Collecting Cars: A Practical Guide

If anyone actually reads my blog you may have noticed that I have a thing for cars. Many of you might not know this, but a few years ago I made a rule for myself: One car, one truck. I’d like to unequivocally state that this has been a fantastic rule and keeps things really simple for me (thinking of you, warehouse full ‘o cars). Right now I’ve owned my truck for over four years and my car for nearly three years- that has got to be some kind of a record for me!

Now and then I still get tempted by vehicles (new & used) but I’ve found a much cheaper and space efficient method to collect cars: behold, the 1:18 scale model. I don’t have too many at this point but my collection is growing little by little. I started it off with a Turbo S Exclusive Edition and have added a few here and there:

Takumi Fujiwara’s 1986 Toyota Sprinter Trueno GT Apex AE86 from the Initial D comics / TV series. I love the detail on the interior and engine bay. This is an excellent quality model.

This is the Porsche 991.2 Turbo in metallic white. It’s similar to my car but it’s the newer generation (physical differences between the 991.1 and 991.2 include the engine vents and rear lights). The quality level on this one is okay but it’s a notch down from the others and a bit slower than my 2016 991.1 😀

The McLaren 720s is a car I have seriously considered but, as with the 991.2, this seemed like a much more economical way to own one. The detail on the carbon fiber parts and interior is fantastic (although it’s worth mentioning the doors and rear hatch don’t open). The actual color is a light grey but it photographs more like an off-white.

As you can see from these pictures my iPhone 7 doesn’t take great photos (or you may be tempted to think I’m not a particularly good photographer… I would not necessarily argue). I may try and set the cars up and take some better shots with my DSLR eventually… but for now it’s just fun to pick up a “new car” for the price of a tank of gas.

Next on my list: Lamborghini Aventador!

Something Goes Bump in the Night (and Day). Porsche Repair

It’s been awhile since I made this adjustment, but I wanted to a second and memorialize just what I’d done. It’s probably been a year since I first noticed the bumping noise coming from behind me. It was a rapid and systematically occurring thumping sound aggravated by uneven roads. I accused the seats, seatbelts, various tools stored in the back of the car and even my imagination before I finally found the real culprit. I wedged myself into the back seat and tapped on everything until I finally discovered a piece of interior trim knocking against the car’s frame.

For context: You’re looking at the A-pillar that holds the rear right seat belt (the belt is still attached to the frame). The back window of the car is visible in the top-right.

Removing the interior trim along the right A-pillar was unpleasant. Even after I found the parts that were hitting each other I wasn’t able to determine what parts of the parts were making contact. I tried various sound deadening fixes like felt, molding tape and strong language. Eventually I hit the sweet spot and the noise was radically reduced. Zipping things back up was even more work than taking them apart but I got it done (and it was done right). One less noise in the cabin – easily the largest offender – has been eradicated! This makes me want to revisit my efforts to cap off the engine noise being pumped into the car. One day.

2020 Porsche 911 (992) Unleashed.

I was hoping to get around to this post yesterday but, as always, time got away from me. I watched Porsche’s live 992 launch event and found it quite enjoyable (was it just me or did everyone seem slightly uncomfortable)? It was fun to see all the different 911 models parading around and listen to the designers’ thought processes and inspirations.
My initial impressions are mixed. I recall not being particularly awed by the 991 when I originally saw it, but now I think it’s far and away the best looking 911 ever made… so there’s probably some hope for me.

When the 991 replaced the 997 it didn’t seem like much of a jump. Initially the exterior changes required a double take to figure out which model you were looking at. In comparison the move from 991 to 992 feels eve smaller-  just a hop…until you see the back of the car. Good or bad, no one will mistake that light bar for anything but a 992. While the light bar feels okay to me the third brake light seems like a bad design choice. The car itself has a slightly more hatchback feel, reminiscent of the Panamera. There’s definitely something less cutesy about the 992 which makes it an additional step removed from it’s cousin, the Beetle. I will be extremely curious to see the Turbo version of the 992.

The interior has changed more dramatically. At first glance I thought the changes added additional elegance. As I studied the interior further I started to wonder what the impression would be like in person. I loathe the new shift knob. Do they think guys want to shift with their shaver? I think those center vents must be for the people in the back seat; I know I’m not interested in having air blown on my stomach. That being said, I’ll withhold final judgement.

Now that the car is officially unveiled I’m excited for the onslaught of reviews that will provide user-related insights and driveability impressions. It’s conceivable that this car could grow on me. And yet… would it ever be enough to make me trade in my current car? In the meantime the McLaren 720s has planted a few roots in my heart.

