Save the Planet: Drive a Porsche

One of the “angles” I love to work is how driving a Porsche could in some way save you money, be done for free (or relatively free), or be more cost effective than driving your run-of-the-mill Asian import. So you can imagine my brain went into overdrive when I stumbled across the title above on a post a few weeks ago. I was ready to hit Craigslist for a classic Porsche…just because it was going to be good for the environment!

In this particular case, there’s more to it than that though. It’s still a very interesting approach to daily commuting mixed with a not so guilty pleasure on the weekend. Here’s what the author, Joe Eaton, has done:

Judged with the cool logic of pragmatic transportation, the toad-shaped rocket I’m test-driving is a terrible option. It’s finicky and expensive to fix, and it spews carbon like a coal-fired power plant. It has lap seatbelts with no airbags and weighs less than one-third of a Chevy Tahoe—a head-on crash is a game-ender. Yet it’s stunningly beautiful and exactly what I’m searching for. I’ve drooled over the Porsche 911 since I was 10. Finally, I’ve found a way to fit the car into my lifestyle.

In spring 2007, my wife and I sold our Volvo and committed to public transportation. Since then, it’s been no traffic jams, no mechanics, no gasoline, and no insurance bills. With the money we saved, I started a “hot rod” bank account dedicated to making driving fun. Public transportation is paying for my Porsche.

Joe commutes every day from Baltimore to Washington, D.C. logging about 20,000 miles a year on public transportation. He ran the numbers based on AAA’s estimates and figures that by taking the train and subways to work, he saves about $6,000 a year over what a person driving a Toyota Camry would spend getting to work when you consider fuel, insurance, maintenance and depreciation. Sure you could cut some of those costs down a bit more by driving a Prius, but you’re not going to cut it down completely AND you’re still going to be spending more than someone taking public transportation.

Science shows that cutting miles traveled by personal automobile is far more effective at reducing carbon than improving gas mileage. A car entirely unsuitable for daily transportation does just that. Cruising in a hot rod on occasional spirited jaunts is like savoring a real chocolate-chip cookie instead of gorging on a box of low-fats. A little bit won’t hurt you. And it’s good for the soul.

Bank the difference between your own commuter and public transpo and you have a great weekend car fund building at a decent clip.This doesn’t even take into account the huge mental drawback and time waste of spending a bulk of the commute sitting idle in traffic.

An effective way to justify driving a Porsche (not that it needs any justification!). I know there’d be some initial apprehension to committing to public transportation, but Joe claims it’s not as hard as it seems. In fact, he claims there’s less stress with getting from one place to another by NOT having personal transportation to worry about.

The article is worth a read as he makes some other great points and walks you through his thought process and how it plays out for him on a daily basis. Plus he mentions the Risky Business Porsche 928, so it’s worth the walk down memory lane for that alone. Check it out here: Save the Planet: Drive a Porsche.

[Source & Quotes: Slate]


  1. The soft window targa in the picture is very rare. it was the closest you could get in a 911 convertible till 1983.