4th January 1999

Subject: Intralist vitriol & vituperation


Sorry the list has become so contentious and abusive for you, but it probably has something to do with living in the subarctic and having to repair the cracks in your igloo everytime the wind blows. Its' a bitch trying to sleep with all those damned wolves and malemutes howling all night, not to mention the pesky polar bears sniffing around to see if you've left any walrus blubber laying about. I can appreciate it because we'.ve had a terrible cold snap down here as well. Today the temperature is going to drop into the high sixties. Just unpacked my woolies and have already put a coating of seal grease on my mukluks in case I have to venture out for lunch.

If you'd like to throw a little fire on the 911 list you can repeat this. Yesterday while heading north on an unspecified highway that was totally empty, and which there was no place for a smokey to hide for miles, I was creeping along at a sedate 85-90 listening to Oscar Peterson, when two 911s appeared in the rear view mirror traveling side by side at about Mach .15 . A red C4 and a black Carrera of indeterminate age. Without bothering you with the boring details I will just say this. I ate them both and was traveling at such a brisk pace the I very nearly overshot my off ramp a few miles up the road, by which time I had almost half a mile on both of them. Damn near had to deploy my drag chute to make the turn at the end of the offramp. I hate myself when I do things like that, but usually only for a nano second or two. I would like to state for the benefit of the more sedate members of the list that there were no other cars in the vicinity and there were no animals killed in this production, although the animals in the two 911s may well have had their afternoon ruined while I had mine enhanced to a considerable degree. Perhaps when I get older and a little more mature and cautious I'll be able to curb these youthful impulses that grab me from time to time. Possible as soon as my 69th birthday in a few months.

Happy New Year

Gene O'Rourke
87S4 5sp old and somewhat creaky but still able to kick 911 butt once in
a while

9th January 1999

Subject: Gas mileage, racing Mercedes 500SLs and Walt Konecny's hero

Re: John Hall's comments on mileage. John, unless you have something wrong with the engine or a leaky fuel system, you should easily get at least 400 miles per tankful. I once drove from Palm Beach, FL to Charleston SC without stopping, in seven hours. I averaged 76 mph, and arrived on the outskirts of Charleston 532 miles away with roughly one and a half gallons in the tank. That was unusual because I had the cruise control on all the way and averaged over 24 mpg, but even in normal highway driving all my 928s have usually averaged about 22-23 mpg. Best way to determine when you need fuel is to check your mileage each time you fill up, against the gallonage used. After a few times you'll have a fairly accurate idea of the mileage your particular type of driving produces, then just reset your tripmeter whenever you fill up and don't take the gauge reading too seriously. None of my 928s ever had really accurate fuel gauges.

Re: Richard Fidler's exultation over smoking a 500SL. Richard, hate to rain on your parade, but that turkey you ran away from weighs almost HALF A TON more than your 928 and has less horsepower.

Re: Walt Konecny's hero, Rush Limbaugh. Walt you mentioned relaxing and waiting for Rush's show to come on. You should probably tape them because if some of the residents of this island have their way, you may have a really long wait some night, as I've heard some of my neighbors mention cruising N.County Rd. by the place he bought last year in hopes of catching him crossing the road to the beach just as they have an epileptic seizure and accidentally and tragically run over him with their Humvee's.

Of course it's all just funnin, but he's conspicuous by his absence in all the local hangouts, (this being a small community), He's about as popular here as Sonny Barger and the Oakland Chapter of The Hell's Angels would be at a meeting of the WCTU. To each his own.

One final thought to all you guys who have put your Sharks in hibernation for the winter. It has gotten downright wintery here in South Florida also. Dropped into the high 40s two nights in a row and never got above 75 during the day earlier this week. It was real scary. So much so that I've decided to get the hell out of here for a month or two and go to Oahu, Maui, and Kauai as the good lord meant me to do. I'm leaving next Friday, so if some of the above has prompted any you to indulge in churlish retorts I can only say that you have precious little time to flame me, and fie on your houses if you do. Maybe David Roberts and Wally Plumley could devise a kit that would put oversized snowmobile rear treads and front skis on your cars. Just think! 326 HP Snowmobiles!! Megafun.

O wau iho no me ke aloha

Gene O'Rourke .
87S4 5 sp - outrigger canoe --lust for blue water, trade wind sailing in 84 degree ocean.

11th January 1999

Subject: Racing Mercedes and your ex-hero

If you want to nitpick, my owner's manual gives the weight of my 87S4 as 3505 lbs. According to Gulfstream Motors here in geriatricsville, a 500SL weighs roughly 4400 lbs. To my way of thinking thats pretty damned close to half a ton. However, the guy that gave me that info was one of the younger salesman there, being only 96. In the meantime, how many 500SLs have you ever seen on a race course?

Now for Hawaii's motto being too conservative for me. "ua mau ke o ka aina i ka pono", the motto of the state I've lived in off and on for over 25 years, in English is: The Life Of The Land Is Perpetuated In Righteousness". Thats Conservative??? FYI, Hawaii is, if not the most liberal state, then certainly one of the top two or three. It was the first state to adopt mandatory pre-paid health care for workers in 1974. It was the first state to legalize abortion, and the first to ratify the proposed women's Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution in 1972. Only six states were ahead of Hawaii in abolishing the death penalty in 1957 which this country, the only country left amongst the Western democracies that clings to it, executes one innocent person out of every eight people that suffer that fate. Every imaginable ethnic group lives there side by side, intermarries and have some of the most beautiful children in creation.

John Burns, the last Republican Governor of the state was ousted in 1954, and the state has been almost totally Democratic since then. Before they elect another Republican you'll be able to ice skate across the Molokai Channel. If you call that conservative, Maxima Mea Culpa.

Also, I'm sorry to hear that Rush Limbaugh has become too liberal for you. There's always David Duke and the KKK to fill the gap he created by becoming a pinko liberal.

Oh yeah, vis a vis you imagining that I have probably smoked everything: Wa 'awa - iki - na' aupo, pouli, la'a ulii, oe.

Gene O'Rourke
87S4 5sp - 22 Apperson Jackrabbit (bought it new).

