She was a beauty

by Lorin Michel Monday, November 7, 2016 9:31 PM

In the mid 12th century, the world was a mess. The Jurchens from Manchuria invaded the Song Dynasty in China, causing a political split between the north and south. The Khmer Empire of Cambodia was all powerful while the Fatimid of Egypt were not. The first medieval universities were founded and Middle English started to develop. Whereas before the only truly literate people were those in the church, this development allowed literacy to spread beyond the spires. The 12th century was also when the modern feminine pronoun she first began to appear as a means to reduce the ambiguity of the pronoun system.

Ancient mariners as far back as 500 BC were “married to the sea.” The ships were their livelihood, their home and their love. As a compliment to the woman they loved, they named their sailing vessels after them, because it would remind them of the ones they left behind for the months and sometimes years they would be gone. She is used to describe a ship or boat, a car or carriage, a cannon or gun, and tools and utensils. Thar she blows. She was broken up in 1797. She was launched in 1967. She’s a fine ship, Captain. 

Yesterday, we put our beloved Porsche on a transport. We had decided to sell it several months ago after 16 years for a number of reasons. We didn’t drive it very much anymore, and it really doesn’t fit our lifestyle here. It’s too hot for five months of the year, especially because we never got the air conditioning fixed. It was a gorgeous metallic black with darkly tinted windows. But Kevin needed more of a truck type vehicle to cart around all of his house stuff. I have my Sport which is what I prefer to drive. The Porsche was ignored, and it shouldn’t have been. 

We advertised it on Craigslist and got a number of calls but no offers. We put it on eBay several times, too. Last Monday, it sold. My motorized baby, the car I had bought on eBay in 2000 was sold on the same medium, to a guy in Knoxville named Alexander. For several days, we went about getting paid and then had to wait for the transport company to call us. Yesterday, they did.

We watched as they loaded our beauty on the back. I felt myself getting choked up as I watched the transport driver pull the car forward, the engine whining, the turbo straining to go go go. I was, as always, struck by how beautiful the car was. Is. Sleek lines, a sloped front, a wide butt, fat tires. It looks low and fast. It is. 



I took endless photos and video and eventually had to look away. I don’t know why I get so emotional about cars. Maybe it’s because I’m such a car person. Maybe it’s because I consider our cars to be so special, almost parts of our family. I realize that’s kind of crazy. They’re cars – they’re inanimate objects. But I fall in love.

When we bought the Porsche in 2000, it was because I’d been nostalgic for my long lost first Porsche. At the time, I had a BMW 3-series, but it was leased. The lease was up and we looked at the new models. We seriously considered a new 335 convertible. But the lease was going to be about $700 a month, and as a freelancer, that seemed ridiculous because it would sit in the garage most of the time. I had been jonesing for another Porsche. I looked on eBay and there it was: Our next car. We bought it. And we babied it for a long time.

As the transport drove away, I squared my shoulders and Kevin and I walked, hand in hand, back to the Sport. I posted photos on Facebook. My mother said that “she was a beauty.”

She was. She definitely was.

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live out loud

From the what the hell is wrong with us file

by Lorin Michel Saturday, August 6, 2016 8:02 PM

Kevin and I are strange people. Those who know us best would concur and are probably nodding their heads in agreement. The ways in which we're strange are numerous but for the purpose of this post, I'm going to stick with one.

We detail our own cars.

We spent the better part of five hours working on the Range Rover Sport today. This after spending the better part of last Saturday working on the Porsche and the new old truck, the Range Rover Classic. Those two vehicles looked great after we were done. The Classic was in desperate need of some love. The paint is pretty good and the guy Kevin bought it from had clay-barred it about three months ago. It still feels silky. But there were water spots along the passenger side and the interior was a disaster.

The Porsche is going to be sold. That makes me very sad but it's just not logical to keep it. We don't drive it very much. Kevin needed a truck and I have the current love of my automotive life: the Sport.

