Rob’s Boxster Acquisition
After 9 months of watching the Boxster market plummet, I decided that it was finally time to replace the 968 that I sold in the fall 2002. I had two choices, either live with my 911 in its current configuration (powerwise) and have a 2000 Boxster S as my street car/daily driver, or buy a 99 standard Boxster and put the big hunk of money towards a nice 3.6. I realized that I longed for a faster track car much more than a faster street car, so a happy balance was found where I could have a wigged-out Great Pumpkin 911, and a sweet daily driver.
Which brings us to the story! I found a Boxster in South Carolina that nearly all of the options that I was looking for…Sport Package (hifi sound, keyless entry & alarm, 17” wheels, cruise control, wind stop, and a couple other items that I don’t remember), red seat belts (how cool!), and the Sport Design Package (an entire interior package consisting of all sorts of leather trim items, a unique waffle-pattern “leatherette” material on the dash, various “grayish” interior items, sport seats, 3 spoke steering wheel, a special shifter, and a bunch of other stuff). I was also specifically looking for a Guards Red on Black color combo…this car seemed to have everything I was looking for and it was/is under factory warranty! Woohoo!
Steve (Raistlin) was still visiting with me, but was planning to head back to Wilmington, NC in a few days. I changed his plans for him by adding a few days to his visit, then tagging a ride with him down to NC, then SC to pick-up the car. Everything was all set…the money, the insurance, the directions…now all that was left was too leave!
The plan was to leave in the Corvette…preferably a fully functioning Corvette! Well…just look:
Does anything appear misaligned to you?
When we were changing Steve’s battery (preventative maintenance), we noticed that something just wasn’t quite right. The alternator was clearly out of alignment. Hmm…this can’t be good. Further disassembly is in order:
This is a picture with the alternator removed…kind of
Being the keen observers that we are, we found the problem after removing the alternator. The actual case of the alternator was broken…and I mean BROKEN!
You can see the chunk removed from the case
What better time to discover this than the morning that you’re supposed to leave on a journey down the eastern coast? This is one of those rare times that you’re glad you own a Chevy, as we were able to quickly ascertain a replacement part with just one telephone call. All is not lost!!
Steve installing the new alternator
With a fancy new alternator installed, we left at 10:15am, Friday, for the 9-10 hour journey to Wilmington, NC. That would be our first leg of the journey. This portion of the trip was relatively uneventful, but obviously had plenty of stops for snacks and what not. At 7:30pm on Friday evening, we arrived at Steve’s place in North Carolina and later ate at some place called “Wahoo Willies”. They had cute waitresses, “to go” sodas after the meal, and free appetizers, so who was I to complain J
Plastic Fantastic in front of Steve’s in Wilmington, NC
So we’re all set, and the current plan is to pick-up the Boxster in Charleston, SC first thing on Saturday morning. What is one of the key factors contingent on making this plan a success, you might ask? Let’s see, we need a buyer and we need a seller. I’m the buyer, and I can be down to Charleston at just about any time, so all we need is a seller. It sounds easy! Too easy…
The seller, “Marshall”, is down in Palm Springs, FL and is planning to drive back to Charleston on Saturday. He gives me a call and says that he won’t be leaving until Saturday morning, so we’re looking at a 4pm pick-up time. No problem, that gives me plenty of time to leisurely wake-up and indulge in Wilmington’s finest waffles before heading down to check-out the Boxster. Nice, I like it.
I talk to Marshall at 11:15am on Saturday, and there has been a problem. Their BMW X5 had a window motor die on them and it was stuck in the down position. Their departure was delayed for 2.5 hours until they were able to have the window fixed. What is it with all of these car problems! Nevertheless, the revised schedule is to pick-up the car at 7pm ish, which is still fine since there will be plenty of daylight.
Everything is going well, and Steve gives me a tour of Wilmington, along with a visit to the beach. Apparently, having the University of North Carolina and its female population so close to the beach is not a horrible thing J. During the tour, I get another call from Marshall. I95 was shut down in Jacksonville, FL and they had to somehow find another route. Doh! Pick-up time is now moved to 9-10pm. This is much less ideal since there will be no daylight to check-out the car in, but it’s still no biggie. I’m a laid-back guy, as is Steve, so we just changed our plans accordingly.
