A few months ago, I bookmarked a bunch of Porsche related sites that I intended to get back to way before today. In going through them, I came across a very short write-up by a fella test driving a Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet. His thoughts on the car weren’t all that interesting, but an experience he had while driving the car got me thinking:
There’s only so much provocation with which I will put up, especially behind the wheel of someone else’s Porsche.
Over the years, I’ve found there is an envy-factor that rears its ugly head when people who do not have a Porsche, encounter a 911 like the Carerra 4 Cabriolet I’ve been driving for the past week.
I thought perhaps the rather low-key Porsche Racing Green colour would reduce that factor, but no. Normally courteous drivers refuse to let you merge; they speed up to block you; they ride your bumper; they cut you off and, no matter what kind of wreck they’re driving, they just have to try to pass.
What’s with that anyway?
The last day I had the car, I was cruising along at 110 on a nearly-deserted four-lane highway, minding my own business, enjoying the top-down ride, when some twit in a pimped coupe of Japanese origin got on my bumper … just a couple of feet back.
I ignored him for awhile, but he would back off and then run back up. After a time, this began to get on my nerves.
The last I saw him, his mouth was hanging open as I left like a rocket. When provoked, the 345-horsepower horizontally-opposed six cylinder engine in the back of this 911 will respond with a vengeance, especially when it’s connected to Porsche’s wonderful PDK dual-clutch transmission. I hit the go-pedal, the transmission went from seventh gear to second and the Porsche and I were gone. I dunno what velocity I attained, but it was considerable. [Source The Standard]
I’m sure many of you know by now, or at least can guess, that I’m not really a drive in the slow lane kind of guy. I’m a fairly spirited driver, although I try to limit my spiritedness to the non a-hole type of driving. That said, I’m not particularly fond of people riding my rear bumper, driving in the fast lane without passing anyone, or just being generally stupid drivers. That’s probably why I loved driving in Germany. The system made sense and worked.
In thinking about the time in the Giveaway Porsche, I don’t know that I experienced the type of behavior the author of the quoted article mentioned, but perhaps I’m just oblivious to other drivers treating me that way given my driving mindset. It does raise an interesting question though. Do people treat you differently when you’re driving a Porsche? If so, does it matter what type of Porsche you drive or is it only the 911 or flashier Porsches (color and mod -wise) that draw attention? Also, do people tend to treat you better, or assume you’re a jerk because you’re driving an expensive European sports car?
A few years ago, some friends of mine had their BMW (it was an older one) in for service and were given a Mercedes to drive for a couple of days. There was nothing particularly special or flashy about the Mercedes, but they swore up and down that people treated them like they were snobs whenever they were seen getting out of that car.
Anymore, pretty much any car brand is available to just about everyone. You can even find old Ferrari, Rolls Royce, and Aston Martin models that are “affordable” to purchase. Not to mention the huge range of Porsches we have on the market. It surprises me that people still associate the badge on the hood with status and potential persona of the person driving. Sure I can see that for higher end cars, but those are model specific.
Heck, there’s a Porsche 944 sitting on the street all the time by an old rundown trailer park near where I live. I’m pretty sure that owner isn’t a closet millionaire with a big dose of rich jerk personality waiting to be unleashed.
I guess I’m having a hard time seeing the same thing happen regularly for today’s Porsche driver. Maybe it’s a Canada thing. Maybe the area is dramatically different. Maybe the green color just welled up anger in people. Whatever it was, I don’t think people give me the “Porsche” attitude.
I’m curious to hear what other Porsche owners, drivers, past owners, etc. experiences have been.
UPDATE: John over at PorschePurist.com reminded me of a post he put up a few months ago along these same lines. You need to check it out here: Is Driving a Porsche a Reason to be Begrudged? One of the most interesting things is that of police discriminating against Porsche drivers.