Once upon a time, I was a sports car person. Hence the Porsche, my second one. But as I've gotten older I find that I really like an SUV. It's not practical, though neither is the Porsche. But I like sitting up high rather than down on the road; I like the ride. And since we don't drive that much, I don't even mind the gas mileage.

After last week, when the two other cars got so much attention, I heard the Sport muttering under its breath the other day, a hiss coming out of the front grill. It sounded something like "what am I, the red-haired stepchild?"

Now first of all, that's an insult to red heads and step children everywhere, never mind that the Sport is actually red. Very red.

And second of all, I assured it, we had a whole day of spa treatments lined up for today.

Ordinary people would take the car to a detail shop in much the same way that ordinary people hire cleaning people to clean their 3700 square feet of house.

Did I mention that we're strange?

The fact is, I did look at taking the car to a detail shop. But I didn't know anything about any of them, other than Yelp and Google reviews. And the Sport, as previously stated, is my big red baby. I didn't want to take any chances handing it over to a stranger. That was all the incentive my husband needed. Off to the auto parts store he went. He came home with clay bars and liquid wax, both from Meguiars,  and a packet of microfiber towels.

This morning, I washed the wheels, then we washed the car. Easy enough. I put it back into the garage and we got to work. Kevin working the clay bar over the entirety of the paint, no easy task because the thing is a monster. I followed behind, applying wax, allowing it to dry, and then buffing it out.

We then applied armor-all to the tires, and the rubber trim. We detailed the interior, wiping down the leather, the doors, the dash. Kevin vacuumed; I did the windows. Five or so hours later, we were done. And exhausted.

Ordinary people don't do this. Ordinary people hire other people. Ordinary people spend their Saturday's going to the movies or out to lunch, maybe happy hour.

The truly strange thing is that we actually enjoy doing things like detailing the car(s) for the same reason we clean the house ourselves. We're very meticulous about how things are done and know that if we do them ourselves, we'll be happier with the result.

And I for one am thrilled with how my Sport looks.

Next weekend, maybe we'll finally getting around to doing something fun. Like painting.

Big body

by Lorin Michel Tuesday, October 21, 2014 9:03 PM

When I was younger, I was fascinated with sports cars. Small and fast, low to the ground, two seaters. My first car wasn’t really a sports car per se but it was sporty. It was a 1979 Toyota Celica hatchback, two doors with a back seat that wasn’t huge but was still there. It was a five-speed, and fun. It took me across the country and into San Diego after I graduated from college. I had to sell it when I moved briefly to Scottsdale because it didn’t have air conditioning. In the 1970s and even into the 80s, air conditioning was still considered an option.

My next car was a 1983 Mazda RX-7 in gun-metal gray, with a black leather interior. It too had a hatch but no back seats. The long sloped back window of the hatch had louvers on it, as did the two side back windows. I put a leather bra on the front to keep rocks from chipping the sloped nose and retractable headlights. It was low and fast and fabulous. I loved that car. My first husband sold it – fodder for another post, or maybe not because it’s not necessarily celebratory – several years after we’d moved back to Los Angeles. The replacement was nothing to get upset about, even though I did because I wasn’t involved in the discussion. I’m funny about liking to be part of decisions that affect my life.

The replacement was my first Porsche 944, also in gun-metal gray with retractable headlamps. Sleek, gorgeous and fast as hell. I resented the car at first because I really loved my RX-7, but I eventually grew to love my Porsche. Perfectly balanced, it was low to the ground and impossible to roll no matter how fast I took a corner, not that I tried to roll it. It’s the kind of engineering that, as you drive hard into a curve, it just sits down even lower, hugging the ground and giving you the power and possibility you’ve asked for.

Our first Range Rover

I eventually had to sell it because after husband number one and I split up, I simply couldn’t afford the maintenance. I wasn’t making a lot of money at the time. Enough to live comfortably, but not enough to pay $1500 repair bills every time my baby was in the shop.