26th January 1999

Subject: Personalized license plate & 5speed vs auto 928s

Re: Bob Cacciatore's CACCIA plate. Bob, too bad you can't have ten letters on the plate, you could have had CHKN CACCIA. But then of course some idiots would take it the wrong way and want to race you all the time.

My plate is pre-Italian. ABEO, same as my email address. In Latin the loose translation is: "I'm glad I made you love me cause you made me make you cry". No, I'm kidding. Just checking to see who's paying attention. It really translates as "I'm Outta Here!"

Re: numbers of 5 speed 928s. I can't remember the exact number, but years ago a guy from Porsche's American distributor told me that approximately 90% of all 928s shipped to the North American market were equipped with automatic transmissions because the people in Stuttgart were of the opinion that most Americans did not know how to drive stick shifts. Of course they were right but they underestimated the several million of us that do and lost a lot of sales as a result.

Over the years I've bought and sold a gang of the marque and established a rough rule of thumb based on what I paid and sold for. All other things being equal if the car is in reasonably good shape, I would pay about a thousand more for an older model and anywhere from fifteen hundred to three thousand more for a 5 speed S4,GT, or GTS, depending on the MY. I'm not in the car business. Always did it because of my 928 addiction However, I can say that I never had any trouble selling 5 speeds right away, but the few times I bought auto equipped cars I had them for a while and sold them for considerably less than their 5 speed counterparts. Here in South Florida there is no shortage of auto equipped cars but 5 speeds in good condition are difficult to come by and getting rarer all the time.

Gene O'Rourke
87S4 5 speed
and a bunch of boring auto equipped sedans, convertibles, wagons, etc.

28th January 1999

Subject: f$%#*ng greens


On your behalf I've contacted "Greenpeace" and informed them of your hobbies, namely; shooting eagles and seagulls, beating baby seals to death and running over manatees with your thunder boat. They're ending one of their "attitude adjustment coordinating teams" to spend some quality time with you. As a gift, they're bringing a thirty foot pilot whale that washed up on St. Augustine Beach several weeks ago. Hope you enjoy it, its' just getting real ripe about now. Please, no thanks. I was glad to do it.

28th January 1999
Subject: 5 speed vs. auto 928s


Re: your remarks: "Then how do you explain that most 911s and 944s came equipped with manual transmissions?" etc.

I don't claim to know the inner workings of Porsche's design inner sanctum other than the fact that I've been driving Porsches almost as long as they've made them. It was my understanding that the company's original intent was for the 928 to replace the aging 911.

A gaggle of industrial psychologists would obviously have a field day with that.

No matter what explanation was put forth, it would be both right and wrong.

Possibly Porsche thouight that the days of the manual transmission were numbered, and they were right. They just thought it would happen a lot sooner than it did. Visionaries in any field are rarely right on timing. Von Braun and others of his ilk were sure that by now we'd have a permanent colony on the moon.

The Tiptronic finally came out and sort of sputtered along for a while for all the obvious reasons. Now Ferrari has the F-1 version of the 355 with the wheel mounted paddles which seems to incorporate most of the positives of both stick and auto transmissions without any, or hardly any, of the negatives of either. Who said that racing doesn't improve the breed? Unfortunately its' a $10k option but that should change soon.

Further, I think that they aimed the 928 at the more afflluent, slightly older, 911 buyers who wanted a state of the art GT car that could cruise all day at fairly high speeds in relative comfort, quiet, spaciousness, and lack of handling surprises, versus the 911s comparative lack of all four. Where does that put them? Way ahead of their time? or out of touch with their customer base? They obviously completely overlooked all the addicts they had been the unknowing progenitors of.

I'm not looking to be flamed on the above. I don't claim to have the answers or know what was going on in the heads of Porsche's design, marketing, or administrative people.

I know this much. I've driven all their cars across this country a bunch of times and I can easily do 1000 - 1200 mile days in 928s and still get out of the car without feeling like I've been in a street rumble. The same distance in a 911 and I feel like I've been in the heart of same and lost.

Also, if I want to go away for a week in the car, not being a hermit or recluse, and knowing the minimum amount of luggage almost any woman finds it necessary to take on jaunt further than a one hour drive, the 928 can easily accomodate. The 911 can't unless your destination is a nudist colony.

Besides, who ever heard of an arrow with the feathers in the front and the head in the back. Look at Ferrari's turn around. The 456 and 550 series have gone back to front engines. I've heard rumors that the 355's follow up series will do likewise.

I just hope that Porsche in it's wisdom, comes out with a state of the art successor to the 928 before I have to eat my words and buy a 996 Cabriolet which I really like as long as I have other cars to use in all the areas that the 996 is deficient in.

Gene O'Rourke
87S4 5speed. If someone copied Ferrari's F-1 paddle operated trans. I'd buy one of the first conversion kits. They're faster than Michael Schumacher et al.

28th January 1999
Subject: Re: 5 speed vs. auto 928s


With regards to your comments on Porsche's plans to build SUVs, I agree completely...

The minute they do, my 45 year love affair with Porsche is over... Right now there are too many other good cars available, such as Aston Martins, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Jaguars, etc.etc.as viable alternatives.

Mercedes has just introduced a version of their SUV that will go 150 mph!! I think that "Jeep" has the "Eddy Bauer" model. This should probably be called the "Kerkorian" model. Next? an even faster, heavier, more top heavy model called the "BF-109".

Over the years Porsche has made it's share of marketing mistakes. With massive help from Japanese designers and management types they have managed to escape the most serious consequences of their past few blunders, but they're not a GM that can shrug off such fiascos as a "Cimarron" or absorb, the losses of an "Alante". (did I spell that right?) Just goes to show the tremendous impact those two turkeys had on the car market.). Porsche can ill afford either one of those, or an Edsel.

If their marketing people don't realize the" niche segment" of the market that they dominate, and are getting ready to join the herd, I'm out. I'll go back to Ferraris, Jags, or whatever. Obviously I love 928s. Stubbornly refuse to believe that they are less than the best GT cars ever made, but they aren't religious icons to me, and if the company doesn't get it's act together, they've lost me and thousands of others who share my feelings.

