfortable. I got about 27 mpg and spent most of the trip at about 78 mph.

One unforeseen complication was that I hadn't brought any music for a 26 hour road trip, since I was not sure I would be buying a car while in Florida. Thankfully, I did a quick search on my smartphone and found I was eligible for a free 2 month trial of SiriusXM. I signed up on my phone and activated the PCM 3.0, all while driving. I now had plenty of tunes to get me home, although I honestly think I have permanent hearing damage from driving for almost two days straight (with the top down much of that time) and the music blaring loud enough to hear it over the sound of the wind and the semi trucks. BTW the bluetooth phone system in this car has surprisingly good sound quality, even with the top down on the interstate.

Best part of the trip - pulling out of a gas station in Kansas and seeing a little boy pulling frantically on his mom's arm and pointing at my car. That's right, buddy. Aww yeahhhh.

Did the car have any problems? Well, it IS a Porsche....

The clutch start switch started giving me problems before I even got out of Florida. Armed with info from the internet, I went to Lowe's, found a stray piece of wire on the floor, cut it to length, found some spade connectors that would fit, crimped them on, and then paid for the connectors. I now had a gen-u-wine jumper wire, so I MacGyvered that sucker.

Also, the tether on the gas cap decided to spontaneously disintegrate about halfway through the trip.

All told, though, $15 for a gas cap and $30 for a clutch switch ain't too bad.

TLDR - I bought a car and drove it home. It was a good trip.

2011 Boxster S



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Old 06-24-2016, 11:43 PM   #2
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Great story and congratulations. My wife and I are currently on a Canadian west coast trip and really enjoying our Boxster on this extended 2 week journey.
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Old 06-25-2016, 02:36 AM   #3
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Loved the story and the car ! Made me nearly laugh out loud, but didn't cuz I didn't want to wake my wife who after working 12 hours as a nurse yesterday is sleeping soundly next to me. Happy to hear Pedro could help you out. We bought our Box from him last year and drove it 1,500 miles home. Enjoy the car!


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Old 06-25-2016, 03:25 AM   #4
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Nice...... Congrats
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Old 06-25-2016, 03:34 AM   #5
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Great car, great story. Welcome!

And Porsches are great long distance runners. They eat the miles effortlessly. But you already know that.
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Old 06-25-2016, 03:35 AM   #6
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Well written and congrats! The fun has just begun....
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Old 06-25-2016, 07:36 AM   #7
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GREAT story and write up. ENJOY!!
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Old 06-25-2016, 07:51 AM   #8
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Congrats, nice car, write up and a picture on your first post! I had to replace my gas cap almost immediately for the same reason. Welcome
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Old 06-25-2016, 08:05 AM   #9
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Easily the best story I've read on this site in years. Wow you should write for a magazine or something!!
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Old 06-25-2016, 11:20 AM   #10
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Beautiful car, and with the best looking wheels..!

BTW Pedro Bonilla is indeed a true gentleman
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Old 06-25-2016, 11:29 AM   #11
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Great story indeed. Welcome to the forum.

Since you're in Colorado it might be worth your time to checkout this event in July.
This is a good place to meet other Boxster owners.
Rocky Mountain High Way – Wednesday, July 27 – Saturday, July 30 2016
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Last edited by cas951; 06-25-2016 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 06-25-2016, 12:14 PM   #12
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I love those stories! Keep, lets them coming; Boxster trips, adventures, etc. Yep, did some business with Pedro and he is a class act!
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Old 06-25-2016, 01:07 PM   #13
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+1 on the wheels and welcome to the family.
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Old 06-25-2016, 01:17 PM   #14
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Thanks for the positive response, everyone. Although I have a 987, the 986 Forum definitely has a very friendly feel, more so than any of the other forums I've browsed so far. I hope to contribute to the community. My first post was about a quick fix for the elastic bands in the convertible top, but it said it was being sent for moderation and never showed up. I may re-post that if it does not pop up later today.

I'll check out the Rocky Mountain High Way event. Thanks for the tip. I live here in Colorado Springs, and I just might have some time off scheduled in late July.
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Old 06-25-2016, 01:56 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Acula View Post

I'll check out the Rocky Mountain High Way event. Thanks for the tip. I live here in Colorado Springs, and I just might have some time off scheduled in late July.
Hope to see you there. Three of us from California will be making a road trip there. We'll be taking Hwy 15 to Hwy 70 stopping by Arches, Moab etc then on to back roads towards hey 50 to Monthrose.
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Old 06-25-2016, 03:36 PM   #16
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Great read and nice buy! + Picture on your intro post. Good stuff.
Welcome to the Forum.

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