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Hello....again.  I was a member ~20 yrs ago, when I built my first KK; a CMC 356-C.  I got a lot of help from the site, and may venture back into another project.  I've had 3 Amore Cimbria's since then, but the wife hates the looks.  She drove the Speedster more than I did, and at least I'd have her on my side if I tried another one!

Sheesh....they've gotten expensive, and hard to find! 

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Here in northern California, up until about a year ago, you could find a few used pan-based Speedsters on Craigslist for $15-20K just about any day of the week. And they would usually hang around for weeks. The supply was plentiful.

Now, you're lucky to find one in a month of searching for twice that, and they're gone in a few days.

If you must scratch the itch, though, here's a nice, real Speedster for over $400K - and on Craigslist, of all places. Real maybe, but not spectacular. So, maybe that explains the new demand for clean fauxsters.

CL356Speedster02

Or maybe it's because new cars, as boring as they are, are so hard to find. Our local Porshee dealer hasn't had any 911's, Boxsters, or Caymans in stock for months. None. Unobtainium.

A bunch of Pecans and Cajuns maybe, or whatever they call those things, but nothing that looks like it would be any fun to drive.

Folks are bored senseless, looking for something entertaining to do while they're still alive, and snapping up anything that looks promising.

Leaky, noisy, balky, tooth-rattling? They just don't care.

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@Sacto Mitch posted:

.... A bunch of Pecans and Cajuns maybe, or whatever they call those things, but nothing that looks like it would be any fun to drive.

Remember when everybody was wringing their hands over the 914 and then the 924 because they weren't "real" Porsches?

I smirk a little about that every time an autojournalist waxes all lyrical over a Porsche or Alfa or Lamborghini (for crying out loud) unibody "crossover" SUV thing, as if the badge makes it a sportscar.

We live in a mixed up, bungled up, shook up world.

Last edited by Stan Galat

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I don't mind that those things exist - especially if they keep the company afloat.

And that's precisely what they do.

A quick Google for 2020 US P-car sales shows 911, Boxster, and Cayman numbers combined about 12,000 'units'. (In corporate speak, they're all just 'units'.)

All other P-branded vehicles for 2020 - 44,000 units. Compared to the little, two-door cars, that's a lot of units.

I wonder if the marketing types don't think they have to keep making the sports cars to keep up the brand image so they can keep on selling what's now the company's bread and butter.

Frankly, they're missing out on yet another untapped US market segment. All they have to do is update this 1958 model, pop in a turbo flat six, and they'd have a lock on the off-road performance market:



PCarOffRoad01

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@Sacto Mitch posted:

.Look, Stan, if we can sell 12.8 per cent more units per month in the hot 25-40 male segment just by calling it 'sport', you tell the dude in the corner office we're not gonna.

We learned a lot from branding that dumb clock thing a 'sport-chrono' package.

I know bupkis abut any of this, which is why I'm still a 58 y/o pipefitter plying his trade out in flyover country, as opposed to one of the Übermensch down in the VW/Porsche/Audi/ŠKODA/Seat/Lamborghini/Bentley/Ducati C-suite in Wolfsburg.

... but I can see when the emperor is strutting around in "the altogether" full-frontal buff. I'd love a Cayman GTS 4.0, but I'm not buying a Pecan or Cajun ("S", turbo, or "sports-chrono" or no).

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@Stan Galat posted:
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...but I'm not buying a Pecan or Cajun ("S", turbo, or "sports-chrono" or no)...



Me neither.

But the Übermenschen don't really care. They're selling a ton of units to the intended market of soccer moms and husbands of soccer moms who sleep more soundly knowing they have 500 German horsepower under the hood, but enough room in the back to take Suzie and her friends to Thursday practice.

We should probably face facts and admit that pimply-faced adolescents no longer dream of the two-seater speed machines we lusted after. We are a nearly extinct species that no longer gets invited to focus groups.

Whether or not we actually buy, most of us still surviving have moved into the tax bracket where we can afford whatever they want to charge for a GTS-4, and they'll even humor us by keeping a quaint manual gearbox on the option list. (I'm surprised they don't package that with mandatory rallye stripes.)

But we should prepare for going quietly into the night. As our numbers dwindle, what we knew as sporting machinery will disappear, too. Corporations and stockholders cannot survive on nostalgia and dreams.

The median age of a Miata owner is 62, and there are rumors the ND will be the last.



Total MX-5 sales by series:

MiataSalesBySeries



If we want to continue to drive in the past, I think we'll be doing that increasingly in plastic cars with lawn mower engines, aging clowns that we are.

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Last edited by Sacto Mitch

We’ll one things for certain, you all are certainly a good group of writers! But don’t worry, the majority in the +45 category see the same things everywhere. I like archery, flying RC precision aerobatics, and kit cars. All are fading in my generation (45-70) I’m resolved that the phenomena are generational. My father and grandfather also waxed nostalgic about the wastefulness and futility of the up and comers, while extolling the virtue of the bygone.
in the end, it really won’t matter. We have ours and they have theirs; it’s always been that way, we just didn’t know it, and assumed things would never change-the only constant! We all get to meet the Maker one day, and on an even platform.