I can live with ignorance, because by definition, thats' only the lack of knowledge; but pure stupidity I refuse to deal with. As an ex corporate guy, if that sounds arrogant, then so be it.

I'm not really anti-SUV. I firmly believe that almost ten percent of the people who buy them, and clog up the left hand lane of our express highways with them, should probably really have them. Bless them all. But what the hell is there that makes the other ninety percent of them feel justified in getting in everyone else's way, blocking their vision, and wanting to race with people in Porches, Jags, Mercs, Vettes, etc.???

To my way of thinking its' the exact opposite of buying a Ferrari Maranello or Lamborghini Diablo and using it to haul manure with! Spare me from all the slavish people who buy SUVs because they are amongst the "IN" cars to drive, even though the vast majority of them will never leave pavement, and are top heavy, fuel guzzling trucks that most of their owners don't know how to drive without menacing not only their own and their children's lives, but also the lives of everyone that they blunder into the path of.

I feel that anyone who buys an SUV should be able to demonstrate their ability to drive such a vehicle to their various state DMVs... Let them get commercial truck driver's licenses! Is there anything wrong with that? All other truck drivers have to get them, and even so, look at all the accidents THEY either get into, or cause! If they aren't proficient enough to do that, then should they be allowed to endanger the lives of their families and everyone else on the road? What percentage of them know how to handle top heavy SUVs in the event of possibly having to make an emergency lane change without tipping over, or smashing into the car in the next lane??? Right now the NTSB specs say that SUVs are FOUR times as likely to kill their occupants in single car accidents, than drivers of cars, (usually caused by inexperienced drivers having to change lanes in a hurry without realizing that they're not driving the family Accord), and THREE times as likely to kill the occupants of any real automobiles that they smash into because of the huge difference in size and weight, plus the fact that the NTSB has allowed manufacturers to design them with bumper heights and headlights that are perfectly suited to first blind the drivers in front of them, just before they kill them! Obviously, none of the automobile manufacturers who make SUVs are going to admit any of this, (although the insurance companies are finally discovering it). Heaven forbid that they should do anything that would upset their stockholders, regardless of the number of "collateral deaths" (friendly fire?) caused by this callousness, at least until they kill a family member or close friend! Then as history has shown, they'll become righteous, avenging angels! Any number of them will find Jesus and become pastors of various religious groups.

I live in a town in South Florida where the streets are overrun with $75,000 Range Rovers driven largely by young mothers who use them solely to drive their children to school, and to meet friends for lunch. If you could see the parking lot behind one of their favorite lunch spots, you'd think that Clark Gable, Frank Buck, and Stewart Granger were inside making last minute plans to drive up Kilimanjaro right after their seventh martini!

The vast majority of them don't know the difference between" all wheel drive" and "Rodeo Drive". The nearest hill higher than twelve feet is four or five hundred miles away,. and everyone has a paved driveway. An SUV in this town is as necessary as moose antlers on a canary.

Porsche has made it's reputation all these years by manufacturing cars that were, and are, fast, nimble, fun, "driver's cars". Whether they were 356s, 944s-968s, 928s, 930s, (I won't mention 924s), or whatever; they've historically had that in common. They were, and still are, the cause of the trite saying: "PORSCHE! THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE!." After all these years, we are about to part company if their misguided marketing people bully the company's management into falling in the same stupid "me too" trap that has infected so many other car manufacturers like a visitation of the black plague.

Disgusted, Revolted, and just plain Pissed Off. I know Ferraris have their shortcomings but I'm not too far from going back to them if Porsche ever builds an SUV. I can't believe that I'm the only old "Porsche freak" that feels this way.

Gene O'Rourke
87S4 5 speed

Jan 30th 1999

Subject: Political Candidates

It is time to elect a world leader, and your vote counts. Here's the scoop on the three leading candidates.

Candidate A: associates with ward heelers and consults with astrologers. He's had two mistresses. He chain smokes and drinks 8 to 10 martinis a day.

Candidate B: was kicked out of office twice, sleeps until noon, used opium in college, and drinks a quart of brandy every evening.

Candidate C: is a decorated war hero. He's a vegetarian, doesn't smoke, drinks an occasional beer, and hasn't had any illicit affairs.

Which of these candidates is your choice?? Choose one and then scroll down.

Candidate A is Franklin D. Roosevelt

Candidate B is Winston Churchill

Candidate C is Adolph Hitler

A further political comment: It is rumored that an American Company,one of the Fortune 500, has set up a production facility in Guatemala using borderline slave labor to manufacture cheap substandard wingnuts.
These items could fail under the stress of tailgate parties at Laguna Seca, Daytona, or Moroso, and create havoc. Members of the AA of WW (American Association of Wingnut Workers) are planning a sit-in on the Capitol Mall in Washington on Sunday, February 7th. All vendor's pushcarts at the location will be inspected to assure they are equipped with authentic American wingnuts.

These miscreants and robber barons who are playing fast and loose with NAFTA must be stopped before permanent damage is done to American industry in general and Porsche 928 owners in particular.

3rd February 1999

Subject: Irrelevent, superannuated magazine writers


Spare me from the 25 year old experts who talk about the superannuated 55 year old magazine writers. Remember when you were still young enough to know everything! I think the whoever wrote that piece should concentrate on crayons and blocks for a while before he starts making such idiotic pronouncements that will come as such a shock to all the Formula One drivers who are his contemporaries.

Gene O'Rourke
87 S4 5speed, the old fashioned kind with the extra pedal that seems to be such a challenge to some of the bright new writers who are so easily confused.


14th February 1999

Subject: 928s in automatic car washes


Regarding your query as to whether any members of this group ever take their cars to car washes: I'm sure that I'm inviting all kinds of flaming replies but for years I took not only my 928s but also Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and several other cars of that genre to car washes and only had a couple of problems. Empirical lessons are the best because they're usually etched a little deeper into the gray matter than the ones you get out of a book.

1: Never, but never, bring an E-type roadster, a TR-6, or any other British soft top to an automated car wash unless you want the interior washed as well as the exterior.

