Well, we did.
But first, a little background. The girlfriend and I are car enthusiasts to the core. There is nothing we'd rather be doing in our free time than engaging in activities where our hands are wrapped firmly around a steering wheel. We auto-x together, we drag race together, and we hit the road course together. While I have two cars to split the entertainment from the daily grind, she makes do with an all-in-one package. For the last few years, that was our 987.2 Boxster S. Absolutely brilliant car. It was quick, reliable, refined, and most of all such a joy to hustle around that it made everything that you climbed into after the fact feel vague and lifeless by comparison. The best steering feel I've ever felt in a vehicle, hands down, and such a low polar moment that the car would change directions almost telepathically. Porsche has the secret sauce for blending comfort and ability, and they certainly aren't shy about bending you over the table for it. While we bought our Boxster slightly used, it was stickered at 73k.
While we were absolutely content with the Porsche, Lia always had an itch for some V8 muscle sound, and a want to have a canvas we could really mold. The Porsche was a suspension only car, with nothing in the way of power mods. We tossed the idea of doing a GT3 plenum, tb, exhaust, tune, etc, for the car, but the gains are so minimal that we could never bring ourselves to part with the money. The car was still good for consistent 12.8-12.90s @ 107-109 with Lia behind the wheel bone stock. Looking back, the car really did serve us well in all aspects.
So after tossing the idea about a new car back and forth, one night we ended up in a local dealer looking at a scatty challenger. Personally, we think its the best retro styled muscle car out of the trio. We knew the weight and size of the car would be a shock coming out of the porsche, but god damn, the challenger is a boat. We loved the way it looks, the interior, the powertrain (the ZF 8 with the 392 Hemi is just absolute silk, seriously), but its like driving a damn suv around. During the test drive Lia literally came out of her seat while parking and peered up and over the steering wheel at the corners of the car like she was parking a 1/2 ton. It was hard to stomach. So we decided to keep looking. The camaro was next on the chopping block for a test drive, so off to Chevy we went. Neither one of us were particularly keen on the 6th gen camaro's looks (I can tolerate the front and profile, but the rear, ugh), but we figured we owed ourselves a test drive for the sake of thoroughness. After seeing the car in person, we didn't change our mind on the aesthetics. I will say this though, its a sad day when the Camaro is the enthusiast choice in the segment. Its lighter, faster, better dampened, and generally feels smaller around the driver then the other 2 players, chevy definitely did their homework. If buying cars was an objective exercise, I would have to say your search would have to end here. That being said, we couldn't get over the terrible visibility, the awkwardly downward angled nav screen (maybe for the sake of glare reduction, yet it seemed to do nothing in that regard), the sitting in a tub driving position, and just otherwise lack of "soul". Maybe we were just geared not to like the camaro off bat due to aesthetics, but after driving it, even being objectively better in pretty much every performance metric, we just didn't feel a connection with the car. We got out, returned the keys, and didn't glance back as we walked back to our car.
We always kind of knew the mustang was going to be the choice for us, which is why we looked at it last. We figured if we went there first, we'd probably leave in one, and wouldn't give the other 2 the look they deserved. Personally, I grew up turning wrenches on my foxbody and working on 2v's, 3v's, and 4v's. Back in the day, I had a mustang, my buddies had mustangs, and their buddies had mustangs :lol: So when people ask, are you a mustang or camaro guy, you know what camp to place me in. We knew we wanted an auto premium GT with 3.55s, nav and sensors, but just couldn't find one in town. Every auto car we saw didn't have the 3.55s, which led us to the elephant in the room. Why the hell are we buying an auto car? Lia had never driven a manual car in her life, yet firmly considers herself a car enthusiast. We have flirted with the idea of teaching her to drive stick, but we all know the only real way to gain proficiency is to be thrown into the fray. You're not going to get it, driving it on the weekends. You need to be forced to do it daily. I told her she had to put her money where her mouth was, and that I would teach her if she was willing to learn. After some long winded conversations, with a trembling voice lacking conviction, she said; "lets do it". So the search switched to a premium PP car, and that's exactly where we ended up. I told her (being a past owner of numerous black vehicles, and also being OCD AF), my only request; no black cars. Comp O, guard, or DIB. Guess what we bought?
It aint new if you're not the one peeling the plastic
Last pic of the Porsche
With 2.7 miles on the clock, the papers were signed, and off we went. Well, off I went, Lia drove home in my daily, since she couldnt drive the car yet
Every night that week we were practicing and getting her up to speed. I also spent every night that week coming home reaching for the bottle of Makers . If you want to add some excitement to your life, try to teaching your significant other who's been driving autos for 15 years how to drive stick. Numerous times throughout the experience I deeply pondered; why did I sign up for this sh*t again?
But, we pressed on. Much to her dismay, I promised her that I would have her driving by herself in a week. I lied. I got it done in 4 days. With around 6-7hrs total time wheeling a manual car, I finally set the bird free to fly on her own. It was a very very proud moment for me to watch her drive down the road on her own accord.