BORN AND RAISED in the Niagara region, I grew up going to vintage car races in the US with my friends and our fathers in the ‘80s. These events featured as many Porsches in the parking lot as on the track and I was just a tween during the early production run of the 3.2s. We often came home with several rolls of 35-millimetre film cartridges that needed to go to Black’s for processing. Sometimes the owners would even let us sit in their cars for photos.
Although I later spent 10 years in California, which is the very best place for a Porsche enthusiast to live, I never owned a Porsche until I returned to Canada a few years ago. Even as a buddy was pressing me to find an air-cooled car, my first Porsche was a 986 Boxster S I found in Montreal. It was a fantastic car but lacked the connection to race-track memories at Watkins Glen, Mid-Ohio and Schenley Park. I listed it last July and logged in to the auction house Bring a Trailer in search of a 3.2 Carrera.
The very same week I found a buyer for the Boxster, a 1988 Guards Red over black 911 Carrera came up for auction. Originally delivered to Burbank, California, it was registered in Oregon. With polished aluminum wheels and everything stock except the radio, I was hooked. Although I had actually never driven an impact-bumper car and couldn’t inspect it, the thrill of bidding to the top of my budget, plus a bit more, was too hard to resist.
After shipping it to New York and driving it across the border, which is easy to do on US cars that are 15-plus years old, it turned out to be in even better shape than I expected. It is also much more fun to drive than I anticipated. Was it a risky bet? Maybe, but watching it roll off the carrier I knew right away it was the right call.
So if you are looking for another Porsche don’t discount the opportunity to find a perfect west-coast car on Bring a Trailer. Look for engaged sellers who have all the signs of a true enthusiast. View carefully all 150-plus photos, cold-start video and service records. If you find a car that checks all the boxes, just bid like you are 12 again!
Story by Steve Dobrenski, PCA UCR Member | Photos by Hali Dobrenski | Porschephile Editor: Jillian Weir