2. With 928s and indeed most other sports cars the limiting factor is the width of the tracks and the clearance of the junk between the tracks. Some places will take 928s with an inch of clearance, others will streamline the bottom of your car be removing various and sundry parts of the engine and suspension system.

In one place here in Florida some kid removed the dirt from my wheels with a mild cleaning fluid that was composed of sulfuric acid, kickapoo joy juice, nitroglycerin, and lye. Took most of the finish off them. Turned out to be a positive thing though as the car by that time was a few years old and had some scratches etc.on the wheels. The car wash, after a few gentle words of persuasion from me deathwise, paid $300.00 to have them refinished and they still look like new.

I have absolutely no argument with guys who like to work on their cars. I did it for years. However, I found a detailer seven or eight years ago who takes incredibly good care of the car inside and out, and does it much, much better than I could ever do or even think of doing. For me, its' the way to go. Frees me up to spend time reading, sailing, fishing, watching F-1 and CART races, having long Ketel One lunches, and writing things to this list that get me flamed.

Self induced cyber flagellation? I guess. Probably some subconscious desire to atone for past sins. As long as Walt Konecny et al are around, any subliminal desire for punishment on my part will be well attended to.

If you're even within screaming distance of being as lazy as I am, find a car wash that will take care of your shark and fie on those who crawl under their cars with toothbrushes etc. May they be attacked by fire ants while doing it, and never get the grease from beneath their fingernails.

Excuse me while I don my nomex underwear.

Gene O'Rourke
87S4 5speed. The bright and sometimes shiny veteran of 99 thousand miles and many car washes.

16th February 1999
Subject: Automatic car washes vs. hand washing


Breathes there a man with soul so dead
who never to his detailer hath said
the hell with the Zymol
come back to bed


16th February 1999
Subject: Car detailing


So far the Nomex Jockey shorts haven't even been singed. And yes, I must confess that my detailer is much more pleasant to look at than most of the people in that business. Sorry to hear that you must part with your shark. Hopefully, in the not too distant future, you'll be able to snag a 95 GTS with just a few break-in miles on the clock.

Gene O'Rourke

16th February 1999

Subject: 85S 5 speed for sale

Listen my children and you shall hear of the midnight ride for a bucket of beer etc. That was just to get your attention. If any of you are interested in a one owner 85S, 32valve, 5 speed, 94k miles, gray/black, totally immaculate, always garaged, no cracks in dash or pod, looks new inside and out. Timing belt and water pump new about 20 k back, original luggage cover, original lousy Blaupunkt radio, etc. let me know. It looks, drives, and sounds like a brand new car. The owner is asking a lot of money but it may be negotiable. Old story; hes' getting married and his bride to be can't drive a stick, so the shark must go. This car is exceptional. I'll only be here till the end of the week and then am leaving for Hawaii. If I had the room, and the time, I'd buy it myself, but have neither, so if you're interested, let my know by Thursday.

Gene O'Rourke
87S4 5 speed


22nd February 1999

Subject: Acronyms IMHO


I agree with your dislike of an over abundance of acronyms, Years ago when in the service, I developed an early hatred of them, then later as an engineer involved in various missile systems that hatred deepened. As bad as it was then, it was nothing compared to what has happened in the computer industry and "net language".

It doesn't take more than a second or two to write the actual words, and as "net language" has become widespread it has reached the ridiculous point where there are now English/Net Language dictionaries to enable newcomers to computers to have a rudimentary understanding what the hell the hackers are talking about. Hopefully with time, this whole silly trend will gradually disappear. At least I hope so. We don't speak that way. Why do we feel its' necessary to write that way??


Gene O'Rourke

22nd February 1999

Subject: Timing belts and cars in hangars

Last summer I was driving an 83 Euro 5sp at about 75mph on I-95 north in heavy sunday afternoon traffic between Washington and Baltimore. The car had 68k original miles on it and was in beautiful shape. The timing belt had been changed at about 50k miles. The belt suddenly snapped with no warning. Naturally, I was in the left hand lane, I immediately killed the ignition, shifted into neutral, hit my flashers and muscled the car across four lanes of traffic.

Called AAA and had it flat bedded to the local Porsche dealer. Being a Sunday, naturally they were closed, so I checked into a hotel and called Leonard Laub, pulling him away from a World Cup Soccer Game. I wasn't even sure that the belt had snapped. After relating the symptoms to him, he assured me that the belt had indeed snapped. The next morning the service mgr. at the dealer told me that it was no big deal and they'd have it fixed in a few days. I had already sold the car to my brother in Connecticut and had arline tickets to Europe two days later. I drove a rental car to his place, put up with his mumbling and grousing, and left for Ireland like the good Lord meant me to do.

The end result was there were no bent valves, but in the opinion of the dealer, the belt had snapped due to it's age rather than mileage. The PO had used it lightly the past few years living most of the time in Australia and Pakistan, and had only put 18k on it over a period of six years. ------In true Porsche dealer fashion, they kept the car for two weeks and when my brother flew down to pick it up they told him that even though the valves weren't bent, the car needed a new frammis, a rebuilt welminger, two crownyangs, and a rebushed fillylooberger. So paid the $2600.00 bill, gritted his teeth, and drove it home.

After a lifetime of owning 356s and 911s he has just recently grudgingly admitted that he really likes the 928. This is just a long winded comment on all the recent posts regarding which MY 928s did or didn't get bent valves in the event of belt breakage. TBS (timing belt snappage:-). It also explains my aversion to ever dealing with Porsche dealerships unless there is no alternative within several hundred miles.

Re: One of the other comments, on cars stored in hangars, I think from Andy in NZ. I really don't think thats' all that uncommon here. I did it myself years ago in New England, and have a couple of friends in Stuart, Florida who keep a number of restored classic cars in the hangars at Witham Field there. Of course they keep their planes there also. It may very well be a matter of local fire laws combined with aircraft ownership. etc.

Gene O'Rourke
87S4 5 speed ( Silver, and ever so slightly cruddy from time to time.)

22nd February 1999
Subject: acronyms


Glad you like the rear end of my 928, it looks even better close up. I'm about to send Phil a much more revealing shot of same.---- However with regard to the acronyms, please give me a break. Obviously there are exceptions to every rule. If you noticed in my post I mentioned the excessive or over use of them, not the complete elimination.