@Sacto Mitch posted:

A quick Google for 2020 US P-car sales shows 911, Boxster, and Cayman numbers combined about 12,000 'units'. (In corporate speak, they're all just 'units'.)

All other P-branded vehicles for 2020 - 44,000 units. Compared to the little, two-door cars, that's a lot of units.

@Sacto Mitch posted:

Our local Porshee dealer hasn't had any 911's, Boxsters, or Caymans in stock for months. None. Unobtainium.

A bunch of Pecans and Cajuns maybe, or whatever they call those things, but nothing that looks like it would be any fun to drive.

So which is it then? Are people not buying sports cars because they want a minivan with with a 700 hp motor, or because there aren't any actual sports cars available to buy?

... or is it perhaps because when they ARE available to buy, they cost more than a vehicle 3x their size (and in terms of cost to manufacture, ship, store, and own - size matters).

The Boxster was the last Porsche attempt to democratize actual sports car driving, and it was a runaway success that saved the company. In the rush to explain away the dilution of the brand with rebadged Audi crossovers, all of the autojournalist parrots like to point out how many more SUVs are sold than actual fun cars, and how it keeps Porsche afloat. It wasn't always so. I wonder why we assume this is the case now?

@Sacto Mitch posted:

I wonder if the marketing types don't think they have to keep making the sports cars to keep up the brand image so they can keep on selling what's now the company's bread and butter.

I think that this (^) statement may be closer to the truth than I want to admit, and it would go a long way towards explaining why Porsche sports cars all cost 6 figures. Halo-cars (Ford GT, Acura NSX, C8 'vette, 911/Cayman/Boxster) are said to exist to give street cred to the high-margin boxes manufacturers really want to build and sell. A quick look at what BMW has become tells me more than I probably want to know. Pretty much all car manufacturers (excluding Ferrari and oddly, Dodge) are just updated versions of "malaise era GM" now. It doesn't mean that it's the only way to sell cars. Wall Street is not always right.

@Sacto Mitch posted:

We should probably face facts and admit that pimply-faced adolescents no longer dream of the two-seater speed machines we lusted after. We are a nearly extinct species that no longer gets invited to focus groups.

I don't know. I keep hearing that... but the small sample focus group survey I conduct every time I drive my car literally anywhere indicates that a lot more people dream about "two-seater speed machines" than the marketing types are willing to admit.

The fact that a pan-based speedster just sold on BaT for $78K tells me that there's a lot more pent-up demand for a real and elemental driving experience than any C-suite Übermensch or Madison Avenue autojournalist weenie is willing to admit.

It's ironic and droll that this "genuine" driving experience is now for sale pretty exclusively in "fake" cars.

Last edited by Stan Galat

I've been to the track a "few" times LOL!

What do I see there? Boxsters, Caymans, and all iterations of 911. I see an occasional BMW M car, a Subaru BRZ, a Focus RS, and a single track-prepped Viper.

Not a single Macan, Taycan, or Cayenne in the bunch. Their drivers simply aren't into DRIVING. To them, it's a status symbol. I don't think it's anything other than that simple. Honestly, I don't think the SUVs should be allowed and may not be.

There was a new person with a Macan who did what they call "Taste of The Track" where they do lead-follow at about 60 mph. Yawn...that's not really "driving". It's akin to "Parade Laps" which are another yawn if you actually do track time.

That about sums it up.

Last edited by DannyP

I cogitate on this subject frequently, particularly after driving the (very small) Beck Coupe in suburban traffic.  I have come to believe that one reason fewer people are really into driving (and the cars that encourage it) is that traffic has made most ground travel into a chore to be gotten through with the least hassle rather than an experience to be enjoyed.  People feel safer and more insulated from the scary world around them in SUVs.  Why they prefer SUVs to minivans is often an image thing, but that's not a surprise to anyone here.

@Stan Galat posted:


... I don't know. I keep hearing that... but the small sample focus group survey I conduct every time I drive my car literally anywhere indicates that a lot more people dream about "two-seater speed machines" than the marketing types are willing to admit.

The fact that a pan-based speedster just sold on BaT for $78K tells me that there's a lot more pent-up demand for a real and elemental driving experience than any C-suite Übermensch or Madison Avenue autojournalist weenie is willing to admit.

It's ironic and droll that this "genuine" driving experience is now for sale pretty exclusively in "fake" cars.

While I agree with most of what you've said (in the whole post, and not just what I kept), Stan, I can't help but suspect that the guy who overpaid heftily  for the BAT Speedster may have more money than brains, is just adding said Speedster to his stable as something cute/fun to drive around in occasionally (and as a status thing- it's a stunning color combo- red with beige interior- the seller knew his market!) but 2? 3? 5? years down the road it will be for sale again with relatively low miles because of it's VW based ancient technology, it sat way too much, needing too much tinkering and the guy never bothered to keep a good aircooled mechanic on call.