I sold it and went back to Mazda, getting an MX-6, which bored me to tears. After you’ve experienced the technological wonder that is German engineering, it’s hard to drive anything as tame and civilized as a Japanese car. The new Mazda lasted a year before I decided I couldn’t stand it anymore. I got my first BMW, a 325i two-door sedan. Two years later, I leased a new 328i four-door sedan. I was back in a German car, which I loved. Though not a sports car, it was still sporty and I was happy.

But I didn’t drive enough to justify getting another new one when my lease was up. By then my freelance career was rocking, and days would go by without the car leaving the garage. As much as I wanted a new 330 convertible, I ultimately decided to go back to a car I had missed ever since I sold it: the Porsche. We found one on ebay, a 1987 944 Turbo, bought it and shipped it out to LA. It needed some work but we paid cash and we’ve had it now for at least 13 years. It currently needs more work so it’s sitting in the garage, looking fabulous but not going anywhere. It’s still low to the ground, in metallic black, five-speeds of turbo charged power.

As much as I loved and still love driving that car, something happened in the last decade and a half. I discovered that what I really love driving it something big, something that gets terrible gas mileage, something that goes against all of my liberal leanings. I love driving my great big SUV.

Me, in the Range Rover big body loaner, yesterday

This love started when Kevin traded his 735 BMW in for an old Toyota Land Cruiser. It was a great car but had a horrible ride. We eventually got rid of that and got our first Land Rover in the guise of a Discovery Series II. It was leased. When we turned it in, we decided to splurge and get a Range Rover, my beloved R1 that we had for years but eventually had a melt-down, literally. The aluminum engine block and the iron rods didn’t play nicely and the only way to save it was to put a new engine into it. We couldn’t justify the money since it was an older model. It was in exquisite shape. Everyone who ever had anything to do with it, including the tow-truck driver who picked me up on the side of the 101 freeway after I had a blowout, absolutely marveled at the car. I damn near cried when I had to get rid of it. It was like losing a family member. It was also built when BMW owned the company

Enter R2, the Range Rover Sport we’re currently driving and currently paying monthly for the privilege. It’s red, and big, and has a bitchin’ sound system, and all the bells and whistles I love, and gets only marginally better gas mileage than R1. I love it. If I had a choice between it and the Porsche, I’d take my gas-guzzling SUV anytime.

A true American.

Our current Range Rover Sport

Yesterday, R2 was in the shop to get its oil changed and because there was a check engine light on. Turned out that the emission control system needed an update, which was covered under warranty. The dealership gives loaners when your car is in the shop. I love that. I expected a Chevy or a Ford. They gave us a Range Rover big body, in metallic blue. It’s a stunning piece of machinery, even bigger than the Sport. I tooled around in that all day and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Interestingly, though, I didn’t feel the need to even entertain upgrading from the Sport. I love my Sport, love the look and feel of it. But the big body solidified my complete infatuation with big SUVs and while they’re not environmentally correct, the Range Rovers are exquisite machines. A review once said they’re limousines built to climb a tree. Though I don’t off-road, I know mine could walk down the side of a mountain with ease and without losing its balance.

I am unabashed in my love, and I’m celebrating my infatuation with a nod to my sports car past. I haven’t totally abandoned it, after all. There is the name Sport in my big body SUV.

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Craig's List is the new ebay

by Lorin Michel Thursday, April 10, 2014 9:01 PM

Years ago, probably back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, ebay was our go-to place for all things interesting, fun and old. It seemed to have just about everything and anything you could possibly imagine. I saw a style of antique music stand at the Pasadena Swap Meet one Sunday that I loved. It was wood with four wooden claw feet. There was a hand carved door at the top, and two doors that swiveled out from the center. Most other music stands I had seen and have seen since, had a single door that swung out one way.  It wasn’t expensive but it was damaged so I reluctantly decided against it.

The next day, I went on ebay and started a search to see if I could find one elsewhere. I did; in New York. In much better shape. I bid on it, won and had it shipped. It was and remains a stunning accent piece.

