SIG BOXSTER

What’s a Special Interest Group? The invention of this one begins now– and will evolve in response to your special interests.

First and foremost: a meeting place for the most enthusiastic Boxster enthusiasts in the Upper Canada Region.

We’re the stars of this show, so an owners’ directory will anchor ever-changing content pertinent to the 986/987/718.

To get this going, please email a photograph that captures your Boxster, along with a brief telling any or all of the following: why you purchased it, how you use it, how it stacks up against other cars you’ve owned, whatever comes to mind.

Your name, email address and/or phone number, and city will appear with your entry – unless you’d prefer only your first name and city. 

This listing should get us talking. What else should our SIG facilitate?  Should we try meeting for coffee, organizing drives, getting together at lapping days or races, rallying at a pub to get through February?

Submit your thoughts and we’ll see where this Pure Porsche! SIG takes us. I say Pure Porsche! because our Boxster is the essence of Ferry Porsche’s original vision of sports car perfection.

PURE PORSCHE

The first Porsche 356 was a mid-engined, two-seater sports car, introduced on July 4th, 1948, at the Swiss Grand Prix to herald Porsche’s move from engineering Volkswagens to building and selling its own cars.

Of course the 356 that subsequently went into production was a coupe based on a second prototype. The decision was commercial. Porsche had determined a rear-engined, two-plus-two-seater would win more sales.

The company thrived, so who would question the move away from the mid-engined ideal? The 356.001, though, will forever be remembered as Ferry Porsche’s first choice. The Pure Porsche. Our car bears its DNA, within bodywork reflective of the 550 race car that made its debut in 1953.

TIME LINE: THE BOXSTER CONCEPT

October, 1991: After taking in the Tokyo Auto Show, Harm Lagaay faxes his design staff back in Weissach. Tokyo’s astonishing array of concept cars prompts the head of Porsche Style to challenge his designers to conceive a game-changing concept Porsche. 

Early 1992: Of four proposals from four of Lagaay’s staffers, Grant Larson’s is selected to be built as the show car for Detroit’s 1993 North American Auto Show. 

Larson, then 34, had grown up in Wisconsin with the 1968 Dodge Charger a personal fave. But his eyes were opened to European design at the Art Center in Pasadena, followed by a first job with Audi in Munich and a move to Porsche in 1989.

Larson remembers the polished aluminum Porsche race car he watched at the Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nurburgring, a 550 or RS60. “I photographed the heck out of the car. . .and it was always in the back of my mind.” Larson told John Lamm, the Road&Track staffer who chronicled the excellent book Porsche Boxster for Motorbooks ColorTech.

Spring, 1992: CSC (Concept Sports Car), the name favored by the board of directors, isn’t catchy enough for the designers. In a brainstorming session, Steve Murkett suggests Boxster, “just to show I’m crazier than the rest.” Larson doesn’t particularly like the name – but Lagaay does and he’s boss. Done.

Late 1992: As the Boxster show car nears completion for its debut in Detroit in the first week of January, Lagaay convinces top management the 986 production car should be based on it, rather than any of the three competing design proposals that have continued in development.

January, 1993, the Detroit Auto Show: I’m there reporting for The Toronto Sun, but my interest isn’t entirely professional. I’ve owned a 356B for 24 years.

My heart goes all pitter-patter at the unveiling because the new Porsche pulses with Porsche history – and it’ll sell for less than $40,000 USD.

The Boxster concept steals the show. “Lots of people, who had their own shows cars, were coming over to our stand and saying, “Do it, Do it,’ Harm Lagaay related to John Lamm. Bob Lutz, then running Chrysler, later GM, told Lagaay, “’That’s your car, why do you hesitate?’”

December, 1994: Far from hesitating, Porsche had been all-in on making the Boxster since 1992. Christmas came early for Larson that year with a five-hour drive through the Black Forest riding shot-gun with a test driver checking out a prototype’s winter capability. 

“This was one of those nasty matte black test mule cars, but it was the very first time I could sit in the car when it was a running prototype,” Larson said. He couldn’t believe how very light it felt. 