I do hope I'm wrong and the new owner gets great enjoyment out of his purchase, owns it rather lovingly for a long time and drives the pants off of it constantly, but we've seen the scenario I described above often enough.  Al

PS- and I do love your last statement!

I would have never considered an SUV. Then my brother bought a Mercedes ML for his wife and she didn't like it and made me the proverbial "offer I couldn't refuse." I'm on my third since. If I wasn't so invested in Mercedes tools and fluids, I'd gladly consider a Cayenne. Early ones are almost as cheap as 98-05 W163's are.

Besides the towing/stowing capacity, the thing I love most is that ingress/egress is a lateral move, much easier than my other cars.

@Jon T posted:

SUV? Minivan?  Pffft.  Give me a wagon or hatchback for a bit of extra room.  I’ve had a few as my DD and loved them.  I’ve never quite understood why folks in the U.S.A. have never widely embraced hatchbacks or wagons,  but sadly I think SUVs are gaining popularity worldwide.

I'm DEFINITELY a wagon guy. I had a couple: Subaru Legacy GT wagon, Passat Syncro wagon, and Audi allroad V8.

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@Robert M posted:
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Say what you want about pecans and cajuns but my wife loves her twin-turbo all wheel drive Macan. It is extremely comfortable and it drives/handles better than any other small SUV she has had and she has had several of them. It is also a lot nicer looking than her Ford Edge, Lexus RX300, and her Explorer.

So, there it is.

Porshee aren't "betraying their heritage". They're a car company and they're building cars their customers have told them they want. That's what car companies do or they go out of business. If they sell more by calling them 'sport' (or by calling some electric cars 'Turbo'), they will keep doing that.

For now, they're still building sports cars, too, because enough customers have told them they still want those - like the dudes Danny mixes it up with through the apexes.

As suggested earlier, the cachet of the sports cars may help them sell SUV's (or charge more for the SUV's), but they still make those sports cars because there's a market for them. And that market must be demanding Doppelkupplung gearboxes, leather finished nosegay holders, and sports-chrono packages, or those items wouldn't be on the option sheet. (The leather nosegay holders are only packaged with certain premium paint choices, so you may not have been aware of them.)

Sadly for some of us, the world and its cars look very different than they did in 1958. Neither will ever look that way again.

That's just the way it is.

Last edited by Sacto Mitch
Sadly for some of us, the world and its cars look very different than they did in 1958. Neither will ever look that way again.

Righto, Mitch. That's one of the reasons my expectations for a payback on what I've invested in our IM is low.

I suspect that most of the people that catch the madness are going to be gone in a decade or two. I hope not, but I fear our clown cars will have the same appeal as a model T.

I look at our car and just love it. I drive it and time stands still. Things change, but I've got the car of my dreams.

BTW, I really enjoyed our '72 Vega GT Kammback (except for the engines and the rust).

I suspect that most of the people that catch the madness are going to be gone in a decade or two. I hope not, but I fear our clown cars will have the same appeal as a model T.

... again, this is not my experience, nor the evidence of the marketplace.

Remember the "1984" Apple Mac superbowl ad? The dystopian hellscape of conformity destroyed by one lone individualist who "thinks different" (to steal the later tagline)? The conformity being forced on people ("for the good of the collective") looks pretty much like the dystopian future that ad envisioned.

Against this backdrop, love for my car and the nonconformist freedom it represents is increasing in resonance with people, rather than diminishing. It's kinda' uncomfortable for a guy who just wants to be left alone. There's a flashmob every time I try to go for a drive with my wife no matter where I am. In Savannah last week, I had people hanging around the car for extended periods of time, waiting for me to come back (or out from wherever I was) just so they could ask what it was and where they might buy one.

When everybody lives in a box that looks like their neighbor's box, drives a box that looks like their neighbor's box, and is constantly told that the boxes are medicine for society - a shapely, dangerous plastic Easter egg with an exotic (at this point) engine in the back where it clearly doesn't belong is an antidote for a lot of things "the man" wants the world to be.

Increasingly, owning and operating something so clearly "out of step" with what do-gooder weenies keep telling me is good for all of us strikes a blow to the homogeneity being forced on all of us on a daily basis. We're on "the wrong side of history", I keep hearing - although actual "history" would point out that forcing conformity is the very definition of tyranny. I'll probably stay on this side of the fence - there are cookies over here.

I'll not go quietly into the dark night. My muffler bypass makes sure of it.

Last edited by Stan Galat

Hey, Stan, now Ferrari are making an SUV. They're calling it the Purosangue. I'm not kidding, they're calling it the pure-blood.  That name stems from either an incredible lack of self awareness or marketing genius.  It may be that a sports car company can't sell an SUV without a healthy sense of irony, and that's how they picked the name. Ford didn't buy 'em, but they may turn into Ford anyway.

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