After feet and feet of snow a winter or two ago, it’s quite welcome that summer brings driving weather. At the autocross a while back, though, it was really, really hot–not that I’m complaining or anything. But it was other-end-of-the-spectrum hot. At the autocross, I was lucky enough to bring one recent-vintage car (Porsche 997 Targa 4) and two older cars (1973 914 and 1986 944). Keeping the machinery cool became more of a focal point than when I’m just running the newer car. Even the newer car can hit 250°F+ for coolant temp when running at a race track like Palmer or Thompson on a hot day. Idling waiting for runs at the autocross drives up the temps no matter what, so you get a lot of heat that doesn’t have the benefit of fast airflow like you get when running laps on a race track. So how can we keep things a bit cooler? Continue reading Porsche 944: Keeping cool on a hot day
When I was even thinking about getting an old 944, I firmly intended to get it as a car to use and enjoy, not one to baby and worry about. I was maybe going to turn it slowly into a mean autocross car. Or maybe daily drive it in winter as a beater. Or maybe crazy rallycross car with skidplates and rally tires. Or all of the above at the same time! The beauty of the 944 platform is that it has a wide range of capabilities and is a fairly simple car, aside from the motor. It has great handling, no doubt, and has been many things to many people. And they are plentiful, which in the Porsche world these days makes them relatively affordable and parts easier to obtain. I am now seeing sad posts where folks are talking about not wanting to being their RS America’s to the track anymore because they are too valuable now. I don’t think that will ever happen to my 944. I got it to be “my Miata” – a small, nimble car that is heavy on fun but light on cost. I didn’t want to have to worry about it being clean or nice. It would just have to run well and be a good driver. Continue reading Porsche 944: From My Beater to My Baby?
It’s funny how at one point in my life, any car I owned that wasn’t under dealer warranty was too risky for me to have as a daily driver. I would trade in a car after only one year of owning it if I put so many miles on it that the warranty was up. Getting to work was so critical, I felt anything that jeopardized the prospect of making it was unacceptable. Definitely funny how life changes. That strategy cost me a small fortune. And it was very easy to justify it at the time.
My life is a bit different now. It’s not that I don’t have important places to be and that it is any less important that I get there. But there is now a different equation in play. Continue reading The Joy and Agony of Driving a Radioactive Isotope, an Old Porsche