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red_stapler Dork
12/5/18 3:10 p.m.

So I've been a Porsche fan for as long as I can remember.  The first auto race I remember watching on TV was when my dad and I cheered for Derek Bell driving a 962 at Mid Ohio.  In high school, I cheered for various GT2 and GT1 Porsches.  Fast forwarding to August '18, years of building credit good credit and paying off debt finally put me in the position to buy a fun car after my dual-purpose VW GTI was totaled.  I managed to get an unsecured loan from Lightstream at a great rate, with the only criteria being that I had to buy a car.  A friend pointed out that instead of another understeery FWD hatchback, I could own a proper mid-engined sports car.  It was time to find a Porsche of my own.  A few test drives of local cars determined that I would fit under the low roof line with my helmet on.  Internet research suggested that the 2.7 engine would have fewer failures than the 3.4, so I narrowed my search down to base Caymans for a fly & drive.  That brings us to my car.  It popped up on Autotrader with no photos, so I reached out to the dealer for details.  They sent a nice video walkaround of the car, and I knew when I saw the color combo that she was the one:

After some negotiation with the internet sales person, and a delay to have the headliner changed, I arranged a long weekend to fly down to Charleston and drive it back to Nashville.  To celebrate the car being water cooled, it rained the whole weekend.  

I was confident enough in the car that I didn't opt for a PPI.  The first of many things that will leave me uninvited from the PCA gala.  Some paperwork and a big check later, and we were on the road!

Drove halfway and spent the night in Atlanta to visit my girlfriend.  Took the scenic route back home from there:

What a car!  With the engine right over your shoulder, just starting her up becomes an event.  I've heard a lot of cars being described as having go-kart like handling, but she *actually* handles like a kart. Next update: giving her a once-over to get ready for the track:


mr2s2000elise Reader
12/5/18 3:23 p.m.

Congrats on the new car. Enjoy in good health.

what year is it? 


Any road trip with GF night stop should recharge the batteries :D


I have a few mid engine, RWD cars, and nothing is better than the sound coming from right above your ears and on your spine. I love it. 

Cotton PowerDork
12/5/18 3:32 p.m.

Awesome car.  Love the color.  

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
12/5/18 3:35 p.m.

I love how these cars drive and I'm sure I'll own one someday. Have lots of fun. 

mr2s2000elise Reader
12/5/18 5:00 p.m.

There is one on BAT now


Vigo UltimaDork
12/5/18 10:08 p.m.

LOOOOVE the color combo!

Javelin MegaDork
12/6/18 12:28 a.m.

Oh man, that Merlot is achingly gorgeous! Great buy, trip, and story dude. A+

Brake_L8 New Reader
12/6/18 9:05 a.m.

Wonderful color - thank you for not getting silver or black or whatever the hot new boring color is on a P-Car nowadays!

Very curious how it treats you, I am convinced that a 987 Cayman is my next car.

red_stapler Dork
12/6/18 1:40 p.m.
Javelin said:

Oh man, that Merlot is achingly gorgeous! Great buy, trip, and story dude. A+

 Brake_L8 said:


Wonderful color - thank you for not getting silver or black or whatever the hot new boring color is on a P-Car nowadays!

Thanks!  The color is called Carmona red. 

red_stapler Dork
12/7/18 10:42 a.m.

So, the trip home revealed a few issues that needed sorting out.  The driver's door handle was floppy, and the passenger side window wasn't dipping correctly when the door was opened.  More on that later.  I had to visit the Lane Museum with a friend I hadn't seen in about 15 years.

He thought that I meant a Studebaker when I said "Let's check out the LARC"

Although, to be fair, the Lane does have both:

With that out of the way, it was time to do some internet research and determine what was up with the doors & windows.  There are a series of microswitches in both the interior and exterior door handles, and the door latch itself that tell the car when to dip / raise the window since they are frameless.  I bravely tore into the door to see what needed replacing:

As it turns out; these are actually pretty easy to work on, it's almost as if they are a normal car! You don't need to be wearing an immaculate polo shirt in order to get things done.  The interior door handles pull on a spring-loaded plastic axle, and the seat for the spring often breaks off.   I Installed a new one from GRM Sponsor FCP Euro:

Disassembly of the door revealed that the window regulator was also broken:

I don't think some plastic bit in a German car has ever gone bad before.  The tensioner mechanism was stripped out or something, so there was a bit of slack preventing the window from moving short distances.

While I had the door apart, I basically replaced everything.  New window switch, new exterior handle switch, new latch, new door axle, new bowden cable.  The best part is that it's all lifetime warranty from FCP now, so I only had to pay for this job once.  I also determined that the 8" mid-woofer had failed, and sourced a used replacement from a 911 on eBay. 

Now that everything was working, it was time for an autocross to see what she drives like at the limit.  I had the front all-season tires replaced with Sumitomo HTR ZIIIs to match the full tread ones that came on the rear.  Work has a sign shop, so I had some WEC number boards made up in the correct FIA dimensions and font. We went down to Huntsville to run with TAC/TVR:

This car is a riot to autocross.  Once I got more confident in how she would react, she's almost exactly like a go-kart.  You basically turn in, slide all 4 tires with the wheel straight, and then get into the power as soon as it hooks back up.  I think it's actually more agile than my NA Miata was.  It's a bit too soft though, I think she needs shocks + springs + swaybar to be properly quick.  I'm looking at sourcing the parts from a stiffer PASM (fancy active shocks) model, as they got what I call the "ACR" treatment.

