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Old 04-18-2017, 04:03 PM   #1
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Please help me justify buying a Boxster

Hi everybody.

I need your expert help to justify the purchase of a Boxster. Here are the factors.

My first car was a used Datsun 280Z, the last of the breed before they got soft and cushy with the ZX models. I gave up my motorcycle habit when I got married 17 years ago and had kids, because that made sense. Ten years ago we got a Honda Odyssey, which has been great at what it does, but it’s, you know, a minivan. (Vanity plate reads “I CAVED.”) We will keep that for a few more years, and my wife has her Prius for her 30 mile commute, which we will also keep.

How do I justify having a third car? We don’t even have a garage- we live on the edge of Chicago and park our cars in the street. I’m not worried about having a 15 year old Boxtser on the street- people park brand new $45,000 cars on the street year round with no problem. I have been a good boy and I do my work and I pay my taxes. Do I deserve a Boxster? Life is short. We have a neighbor my age with cancer 3 doors down, a mother of two young teenagers, and her days are numbered in the double digits. I think of what that family is going through, and how do I justify a big toy that will take me back to my adolescence? Life is short, and my number may come up next, is that it? Two years ago I had my own cancer scare, and it turned out to be a misdiagnosis- what if next time it isn’t? And speaking of adolescence, my oldest son is 6 months away from driving. It would be good to have a stickshift on which to teach him that art and science, though, knowing my own history, I would never let him drive a Boxster alone anytime before his pre-frontal cortex is fully developed and out of reach of the hormone hurricane.

Honestly, this is my mid-life crisis mobile. And honestly, now that I have hit 50, I feel like the minute I buy a Boxster I will be a walking cliché. I don’t even want to be seen driving the thing, and may not even tell my brothers or friends about it. I refuse to even look at any red Boxsters. (If I could get an accent over the E, maybe I would have the vanity plate “CLICHÉ.”) On the way back from test driving a bunch of Boxsters today, I saw an old chubby guy struggling to get out of his Boxster to gas it up. I thought about going over to ask him how he liked his car, but I couldn’t decide what was more pathetic, me going over to chat with him, or just the fact of the guy clutching at his own lost youth himself. But I need to get a car that makes my heart beat a little faster when I get in and turn the key.

In fact, tell me what you think it means that I want to have this be a *secret* car. I’m thinking of renting a neighbor’s garage space off the back alley, and not even have my kids know about the car, and see how long I can keep that up. I will tell my wife to ignore any big chunks that happen to fall out of our checking account, and she will probably be fine with that, and if it’s out of sight, it will be out of mind. Because it’s just ridiculous for us to have 3 cars. What the hell does THAT mean, that I want it to be a secret car? I am in a community with its share of underprivileged people, and though it doesn’t seem to bother a lot of other people around here, this kind of purchase would fall squarely in the realm of conspicuous consumption.

I thought about getting something like a Mini, something halfway fun to drive (until I started test-driving Boxsters) but somehow that would be harder to justify in a different way. A car with more than two seats would make one of our other cars somewhat redundant, whereas if I get a two seater, it is clearly its own thing, in its own category. If I got a car that was kinda useless for anything else but for me to have fun with it, we would still need to hang on to the minivan. I just wouldn’t have to drive it around, except when it was full of people.

Your thoughts please?

Last edited by MikeMcMo; 04-19-2017 at 11:17 AM.
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Old 04-19-2017, 07:56 AM   #2
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Welcome to 986 forum, Mike! I wouldn't look at it as a "cliche" thing. If you truly want to purchase one then do it. Can't worry what other people think as this is a car purchase for yourself and yourself only. I'm sure some of our members will chime in with some thoughts and advice for you. If you ever have any parts or forum questions please do not hesitate to let me know. I have also posted a link to our tech articles below that you can read up on for some additional info about the 986.

Porsche Boxster 986/987 (1997-2004) Technical Articles | Pelican Parts
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Old 04-19-2017, 08:34 AM   #3
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Just don't be like this guy:

How to tell your family you got the Porsche:

Your first drive in the Porsche:

Seriously: if you can afford it, and your other stuff is all taken care of - Go for it!

Search for threads on cost of ownership and maintenance. If you are a DIY type of guy, read the Pelican 101 projects articles to get an idea of what it's like to do your own maintenance:

101 Projects for Your Porsche Boxster

Without a garage, maintenance would be tough, so your challenge is to identify a local independent Porsche mechanic to help you with maintenance and service. This website can help you find a mechanic: Independent Porsche Repair | Repair Shops Specializing in Porsche | PCarShops

Good luck and welcome!

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Old 04-19-2017, 08:36 AM   #4
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I know your feeling exactly. I too recently turned 50 and got a 2001 Boxster S as a birthday present for myself (with my wife's encouragement). I had wanted a Porsche sports car since I was a teenager and have been buying Porsche magazines every month since the mid-eighties. I loved the Boxster when it came out and even more so when the S was released. I put off getting one year after year as there was always a reason not to buy one - we don't have the money, we have to look after the kids first, it's a lot of money for something frivolous, I'll look like a tool driving it, what will my neighbours and co-workers think - and many more.