We began the drive down to Charleston, and made our way through Myrtle Beach. I have NEVER seen so many beach supply stores in my life. Apparently, it is economically feasible to have “Wings”, “Bargain”, and “Eagles” all right next to each other and still survive. Okay, I can understand that, a lot of people want to buy towels and floaties. But then you drive to the next block and you see them all AGAIN. And AGAIN. And AGAIN! In fact, there were several occasions where there was one Wings superstore on one side of the street, and another one across the street. These stores are HUGE, by the way! I’m upset that I forget to take pics. Then again, I only have a 128mb memory card, so I wouldn’t have been able to fit them all on my camera.
The journey is moving along, so we stop in glamorous Georgetown, SC to eat some high quality taco-like products. Before we order, I get a call from Marshall, and they’re further behind schedule. It looks like they will be getting in at 10:30pm, so we have even more time to kill. Steve and I decide to blow the Taco Bell stand (come on, that was funny!) and find a sit down restaurant to occupy a bit more of our time. This brought us to high-class Pizza Hut. It looked innocent enough from the outside, but inside it was a different story. Not only was this place ridiculously SKETCHY, but we were seated next to a birthday party of about 14 even sketchier people. We did our best to remain unnoticed behind a big bunch of balloons, but it wasn’t easy. A few slices of the greasy pepperoni pizza later, we finished the rest of our romantic “Meal for 2 combo” of breadsticks and drinks. We were off!
The car was actually in Mt. Pleasant, which is one town before Charleston. Apparently, they think it’s a great idea to put the street names on these tiny, non-reflective, white posts in a font size of about 10. Yeah, those are much easier to read at night than the big green signs! Regardless, we found the place and drove the Boxster to a self-service car wash bay with plenty of lighting for “the inspection”. I almost don’t know why I bothered with the inspection, since we already traveled for two days to find this holy grail of Boxsters, and I felt somewhat obligated to the purchase. We already felt a bond to the Boxster…wouldn’t you! It drove well, and the cosmetic inspection was about what I expected.
My new Boxster getting the temporary tags
The deal was made, the papers were signed, and the money was handed over. Well, that was it…I owned a Boxster!
Here it is in front of Plastic Fantastic (yeah…it’s late)
At about 11:30pm, we leave to head back to Wilmington. I was happy that at least the transaction was completed on Saturday, as planned, even if we did only make it by 30 minutes!
The 3.5 hour drive back to Wilmington was filled with discovery of various buttons, switches, and knobs in the new Boxster. Is it safe to be looking away from the road for majority of the first hour on the road? Who cares, I just picked up a new Boxster J The stereo was much better than I anticipated, and I enjoyed the car more and more as the trip progressed. I love the sound of the engine at around 5k rpm when the intake is fully opened…it rocks. At 2:30am (Sunday), we safely arrived at Steve’s place.
6am arrives far too quickly, and I get up to head back to NJ. We took some quick pics, and the journey continued.
Rob in front of the “new” Boxster
Steve in front of the Boxster
My trip back to Lawrenceville was filled with fast food and bottled water, and there isn’t all that much to report. It’s fortunate that the car is under warranty, because it developed a ticking sound under throttle which sounds like an exhaust leak. I will make an appointment immediately to have it rectified.
Once I arrived home, Ags pulled into the development with his wife and new baby. They briefly glanced at the new addition to the stable, but Ashley (Ags’ daughter) had certain issues that need attention, and off they went. Ags came over a bit later, and we spent a few hours cleaning the car up with all sorts of fun detailing products. An obligatory “victory drive” with the top down was obviously in order, and we took turns driving the car. While the 201hp 2.5L is not the most powerful engine in the world, I fee as though it provides plenty of power to make the car a real hoot to drive. Woohoo!
mmm…sport seats with Guards Red belts
Note the Sport Design interior
She takes her rightful place next to the 911
All nestled in her new home