Best-Laid Plans

Mini Breakdown

I’m writing this from Bend, Oregon, where M and I have been spending a few days over Thanksgiving. Before leaving, we bought a new set of snow shoes for the mini, which proved their worth Thursday night on the mountain pass just before Goldendale.

For many of our road trips, the Mini has been a solid go-to car; chief among its virtues are its heated seats, good gas mileage and excellent road manners. Did I mention heated seats? Because of its relative youth compared to my other cars, we always assume it might be more reliable.

Friday night, after a walk in the woods 15 miles from town, it refused to start.  it would crank, catch for a second, then die. leaving only an engine-management error light on the dashboard.

All cars can break down at some point. Although modern cars are lovely creations, there’s simply not much you can do but call for a tow when problems happen. I can’t help wishing, every now and then, for a reliable old car I understand.

The Return of the 911


My 911sc left my life a few years ago in its physical form, but it never really left my head. I didn’t own it for long enough to get to know it very well, but there was something deep and compelling about the experience that I wanted to understand more fully.

It took some time to find the right one – without a sunroof, so my long torso would fit; reliable and galvanized enough to use as regular transportation; but with the undeniable raw character of the early cars. And that wasn’t popped-collar red.

This one showed up right in my backyard; a german-spec ’84 911 Carrera 3.2 which had somehow covered only 44,000 documented miles during its 27 years. It’s right on the edge of civilized; the upgraded headers and exhaust provide a power boost, but won’t let you forget about the engine. And it seems to be fully sorted. Though I might not have ordered the carrera tail from the factory. it’s growing on me.

So far, M and I have taken it into the mountains; I’ve commuted to work; and yesterday, it made its first trip to the track.

There’s more to describe than time, but for now allow me to tease you with some photos from the first month. More to come.

On the ferry to Whidbey

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Over Chinook Pass

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Driving east from Yakima

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At Pacific Raceways

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