© 2020 kertong © 2020 kertong

2004 Porsche Carrera 4S

Car #16, and we’re still in 2015… here’s what replaced the Stingray Corvette – a 2004 Porsche 911 C4S, 6 speed. 

The Stingray was my last corvette I owned. It was the car that signalled an end for me – as great as it was, I didn’t develop a relationship with it as I did with the cars I loved. If you’ve been following my car series from the beginning (thank you), you probably are aware that Chevrolet V8s are what got me into cars. 

When I was 19, I would have slapped my grandma to get a Stingray. But tastes change, personalities evolve, and that’s the awesome part of the car enthusiast journey. As I realized the Corvette/Camaro chapter of my life was closed, I decided to leave it behind and explore the next chapter – mid/rear engined cars where power isn’t the first priority. Driver involvement came first here, as I no longer cared about drag racing people to the next red light. 

So here we are. This car was my first All-Wheel-Drive car. Low miled, pristine condition; I immediately sent it to RennShop where I got a new clutch done while we were in there to replace the IMS – a ‘flawed’ design part that has a non-zero chance of exploding and grenading your $20k motor. Cheap to fix while you’re in there getting a new clutch, though! Once that is fixed, this is a bulletproof and reliable car; I drove this car about 9 months, problem free, until the next shiny prize caught my eye; a prize I had seen years ago, but coincidentally got the chance to own. I’ll leave that fun story for #16. 

If you remember, my last 911 was a convertible. Fun in its own way, but I disliked that it ruined the classic silhouette of the 911. This was my first 911 with a real, “proper” roofline. And it was totally worth it, and not just aesthetic; the chassis was so stiff as a result. Not a single creak or rattle in the car despite its 11 year old age; the entire car felt like it was chiseled out of granite. 

Yes, after 9 months with this car my wandering car-eyes locked onto a shiny new toy; after meeting up with that toy’s owner, we made a gentleman’s agreement to trade cars and sign over our titles and some cash the next time we met. I was so infatuated with my next car, that I lost sight of what this C4S was. 

That same day, driving home at about 6:30pm, I had the best drive I ever had in this C4S. Let me share this route with you – I started in Half Moon Bay where Highway 1 and 92 intersected, and went south down Highway 1. Turned left on to 84/La Honda. Took 84 past Alice’s, all the way to woodside. 

The entire drive was like a living painting. On La Honda, there’s a lot of areas with tree canopies over you. The sun was low, and rays of sunlight were shimmering in and out between the tree leaves. The C4S flowed through the windy road, darting in and out of the shaded stretches of road as the “golden hour” sunlight danced around all over the car. There was amazingly no traffic either – and while I didn’t drive slowly, I wasn’t driving hard either. It was Just Right. No stress, all enjoyment. It was like my C4S knew he was being sold, and was trying desperately to show me why I should stick with him. Kind of sad, now that I think about it. But as far as goodbyes went, it was a wonderful one I still remember vividly today. 

The flat6 just sang its raspy-yet-smooth song, and the car powered out of turns using all 4 wheels with unflappable stability. The steering wheel disappeared from my hands – I just looked where I wanted to go, and the car and I went there together. This kind of vulcan mind meld, I hadn’t felt in any other car than the Acura NSX; and perhaps I was too busy lusting after NSX’es that I overlooked what was right in front of me. To borrow a motto from Mazda – that drive was an exemplary experience of “Jinbai Ittai” – the Japanese idea representing the symbiotic relationship developed over time by a horse and rider. 

I miss this car. This car was a big factor in pushing me to buy the car I’m right now as of this writing, though I’m about to sell that one too and move onto the next shiny toy…. I guess I never learn, huh? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ What can I say, mistakes can be fun.