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It all began when I was a child, as it does for many of us. My introduction into the car world began rather abruptly with a gift of an antique car. During my few years of ownership, I began to cherish and understand form and function worked together. However, as I grew older, I began to crave after modern power, and I realized that one day, I must own a sports car. How soon that day arrived I did not expect.

My story then jumps eight years forward. It was time to shop for my first car; the car that would take me far past college and last many years into my adult life. I knew immediately that the car would have to be beyond ordinary in terms of looks or performance, but balancing the budget to accommodate a sportier car was difficult, and so I turned to the used sports car market. I originally considered models like Mustangs, Miatas, 350Zs, and Abarths, until one day I stumbled across a 986 Boxster within my search results. The possibility of a Porsche turning up in my budget had not occurred, and it suddenly opened the door to not only exotic performance but exotic looks. I continued looking at 986s and started reading about the M96/IMS issues and became disheartened that this might be my experience with Porsches.

That was until my Dad decided to raise the budget to see what other cars might appear. It was then that I found 987 Caymans and 996 911s, and by this time I was very excited about owning an affordable Porsche; one that would not only satisfy my desire to go fast, but also work hand in hand with daily driving. Several opportunities arose to buy base 911s, but my heart was drawn to the profile and mid engine platform of the 3.4L Cayman S. Looking into the options for the 987.1 Cayman S, I realized that the Sport Chrono package would benefit the car’s performance and resale value, so I factored that into my search.

As much as I loved the search it was beginning to wear on me. We soon located a car in Saint Louis. My father and I jumped at the chance to go look at it. It checked all the boxes except one, price. Negotiations stalled and it remained outside of our price range. There was one good thing that came out of the Saint Louis car, the test drive. Sitting in the driver’s seat had seriously given me the ‘Porsche bug’. I was now determined more than ever to not give up my search.

Fortunately, within a few days of giving up on the Saint Louis car, another specimen popped up on the market. This time it was in Colorado Springs, and it was well within the budget. After a series of inspections and reports, it was time to bring her home.
The journey to personalize my car began immediately. I started with powder coating the wheels to a slick gloss black finish for an aggressive look. Next on the list was to let her breathe better with a catback Fabspeed exhaust. I had plans to personalize my car even further, but they took second fiddle to my new obsession; racing.

Going fast in a sports car goes without saying. Owning a Porsche was simply a push in the right direction to start racing. Oddly enough, I had played racing games on my phone and knew the concepts of the racing line, braking points, etc. and was ready to try them out in the real world.
I began my racing journey with NASA’s HPDE program in the Cayman. Being a rookie in the racing world, I felt uncomfortable tracking my car. I worried about broken parts, or at the very worst, a crash. I shouldn’t have been worried. The Cayman performed fabulously, and my first track experience was devoid of any of these horrors, minus a bent rim. (We will leave that is another story.) Overall, NASA put on a well organized event. I learned a lot about car control and what a track day included. But most of all, I greatly enjoyed feeling the G forces from the Cayman’s outstanding cornering capabilities. I was hooked and I knew I needed more.

I needed more racing. I needed to find another car already modified for the track, so that the Cayman would remain suitable for the streets. And so the search for my second Porsche began.
My searches for a track oriented car quickly revealed a surprising result. I found a nicely setup 944S for a couple thousand. This was a car I would feel comfortable learning the craft of racing in; heal and toe shifting, car rotation, and how to carry momentum through the corners. We could not turn down the deal.

We headed out in August 2020 to pick the car up. The 944 did its job. With in a couple of months, I grew through the ranks of the HPDE program. I am currently hoping to graduate to HPDE4 or even attend competition school in the future.
have not forgotten about the Cayman. I am planning to lower the car on Ohlin coilovers, increase the horsepower with IPD’s throttle body/plenum kit, a high flow air intake, headers, and a tuneup. Then I intend to tighten up the shift throw with a Numeric Racing short shifter kit, and stylize the car further by adding a more aggressive front lip, side decals, paint accents, and a ducktail spoiler reminiscent of classic 911s. This will definitely enhance the aggressive features of the Cayman S and place it in serious contention with the newer generation 987.2 Cayman R.

I plan for the Cayman to be just the start in my journey with Porsches. There is no telling what future years will provide for me or where my ownership will take me. But there is one thing for sure: now that I am obsessed with Porsche, there is no way that I will ever lose the love of mastering twisty roads or hearing the sound of a flat six at 7,000 RPM.

– John

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