In the late 1980s, when I was married to husband number one, I drove a Mazda RX-7. It was a flashy little car that I just loved. My husband came home one day and said that he had found us a new car. I wasn’t looking for one and I wasn’t even remotely interested. I loved my Mazda. He had decided I needed to drive a Porsche 944 so we bought it. It took me a while to warm up to it – I think I held it responsible for my RX-7 going away – but eventually I grew to love it. I kept it and got rid of the husband. I also got rid of two-thirds of my income so when the car started to cost me too much money, I traded it in and got another Mazda. I was bored to tears. Within a year, I traded that in for a used BMW 325. Within a year, I decided to get a new 328. I leased it. By the time the lease was up, I had started my own business and the car sat in the garage for a good part of the time. I couldn’t justify leasing another new car or buying something where I’d have a car payment.

Throughout all of these cars, I never stopped missing my Porsche. That’s when I had an idea: Why not get another one? I started searching on ebay and found a 1987 Porsche 944 Turbo. It was in Oklahoma and needed some work but that was OK. We bid, we won, we sent a transport and a week later, it arrived, dirty and in need of more work than we thought. The next morning we took it to a local mechanic where it lived for a month.

Over the years, we’ve bought many other things on ebay, some small, some bigger. It used to be the go-to place whenever we were trying to find something different, unique, antique or just hard to find. Then it started becoming more like an online swap meet with people selling lots of tube socks and new auto parts. Gradually I drifted away as did Kevin.

I haven’t found anything to replace it, which is sad since my motto has become “if I can’t find it online, I don’t need it.” But Kevin has. His new addiction and go-to place for everything is Craig’s List. I’ll be working at the eat-at bar, laptop blazing, and he’ll be next to me, on his laptop.

“What are you working on?” I’ll ask, my fingers still punching keys as I blog, or work on a project for a client.

“I’m not,” he’ll answer. I’ll raise my head and look over at his screen. It’s Craig’s List. He has found tools, and parts. He’s looked at doors and windows. He pulled up bathroom fixtures the other day. He just surfs, looking for something interesting. The other day, it was a used BMW motorcycle, a touring bike that we have toyed with getting for years. He wasn’t looking for one. It was just there. He went to test drive it.

It was the Porsche all over again. Only this time we didn’t buy it. It did however spark some ideas to overhaul our current motorcycle, so that’s the plan. It’s a good one.

Celebrating Craig’s List today, the new ebay. It’s allowing my husband to live it out loud, vicariously. 

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live out loud

Anyhow, Happy 50th

by Lorin Michel Thursday, September 12, 2013 10:40 PM

My late Aunt Beryl had a way with language. She was not highly educated but she was well read, devouring newspapers, magazines, books and brochures in a way that showed her hunger to know more. I could talk with her for hours and while she would often go off on a tangent about something that happened twenty years before I was even born, usually we would talk about things that happened just this week, or yesterday; sometimes just this morning. She knew who the biggest pop stars of the day are as well as who the great crooners were. She could talk easily about which films were making money and just as quickly denounce them as something she’d never want to see. Too much violence and sex and language. She didn’t need to see that on screen. Give her something like “It Happened One Night,” or her beloved “Gone With the Wind,” on her VCR, and she was happy as could be.

They just don’t make them like that anymore, she’d say. Followed quickly with her favorite way of switching to another subject.


I don’t know anyone else who uses that word in quite the same way or with quite the same inflection, the same ok. Done with that. Let’s move on sort of dismissal. I have no idea why but for some reason, I could hear her voice in my head this morning, that word echoing through my memory as I checked email, caught up on the nothing that’s happening in the world, and came across a little piece talking about a fairly big birthday.

Anniversary 911

It seems that there’s a German car company out there that debuted a sports car 50 years ago called the 911. The car was designed by Ferdinand Porsche for the company that bears his name in 1959, as a replacement for the company’s 356 sports car and was originally going to be called a 901. But the French company Peugeot had a fit because all of their car models had a 0 in the middle. Porsche complied with their fit, changed the model number and the rest is history.