There is one very good reason for you to go for it - joy. You will enjoy owning and driving it. It will frustrate you sometimes and it may cost you some dollars now and down the road, but in the end you have earned the right to own something just for the fun of it.

When I first got my car I kind of hid it from acquaintances and co-workers. I don't any more because frankly it's not a Bentley, it's a little sports car. I'm sure some have said behind my back that it's a mid-life crisis car and maybe they're right. I don't care - I just drive the car and enjoy it.
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Old 04-19-2017, 08:48 AM   #5
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Mike, here's the thing:

My Mother deferred her personal happiness all her life, always for the benefit of those around her - coworkers, family, kids, grandkids, whoever. She never gave herself much of anything, always feeling like she would do it "later." She always said, "Someday I'm going to..." And that "someday" was a blurred date down the road in her future. As she got older, it seemed like "someday" was finally going to be when she retired from working. She worked and worked, and finally, after all those years, she retired. 35 days later she died of undiagnosed liver cancer.

Think about that.

What is your motivation to own a Boxster? Is it an age thing, a status thing, or just something that will be fun to drive? If you're having an age crisis, talk to your shrink. If it's a status thing, question why you need to prove yourself better than your neighbors. If it's a fun thing that will put a smile on your work-weary face, then why not? Don't you deserve something in your life that makes you happy?

If you feel you need to hide it, you're buying it for the wrong reason. A beautiful car like a Boxster needs to be shared with your loved ones. Maybe your wife or kids have similar thoughts of enjoying a drive on a great day with the top down, but think it's beyond the scope of their lives.

Nobody says you have to buy a brand new Boxster - there are plenty of great used ones for sale. The one I own was built in 2002, but it looks and runs like new. It's awesome. Cars like mine are around, and can be purchased for less than $15K without a lot of effort. I own three cars, but the Boxster is my hobby car, sheerly for the pleasure of owning, maintaining, and driving it. You could start with an inexpensive used Boxster, get to know the pleasure (and $$$ pain) of owning one, and then buy a new one later on, once you've decided owning one is what you really want to do. Who knows - after you have it and the novelty wears off, you may decide it isn't for you after all. If your buy-in was at lower cost, you won't be (as much) money behind if you decide to sell it.

At the end of the day, if you buy this car and feel you have to hide it from your family, you need to get a vanity plate that reads "Mistress." Because it's exactly the same kind of thing.

I say go for it, but do it in broad daylight. A boss I had years ago had a sign over his desk that read, "If they're running you out of town, get in front of the crowd and make it look like a parade."

2002 Boxster S Tiptronic. Lapis Blue/Grey leather/upgraded Metropol top (glass rear window.) Still learning new things all the time about this awesome car!

Last edited by DaveNW; 04-19-2017 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 04-19-2017, 08:57 AM   #6
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The only problem I have in my household with the Porsche is defending it from people who want to take it out for a ride. We are car people, my wife and I have always loved sports cars, but because of obligations and domestic duties we could not justify it. Did you ever try to take 3 kids to travel soccer in three different directions?

When my wife and I turned the big 60 we were liberated from those domestic duties and now live again for ourselves. She got a 2016 Miata and I got the 2004 Boxster S. I don't feel one ounce of regret nor have I EVER felt embarrassed to own one of the best and classic sports cars of all time. How could you ever feel anything but pride driving this car?

It IS important to have your SO's buyin. If this is a one-sided desire, prepare to get a lot of resistance and that will just kill the experience.
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Old 04-19-2017, 09:16 AM   #7
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Dude -

Speaking here as "an old fat guy", you don't have to do anything to justify what you drive. Quit worrying that you'll be a cliché and do something for yourself that makes YOU happy. When I'm too old and fat to climb in and out of my Boxsters, I'll get a Cayenne GTS.

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No need to keep it secret either. The 20 year old girlfriend? That's what you keep secret. The Boxster you take out and drive. The 20 year old girlfriend you can hide with in the garage.

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And just three cars? You're a rookie...

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Go find yourself a nice 986 and enjoy your life!
I think I have a Porsche problem...
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Old 04-19-2017, 09:46 AM   #8
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Go for it!

Don't try hide the car though. One thing to remember it's not just a car.. I would recommend contacting your local region of PCA even before you buy a car. Go out to one of their events and bring the whole family. You will be amazed at how many new friends you will make. I am 28 and got my first Porsche when I was 20. I am by no means rich ( I have three step daughters and a one year old) if you are able to do some of the work yourself these cars can be very affordable. My daughters love he car and we have a lot of fun going for drives. I also take my wife and kids to local PCA events. its funny most teenagers don't want to hang out with their parents much but when it comes to the car or going to an event they fight over who gets to go.
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Old 04-19-2017, 10:55 AM   #9
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It is like a golf swing.....dont overthink it. dont worry about if I should buy a 986 but which one to buy!
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Old 04-19-2017, 11:45 AM   #10
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(Excellent movie clip choices!)

