PCA Southeast Michigan Region

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Don Kleist ‘s 2001 Porsche Boxster S

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Screen_Shot_2012-03-07_at_1.09.41_PM“Passion for Porsche…My Story” (A.K.A. “Car of the Month”) will feature a different club member’s Porsche each month. Our hope is to provide an opportunity for club members, new and old, to learn about each other and their cars.If you and your Porsche wish to be featured in an upcoming issue, please submit your story with photo(s) to sempcap4@sbcglobal.net. If you don’t have high quality digital photos, please let us know when submitting your story. We’ll take them for you.Don Kleist ‘s 2001 Porsche Boxster S

A Lesson in Patience

Driving from Portland to Eugene with my family on a typical dank, dreary Oregon day, what roars past us but Porsche Speedster? I still remember my reaction: There goes a “Queen of the Road.” That must have been somewhere around the late 1950s. I was a car nut then, and I still am.

From the 1953 Oldsmobile 2-door coupe with a souped up engine I bought my senior year in high school to my current stable of a 2001 Boxster S and a 2002 BMW M5, I have mostly had cars that were on the uncommon side.

For part of my college days I drove a 1958 Chevy Impala convertible that had a 348 cu in truck engine with three 2-barrel carbs, a three-speed manual transmission, and a floor shift. Quite a beast, but never the less, a lot of fun.

Some of my more interesting cars were a Fiat 850 Spyder that had a 846 cc engine that barely snuck in under displacement limits for the then emerging emissions standards. Then there was the Sunbeam Tiger with right-hand drive that I traded from a fellow worker at General Dynamics. He had earlier had the car shipped stateside from England. In a straight line it was FAST. Beyond that,
it wasn’t much to write home about. I owned a couple of 2+2 Datsun/Nissan Z cars and a Mazda RX-7 convertible. I have also owned a couple of Porsche 365s, but they are another story altogether.

In 2000 I found myself finally in the financial position to buy my first new Porsche. One day after work, I went to order my new Boxster S. I knew I wanted a silver one, but was surprised at the vast array of options that were available for this car. After much longer than I expected, my order was
complete. I planned on keeping the car for a long time, so I ordered all the goodies I thought I would ever want. About the only option I turned down was heated seats. This car was going to hibernate during winters.

Only one thing was left. The salesman said that if he placed the order that day, Apr 25, 2000, I could expect delivery sometime between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Knowing that it would go into my garage until better weather arrived, I asked for delivery in April 2001.

Next came a very long wait. That whole summer, my Mazda Miata just didn’t seem as nice as it did the previous summer, knowing that soon it would be replaced by a Porsche. In early April 2001 I started to get information about my new Porsche. Anticipation grew as I followed its assembly and shipment to the States, and finally to Michigan.

And then the big day arrived, May 7, 2001, just over a year from when I placed the order. My son drove me to the dealer and there it was. And what a sight it was. A gleaming Arctic Silver beauty with Boxster Red leather interior, it just shouted out to me, “Lets go!” As the salesman pointed out some of the features all I could think was, “How soon could I get behind the wheel and drive this
jewel?” His instructions finally ended, we exchanged $$$ and paperwork, and then it was mine.

He drove it out of the showroom and I got behind the wheel. I knew instantly that the wait had been worth it. This car couldn’t be better. It is a beauty to look at, has the workmanship one would expect from a Porsche, its handling is impeccable, and has more power and torque than I expected. It is as much a joy to drive today as it was that first day. I never get tired of it.

Being retired, I don’t put all that many miles on this car. But I have found a way to get maximum pleasure, Driver’s Education events. From the day I took delivery, I thought about driving schools. I researched several of the schools that provide both instruction and cars to drive. I found them to be expensive and I really wanted to drive my own car.

Then I found car club driver’s ed events. My first one was the first SEM/PCA event in 2002. You can find an article I wrote about that experience on our web site at <http://www.sempca.org>. There currently is a link to this article on the home page of the site. That link may be taken down, but a link will remain near the top of the Driver’s Edu page.

Since my first track day, I have gone to many more. They are a blast. I have also become rather active in SEM/PCA events and have found that the members are great people to be around.

Then Leo Wanstreet talked me into becoming the webmaster for the web site. I was a bit hesitant at first. But I learned the ropes and now keeping the web site going is not that hard.

All this just helps validate my decision to buy a Porsche. For many reasons, it was the right thing to do.