Radar is a perfect example of one of those exceptions. It is no longer an acronym but a word.---When you're speaking to someone do you say BTW, BTDT FWIW IMHO YMMV. OTOH PO may have had no RMB. HTH and TIA----GMAB.

How do you pronounce those things?? At the behest of some of my friends who have been in the computer business since small computers looked like tract homes, I spent 94, 95, and part of 96 in Aptos. CA right over the hill from silicon valley, being paid obscene amounts of money translating operational manuals, instruction books, brochures, and marketing plans for a bunch of companies that couldn't understand why their software wasn't selling well even though they were including extensive manuals filled with hundreds of appropriate acronyms. I would take the average thirty page instruction booklet, and shrink it down into seven or eight pages of English. The results were amazing!

The biggest problem was the fact that much of this stuff was designed by brilliant young, make that VERY YOUNG, software designers, members of the first generation of kids who literally grew up with computers and just automatically assumed that all their customers knew what the hell they were talking about. I'm not talking about consumers, but network managers etc. who's eyes would glaze over before they finished the first page!

As a result of the above, without exception, sales of their products increased, sometimes dramatically, and they had a large decrease in tech support calls. I only went out there to spend a few months but wound up being there almost three years. It was absolutely the most boring writing I've ever done but they kept forcing money on me so I stayed until I couldn't hack the crappy climate any longer. Aptos by the sea where the fog comes in before dawn and stays till early afternoon. Besides, I was trying to pronounce YMMV and OTOH and it didn't work.



Gene O'Rourke

23rd February 1999

Subject: Geriatric 928s


If you really enjoy restoring cars thats' great. But I can't imagine it saving you a dime on parts, never mind the countless hours of your time involved and the many months you'll be without the use of it.

I would think that with a car almost 20 years old, no matter how well you've cared for it, you'd be far better off to sell it for whatever you can get for it, combine that money with the amount you would have spent to restore it and buy a GT or GTS and a small house in St. Barts. Also, you wouldn't be 928less for hardly any time at all. Just a thought.

Gene O'Rourke

23rd February 1999

Subject: Magic Blower Syndrome


Join the army of victims of "The Magic Blower Syndrome". This was a deliberate design feature included in the 928 series as part of a long term plot to drive American drivers into padded cells so this country would not be very well protected in the event of Hitler being found and talked into starting WWIII. It probably would have worked if the series ever took off and sold millions of cars, but what the hell! It was a
good try anyway.

If you don't find anyone who knows of a quick cure, get back to me and I'll call my mechanic to see what he finally did to cure it. That is if he doesn't hang up on me as soon as I utter the fateful words "magic blower syndrome.

Gene O'Rourke
87S4 5 speed


25th February 1999

Subject: 40! The Over The Hill Gang!


In light of your revelation regarding your impending marriage at the ripe old age of 40, I think it would be appropriate for the members of the list worldwide to take up a collection to buy you a barrel of Viagra, a nice Porschedesign aluminum walker (the race model of course), a lifetime supply of Pablum and Geritol, and a nice timeshare in Del Webb's Sun City in the middle of the Gobi Desert, Depending of course on you're being spry enouch to enter a few hot shuffleboard tournaments.

It reminds me of my own 40th which also was the only birthday that ever bothered me. When I woke up the next morning and discovered that everything still functioned I forgot about it. You'll probably feel younger right after the birthday and wedding. Hell! I raced GP motorcycles until I was 43, Discovered 928s when I was in Honolulu in 77 on my honeymoon with my 23 year old bride, took up hang gliding at 50, and windsurfing at 53. Hang in there old timer, you probably have a few good days left.

Gene O'Rourke

26th February 1999

Subject: Fuel and fuel gauges

Do any of you think that we, the members of this group, without committing gross heresy, could possibly reach a quorum on that fact that 928s have fuel gauges that SUCK, and many of the volt/ampmeters and timing belt warnings do also?

I have owned eight 928s since 77, I have also bought and sold at least a couple dozen others. Don't ask me why, it could very well be a result of being repeatedly dropped on my head when I was a baby. My parents were either incredibly clumsy or they just plain didn't like me. Whatever.

In all the above mentioned vehicles, I cannot remember a single one that had an accurate fuel gauge, and maybe two or three that had accurate voltmeters. I think that between the old Porschefans, the Porschelist, and the new 928 owners club, there must have been enough words expounded on the above to rival all of Willy Shakespeare's works.

It might save a lot of space if, when joining this list, the new member was issued a standard caveat, advising him/her of the following:

1. Pay no attention to the fuel gauge. It always lies. Check your mileage on each tankload until you have a fairly accurate idea of your mileage for same. After that use your gauge only as a general reference to tell whether the tank is full, empty, or still attached to the car.

2. Don't panic when your voltmeter reads higher or lower than it should. Have it checked or do it yourself. My present 87S4 read low on the voltmeter for nine years until I had the LH unit replaced recently. Now when I see it charging at 14 volts it scares the hell out of me.

3. If your belt tension light doesn't come on right away, be suspicious. Have it checked before all your valves disappear out your exhaust pipe. Actually, do have it checked the first couple of times it comes on. Because it will. Subsequent to that, if you know the mileage and time on the belt, don't panic when it comes on, just have it checked from time to time when your car is in the shop for other things.. One of my 928s had it on all the time. Good solid Bavarian precautionary engineering. offering about the same level of protection as the Seigfreid Line did in 44.

4. From time to time, any number of warning lights will come on for no apparent reason. At the very least, strange sounds will emanate from all parts of the car. In most cases they will go away and you will never find out what caused them.

5. There is really only ONE absolutely crucial thing that you must check immediately upon purchasing one of these wonderful machines, (And they are). and that is: Before you drive the car you must open the hatch, lift the cover on the left side of the hatch, open the hinged battery compartment and ascertain whether or not the battery ground strap is fastened to the car with a Dzus fastener, Acorn nut, Crazy Glue, Spot Weld, or WINGNUT! If its' the latter, you're okay, otherwise you're in danger! Get away from that machine as quickly as you can!

