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Spring is here: Get out and drive!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Article and photos by Nathan Merz

Sadly for much of the country the dark days of winter mean our Porsches get relegated to the purgatory of car covers and battery tenders. Of course we all know they can be enjoyed regardless of weather, but for so many owners the thought of exposing their prized possessions to the ravages of snow, ice, salt, and freezing temperatures seems unpalatable. Setting the debate aside, we know the reality is that there are countless Porsches sitting dormant, just waiting for the roads to clear. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s officially spring, and that means the start of driving season. Let’s get these cars out and drive!

On a recent Thursday work seemed needlessly tedious. I was antsy and I knew my workday would succumb to pushing piles of paperwork around my desk with little accomplished. I hopped up from my desk and made my way to the garage and peeked out over the various silhouettes… Which Porsche would pull my heartstrings today?  For some reason I wanted pure, loud, fast, and a little bit edgy. I pulled back the cover on my hot-rod 1970 911T coupe and disconnected the battery tender. I quickly checked the tire pressures and made sure everything looked ready to go. I threw in a hastily assembled brown bag lunch and my travel tool kit. I turned the key and the flat-6 coughed to life — stumbling slightly as if to express its indignation at my neglect — and quickly settled into a smooth idle.

As I pulled out of the garage a tingle of excitement pulsed through my veins, just as it did the day I drove this car for the first time. Does that feeling ever go away? I sure hope not.  I ponder thoughts of relocating somewhere where Christmas cards feature Santa surfing…

I considered just taking a quick 20-minute jaunt to bring the oil up to temperature. That was the responsible thing to do, give the car some quick exercise to keep the machine healthy and head back to work. Somehow that just didn’t seem to fit my mood, so I pointed the car east and figured I would let the road decide…

450 miles later I pulled back into the garage after having spent the better part of 10 hours exploring some of the finest remote two-lane roads eastern Washington had to offer. I blasted to redline along the undulating curves and hills of the Palouse, I felt the delicious feedback of winter’s remnants of sand on the farm roads of the Columbia Valley through the steering wheel, and I felt true Joy as I watched the sun set over the Snake River. I had no plan, no destination, and I let the machine and the road lead me. Was this better than a day in the office? I will let you decide…

The good news is that absence truly does make the heart grow fonder — I missed you my dear 911!

Spring is Here, Get out and Drive!

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