As was mentioned elsewhere today, after a few years of suggesting I would buy a Porsche GT3, today I finally did.
I have traded my Lotus Europa S on it.
Now for some long rambling text about how and why.
I have loved my Europa S for over 4 years now. 4 years with virtually no mechanical issues, the worst thing that happened was a $16 spring that adds clutch feel on the pedal snapped.
Great things about the car - the looks, the rarity, the event of driving it, and the surprising performance.
Not so great things, always felt a bit like it could break at any time, the rattles, squeaks, unexplained air leaking noises, rattling brake pads, visibility, ability to be seen (so bad that I was frightened to drive at night).
Still I think I shall miss it, fortunately I have over 1000 photos of it and a few videos. My girlfriend seemed sadder than me to see it go when I left the house today to 'go look at a Porsche'.
She new it was for sale, it had been for 6 months. Frustratingly I have 'sold' it more than once, with people telling me they would come drive it and take it 'on Friday'. Only for me to never hear from them again. One of these was the owner of a prominent WA based business too!
My work life makes doing these kind of things very difficult, typically I am not in my home state Monday to Friday, and I often dont know which state I will be in week to week, or sometimes overseas. More than once I had people interested in buying, and couldnt find a time where it would be convenient for them to look at it.
This same issue would also make it difficult for me to go car shopping, when someones paying for me to be in a place, its hard to say 'I need to go look at a car, back in a couple of hours!'
In the last month, I have been on holidays in China, I got back a bit over a week ago, and found myself in Adelaide all week, with not much to do....
Now onto the Porsche.
In between learning more Chinese online whilst sitting at a spare desk in our Adelaide office with nothing to do, I browsed carsales. The same year 2000 mk1 gt3's were all there, all over priced, high km. The one mk2 was a green one in QLD, nice, but private sale and I need to sell my Lotus.
And then I saw a silver one that wasnt there a few days prior, and its in Adelaide, and its low km, has the cage and recaro's, and its a dealer.
So I emailed an enquiry, and got a call back immediately.
Before much longer I was heading to see it, and to show my Lotus to see if a trade could be done.
This was Thursday.
I didnt get to drive it on Thursday, and bear in mind I have never driven a Porsche of any kind before today. In fact my Lotus is the fastest / nicest however you want to define it car that I had ever driven.
The dealer, who runs a one man show specializing in Porsches (currently has 4 x GT3's in his shed) was surprised at the quality of my Lotus, declared it to be obviously very well looked after, and seemed quite intrigued by it. We agreed that he would do some research and call me the next morning (Today), which he promptly did.
We did the price negotiations on the phone, which was quick, because im impatient and prepared to pay for convenience due to my circumstances described earlier. Pending me driving the Porsche and liking it, and he driving the Lotus and nothing seeming wrong with it, a deal was agreed.
We met at 1pm as discussed, went for a long test drive in the Porsche in the hills. First me as a passenger, then as a driver.
I quickly felt comfortable in the car, loved the noise (which I new I would, youtube told me so).
The performance was as expected, low down, quite similar to my Lotus, although the stats suggest .6 seconds quicker to 100kmph. Once you are up around 4000RPM though, its much quicker. And of course it keeps revving, smoothly.
It is also much more solid, wind noise and general cabin noise are less, you really only hear the great engine note.
The clutch is heavy, I knew it would be before driving, but I forgot about that after using it a few times.
The suspension feels a little harder than the lotus, but a lot more travel. What this means is the Porsche feels jiggly, but never clunks like the Lotus which often bottoms out.
The LSD at first was a concern, as I did a slow u-turn and wondered what the noise was, more on that shortly.
So after some spirited driving in the hills, I also drove back into the city in traffic, now at ease with the car, chatting, fiddling with the on board computer, radio, air con etc. The visibility out of it is about 5000 times better than the Lotus. The front window is like an Imax theatre.
So I decided to buy, after I could be convinced of the service records.
The car was being sold on consignment which is not unusual for such cars. The owner had the books with him at his work. So we drove to meet the current owner, and get the books. Unusual experience, but he seemed fairly genuine, an accountant, middle aged etc. The books were up to scratch, and invoices for more recent services were made available. So far nothing has ever failed on the car.
The one issue I had up until now, the regular seat belt post on the passenger side was missing from the bucket seat, so I had to wear the harness, which may be illegal, I dont know. We asked the previous owner about it, he was unsure where it was, so then off we go to his mechanic, Buicks I think they are called off Richmond Road.
They didnt have one on hand, so I still need that to be done, which it will be next Friday (my next working day in Adelaide). I asked the mechanics about the diff, the low speed noise when tight turning is what its meant to do apparently, that was his answer un prompted. I will check that out more, as I have a 3 month warranty as all used cars sold in SA do.
I also wasnt sure how great the tyres are, the tread looks low, but I compared to the michelin pilot cup sport whatever on the other GT3's in the showroom and they were all similar.
The dealer then drove me to the bank to get a cheque, we did the paperwork, and I drove off.
details of the car
2004 Porsche 911 GT3
27,000km, which is pretty low, lowest I ever saw on car sales.
Some photos below, taken tonight as it was almost dark, so they are of poor quality.
Whilst travelling today to trade my Lotus I saw Ash in his elise twice, and then another red elise driven by a guy I wouldnt mess with and then a white exige. Strange!