The car first sold here in the US in 1964. It was considered quite pricey for the time at $6,500. You could barely buy tires for one today for that amount of money. Today’s version carries a price tag of $83,000. In 50 years, Porsche has sold 820,000 911s.

I don’t have a 911. I had one in my garage during my first marriage, a 1983 model, but it belonged to husband number one. It was a gorgeous car and very hard to drive. Driving a car with a rear-engine means you have to learn to drive almost all over again because the weight is not what’s expected. Take a corner too fast and feel the car start to slide out from under you and you hit the gas rather than let off. If you let off, the car spins. If you hit the gas, you can regain control. It’s an interesting phenomenon. And not just a little bit scary.

I have a Porsche, a 944 Turbo. Built in 1987, it has nearly equal weight distribution between front and back. It’s extremely low to the ground, and it’s fast as hell. Drivers of 911s have long looked down on my beautiful car. The fact that it’s only 26 years old means it’s just a baby in the Porsche world. There will be no 50th birthday celebrations for my 944T and that’s OK.

Porsche has introduced a 50th anniversary model of its famed 911; it’s biggest claim to fame. It will retail in the US for $124,000.

As Aunt Beryl also used to say Oooh myyy.

Aunt Beryl wasn’t much of a car person but she would have known all about this 50th birthday, including the fact that I currently have a Porsche and that I once lived with a 911. We would have talked all about it.

Original 911


Happy 50th to a stunning piece of engineering and a beautiful design of aesthetic proportion. In a world where things come and go at a sometimes alarming rate, having a car that transcends time is quite an accomplishment, one that I’m celebrating today. 

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Hearing things that aren’t there and other random acts of weird

by Lorin Michel Monday, July 30, 2012 1:07 AM

Yesterday we found an HTC phone on the road just up Lindero, past Kanan and by the apartments. It had lost its red cover though both pieces were lying close by. We picked it up, tried to turn it on and were largely unsuccessful. So Kevin snapped the cover back into place and put it in his pocket. We thought maybe the battery was low and if we charged it when we got home, the screen would magically appear. We thought wrong.

We had a charger that fit and it took the charge but the screen seems to have completely lost its mind. We had good intentions of seeing if we could call one of the numbers, maybe even one that said “home,” and tell whomever answered that we had their phone. Again, wrong. So then we figured we’d just take it to a local Verizon store and see if they could extract any of the owner’s information to contact them. There’s really nothing else we can do short of putting up signs and I really reserve that for lost dogs and cats.

We left the phone in the kitchen on the counter. Big mistake.

At 7:30 this morning, just after I had fallen back to sleep and had entered the realm of a deep-don’t-wake-me-for-hours snooze, I was rudely awakened. I heard something strange, something mechanical, something irritating. At first, I thought: birds. But it was too regimented to be birds. Birds tend to be noisy, yes, but never noisy in a completely uniform, chirp every 2 seconds from soft to loud to pay-attention-to-me-now way. I got up. Kevin still appeared to be sleeping.

I walked to the window thinking maybe I was wrong. Maybe I was going to see a merry band of mariachi birds out there, serenading us. At 7:30. On a Sunday. I wasn’t entirely sure what I planned to do if I actually discovered mariachi birds, but I was for sure going to give them a stern talking to.

The sound wasn’t coming from outside. Nix the birds. I started toward the living room, made a left at the stairs and thought: could it be the car? I haven’t heard the new car alarm yet so I don’t know what it sounds like but then I thought: if that’s the car, it’s not very effective. Sure, it got me up. But it’s not going to deter anyone trying to steal a huge SUV. Just as I started to turn toward the garage, I stopped. The sound was coming from the kitchen.

I hear things a lot that aren’t there. So does Kevin. I hope this doesn’t make me eligible for a 5150 psych hold. If I said I hear voices, I realize it might. The fact is, sometimes, in the dead of night, when I wake up and I’m a little out of it, and I lay there in the dark, listening for dog-knows what, I could swear I hear the whispers of people out in the backyard, trying to break into Kevin’s studio.  [Bobbi’s on the phone to the police right now calling in that 5150. USC, here I come.]