In answer to Math Creemers query on how far you can expect to travel once thelow fuel light comes on: Once, just for the hell of it. I did just that on a trip. After the light came on I drove about 55 miles to a gas station and discovered that I still had about a gallon and a half in the system, as the car took 21 1/2 gallons. Math, my car is the same as yours, an 87S4 5speed. So if your car is in a reasonably decent state of tune, you should expect approximately the same unless the low warning light takes the same casual approach to onboard petrol as the gauge does.

Lastly, before I have to don my nomex underwear as a result of a couple of cracks I made about Bavarian engineering and the Seigreid line. I was just funnin. I lived in Bavaria for a couple of years and have traveled to Germany many time on business since. Further, I have been driving Porsches of every stripe almost since they first came out. So put away your maces, battle axes, and assorted bludgeons.

Gene O'Rourke
87S4 5 Speed

26th February 1999

Subject: Your query on where I buy my Viagra


I buy my Viagra in bulk form. Ten pound sacks. And cap it myself. It's much cheaper that way. Same as I used to do with Extasy in the 70s.

Hope theres' someone around to help when you arrive at your honeymoon destination, as I'm sure that you've heard of the newlyweds who were so old that they spent their entire honeymoon trying to get out of the car!


1st March 1999

Subject: 928 Gauges

Just funnin. To me its' a rare thing to see or hear of a 928 that ALL the gauges work, and which has no gremlins of any kind. Your car must have been built either just before or just after "Fasching" or Oktoberfest" when all the factory gnomes were happy an unhungover.



1st March 1999

Subject: Nomex underwear


Thanks for the kind words. If you're looking for a good buy on Nomex underwear there should be quite a bit of it available as a result of yesterday's IROC race. Contact Dale Earnhardt, Rusty Wallace, Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon, etc. You can probably get a pretty good discount by deducting the necessary laundering costs.


Gene O'Rourke
87 S4 5 speed

1st March 1999

Subject: Automotive, but tenuous connection to Porsches.

By now, I'm sure that most you are aware of the fact that a major milestone in automotive history took place a few days ago when the Panzer Division of Ford Motors announced that it would produce the world's largest SUV, In the series of Explorer, and Expedition, this new behemoth will be "The Excrescence" or possibly "The Wretched Excess". Seven and a half feet tall, almost seven feet wide, nineteen feet long, and approaching FOUR tons in weight. The company's new slogan will be: "Have You Driven A Halbkettenfahrzeug Lately?"

Because SUVs have been killing so many people in cars by falling on them and squashing them flat, Ford engineers have come up with an ingenious device that they laughingly say will prevent this from happening. Two lengths of sewer pipe mounted several feet below the real bumpers at only 18" above the ground that will theoretically be the first point of impact with the car ahead or behind, and instead of climbing over said vehicle, will neatly compact it into a small cube that can be easily removed from the scene of the crime and/or outrage, and can also serve double duty as a burial device for the occupants who will be fused into the package anyway.

They got this idea from observing the cowcatchers on old steam locomotives scoop up all those stray dogies and buffs in "How The West Was Won". History repeats itself.

Ford is crowing that this motorized mastodon complies with all emission requirements. They don't bother to mention that those requirements are for trucks, not cars. They also claim that the Excrescence gets excellent mileage; not all that different from a sedan, like for instance, almost as good as Dale Earnhardt's 600 hp Chevy Lumina gets at 235mph on the back stretch at Talledega.

Ford engineering has also achieved another breakthrough that actually transcends the accepted laws of physics by managing to design a vehicle that sports a center of gravity one inch above the roof, meaning of course that if it is hit broadside by a midget on a moped it will immediately fall on it's side like a bazooka'd elephant if indeed, a passing zephyr (not Lincoln) hasn't already blown it over.

The good news is that one of the options is a tailgate hinged at the bottom and hydraulically operated, that will swing back and down, making a ramp for a Boxster or 996 to be driven inside and used in place of a spare tire and wheel. These two options will add $75,000.00 and $100,000.00 respectively.

One last thing that will be a comfort to both Excrescence drivers and the cars they fall on is the fact that the Excrescence's occupants probably wont be injured critically when their conveyance falls on mere cars simply because of their mass, and the thickness of their armor plate, also, the drivers of those cars can feel a measure of relief knowing that the 55 gallon gas tank in this monstrosity will have enough fuel to cremate them on the spot, thereby saving burial costs. Two different methods of final disposal built right in as no cost standard equipment. Almost more than a body can stand. Forget the "almost".

It is now rumored that General Motors; miffed at being outflanked and one upted, is planning on bringing out a much larger version of the Suburban, called the "Megalopolis" which will be a half track with a rapid firing 30mm Oerlikon anti-Porsche gun in it's turret.

I hope so, I haven't had a chance to try out my new anti-SUV device that I recently bought from David Roberts.

Gene O'Rourke
1997 M1-A1 S4 Auto Abrams Battle Tank "Afrika Korps Tarnung Gelb und Braun"
Gets great mileage, and the fuel gauge is accurate but have to keep an eye on that damned timing belt.
Battle treads standard. Rubberized street treads 87,500DM extra and worth every pfennig.

1st March 1999

Subject: Automotive but barely


From some of your previous posts I didn't think that you'd wimp out and just trade up from your Explorer to an Expedition. Man, if you're going to do it, do it. Don't pussyfoot around. Go the full bore Excrescence route. Better yet, how about a really nice Euclid? You could install a remote controlled tail gun to blast the Porsches, Ferraris, Aston Martins, et al, who had the gall to expect you to move out of the two left hand lanes you were cluttering up. Have you ever noticed that often, the bigger the car, the smaller the driver?

Love & Kisses


2nd March 1999

Subject: SUVs

It was encouraging to hear from Gary Tilson, Patrick Leston, Steve, and quite a few others that they too are as concerned over not only the dangerous designs, but also the gross mishandling of SUVs by drivers who simply don't know their limitations or how to handle them.

Just yesterday the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released figures that estimated that at least 2000 people in this country were killed by SUVs over and above the normal accident figures during the past year.