Cars 4 Kids 2018

Cars4Kids recently did a toy drive. Ha! It just occurred to me that it was a literal toy drive (read on)! We loaded up our car with toys and went on a 400 mile drive through various Utah canyons (we opted for the shorter day-only event but there was a longer four day event option as well). We started out at LaCaille, traveled to the Conestoga Ranch and toward SLC (we were always careful to obey all traffic laws and posted speed limits… just kidding). It was an awesome drive, with fantastic food and for a great cause. At the end of the drive the toys were collected and presented to the Ronald McDonald House.

This is a video covering the Cars 4 Kids (I didn’t make this one):

And this is a video of my experience (this one I did make):

This coming year I’d like to participate in the longer event and, possibly, even be a sponsor. Knives and cars… Like peanut butter and chocolate.

991 Leather Gauge Trim Upgrade (Maybe?)

This may be the best upgrade that I’ve done yet! Okay, fine… maybe it’s the silliest upgrade yet. I’m running out of ideas for little tweaks. I’ve got some ideas for big ones, but I’m just not sure I want to commit the funds or emotional pain to them.

It turns out the trim surrounding the gauges on the 991 is actually plastic. I watched a YouTube video a guy putting in a gauge trim piece covered in leather. I actually went out and checked my car. Plastic! I was shocked and immediately ordered the part to remedy this horrific oversight.

The summary version is that is looks the same. I will never get my money, time or dignity back. Viva la leather!

Porsche 991 Washer Nozzle Replacement

Legend has it that in order to replace the 991 headlight washer nozzles the entire front bumper of the car needs to be removed. Not so! With just a few simple tools anyone can swap their washer nozzles in about 10 minutes. You can pull them out and repaint them yourself or pop in a ready to go set. Below is a quick video showing you how:

I ordered a carbon fiber set from eBay but the weave wasn’t quite right and the quality didn’t impress me. I bought a second pair from BumperPlugs.com and had them painted metallic white (that must be an impossible color to match). This is the set that I ultimately put in but I’m not sure if it’s the look I’m going for. You know you’re pretty desperate to do projects when you’re replacing your headlight washers. #modlife

Cars4Kids – Limitless Top Speed Race

I like to drive fast. Really fast. I love adrenaline inducing acceleration and speed. There aren’t a lot of good options for that around here. Sometimes I sneak a hair over 70 while I’m on the freeway. I’ve also been known to find abandoned roads and go a couple miles an hour over the speed limit. Imagine my delight when I learned about the Limitless race being hosted in Eagle Mountain UT. Your car. 2 miles. As fast as you want. Heaven!

Eagle Mountain Blvd- two large turns and then a mile of straightaway. Longer would be better but that’s still a nice stretch of road. A lot of participants- myself included – were hoping to hit 200+ mph. Utah elevation coupled with a hot day limited people’s top speed a bit and a 2005 Ford GT’s 192 mph ended up being the fastest of the day. My best run was my first and I hit 184 on my speedometer (178 on a radar gun). It was an interesting experience to drive with no fear of being pulled over on a nice straight stretch of road during the day. Still plenty of adrenaline too.

My family came along for part of the event but the heat got to the kids quickly. The spectator seating area was situated in some deep dust and positioned at the mid point of the road only allowing the audience to watch cars accelerate away after the road’s second turn. Understandably the fam bailed after the first run but it still great to have them there! Hopefully next year they find a way to improve the spectator experience a bit. Not to complain too much- Cars4Kids put on a really good event!

Cars4Kids is a local organization that sponsors car-related charity events. In the Limitless event drivers pay double their top speed and that money goes to the Utah division of the Make a Wish foundation. It’s a great way to help people while enjoying awesome cars.

Speaking of awesome cars- Dan, from What’s Inside, was testing out his Tesla Model X at the event. In theory his car should have hit 155mph before being restricted by a speed governor. Did he do it? Watch the video below to find out:

 

Porsche 919 5:19:54 Nürburgring Record

It’s been more than 35 years since Stefan Bello completed his 6:11 Nürburgring lap in a Porsche 956 C (the history around this run is fairly interesting). I like to keep a close eye on Nürburgring lap times; It’s exciting to see what “your car” can do in a track environment like this.

Naturally I was excited to hear that Porsche’s 919 Hybrid Evo had set a new track record. “Set” might be the wrong word though- the old record was obliterated. The new time of 5:19 is so much faster it’s hard to comprehend. I’ve posted the official run from the car below. Keep in mind that 300 kmh is about 186 mph! On some of the straight track sections Timo Bernhard is driving at over 220 mph.

When the production 919 comes out you can bet I’ll be in line… probably at Disneyland. But thinking about the 919 for sure.