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…
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