The public seems to pay scant attention to these statistics because the deaths and injuries usually are singular or in twos and threes, so the impact from a national point of view is slight and highly localized to
say the least.

Imagine if there had been twenty airline crashes last year, each one killing one hundred people! Same numbers... The public would be up in arms demanding all kinds of investigations and pointing fingers in a thousand directions. A hell of a lot of people would start taking trains and busses, or just staying at home.

Even though there are those who think that I'm anti SUV, I'm not.......My family owned a trucking company when I was a kid and I've been driving trucks since I was twelve. I do think however that people who own and drive them should have to undergo a short training course in handling them, and be taught their shortcomings as well as their admitted virtues before being licensed to operate them. All other drivers who operate trucks commercially have to obtain special licenses, why should SUVs be excluded except for political reasons?

In plain English, they're trucks, not cars. They don't go as well, stop as well,or turn as well, as cars, and they tip over a hell of a lot easier than cars. And the very people who use them the most are usually the least equipped to handle them, often women with small children etc. most of whom have never driven ANY kind of trucks in their lives before buying their SUVs.

Additionally, the automotive manufacturers know damned well that the height of SUV bumpers is a perfect distance from the ground to decapitate people in cars, and their headlights are also just the right height to blind people in front of them. However, bottom line being king, and short term profits determining their tenure, the top executives in the field figure that a couple of thousand extra deaths per year is a small price to pay to avoid the costs involved in redesigning the SUVs to be safer.

I shudder to think what its' going to be like in a few years when all these vehicles become cheap enough for High School kids to buy them! Also, I wonder how many of the SUV devotees who have lost children or family members and friends amongst that extra 2000 people killed last year, now feel about them. Particularly in light of the fact that you are THREE times as likely to be killed in single vehicle accidents in SUVs than any other kind of vehicle.

Lastly, A mystery to me is why so many thousands of people buy SUVs and then try to drive them like they're Porsches, Ferraris, Corvettes, etc. How many times have any of you been driving 80mph only to have some bird brained cretin in an SUV full of kids, dogs, etc. pass you doing 100mph, while swaying back and forth in the wind?

Okay. I know this subject is distasteful to a lot of people, so I'm not going to belabor the point again. I prefer to think of it as a national aberration that will pass eventually. They don't need "Lemon Laws" for these Kamikaze machines, "Lemming Laws" would be more appropriate.

Gene O'Rourke
87S4 5 speed

2nd March 1999

Subject: SUVs

Regarding SUVs: For a while there I was beginning to feel like the proverbial voice shouting in the wilderness, I have three grandchildren, two of whom are in their teens and the youngest one will be 13 in May. Also a small army of nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, and children of friends of mine who are near and dear to me. I'm not really the overly emotional type but occasionally I have nightmares about one of them being involved in a bad automobile accident. No different I guess from 99.9 % of the other grandparents in the country.

It was gratifying to receive sharp insightful messages on this problem from many members of this group including Adam Spanglor, Robert East, Ed Croasdale, Patrick Leston, and a whole bunch of others including Walt Konecny who likes to come across as the Devil's Advocate but who I feel is basically just a pussycat thinly disguised as a pit bull.

Daniel Perez says that he thinks that sports car drivers also have a high incidence of accidents. I haven't researched that but I will. I think his statement was too broad. There are several types of "sportscar drivers" On the one hand you have the guys like myself and I suspect, a lot of others on this list who have been driving all kinds of sports cars on both the highways and tracks for a very long time. I'd be willing to bet that they have a much lower incidence of accidents than the general populace, regardless of the type of vehicles they drive or ride. Then there are the nouveau riche attorneys, accountants, stock brokers, etc. that my town is overrun with, who drive SL 600s, 911 Turbos, Testarossas, etc. because they are status ymbols. Obviously there are exceptions. A lot of these people also drive pristine Harleys, and all get together to arrive en masse at various "In Places" for Sunday brunch where they'll be seen and oohed and aahed over. Usually at least one couple falls under the bike while trying to get it up on it's stand and do several hundred dollars worth of damage to their Irish Linen riding ensembles and Ferragamo loafers. I call them "Heck's Angels". They are the same people as above, and bear about as much resemblance to Sonny Barger and the Oakland Hell's Angels as Gidget does to Lucretia Borgia. Vive La Difference. They're not bad people, but most of them would be in deep manure if they ever found themselves in a four wheel, or two wheel drift depending on the type of conveyance they were attempting to control.

Daniel Perez says that he doesn't have any problems with SUVs or sportscars, and that none of them kill people. Only people kill people. True to a certain extent. Its' like Charlton Heston saying: "Guns don't kill people. People kill people". When in fact people with guns kill people, just like people with SUVs kill people.

One last thing on that subject: SUVs do not have unit body construction that is designed to crumple and protect their occupants, and especially the occupants of the autos that they hit. They are built on rigid truck frames that absolutely destroy automobiles when they come together.

As gruesome as it sounds, I think that a child or grandchild of one of the top exectutives of a major automobile manufacturer will have to be sacrificed before human considerations finally overcome the seemingly endless pursuit of quarterly profits and appeasement of the stockholders. A sad commentary on corporate ethics (oxymoron?) in this country today. Are they really any different from the heads of Tobacco Companies who still maintain that smoking doesn't lead to emphysema or lung cancer??

Flame away, I have a whole gang of kids I want to protect, and I don't give a rat's ass what the effect will be on Wall Street, a neighborhood I'm overly familiar with. Also sorry to burden you with non Porsche content, but to me this is a hell of a lot more important than what type of wingnuts my battery ground strap uses.

Gene O'Rourke

22nd April 1999

Subject: A'ole eiwa hanele makalua kumawalu mea o loko. (no 928 content) . ala Roger Nanook)Woodbury


My message to Don Hanson was real. The humuhumunukunukuapuaa is exactly what I said it is. A small reef fish, and the longest word in the Hawaiian language. I was merely respnding to his query on the name.

However, thanks for the help in not being offensive. As they say in Nanakuli: "Oe lolo na'aupo eia ho'i ike'ole i ka heluhelu Ekekemo Makanika. Loosely translated; "You are a great Chieftain of the North". Its' sort of a general purpose compliment accorded to high haole diplomats by members of the Alii that has been around since the last time they ate one.

