Rendez-vous October 1997 – Why a 996 is NOT a Porsche!

RSR Rendez-vous October 1997


More 996

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Road and Track did a “First Drive” of the new 911. The author is a 911 fan of long standing. I think he damned it with faint praise. If you haven’t seen the article, the new 911 not only has Boxster underpinnings and face but the dash is the same as well. In all about one-third of the new 911 is Boxster.

What got my attention was the fact that the car is “smoother, quieter and softer” than the 993. Another clue was the fact that the 18 inch Continental tires squealed in even moderate cornering. What? Tire squeal from a 911 that isn’t skidding? Tell me it ain’t so! On 18 inch diameter rims yet!!! A cruise on the “net” brought a translation of an article in a German Auto magazine which was even more depressing!

Auto Bilt said:

o They’ve taken away the soul of the 911;

o Adopted a Japanese strategy and copied themselves;

o The 996 is a 928, not a 911;

o Aimed at the Mercedes SL buyer;

o With a tiptronic the 996 is no match for a 993, the car never opens up;

o Outside it might sound a little like a 911 but not in the cockpit;

o Japanese dashboard, little micro switches like a Walkman;

o Too much gray fabric, not enough metal;

o The door no longer closes with the vault like clunk of a 911;

o Cheap black plastic gas gap, the bean-counters have gone too far!

In sum, they weren’t impressed. I really hope that Porsche is not really trying to build a 500 SL competitor. The Merc is a very nice car, I had one. Great looking, fast, comfortable and reliable. Did I ever feel inclined to take it to the track? Never! Let’s hope that we have a sport chassis option which takes care of the soft ride and squealing tires!

 

Can – Am Driver’s Ed.

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This past weekend was the annual US. invasion of Mont Tremblant. We had folks from most neighboring states as well as one from BC! As usual it was a sell out, with 150 cars, and more drivers. It was really nice to see many of the cars being shared by couples. Locally we’ve got more women participating then ever before but the Americans beat us in that category.

Cruising around giving track samplers it was really neat to see so many graceful passing signals.

A slender and shapely arm curving up and over the roof with a polite pointing. I always enjoy coming up behind Barbara Chavan-Martin .. just to watch the signal. Compare this to the crude and often rude finger jab (and I need not say with which finger exactly) the guys give. Am I the only one to notice? Maybe Andrea could give lessons on how to signal a pass nicely?

 

Oil and Water …

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Saturday started with light rain. Just enough to remind me that I need new wipers. Bug guts, oil and rain resulted in a blur-smear-smudge view of the world. The conditions made for a very slippery surface and put a premium on finesse. The Rennsport drivers put on a great demonstration of car control under adverse conditions. I was really proud of them.

Our performance reminded me that we have one of the best teaching programs going. Here’s a “Well Done! to Bob MacLeod, who started us down the path of smooooooth and to Peter Korsos and Rob Martin who carry on the mission. Speaking of car control, I stumbled on a secret a couple years ago while experimenting to see if a radar detector could be used as a poor man’s radio telescope. I’d like to share the secret with you.

I tried last year but publication of my discovery was suppressed by then Editor, Chris Paine. I’m going to try again but I warn you that this important discovery may be denied you once more. The secret involves some really hush hush stuff which the US Air Force is covering up.

Note: If you can’t read the next two sentences you’ll know I’ve been gagged once more!

1) shdTtyeh dfug whier jkopuh! .eadna whtr-ddr Btu asfguh shttew se fmborat gmba Psrcheo. Gbo Dislimodr iver didn Tknow hehnd

2) oSay allyay ouyaya eednay otday gbahs uiuth heniune d$grond qtnces bgroc 05wtps thett nutes gazornenplatz dimethalfrunk duh.

Since the Air Force can be very tricky about such things, here’s a way to see if you got the truth. See, I’m worried that NSA will intercept my electronic mail to Der Auspuff and delete or garble the secret. If you don’t see the words “aliens”, “alu-foil” and “helmet lining” in the description above, don’t waste your time, they (or Chris Paine) have suppressed it. Otherwise, try it, you’ll find it works, especially at Tremblant and other high-altitude venues.

 

Back to the party …

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Saturday night at The Shack was fun. They even added a nifty tent outside to handle the huge crowd. Through careful planning, Louise and I found seats far from the (really) loud-speakers. Sadly, not far enough to prevent us suffering through Michel Galarneau hamming it up. As usual, I had my favorite after dinner wine “Chateau Pas de Pneus Gratuits 1997”.

Sunday morning, Ciaran O’Sullivan and Terry Williams assisted by a dozen or so volunteers ran their warp speed Tech Line. I think they were running cars through in ten seconds or so. In case you figure they were not being as thorough as usual, forget the notion. They missed nothing and found lots of potential problems one of which was serious, a near empty brake fluid reservoir Well done everyone. It’s what you get when you have a dozen volunteers each of whom took their job seriously.

I don’t know the results of the Saturday night go-kart race between Rennsport and Talon, but for once, nobody came in limping. Maybe it was a bet, but the Talon guys arrived wearing very interesting hats, some of which cannot be described in a family magazine. I took this to mean that they lost the wager. I saw pictures being taken, I hope we have one in the issue somewhere.

I finally got to meet Kevin Gross in the flesh. He’s one of the technical gurus on the internet and his helpful answers to technical questions are frequently seen on the Porschefans list. For a guy who comes to Tremblant once a year, he sure has pretty lines.

 

Teach your Car to “Slick and Stay” the Peter Korsos Way!

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Have you ever wondered how Peter keeps his 944 so shiny and rust free? He picked this DEW to winterize his car and he was caught in the act. Here’s how he does it:

1) Get a full 5 Litre container of Amsoil 10W-30 Synthetic oil.

2) Lay the container on the floor in the rear of the car.

3) Loosen the cap such that a slow but steady stream of oil drips from the container.

4) Leave overnight.

5) Drive the car vigorously. This spreads the oil evenly to all surfaces including under all carpets.

6) Leave overnight.

7) Use oatmeal to soak up excess oil. Do not eat the oatmeal.

8) Open car doors. If oil leaks out, repeat step 7.

The oil part makes sense, and his method of distributing it to every nook and cranny is really clever. I’m puzzled by the oatmeal though. I know it’s high in fiber but I can’t see the connection to rust. I’d have thought kitty-litter myself, but I’m sure there’s a reason for the oatmeal.

Recycling perhaps? The combo of high fiber and oil might make a really effective recipe for improving regularity. Unless you are suffering from severe constipation I’d caution you against accepting oatmeal cookies or muffins from either Peter or Hanna until we clear this up.

 

Track Truth

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Friday night, Louise and I had dinner in St-Jovite. While there, the owner of the restaurant asked if we had heard about Intrawest investing a huge amount in the area including a ton of money earmarked for the track! I was really intrigued, she had heard the figure $500 million and $20 million had been earmarked for track improvements. Wow! No more bumps at turn seven.

On Saturday at lunch I bumped into Vince. He’s “The Guy That Runs The Track”. I asked him about the impending improvements. He told me “I’ve heard the same story. Everyone’s saying it but nobody can show it to me in writing. We’ve heard nothing from Intrawest so far.” Oh well, I guess we’ll have to suffer the bumps for a little while longer.

Bob

Porsche … a garage full of spare parts you can’t bear to part with!

 

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