I get up and pad softly to the window to look out, again not knowing just what act of heroics I’m going to pull in order to chase away said voices, but I do it anyway. There’s never anyone there, and that’s a good thing. I did this the other night and Kevin woke up and asked, reassuringly: “What the hell are you doing?” I told him; he told me it was probably the fan. He was probably right.

Phone on the Porsche in the garage

Both of us have been known to gather in the kitchen for lunch – if two people meeting for lunch can be called a gathering – and one or the other or both of us will stop mid-munch and cock an ear toward the door, asking: “Was that a phone?” Invariably, it was not.

It is not uncommon for Kevin to come in the house from his studio and ask me if the doorbell just rang. It did not.

I often hear, still and wistfully, Maguire as he shifts his weight and his considerable girth on the hardwood floor, the swoosh-slide-thud-clank-sigh as he turned over and lay back down. The clank is his tags. It is obviously and sadly no longer him, but I hear it all the time. I no longer get up from my desk to check on him, or the sound, because I know I’m hearing things. I wonder if I’ll hear him forever.

As you’ve probably deciphered, this morning’s phantom sound was the rescued street phone, the phone we so carefully placed back together in hopes of returning it to its owner. The phone who just yesterday was mangled and in pieces, waiting to be run over by an unfeeling car or worse, SUV. That phone repaid our kindness by setting off its alarm at 7:30 am. Because I was slightly discombobulated, I first tried to answer it. Then I tried to shut it off by hitting the buttons. Remember, there is no display so turning something off when you can’t see the “off” is nearly impossible and difficult at best. But it shut up and I went back to bed.

For 10 minutes.

Then it started again. I hit the power button. 10 minutes later it went off again. I was now wide-awake and did not want to be wide-awake alone. “Tell me you’re hearing that,” I said to my husband making sure to raise my voice above the cacophony emanating from the kitchen. He asked why I couldn’t turn it off. I told him I did. The next time it went off, he got up with it and decided to make coffee. Evidently, he also decided that the best place for the phone was the garage, on top of the Porsche. I know this because 10 minutes later, I was once again, hearing the phone. What I was not hearing was my husband silencing its incessant chirps. Once again, I got up and this time, the sound was indeed coming from the garage. I took the phone from the top of the car, and just kept touching the black screen until it went silent. It has not dared to speak since.

This is what I know. Turning the power off on a traumatized smartphone does not deter it. It is too smart for that. This is also what I know. Phones should not be smarter than people. I am proud to say that I triumphed on the sixth time the phone and I met for combat. Tomorrow, I will be ready.

Because in the realm of the weird, this phone seems to like living it out LOUD.

There is no substitute

by Lorin Michel Friday, February 24, 2012 10:42 PM

I’m a car person, always have been. I have no idea why. It’s not like I grew up in a household that was big into cars. My father had company cars that leaned toward the 4-door Pontiac Bonneville variety. My mother had an original 1965 convertible Ford Mustang, bought right off the production line for less than $3500. They didn’t buy it because it was cool or because they were car people; they bought it because it was in the price range.

Somewhere around the time I became a teenager I discovered that cars could be really cool. I didn’t necessarily like muscle cars like the Pontiac Trans-Am or the comparable Chevrolet Z28, their supped up, hot rod version of the Camaro. I remember several guys in high school had the same black Trans-Am with a gold eagle painted on the hood. They always struck me as big and sloppy; the cars, too. But one of my close friend’s boyfriend had a maroon Camaro that we all spent many fun hours in. Other friends had Toyotas, and I grew to love those as well. I learned to drive a stick on a red 1969 VW Beetle because friends of my parents gave it to me for a weekend once and said: “if you can drive it, you can use it.” I learned fast. I couldn’t get it into reverse though, so for the entire weekend I had to be careful of how and where I parked.

My Toyota Celica. It was sort of beige.

