Escape Is at Hand for the Traveling Man

A journal of life on the road

Monday, February 06, 2006

Many times I gaze along the open road. The road and my car are my home, which leads me to ask myself do I really want to go shell out between $350 and $500 on a second car that is not even in running condition? Do I really want (I do) and do I really need (I probably don’t) a second automobile?

Now this isn’t any ordinary car, although it hasn’t been manufactured in thirty years that doesn’t necessarily mean all too much. A car of its vintage carries a certain amount of class, as well as being a hell of a lot more fun and enjoyable to drive than most present cars.

A Porsche 914 would without a doubt be a project car as it would take up residency in a friends garage in sunny and hot Las Vegas, Nevada until it was in running condition, or perhaps just until I had a garage to store it in up north in Reno.

The car is a classic example of vintage German air cooled design, with a mid engine design and only two cozy seats the 914 hugs the road and is designed not so much for speed but for handling and cornering, which earned it the title of the “giant killer” in Europe as it was highly successful in defeating much higher powered cars on the track and open road. The car boasts 80 horsepower on the 4 cylinder 1.7 liter model which isn’t much but when you realize due to the weight distribution in the car you can corner at roughly twice the speed than what you could in a conventional automobile, that gives you the upper hand everywhere.

The car although ancient still remains fuel efficient as it can achiever 30 or more miles per gallon still today. 914’s are plagued by problems as they are often known for overheating in certain conditions due to the mid engine design but then again also they are known for their rust problems. Cars from the American Southwest are much less likely to rust as those from Michigan or the upper Midwest but they are still problem prone and do need work.

My future car that I have no doubt I shall obtain needs work in the worst way, it is a complete car but it has been sitting for an unspecified amount of time and needs a thorough cleaning as well as a completely new interior.
There is no doubt that I will invest in a money pit, but is it a money pit that is worth it? I can only hope so.


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