By Dianne Kimber
My husband has always wanted a Porsche, since the day I met him almost 30 years ago. At that time, I didn’t know much about cars.
When he revisited his childhood hobby of building model cars, just after graduating from law school, I began to sense his love of metal and tires. I had survived several grueling years of law books, classes and unending study groups, only to become second fiddle to the latest box of plastic that mysteriously arrived in our basement. Not only did I become familiar with the UPS driver, but I began to know the difference between Ferraris, various Porsche models (993s, C2s, C4s, 996s, turbo, “turbo-look”), BMWs, and ’32 Fords and ’34 Fords because of the shape of the front grille. My female friends were sorely disinterested in the subject, but over the course of our married life I have acquired a “taste” for beautiful cars and fine driving machines.
We have attended many car shows, and for years imagined what it would be like to tour with a group of car fanatics to locales outside of the metro area. We have drooled over most of the finer autos including the Auburns, Cords and Dusenbergs, and volunteered at the Concours d’Elegance, simply to be close to them, and actually have test driven such fine specimens as an original Shelby 427 Cobra and a 1934 Chevy Phaeton street rod.
But nothing turns my husband on more than the Porsche 911, particularly ones with a whale tails from the 1980s. No matter where we were, no matter what beautiful and expensive car was in our view, if one of those 911’s showed its shiny body, he was in rapture. He would get as close as the owner would allow, and moan and groan over its every smooth curve, shiny paint and Fuchs wheels.
After years of playing second fiddle to this lust he had for the 911, I finally told him last year I had had enough, and said–“Buy one!” This fueled his anal retentive spirit and he proceeded over the next year to develop a “pre-purchase inspection” list that would make most men laugh. He was dead serious. Of course, what made it even funnier, was the dollar limit I gave him for buying this dream car.
From time to time he would find one with the makings of a potential buy. But, all too often, the price range limited his ability to get one with low mileage and good working order. After many discussions, reviews and test drives, I knew there was no way he was ever going to find the “perfect” car, even though the price really had given him a fairly decent range of Porsches.
One Sunday morning in May, after scouring the local newspapers, I made the suggestion to look on eBay. You would have thought I had told him I wanted a divorce. He was adamant. He was not going to buy a Porsche on eBay for crying out loud! Was I crazy?
I ignored him, of course, and began to search eBay for 911’s in the 1987-1989 range and actually found several to choose from. One particular Carmine Red 1987, located in Hickory, North Carolina, seemed to fit the bill. Although the mileage was high, from a significant number of pictures, it appeared to be in great shape. The price was right. He begrudgingly studied the eBay offering when I brought it to his attention and it seemed to peak his interest just a little. Fortunately, it was the last day of the auction for this vehicle, so he had to get in the game or forget it within a few hours.
I suggested that we “try a bid or two just for fun.” Reluctantly he agreed. For the next hour or two we were bidding against ourselves because we had never purchased anything on eBay and didn’t understand the procedures. But, once we got the hang of it, he was in the game. And when someone else started bidding against him in the last hour or two of the auction, he was a goner. Now he wanted that car.
This particular Porsche had a “RESERVE” and when the auction finally ended, no one had met the reserve. Poor Michael. He was like a caged animal. He wanted to contact the seller immediately and tell him he wanted THAT car, he would offer more money. It was all I could do to keep him from losing all perspective. I managed to convince him to wait a little while, and sure enough, the seller emailed us with an offer that Michael could not refuse.
Three weeks later, we flew to Charlotte, NC at 10 in the morning and picked up our new 1987 Porsche in the short-term parking lot at the airport. I could give you a hilarious account of us trying to drive the car out of a pitch black parking structure, unable to find the lights and without a license plate, but I will save that for another time.
We spent the next two days, soaring through the beautiful NC country and into the Midwest with our great new high performance driving machine that operated flawlessly. It is a trip neither of us will ever forget. He had never driven over 110 mph before.
Although we have had to put some serious money into the car, it has been a good decision and a whole lot of fun. When we tell people that we bought the car on Ebay, sight unseen, usually they are surprised. But after not one, but two, “post purchase inspections” (I guess better late than never), the consensus is that we just got lucky. We did, and Michael is happy. Dreams do come true and now we are driving around with those car fanatics! I must say though, there are days I wish I had never suggested he buy one. I have actually found him sitting in it in the garage at three in the morning, simply caressing the leather. Any other wives have that problem?