In the summer of 2009, I traded my two-year-old Hyundai Sonata for a brand new Porsche Cayman. I don’t think it would surprise you that I took a bath on the exchange. I’m too embarrassed to disclose what I paid to get out of it, but you’ll see that I really had no choice.
Understand that an intimate relationship began the moment I saw my reflection in the deep Midnight Blue finish, and then lowered myself into the Sand Beige buckets. It wasn’t enough for me just to buy a Cayman – I wanted THIS Cayman.
The test drive amounted to a handful of disciplined gear changes (never got out of third), and the salesman must have thought I was disenchanted when I abruptly cut the session short. But in truth, I just couldn’t bear the thought of driving home without it.
It was impossible to sensibly justify a car nearly three times the value of my loaded Sonata, whether or not it was incrementally worth every dime. I didn’t even tell my wife Christine about the experience; there was really no point.
Buying The Cayman
She must have seen the pain in my face when I came home and determined that something profound had happened, because she spoke to me with a calm resolve. And to my surprise, she presented a defense for every argument I used to dissuade myself. That very Cayman ended up in our garage just a few days later.
We joined the Riesentöter region of the Porsche Club of America, and have been actively involved ever since. I’m serving on the board, and our calendar remains jammed with events. Our best friends are also members, and I’m thrilled that she can join in many, if not all of these activities.
But something’s been haunting me since that summer. Christine has never shared in the delight of my daily commute, or in the simple snick of gear changes in aggressive cornering. I’ve always felt guilty, because in a marriage of otherwise jointly shared assets, this has always been my car.
We have recently downsized – selling our single home to simplify our lives by moving to an urban apartment community. I admit that although I miss having the garage, this was a lot harder on her than it was on me. And that certainly didn’t make things easier.
I’ve always loved this car, and I hadn’t given much thought to an upgrade until recently. With more than 70,000 miles on my Porsche, I began to entertain the idea of trading up. I had driven the latest generation Cayman GTS, and then developed an obsession for the astonishing GT4.
I know she never cared, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that these last years were unfairly skewed in my favor. Replacing the Cayman seemed selfish when nearly 100,000 miles had amassed on our aging Acura RDX.
A few weeks ago, I was seated across from my Porsche dealer, debating Cayman GTS/GT4 allocation tactics and strategy. I was suddenly aware of a white Macan S framed in the window behind him pending delivery. And in that very moment, I knew what to do…
We had been casually discussing a replacement for her SUV, and the BMW X3 had set the bar. It had the preferred profile and ride height, was nicely appointed and comparatively practical. Most of all, she really enjoyed driving it.
You might wonder why the Macan hadn’t made the cut, because it originally did not. It was newly released, but considerations had been dismissed due in larger part to the relative extravagance of having two Porsches in our driveway.
Oddly, I had thought the Macan might have been an interestingly compelling and sensible alternative to the Cayman when I first heard the rumors. But given my more recent focus, it was not likely I would convince Christine that I was serious. So she chose not to believe me.
With persistence, I managed to persuade her to test-drive the Macan S, so she could see that it truly had the heart and soul of a Porsche. I had already driven one, and I warned the salesman that Christine could be the only living human with the restraint to drive the insanely popular Macan and not want to take it home.
The test route included the most unique roads in the area (not by coincidence I imagine), and the Macan hugged the ribbons of blacktop with astonishing confidence. From the passenger seat, I observed a deliberate and serious engagement I’d never seen from her in any car before.
I was prepared for a dispassionate claim that the Macan wasn’t worth the premium when we returned to the dealership. But when I asked her how it compared to the BMW X3, she declared (without an ounce of hesitation), that the Macan “blew it away.”
And so we traded the Cayman on a white Macan S. It’s Christine’s daily driver and the weekend hauler, which means I’m able to clock significant time in the driver’s seat. But what delights me the most, is that she can finally share in the experience I enjoyed with my first Porsche.
Someday I’ll pursue another Cayman, debating the features of the GTS versus that of the GT4, and then struggle to decide which one appeals to me most. But for now, I’m truly content to drive the RDX to the train station and take the Macan out to dinner and other events on the weekends. Whether she chooses to believe me or not.