Mid-1996: Production begins in Zuffenhausen,  following pilot production late in 1995. The Boxster is nine inches longer, two inches wider and taller than the show car, but its proportions are as thrilling.

Winter, 1997: The North American media intro is held at Phoneix International Raceway. Like thousands of eager customers, my anticipation has been building for four years.

First impressions from lapping the tight PIR road course and an extended drive on two-lane highway: it feels so very light, just as Larson observed, so agile. Also, the steering so alive, the 2.5-litre six soars above 4,000 rpm. The seats a perfect fit. Love is in the air.  

1997, July 26: My first test drive in Canada. Base price, $56,600; as tested, $62,437. “If ever you wonder whether a Porsche is worth its price, try this simple personal test,” my Sun review suggested, take a five-minute drive in a Boxster, “then you’ll know.”

1997, Sept. 3: With Zuffenhausen unable to satisfy demand, Porsche contracts supplementary production at Uusikaupunki, Finland. Valmet Automotive is to produce 5,000 Boxsters annually, but the order is soon doubled.

2018, May 3: Looking back on the car’s significance Hagerty’s magazine headlines its account, “The 1993 Porsche Boxster was the concept that saved the brand.” 

SIG: INTRODUCING OURSELVES

Paul Magrath, ptmagrath@gmail.com

2004 550 Spyder Boxster S Anniversary Edition, No. 369 of 1,953

Here is a shot from last Friday as I walked out of a meeting downtown Toronto in perfect light and shadows. . .and maybe a small filter.

Noel George, noelg699@gmail.com

Letting you know I am the owner of a 2000 Boxster and really enjoy the drive. Count me in on any shared info through the club.

Francis D’Oliveira, Georgetown, 289 839 8080 

We bought our 2005 Boxster February, 2014, from a dealer in Mississauga. We researched the car’s DNA and had it checked out at Techmax Auto in Mississauga.

I was not concerned with the 120,500 km on the odometer as long as I could be reasonably sure that the original owner of eight years had had it serviced.

I look forward to participating in the group and sharing with other Boxster/Cayman owners.

Dan Proudfoot, Scarborough, 416 690 6047, Proudfoot987@gmail.com.

2008 Boxster S, Porsche Design Special Edition 2, No. 283 of 500

In 1969 I bought my first Porsche, a 1963 356 B Super, for $2,295 ($1,261.75 and my ’66 VW trade-in) – and over the following 30 years I spent another $30,000 or so trying to make it like new. There was no end to its rust.

But I caught a break the day I bought my 1978 911 SC off eBay for $8,865 USD in 2006: it was completely rust-free after spending all its years in Salinas, CA. I’d enjoyed this car for a decade (and brought it back to as-new condition) when another break came my way. All air-cooled Porsches began appreciating!

The sale of the 911 funded the purchase of this Boxster S, my first like-new Porsche, from past UCR president Mike Bryan in December, 2018. He’s happy to have found a Canadian buyer, and I’m thrilled that it’s me. 

Peter Bleakney, Oakville, pebleakney@sympatico.ca

Apparently it had been raining for weeks in Vancouver (go figure) but on the day I was handed the key to a white over red 2001 Boxster S from its seller (who did look a bit sad) the sun shone, the birds chirped and spring was in the air. 

I took all this to be a sign my search and ultimate capture of a first-generation Boxster S was more than a foolish exercise in self-indulgence – that finally requiting my unrequited love for Porsche’s sweet two-seat mid-engine roadster was perhaps a smart move.

I live in Oakville. After a few months of searching for a first-gen S I found this one in Vancouver listed for $14,500. I had a friend out there check it out, he said it looked clean, so I cashed in some Aeroplan miles and got a flight. I drove it up to Sqaumish and then headed back to a Vancouver rail yard from where it was to make its journey to Ontario.

I replaced the IMS bearing for peace of mind, and last year installed a Fabspeed Maxflow exhaust. Also replaced front and rear control arms to get rid of the dreaded knocking that ensues when those bushings get soft. 

The car has been a total joy. New tires next as these puppies are worn out.