9 Days, 1800 miles, 4 Countries in a GT4

Pete Cropped

 

Pete Olson - High Desert Region President

 

 

When presented with an opportunity, take it!  I was fortunate enough to be presented with the opportunity of configuring a 2016 Cayman GT4, along with a November 20th Zuffenhausen factory delivery.

The Porsche Configurator, which is on line, makes child’s play of dreaming up exactly how you want your Porsche to look, plus you can add all of the optional features desired to create your very own Porsche.

Some background information, the Cayman GT4 was designed by the Porsche GT team at Weissach, and is assembled in Osnabruck, Germany.

So moving forward… just to make sure that all would go well, I scheduled arrival in Germany on the evening of the 18th.  That gave an extra day in Stuttgart to tour the Mercedes Benz Museum.  And what a museum it is!  The displays take you from the late 1800’s (first engines & cars) thru to the Mercedes of the future.

Friday the 20th was the first opportunity to see and review the Sapphire Blue GT4 which I had configured several months earlier…  I was not disappointed! 

First look at the Sapphire Blue GT4 in the delivery hall

First look at the Sapphire Blue GT4 in the "delivery hall"

The formal delivery took place in the second floor Porsche “delivery hall”.   There were 12 Porsches lined up side by side waiting to be delivered to their eager buyers!  The GT4 was staged in the “pole” position for an early morning delivery.  With the delivery process completed, we went on to tour the Museum, Porsche Archives and Zuffenhausen Porsche Factory.  We were treated to mid day lunch at the 5th floor executive dining area.  All in all, a “great” experience!

A quick shot of the Porsche Museum-there’s lots more

A quick shot of the Porsche Museum (there’s lots more!)

Now, with the keys to the GT4 in my pocket, let the fun begin!  Saturday was an indoor Porsche swap meet in Stuttgart…  Loaded with all sorts of Porsche stuff!  And of course I couldn’t leave without buying lots of it… (most had to be shipped home).

Sunday dawned a bit overcast, with a lightly falling snow.  Never fear, it’s off to Munich to tour the BMW Museum.  Easy on the gas, brakes  & steering, since I was driving on Michelin Pilot Sport 2 Cup tires (not exactly the perfect winter tire) however, the drive was a success!  To give you an idea of the GT4’s exhaust note, I set off several car alarms while driving through the BMW Museum’s underground parking garage…

One room of the BMW Museum

One room of the BMW Museum

Then Monday, it was over the Brenner Pass in Austria, and on to Italy to tour the Ferrari Museum (several Ferrari guys came out to check the GT4). 

Entrance to the Ferrari Museum

Entrance to the Ferrari Museum

Next stop was the Lamborghini Museum, along with a factory tour, where they build the Adventador & the Hurracan (all Lamborghinis are named after famous fighting bulls).

Entrance to the Lanborghini Museum

Entrance to the Lamborghini Museum

Now, after fulfilling “several” automotive fantasies, along with a good night’s sleep, it was off to the Mediterranean!  The Italian Autostrada is fun, with relatively quick speeds.  Two lanes each way, with long caravans of tractor trailer rigs & guard rails to the left. The game is to come up on a truck caravan, wait for a straight, nail it and squirt on by!

Monte Carlo & Nice have grown substantially since I was there in the 1980’s, and the traffic!  It was much more relaxing to head north up through France and then back to Germany. 

Both Italy & France are havens for toll roads.  Now with the new Porsche which I was not totally familiar with, easing up to the automated gate to take a ticket or pay your toll, without scraping the wheels was a challenge.  The first few times I was “way” too far away, had to unbuckle, and hang out the window to reach the booth.  Hoping, all the time, that I would not drop the ticket, or my credit card.  Shortly thereafter I became a pro… and no scrapped wheels!  

Northern France produced some freezing fog, but the GT4 motored on through.

Freezing fog in Northern France

Freezing fog in Northern France

 At last, back home in Germany, with an opportunity to visit the Porsche Dealer in Kaiserslautern, a Christmas Market in a German Castle, and some great German beer & food.   

Ocarina duet at the Castle Christmas Market

Ocarina duet at the Castle Christmas Market

And then the final treat… Driving through the German countryside, late one afternoon, we came upon a small village, and there it was… a Porsche Diesel tractor!  We pulled to the side of the narrow street, and said hello to the friendly farmer.  He happily showed us his tractor, and asked if we wanted to hear it run.  It was a single cylinder diesel, which made all sorts of thrashing noises as he started it and drove it into the barn!

Single cylinder Porsche Diesel Junior Tractor

Single cylinder Porsche Diesel Junior Tractor

After all of that fun, it was a long flight back to Redmond (greeted by cold & snow) via San Francisco.  Memories to last a lifetime!

Pete…