Fast forward to later in high school when I hooked up with an old boyfriend for a little while. He worked at Queen City Toyota in Manchester, NH and drove a 1976 Celica, a little stubby car with two doors. It was green and adorable. He let me drive it and I fell in love. With the car. I set my sites on my own Celica, and when I was a junior in college I bought a used 1979 Toyota Celica hatchback. This was after my mother had decided that she needed a sports car herself. I think it was a bit of a mid-life crisis. I borrowed another boyfriend’s car one night while at school and drove home for dinner. I pulled into the driveway and there were no lights on outside the garage. It was dark; they knew I was coming. I fumbled around for my house keys, found the lock to the side door leading into the garage, opened said door, reached inside to flip on the lights and screamed. There, sitting where the blue Honda hatchback wagon used to sit was a brand new 1983 Toyota Celica Supra. I made my mother take me out for a ride that very night.

My RX-7

I loved my own Celica, right up until I moved to Scottsdale, Arizona for one misplaced year and had to sell it. The car didn’t have air conditioning and it is nearly impossible to live in the desert in the summer without A/C. I was sad to see it go but its replacement was truly sporty, sexy and fun. A 1983 Mazda RX-7, gun metal gray with dark tinted windows in the back and louvers on the hatch. Its A/C rocked the planet. I loved that car. It was my first real sports car and I was proud to walk to it every day to go to work. It was small, but it was mighty. It got sold out from underneath me, almost literally, by my first husband. He had stopped at a Porsche dealer one night on the way home from work and found a 1986 Porsche 944 that we just had to have. I didn’t want it; I wanted my Mazda. I wasn’t ready to make a change, and I resented being forced to get rid of my precious car without even having seen the Porsche. I bitched, I moaned.

Can you imagine? I was getting a Porsche. And I was mad.

I quickly warmed up to my new toy. It was also gun metal gray and, as you can imagine, fast. Very fast. My then-husband used to refer to it as the racehorse. Then he got his own Porsche, a 911 with a whale tale. Mine became the poor relation. We got divorced, though not because of the his-and-hers Porsches, and split up the cars according to who loved what. But as a single woman not making very much money at the time I couldn’t afford the maintenance on mine and was forced to sell. I went back to Mazda, buying an MX-6. I was bored within six months. Sold that, and bought a BMW. And then another BMW. Both 3 series.

Full disclosure: As much as I loved my early Japanese cars, I have become a German car snob. Nobody builds a car like the Germans. The technology is superior, the craftsmanship incredible. They’re heavy, built like tanks, and solid as can be. I adored my BMWs but I had started working exclusively from my home office. Having a car in the garage along with a car payment seemed … stupid. Plus I was getting the itch again. I had never stopped loving my first Porsche. Once I had fallen for it, I fell hard. When I had to sell it, I was devastated. I wanted another one, badly.

It was now into the early 2000s. Porsche had stopped making 944s in 1992. Where does one go to find a car that is no longer made and in short supply on the local used car circuit? eBay. I searched and found a 1987 gun metal gray 944 turbo. We bought it for $6000, had it shipped from its home in Oklahoma. OK! When it arrived on the carrier, I drove it home. The next morning it went into the local German-car shop, a place where we still take it called Autobahn West. The guy is Porsche trained, and has had his own shop for a while. We had him replace the clutch, rebuild other sections of the car, and get it road ready. The engine was strong. Cosmetically it was beautiful. It needed to be painted, and eventually it was, but the interior was pristine.

The 944 Turbo. A real beauty if I do say so myself.

We have the car still. We don’t drive it often, but it is as fast as can be. When we take the onramp to the northbound 101 off of Lindero Canyon, it has a wide, sweeping path and that car sits down and takes off. Drop it from 4th into 3rd and watch out. It’s perfectly balanced, heavy, and beautiful. It has the most exquisite rumble. We have no car payment, put only about 3000 miles a year on it and just enjoy its power. It lives up to the Porsche mantra: there IS no substitute.

I’m a car person, and I love my Porsche.

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