While cruising on his bicycle one summer day in 2012, Lawrence came to an abrupt halt when he spotted a rather-less-than-pristine circa 1987 Porsche 944 coupe sitting in the weeds alongside a boulevard on the outskirts of the city. His wife turned her bike around to see why Lawrence was delayed, but upon discovering the source of his distraction, sighed and pedaled on.
In the next several days, he would come to revisit and more closely inspect the machine. In all of its Guards Red loveliness, despite a wasps’ nest inside the fuel filler cap, misaligned front body panels, mismatched fender paint, considerable road rash on the phone dial wheels, some rubber deterioration and other reminders that this was a twenty-five year old car — he was captivated, obsessed and utterly compelled to undertake 944 research with a vengeance.
At the risk of telling you a shaggy dog story, we have to confess that this is not the 944 Lawrence ultimately acquired. But he did determine to get one with a straight, rust-free body and whatever else would lend itself to serving as a good base for whatever the future might hold. (And we shall see how that works out …!)
Truth be told, there were other precipitating factors earlier on. One of the more recent in early 2012 had to do with Jim, Lawrence’s friend. Jim is a VW enthusiast, leading light of the WetWesties society/website, German car and motorcycle wrench and collector, and all-around appreciator of just about any interesting vehicle on two or four wheels. (Don’t ask about how much BaT time Jim and Lawrence share.) As Jim frequently proselytizes around VW diesels, it suddenly occurred to Lawrence that an interesting project — at least as a thought experiment — would be to swap a VW TDI engine into an earlier 924, replacing its Audi-sourced motor. While the two friends ultimately decided that the coolness of that concept would probably involve considerable effort beyond any reasonable cost-benefit outcome, the exercise did remind Lawrence that the 924/944/968 succession of Porsches from the late 70s into the early 90s was one of considerable merit, worthy of more exploration.
And ever since the Boxster came into the Porsche lineup, Lawrence has frequently told himself that this is the one that he would get if he were to buy new — an act last accomplished with his 1966 911 (a story for another time). But recognizing that family life and preparing to send a couple of kids through college did not make that prospect very likely, Lawrence would engage in some daydreaming from time to time about the Boxster’s predecessor, which was the 944 and its variants, of course. (Okay, let’s not get too technical here. We can probably admit that the Boxster would more accurately be the spiritual successor to the 914/6 …)
UPDATE: Buy new? I might consider a Cayman in whatever configuration.