Being a fan of a certain car brand isn’t something we’re strangers to discussing. We talked about it when discussing Adam’s Pontiac Bonneville. Being a fan of a particular auto brand is just something that comes with being a car enthusiast. It’s very normal. There’s a sense of pride one feels from being a fan of Chevy or Nissan or BMW or any brand of car(This writer is an avid Honda fan #vtec4life). All or most cars from one’s preferred brand feel just right to them. There are online(and offline) communities that allow fans to discuss their love for their chosen automaker’s cars, its motorsport triumphs, options for modifications, and so much more. Perhaps the most exciting thing about being a fan is the moment when one takes the next step. The person with an oatmeal car(a Corolla for instance) who hangs out with their local Miata enthusiasts might finally get the money for his own Miata, or a perhaps a lifelong Ford owner could decide to build a hot rod Lincoln that’ll get a spot next to their ‘32 Deuce Coupe. For Jesse, though, this wasn’t about getting a new project car or a car that was purely for fun. He was just looking to get a more modern daily driver. His then current daily, a 1968 Porsche 912 Targa, was something that he had bought after his son, Jaron, saw the car for sale nearby and egged Jesse on to go have a look at it. The car was already old when he bought it, so about a decade later, he had grown fond of it and wanted to spare the 912 from having more miles put on it. Jesse knew that he wanted to continue having a genuine Porsche experience on his commute, so he bought a used 1997 Boxster. This was Jesse’s next step as a Porsche fan, and through his ownership experience with the Boxster, his affinity for the German manufacturer has only grown.
In 1997, Jesse was attending a convention for work at the Dallas World Trade Center, where he saw a new car on display that Porsche had began production on the year prior. This was the brand-new Porsche Boxster, a car that was to result in a sales turnaround for Porsche after spending the early ‘90s in a slump. To Jesse, it was perfect. The 911, the first generation of which his 912 was based off of, had grown too large for his liking by the late ‘90s. With the Boxster, here was the small Porsche that he had been waiting for to take over daily driver duty from his 912. He knew he had to have one. Jesse waited a few years and finally purchased a used 1997 Boxster in 2002. The car had 40k on the odometer and cost about the same as a new midsize sedan that year. The car has proven reliable over the years, generally only having the usual issues that are expected from a first generation Boxster. However, when something isn’t working quite right, Jesse knows the perfect shop to take care of things.
Ever since buying his 912, Jesse has been taking his cars to a Porsche specialty shop, Mayo Performance, for service. Mayo has been around for over 30 years and they really do their utmost to make the customer service experience as easy as possible. Their reputation among local Porsche owners is strong, as they’re often entrusted with restoring vintage street and racing Porsches. They’ve certainly been there for Jesse in that time, as they are for all their customers. For instance, when the plastic rear window in the Boxster’s original convertible top wore out to where it couldn’t be seen through or fixed, Mayo Performance was able to find and install a convertible top from a later model first generation Boxster with a glass rear window that would stay clear and wouldn’t eventually wear out. They’ve also helped Jesse when every car owner’s worst nightmare, a total engine failure, happened to him. The engine had around 160,000 miles on the odometer, when this happened, which isn’t uncommon for a first generation Boxster. Jesse was considering a complete engine rebuild: a very expensive and time-consuming proposal. However, Mayo, in an excellent display of their customer service skills, recommended that they find a lower mileage engine from another Boxster and swap it out with the old one. Mayo wouldn’t make as much money on this, of course, but the process would be quicker and much less expensive for Jesse. Jesse went with Mayo’s recommendation and an engine with around 30,000 miles was found and installed. His beloved commuter car would live to drive another day and it was done in a way that benefitted Jesse the most. This is why he brings the Boxster and the 912 to Mayo Performance. However, Jesse’s most memorable times with the car are the ones he has spent working on it himself or sharing it with others.
Being an upscale German sports car, Jesse’s Boxster has some rather complex parts that require difficult repairs when needed. Jesse recalled a time when his headlights had burnt out. He had a book with a technical diagram of a first gen Boxster and figured that he could perform the fix himself. This involved carefully sliding the entire headlight housing out of the metal sleeve that holds it securely in the front fender. Jesse was able to accomplish this and replace the headlight bulbs, but immediately decided to let Mayo Performance fix those the next time. Jesse also had great success fixing the door lock when those broke suddenly after Jesse’s keys got stuck in the lock. Mayo didn’t have any replacement parts, but recommended another shop nearby, Zim’s Autotechnik. Zim’s had the part and Jesse was able to purchase and have it installed by them. Jesse also considered getting a hard top for the Boxster, a modification that is common with those who like to race them. He eventually decided not to do this, as he’d be taking away the option of letting the top down every once in a while.
Jesse also enjoyed sharing the car with his son Jaron, who was kind of responsible for getting Jesse interested in Porsche in the first place. Together, they participated in a timed rally held by the Porsche Club of America. An event like this involves following a pre-determined route from point A to point B in a specific amount of time. Stopwatches and advanced GPS tools are often used by participants to make sure they are meeting the specified time exactly. Jesse and Jaron opted to use a wristwatch and the car’s speedometer to keep track of speed and time. Consequently, they ended up near the bottom of the pack at the end of the day, but it was a fun father/son experience nonetheless. Years later, Jaron would ask Jesse to let him use the Boxster as the getaway car after his wedding reception. Jesse agreed and spent all day before the wedding cleaning the car up. He described being able to see Jaron drive off in the car one of the happiest moments of his life. Memories like this are definitely part of why Jesse is looking forward to a long retirement ahead with the Boxster as his daily driver, but probably the most significant is continuing to be a Porsche fan.
Jesse enjoys his Boxster as a daily driver, but what really adds to his love for the car is the sense of community that he feels as a Porsche fan and owner. Every so often, on his way to work, Jesse might drive up alongside another Porsche on the highway and they’d continue along, side-by-side or passing each other on their respective ways to work. Jesse always revelled in this display of camaraderie because he was always able to find just a little bit of fun before a long day at the office. Looking back at other examples on this list, it seems that other Porsche enthusiasts and organizations have really helped him feel the love. Mayo Performance, with their dedication to only two things, Porsches and customer service, has always given Jesse a convenient place to go for repairs. The Porsche Club of America has also given Jesse a wonderful memory of time spent with his son during the timed rally they participated in. Now, barring any major issues with the Boxster(replacement engines are becoming more expensive as amateur Boxster racers use them up in races), Jesse is looking forward to getting a few small repairs done so he can continue to participate throughout retirement as a member of the Porsche community.