Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Ferrari Versus Porsche Take 1

I believe I have answered one of my original questions. “Will the 911 continue to cut it as a sports car after having the Ferrari?” Before I answer that question let me reverse something I said earlier. Not fun to drive to the grocery store? I take it back. This car is great to drive anywhere. Sure you can’t go fast or utilize its full potential but you can enjoy the other wonderful qualities of the car.

As you may have guessed I drove the car to the grocery store and bought two pints of ice cream. Actually it was frozen yogurt but the idea is the same. It turns out that my labors with the fuse box did not fix my dash lights. I was worried there might be a bigger problem. In my experience fuses seldom just blow usually there is something else afoot. I have yet to check the bulb or the replacement fuse but I am betting the replacement is also blown. I will look into it tonight.

Back to the 911 providing a satisfactory sports car after the Ferrari. Yesterday I drove the Ferrari for most of the day. I would have driven it all day but I can’t fit either of my kids in the trunk so I took them to school in my truck then traded for the 355. It was a sunny dry day. The first we have had in some time so I figured I would do some research and take the long way home. The long way home consists of about 15 miles of twisty roads with switch back turns and constant elevation changes the speed limit is 40 mph for most of the drive which if exceeded just slightly make for an entertaining drive.

I know the 355 is an older Ferrari. I know there are more capable machines. But this car is magical to drive. I have said it before, everything is in proportion. I now compare driving the Ferrari to having a fascinating conversation with someone you know well, respect, and find incredibly beautiful. Someone who never says “um”. Driving this car on a beautiful road in great weather is simply fantastic. If you like cars you owe it to yourself to buy, borrow, rent, or steal a Ferrari and drive it in a like setting.

As I was driving home I realized that there is only one gas station I am comfortable taking the Ferrari to. It is not that I don’t trust other gas station attendants but when I first had to fill up the car I took it to this station. The fellow who filled the car was very careful and asked a bunch of questions and the mechanics came out and looked at the car as well. So now I only fill the Ferrari up at that station. Here is the downside. It is one of the most expensive stations in town. I justify paying 20 cents more per gallon for their care for the car. I figure a scratch in the paint will cost a bit more than the few hundred dollars I would save filling the car up somewhere else. What happens when I run low on gas and am not near my house? I will have to get over my gas station phobia and let someone else fill up the car.

That evening I took the Porsche to get ice cream. It was ice cream this time. No frozen yogurt, I needed some calories. The car felt, I hate to say this, old. I guess at 18 it is getting old. The Ferrari is only 10. The motor felt heavy and unresponsive. If you have driven a 911 you know the back of the car feels like it is stuck to the ground (until you lift going through a corner) and you have to trust the front to go where you point it. In some ways driving the Porsche is a balancing act. You have to use the weight at the rear of the car to get it through a turn. In contrast the Ferrari feels like it pivots around the cockpit and that all four wheels are doing exactly what they should. Even the rebound of the suspension feels faster.

So, no the Porsche will not cut it as a sports car now that I have driven and lived with the Ferrari for a few months. Is the 911 still a great car? Sure. Do I plan on selling it no. Will it fulfill what I expect a sports car to do? No longer.

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