TIGHT SQUEEZE!

It’s a first world prob­lem, granted, but try­ing to park the Cay­man in a lock-up garage de­signed to ac­com­mo­date the av­er­age 1970s fam­ily hatch­back proved how much big­ger cars are these days. Thank heav­ens (or not) for park­ing sen­sors…

911 Porsche World - - Practical Porsche -

It’s been less than a month since I col­lected the keys for my 981 Cay­man – in fact, as I write this, barely three weeks have passed. And I’m still in love, de­spite the hints from on-line ‘friends’ that I’ll get bored, or have lost my mind. Af­ter all, in this day and age of ap­pre­ci­at­ing val­ues, who in their right minds swaps a 1966 Porsche for one 48 years younger?

One im­me­di­ate prob­lem which reared its ugly head was the not so in­signif­i­cant mat­ter of garag­ing my new toy. I don’t have a garage at my home and have to rent a lockup from the lo­cal hous­ing as­so­ci­a­tion. That’s fine, as the garage is about 10 min­utes’ walk from home (I need the ex­er­cise), se­cure and in­ex­pen­sive. Re­cently re-roofed, too. El Chu­cho was per­fectly at home there, shar­ing space with an ac­cu­mu­la­tion of car-re­lated de­tri­tus (it’s amaz­ing what you have left over af­ter a five-year project) and my roll-along tool cab­i­net. It was a snug fit, but a piece of foam along­side the door en­sured no dam­age was done as I en­tered or ex­ited the ve­hi­cle.

Fine, but for one thing: the Cay­man is both longer (by about nine inches) and wider (by a slightly lesser amount) than its pre­de­ces­sor. That may not sound like a lot, but it meant that the Cay­man wouldn’t fit in the garage without my emp­ty­ing it first. That was a day’s work, and I’m still stuck with the prob­lem of where to store the tools and spare parts. Oh well, I guess that’s rather a first world prob­lem and one which will sort it­self out some­how.

But squeez­ing the Cay­man into the garage for the first time was some­thing of a nerve-wrack­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, the park­ing sen­sors go­ing into over­drive, scream­ing at me that I was about to crash and die a fiery death if I dared try to drive any fur­ther. With the nose barely be­tween the door posts, I jumped out and took a look. No prob­lem. Fold the mir­rors back (a push of a but­ton took care of that), breathe in and ig­nore the sen­sors. It fit­ted! I guess it’ll be less stress­ful the more times I garage the car, but right now I still wake up in a sweat at the prospect of hear­ing that sick­en­ing sound as door­post meets door panel…

But for the first two weeks of own­er­ship, the Cay­man sat quite lit­er­ally out­side our front door. I’m not sup­posed to park there as it’s pri­vate ground, but the own­ers were un­der­stand­ing of my plight, be­ing more con­cerned that their son would dam­age the car with his football. The fact that the Cay­man sat in plain sight ev­ery time we opened the front door meant that the temp­ta­tion to use it for all the jour­neys that would nor­mally have been the task of my Audi daily driver was too strong to re­sist.

Pop out to the lo­cal su­per­store? No prob­lem. Rain­ing cats and dogs? Who cares! It was all in com­plete con­trast to own­er­ship of El Chu­cho, which fre­quently re­mained res­o­lutely in its garage ex­cept for those ‘spe­cial oc­ca­sions’ when clas­sic cars are dragged from their slum­bers and put to use on days when there was lit­tle chance of salt on the roads, or floods around ev­ery cor­ner. I started to re­alise what I’d been miss­ing.

Now don’t get me wrong – I was never pre­cious about the old car, and had no prob­lem about get­ting it dirty. But salty roads and seem­ingly in­ces­sant rain did take the fun out of driv­ing. I re­ally didn’t want a ‘fair weather’ car, but early Porsches and salt don’t mix well, while tor­ren­tial rain high­lighted the de­fi­cien­cies of the wipers and door seals. But the Cay­man, with all its mod cons, was per­fectly at home be­ing treated like a daily driver and I loved it for the fact that I could just jump in it and not have to worry about any­thing.

Maybe I am get­ting soft in my old age – cer­tainly some have sug­gested as such – but I’m still a hot-rod­der at heart and would have an­other loud and leery old 911 if I could af­ford one to go along­side the Cay­man. Along­side, not in place of. Well, not yet, any­way. Maybe I’ll change my mind again in a year’s time. Who knows.

But what plans are there for the fu­ture? I pretty much love the Cay­man as it sits, but I have had it sug­gested to me by the boss that it would look even bet­ter low­ered slightly – even with PASM fit­ted, which drops the sus­pen­sion a lit­tle, ac­cord­ing to him there’s still room for aes­thetic im­prove­ment. I might (only might) be tempted to swap to 19in rims for a slightly more for­giv­ing ride on Cor­nish roads, which then opens up the mat­ter of what wheels (and tyres) to use. Whis­per it qui­etly, but I quite like the mod­ern Fuchs rims…

I’ve not re­ally looked into per­for­mance up­grades yet, but know­ing me, I will. But that’s a po­ten­tial story for an­other day. In the mean­time I’ll prac­tice my garag­ing skills – and look into dis­con­nect­ing the park­ing sen­sors – and drive the Cay­man ev­ery chance I get. PW

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