Six years ago my dad and I dragged an ’87 Porsche 924S out of a guy’s backyard who had left the car for dead following a host of successive engine failures. Over the past six years, the 924 has become a major part of my life. I’ve always been enthusiastic about the car but not until recently, when I got 55 hours of seat time in six days with no air conditioning or human companionship, did I truly come to appreciate not just how brilliantly practical and reliable of a car I have, but how significant of a lasting positive impact daily-driving a vintage sports car has had on my life.
In June of this year I drove across the entirety of the United States for the first time, a one-way total of 3300 miles from Connecticut to Oregon. As I was in a state of transition and uncertainty when I set off, having just left a steady, respectable job in favor of an ambitious pursuit of I-don’t- know-what, my mind raced throughout those ten-hour days of highway mileage. One minute I’m all smiles, overwhelmed by the exhilaration of major change; the next I’m reminding myself to breath deeply, my checking account balance looming ominously overhead. The only constant in my mind, the thought, “Damn, I’m so glad I took the 924”.
I can say with confidence that I would not be the person I am today had I found my way into a modern econobox when I began driving, like so many people do. My 924 is quirky, it’s finicky, it has a host of unattended-to issues, but I see eye to eye with it, I get it. I’ve shared enough memorable experiences with the car that its presence adds a certain special ingredient to whatever I may be doing at the time, and for me, provides the subconscious comfort of a tie to home.
Looking back at my classic car ownership, my mind is flooded with fond memories of time spent behind the wheel. Relationships sparked by late-night “spirited driving” in focus-fueled inextricably romantic silence, the adrenaline-induced giggles that follow a well-executed powerslide, and the fulfillment of mending a trip-ending mechanical failure with a healthy dose of Gorilla Tape; these reminiscences all made possible by a conscious decision to drive a vintage sports car.
Even with all that said, daily-driving a vintage sports car is not for everyone. In certain circumstances it can be an inconvenience, prohibitive even. However, those who are willing to roll the dice in their automotive purchasing decisions will, in due time, find themselves reflecting on the massively rewarding experience that is classic car ownership, as I am now.