I’ve always been deeply in love with 80’s era Porsches. Aside from the typical sex appeal, speed, and sophistication that tags along with a name like Porsche, there has always been something a bit more exhilarating and beautiful about that particular decade of Stuttgart offerings. It was a time when air-cooled engines ruled the roost, and three cars paved the way: the white-knuckle inducing type 930-911 and its newfangled turbo, the brutally powerful, yet refined 928 and its front engine, and my personal favorite, the quirky and quick 944. Even my grandfather owned a 1988 911 Carrera coupe, with its bright red paint job, “tea-tray” style spoiler, and Fuch’s alloy wheels— it was the coolest thing my driveway ever saw, and the most sacrilegious automobile buzzing around metro Detroit at the time.
And then came the 90’s, where Porsche decided to have a bit of a divorce with itself. They nixed my beloved 944 for the wonky Miami Vice-esq entry level 968. The 911 morphed into a ballistic missile with hot-to-handle variants like the GT2 resembling beautifully sculpted weapons of mass destruction on public roads. And the 928 GTS sat somewhere in unaffordable purgatory. But, when the mid-90’s smoke finally cleared on all these crazy variations and mind boggling numerical nomenclatures . . . the Boxster was born.
The Porsche Boxster never really did much for me, it always came across as something a corporate middle manager would purchase just to show his colleagues he “really made it” as opposed to something you’d actually find parked in an enthusiast’s garage. That’s not to say the Boxster isn’t a fully capable sports car, when it first came out, it was probably the most stylish mid-engine roadster on the market, and its performance was fairly impressive, but with the cheaper and far more engaging MX-5 Miata or the substantially more real-world-friendly BMW Z3 out at the same time, it would have taken a lot more than Viagra to have the Boxster get a rise out of me. The car resembled less of the Porsche name, and more of the people who just wanted to own a part of it. But it saved the brand and its name as well, becoming the largest volume selling car Porsche had to date, and earning much praise and accolades along the way. Last Thursday we were invited out to Porsche of the Main Line to take place in the unveiling of the all new 2013 Porsche Boxster, a car I would soon find myself less willing to pass and more aspiring to own.
Arriving at Porsche of the Main Line near the start of the event, I was quickly confronted by the realization that the excitement for the Boxster had far surpassed what I had expected. A full parking lot and a street lined bumper to bumper with beautiful cars, customers, fanboys, and potential buyers had come out to reveal in Porsche glory. The stage was handsomely set as I entered past a steel drum band, cigar tent, and martini bar. Snatching up a little gin and seltzer on the rocks, I fired up the camera and waltzed my way inside, only to get blown away. Porsche of the Main Line had successfully transformed itself from luxury dealership to hot-ticket party atmosphere. Capitol Grill was holding the fort down stirring the cocktails, carving up lamb chops, and churning out delicious pasta dishes that kept everyone in attendance buzzed and stuffed. People strutted around chatting it up over a general love of cars or just how impressed they were with the ambiance of the event as a whole; it was more than a sight to see . . . it was clearly the place to be.
And in the middle of the showroom stood our guest of honor. Sexy and proud, she hid her details, but had no problems flaunting her curves as the Porsche logo adorned silky black sheet draped across her body like a pricey cocktail dress she had saved just for this occasion. Quiet and unassuming she remained, as guests moved around her with anticipation and caution. In the background her inspiration boldly watched over her, a Guards Red Porsche Carrera GT. Perhaps the most outrageous and generally recognizable Porsche ever built, the Carrera GT is a testament of a simple yet elegant design, maddening power, and marvelous engineering. In juxtaposition the two sat near, one being a nearly unachievable older sibling, and the other an attainable decedent of design, technology, and spirit. It was time for her to show some skin.
The crowd calmed and gathered around, and with the flick of a wrist the sheet slid back and our eyes bared witness to the new 2013 Porsche Boxster. God damn, she . . . is . . . beautiful. Not outrageous, or ostentatious, but down right subtly beautiful. Classic lines flowed into modern design forming a timeless look that proudly puts the Boxster aesthetically at the top of the Porsche stable. It doesn’t just wear its skin well, but the badge of its maker as well. More than just looking like a proper Porsche, for 2013, it is the quintessential Porsche. In design, performance, and price, it creates a standard all other companies aspire to have when they set out to build a proper roadster. From a class topping interior, to a power to weight ratio that shoves your ass from 0-60 in 4.5 seconds (Boxster S model), it’s the natural progression the VAG (VW,Audi,Porsche) group needed for the younger GTI owner like myself (for the days when we get a little more dough), or the established individual looking for something exhilarating, yet stately. It’s a car that can save Porsche in a new way, during a time when it’s selling more SUV’s and 4 doors, it can pump some lifeblood back into the thoroughbred race heritage synonymous with the brand.
And even past the scheduled end time of the event, the party continued on. Enjoying the food and each other, everyone took the time to stroll around the car, sit inside it, and dream of having it. It was an affair where I met some amazing new people, and could really appreciate the awe-inspiring adventures Average Enthusiast tends to take us on. As we pulled away in my little VW hatchy, I glanced back in the mirror, and I swear the Boxster flashed her gorgeous LED running lights at me . . . don’t worry baby, I’ll be bringing you home soon.