Next time:  SCCA Time Trials shakedown at PittRace.

mr2s2000elise Reader
12/7/18 11:28 a.m.

Beautiful. So jealous that you can make door numbers at the door! I need a few for my cars on the track, wish had your resource!


Enjoy in good health 

Spoolpigeon PowerDork
12/7/18 12:04 p.m.

The pics don’t do the color any justice. It looked great in person at TT Nats. 

docwyte UltraDork
12/7/18 2:20 p.m.

My 911 Turbo came with Sumitomo HTR ZIII's.  I can't wait to get them off the car, they suck!!

mr2s2000elise Reader
12/7/18 2:56 p.m.
docwyte said:

My 911 Turbo came with Sumitomo HTR ZIII's.  I can't wait to get them off the car, they suck!!

Agree 100%. I have a set on a car, they are horrendous. Going to try Federal 595R or back to R888.

red_stapler Dork
12/7/18 3:02 p.m.
mr2s2000elise said:
docwyte said:

My 911 Turbo came with Sumitomo HTR ZIII's.  I can't wait to get them off the car, they suck!!

Agree 100%. I have a set on a car, they are horrendous. Going to try Federal 595R or back to R888.

I'm sure they're holding back my lap times a bit, but they try really hard:

AnthonyGS Reader
12/7/18 3:20 p.m.

Normally, I have a strong dislike for tan / natural color leather, but with this color it looks amazing.  She is a real beauty and sounds like a total blast to drive. 

docwyte UltraDork
12/7/18 4:04 p.m.

In reply to mr2s2000elise :

Strangely not a lot of tires available for the 18's on my 996 Turbo.  Even if I go a bit wider, still very few.  My choices are basically the Falken Azenis 615K+ or the BFG Rival S 1.5's. 

mr2s2000elise Reader
12/7/18 5:18 p.m.

In reply to docwyte :

Yeah I Have a car like that with a size, most companies don't make. So I play with the sizes to make it work :(  I like the Azenis, but haven't had them in years.

red_stapler Dork
12/9/18 1:24 p.m.

With the windows working, and an autocross under my belt, it was time to make the journey back home to Pittsburgh for the SCCA Time Trial.  The plan was to take a day with my dad's lift sorting out a few things that the car needed, and then run the time trial.  That didn't quite go to plan....

Having access to the lift was awesome.  All 90000 hose connections under the car are leak free.  I was able to get all of the brake pads and rotors swapped out with Ferodo DS2500s and new Sebro rotors.  We also pulled off the front bumper to clean out the air ducts.  They were filthy:

Confident that the car would keep her cool at the track, we sorted out a few other little things.  Some of the marker light bulbs were burned out and replaced.  Neither horn would sound, so we replaced them with these GRM-Spec harbor frieght specials:

The front bumpstops had completely deteriorated, so we swapped them out with new ones:

We bled the brakes  with a bottle of RBF600.  Then it was time to hit the track!

Unfortunately, this is where it kinda went wrong.  I was more worried about learning the car and the course than filming or datalogging, so I don't have a whole lot to show for it.  About 3/4 of the way through my second session the brake pedal shot straight to the floor coming into the braking zone for turn 1 at PittRace.  I was able to pump the brakes enough to slow the car, and take a really wide line to safety, but that ended the session.  The pedal came back after cooling in the pits, and I was able to go out for somewhat more leisurely laps without losing them again.  We tried fluishing them that night, but ended up running out of RBF600 and putting a bunch of air into one of the calipers.  I parked the car and spent the rest of the weekend hanging out with old friends from back home.  Got the brakes sorted out with parts store fluid to at least get home. The sun did finally come out enough that I could see what the color actually looked like!

Next time: the brakes are sorted out, and we head back to the track!

ScottyB Reader
12/9/18 4:40 p.m.

that color is amazing.  definitely keeping an eye on this thread, the Cayman is at the top of my "someday" realistic sportscar list.

Woody MegaDork
12/9/18 5:04 p.m.

That's the best possible color for those cars. Very hard to find. Enjoy!

mr2s2000elise Reader
12/9/18 5:05 p.m.

Sorry to hear of all Brake problems 


hope you get it sorted 

red_stapler Dork
12/12/18 9:53 a.m.

About two weeks after the time trial, we were back at it with the NCM HPDE program. I flushed the brakes one more time with Dot4, and they held up at NCM just fine.   Probably one of the best weekends I've had in a car! 

It was about a million degrees outside, but she never missed a beat.

I had a great session with a Lotus Evora.  I think I could have gotten around them if it weren't for traffic:

By the end of the weekend I had gone through all of the classroom instruction, spent some time chatting with Andy Pilgrim, and had a great time out on track!

Next time: More @ NCM!

red_stapler Dork
12/27/18 3:08 p.m.

The de-snorkel mod (basically removing a plastic plate that covers the air inlet) is somewhat controversial among Porsche folk, but I think it sounds cool:

A couple weeks after the NCM day, there was another event, with a chance to run just the west course.  At this point I've moved up from beginner to intermediate, and I'm pretty comfortable with the car on-track.


I met up with an autocross friend in their 370Z and we took turns in the lead:

The conclusion was that the 370 was a lot faster, but couldn't go as long before needing to cool down.

I also made some friends on the way home:

Next time: The SCCA Time Trials Nationals at NCM

Brett_Murphy UltimaDork
12/27/18 3:33 p.m.

That de-snorkel mod looks like it is ready to suck in some water.

Great looking car, and I'm glad you're using it it the way it should be!

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