That I have spent the previous 6 months absolutely envious of those in warmer climes is both immediately obvious, and completely inconsequential. As I write this, there isn't a place in the world I would rather be. The first day of real summer in the Midwest is a glorious affair, and I would venture that nobody in Malibu could ever experience such a thing. After a long and arduous winter, those of us who endured it can finally pull the covers away, and carefully extricate our internal combustion companions from their respective winter solitude. In that moment, we know true love.
I am going to go out on a limb and state unequivocally that Midwestern sports car fanatics are more grotesquely enamored with their steeds of choice than any other geographic population. Those who will never experience the agony of a lengthy Great Lakes winter will equally never experience the jubilance inherent in the coming of the first sunglasses and windows-rolled-down drive of the season. Without sadness, one cannot truly appreciate joy.
Last weekend, I managed to find a way to escape from the Winter doldrums and take my beloved Porsche out for a spin. I found any reason at all to slot myself into the driver’s seat of my 1983 944, including something as simple as “I need to test out my new swaybars”, or “I’m going over to James’ to help him pull the transmission out of his Passat”. It was less about time spent out of the house, and more about time spent behind the wheel. A near religious level of stress-relief and self-awareness as the sun washed away my worries.
The day had come, and I felt right at home. Bombing down the twistiest and most beautiful roads that Northern Central Ohio had to offer; those of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, or speeding across the long, straight, autobahnesque stretches of interstate surrounding Akron, my Porsche and I were handling it with aplomb. It was one of those take-the-sunroof-out-and-turn-down-the-radio kinds of drives.
Under normal circumstances, I would have had at least a few days of sports car solace during a mild winter such as this one, however, I had made the decision to decommission my car for the winter in order to have cylinder head work completed, and to replace the water pump, timing belt, balance shaft belt, and all of the rollers. After that work was completed, I spent the rest of the winter tracking down electrical gremlins, removing excess weight, and installing those aforementioned “new swaybars” (Replacing the 20mm front and 14mm rear bars with 26.8mm front and 16mm rear bars from a 968 made the 944 feel even more like a go-kart, and a well recommended upgrade.) My Porsche has been parked in my garage since late October, and it felt GREAT to get it out and stretch its legs.
With snow now a distant memory and the good long rains of spring fallen to wash the salt from the roads, we've finally reached the best months. How are you going to celebrate?
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