I've got a solution, get another motorcycle. Easier to hide! I'm 62 and I have 3, don't be a wuss. Of course, Illinois roads aren't exactly bike nirvana...

12 years ago I "went to the carwash" with the pickup (GMC Syclone), and came home with my CPO Boxster ) Wifey exclaimed "WTF", then promptly grabbed the keys...and took it to the grocery store with the top down. She said the bag boys checked her out ) It's a good thing.
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Old 04-19-2017, 11:51 AM   #11
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If you're going to have a midlife crisis, why get a boxster? Save some extra cash and get yourself a 911 Turbo.

Nothing screams Midlife Crisis!!! like a turbo.
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Old 04-19-2017, 12:06 PM   #12
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Do it!

When I got my '03 S four years ago everyone said I was going through a 'mid life crises'. How wrong they were. The crises was NOT getting the car sooner.

Besides, I'll be turning 63 next month so if this is 'mid life', GOOD. I want to live to 126!
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Old 04-19-2017, 12:22 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by steved0x View Post
Just don't be like this guy:

How to tell your family you got the Porsche:

Your first drive in the Porsche:

Seriously: if you can afford it, and your other stuff is all taken care of - Go for it!

Search for threads on cost of ownership and maintenance. If you are a DIY type of guy, read the Pelican 101 projects articles to get an idea of what it's like to do your own maintenance:

101 Projects for Your Porsche Boxster

Without a garage, maintenance would be tough, so your challenge is to identify a local independent Porsche mechanic to help you with maintenance and service. This website can help you find a mechanic: Independent Porsche Repair | Repair Shops Specializing in Porsche | PCarShops

Good luck and welcome!

Oh oh. This is how I was going to introduce the Boxster I bought 6 weeks ago ... I'm so &*%$#.
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Old 04-19-2017, 12:30 PM   #14
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Just buy it

You know what, I felt funny at first as well since most people though I bought an "$80K" car when in fact it only cost me $15K. Its a great car and even greater when you use it as intended at a PCA DE or autocross. You then feel like you bought a quality tool to use. That's where you also meet some great people with and without a ton of money.

Just buy it if you want it. When people as if that's your "Porsh" just proudly say "Yes it is"
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Old 04-19-2017, 12:37 PM   #15
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I had sports cars before I thought seriously of marriage. And then after all the financial obligations were taken care of like colleges, mortgages, retirement funding, etc. Fortunately my wife caught me looking at the classifieds (remember those) and said "stop looking, go buy it".

There is a time.

Porsches aren't Toyotas and they can cost money (mine didn't except in depreciation) but when you can...do it. Wonderful cars. I'd volunteer to go to the store but my wife would know it would be a while before I was back because I'd take the long fun route.
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Old 04-19-2017, 01:35 PM   #16
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We're in a similar boat. I would spend hours looking at Porsche porn on ebay .... covet covet covet .... I have (for sale) an MGB that my wife and I enjoyed for the last 15 years, but I got tired of being beaten by the wind on long drives, then not being able to trust the car for long drives then faced with several thousand dollars of maintenance (engine rebuild, tranny rebuild etc. - normal 40 year old car stuff) and the extensive DIY hours that I didn't want to put into it. I just want to drive. My best friend has an 02 S that allowed me to be acquainted with the Boxster S. Then I came here, I saw one for sale, and I bought it.

So I do still have to have an introduction of the car to my wife ... gulp ... but hey! You only live once. This is what I want.

Anyone here 'relationship counsel'?
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Old 04-19-2017, 01:52 PM   #17
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You only live once and you're probably past midlife unless you expect to be a centurion
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Old 04-19-2017, 02:05 PM   #18
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Here is my take on this. I have 3 cars 2 (Porsche) and its just me no wife, kids or anything else. I watched those around me give everything they had for everyone else and then they were gone. I decided to take a different road. At some point in life once all the other important things are done you must take some time for yourself.

When I drive my cars it's like a mini vacation my own personal therapy away from my overly stressful job. I jump in one for my drive home and I can feel the days stress leaving via the wind in my hair. These are special cars to me. I always think how lucky I am to have owned them. Buy one and then if you dont have a perma grin each time you slip behind the wheel for a late night drive sell it nothing lost but so much you could gain.
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Old 04-19-2017, 02:47 PM   #19
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I've been fortunate to own a number of Porsche's and the one time I gave it up to meet families needs I really missed driving one. I was told when I was a kid that I'd never be able to own one with all of life's other responsibilities and I thought back then you just wait and see. It brings me a lot of joy and if I had to give up ever possession but one it would be my Porsche. The house, motorcycle, and everything else would have to go.
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Old 04-19-2017, 03:14 PM   #20
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When I got my 2002 Boxster, I felt really self-conscious about being in a Porsche. But really, I may as well be invisible. I got way more attention driving my old Miata than I've gotten in the Boxster.

Maybe a brighter color than artic silver would make a difference, but I think that because Boxsters have been around for so long, and aren't exactly rare means that most people just aren't going to notice.

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