This update is a little overdue, mostly thanks to a harsh winter that buried my town in multiple heavy snowfalls, and a few inches of solid ice one day which broke pretty much every tree in town. I wasn’t able to work on my cars much since we had snow on the ground for two and a half months and the temperature rarely got above 40 F. But spring is coming, and with it another season of tinkering with cars.
My Porsche has been immobile since before I swapped the engine a year ago, and while it’s mostly put together and ready to drive again, it still isn’t running. Which you might expect after yanking out the entire engine and putting a different one in. As I write this, it’s at the foreign car shop for electrical work, and I’ll write another update when I can finally drive it again. This post is about my third vehicle, which is also red like my truck and Porsche. I’ve owned ten red vehicles out of 29 total, which seems kind of excessive.
Sometimes creativity isn’t a concerted effort, or a time-consuming project. Sometimes you just have an idea, and a few minutes later you have a new thing, freshly created.
One day not too long ago, I decided I wanted a pi poster, but didn’t feel like spending money on it. So instead I opened up Microsoft Word, pasted in a million digits of pi that I downloaded from the internet, and shrunk the text size down to 1.5 point. Only about a quarter of the digits fit on one page, so this is what I ended up with:
I have another Porsche story to tell. This one starts with a 1901 US $5 gold coin, and it will probably end with profit. But first, I have to tell an old story about the time I got a 1984 Porsche 944 for free.
On my 22nd birthday in October 2013, I happened upon a post on the Rennlist forums by a guy in Portland, saying he wrecked his 944 and whoever could haul it away within a couple days would get it for free. Otherwise, it would be scrapped.
I’d recently bought a $900 Chevy pickup so I borrowed a trailer hitch from a coworker, a trailer from a different coworker, and the next day I hauled my free Porsche home.
Last time, I wrote about the twelve cars I acquired in 2015, which I mostly got by trading. I ended the year with five vehicles: Toyota Tacoma, Mazda Miata, Volvo V40, 1981 Porsche 924, and of course my beloved 1987 Porsche 924S.
The Volvo went to my brother after a few repairs and is running very nicely. One interesting feature we discovered is that the passenger side engine mount was missing the long bolt through the center, thus hanging only from the rubber. So that was the source of the weird knocking sound during acceleration.
The Miata went to a guy with a beard. I’m sure he’ll love it.
The Tacoma went to a local young guy who needed a good daily driver. I’m sure he’ll be annoyed by it, but it’s reliable.
So what am I driving now? Well…
400 pounds of intricately designed metal makes this car go, with help from bits of rubber and some explosive fluid. Technology is weird.
This morning my truck decided to blow out its head gasket and spit coolant and oil all over the exhaust header, thus producing a pungent cloud of smoke. I was about halfway to work when I noticed it running poorly and making weird noises, so I drove the other half-mile and waited for the sun to come up before I looked at the engine. After a quick and easy diagnosis (there aren’t many issues that cause a mixture of oil and coolant to spew out from the middle of the engine), I ordered the gaskets.
Then after work I sputtered one mile back home and hopped in my latest Porsche for a short spirited drive on some twisty roads to improve my mood.
Oh, right, I haven’t written about this one yet. Once again, I failed to stick with a car (the gold Golf) and traded it for a 1987 944 Turbo. I had to add some cash, but it was too good of a deal to ignore.
It’s not your fault, little car, I just have commitment issues
This little blue machine was the quirkiest car I’ve ever owned. For several months last summer it served my brother and me well, taking us reliably to work, the beach, up and down mountains, and many other places. Despite having about as much power as a few dozen sickly old horses, rattles and squeaks and weird smells, and wipers that took several minutes to “warm up” and start moving fast enough to clear the rain off the windshield, it was a lot of fun to drive. I always looked back at it fondly after parking, a look normally reserved for my Porsches.
After making many improvements to it, learning about the engine, and being pleasantly surprised at how simple and cheap it is to work on, I have now passed it along to the next owner. As you might expect given my life with cars so far, instead of owning one less car, I actually now own one more than I did before. I traded the Rabbit for another Porsche, and then the very next day I bought a cheap Porsche parts car. I’ve now owned sixteen vehicles, including five Porsche 944’s.
Yes, it’s only March and I’ve already acquired three cars in 2015. I know I have a problem, we’ve been over this.
This is my current fleet of transport machines
I have a problem.
Two weeks ago I bought a car. Six months ago, I bought a car. Seven months ago, I bought a car. Nine months ago, I bought a car. Ten months ago, I bought a car. A year ago, I bought a car…
You can probably see what my problem is. I’ve been acquiring and trading and selling cars for seven years now. My first car is still with me, but I’ve gone through thirteen others, none of which I’ve kept longer than about six months except for a non-running parts car. My father wasn’t very happy with that one sitting on his property for more than a year while I earned large amounts of money from it.
I still have pieces of that car all over the place.