Hope all goes well for your UPnMAINE CHALLENGE. I believe that statement can be considered 928 content regardless of the subject window which is indeed "No 928 content". Soon the snow up your way will be all covered with ground for a few weeks. I'm sure you're eagerly looking forward to the annual caribou stampede in July when your igloo melts. In the meantime, feed the malemutes. I hear they get ugly when daylight comes back in May.

Gene O'Rourke

30th April 1999
Subject: CACADS bund

Roger, go to your room. If you persist in this madness I'll be forced to take away your Hawaiian title of "Great Chieftain of the North". But will mitigate the loss somewhat by sending you a copy of "Comedy Writing Secrets".


30th April 1999

Subject: Re: 928 digest: April 29, 1999 --CACAD


Go to your room. Lie down. Rest. Turn up the heat. You'll probably be okay after your braincells thaw out a little. Chew some whale or walrus blubber, it will give you strength. I'm warning you. If you persist with this Arctic aberration, I'll be forced to rescind your newly awarded Hawaiian "Great Chieftain of the North" appelation. However, I will mitigate it somewhat by sending you a dog eared copy of "How to write Comedy".


30th April 1999

Subject: Re: 928 digest: April 29, 1999 BEBs remarks on Chuck's car.

Brian et al,

We all have our little aberrations. If Chuck gets off on buying Concourse quality 928s, keeping them in his garage, washing, waxing, and fondling them, its' cool if he gets off on it. However, saving them for the future so that he can get a better price when he sells them ten years from now doesn't make a helluva lot of sense from a purely monetary point of view.

To me it would be like living with Sandra Bullock, Julia Roberts, Uma Thurman, and Cindy Crawford for ten years and having a purely platonic relationship with them so I could sell them pristine, unsullied, and virginal to some Sheik when they were post menopausal. What an incredible waste of beautiful women. Methinks that a gang of shrinks could have a field day with this.

These cars were designed to be driven, and driven hard. I've put about a quarter of a million miles on them and enjoyed every one. I also have a 99 750IL, 99 Sable station wagon, 98 Dodge van, and 95 Mercedes E-320 convertible, They're all good at what they were designed for but none of them come close to the pure fun of my 12 year old S4 5sp with the scratches on the side and the pelican marks on the roof and hood, that can still outrun and outmaneuver 99% of everything on the road, and make it from South Florida to Silicon Valley in three days without breaking my back. Not being critical, just voicing my own feelings.

Again, to each his own.

Gene O'Rourke

1st May 1999

Subject: Re: 928 digest: April 30, 1999


As I said in my message that you replied to: To each his own. I have been to countless concours in Monterey, Amelia Island, Palm Beach, Newport, R.I. etc. I was also involved in the "collector car" business for several years here in Florida and have owned everything from Duesnbergs to Lagondas, to 62 Ferraris SWB 250 California spyders, Daytona spyders and Mercedes 300SL Gull Wing coupes. I have absolutely nothing against people who want to treat their cars as Objets D' Arts. I love them too, but I'm much happier driving them than putting them on mahogany plaques over my fire place or keeping them under covers in my garage. They're waterproof! They are not soluble in rainwater, or slush, or snow, or mud. Even the cheapest ones share those attributes.

Having also spent 25 years in the art business NYC, Beverly Hills, and Honolulu, as an agent for many of the top artists and commercial photographers around the world, my idea of art is something beautiful that you CAN put over the fireplace or on your living room wall, or in your garden, or around your wife's/significant other's neck or wrist.

If I were to regard any mechanical thing I've ever owned as an art object it would be one of the beautiful sail boats I've owned, and even then, the last couple of those have been constructed of composite materials, plus anodized aluminum, stainless steel, kevlar, nylon, mylar, etc. so after a brisk sail across the Molokai Channel in ten or twelve foot seas in the trades, all that needed to be done was to spray a hose over the whole megillah for ten minutes and then go across the street to the Harbor Pub at the Ala Wai Marina and have cocktails. No teak, mahogany, ash, or any other thing else that had to be sanded, varnished, or therwise stroked.

No offense meant. But when I see Ralph Lauren's ten million dollar De'Lahey or whatever it is, Coupe, arrive at a Concours somewhere in an air conditioned, dehumidified, two hundred thousand dollar Mercedes van, accompanied by a large crew of technicians, I can't help but think that such wretched excess is the ultimate distortion of what Concours's were originally meant to be.

I take good care of all my cars mechanically. I also keep them faily presentable cosmetically. My 12 year old 87S4 has a few blemishes on it's skin but it still runs like new and kicked ass against a brand new C-2 yesterday. To me, at least, thats much more gratifying than not having a speck of dirt on the undercarriage.

I reserve my stroking and caressing for a wonderful, alive, beautiful, smart, sexy woman. All the exotic cars in the world could disappear tomorrow and I would mourn for an hour or two and then go sailing with her.

Just my opinion. I still love 928s above all cars, and plan on continuing to drive them until I'm buried in one.

Gene O'Rourke


1st May 1999
Subject: 82 Euro 300 hp automatic w/19k original miles for sale


In today's Palm Beach Post there is a 1982 300 hp Euro automatic 928S for sale with 19.000 original miles on it. I drove up to N. Palm Beach earlier to see it. It belongs to an elderly couple from England who brought it here from Europe some time ago.

As I get the story, the owner had a stroke and he and his wife returned to the U.K. several years ago. The car has been in storage ever since. They left it with a friend who is 78 yrs old himself and was just recently asked to sell it for them. Its' brown with a light brown/dark tan interior. The paint is in good shape except for two chips, on each side just below the windows. Each one is about the size of two nickels or quarters side by side at the lower edge of the windows. The one on the passengers side must have occurred a long time ago as the spot without paint is rusty. Under the hood everything looks clean and pretty good except for some occidation/corrosion around the fan shroud etc. that looks like you'd expect on a car that hasn't
been used for a long time.

Yesterday, the man they left it with, Jim Keenan, drove it from the garage or warehouse it has been stored in. He said that it drives perfectly. When I tried to start it, it would turn over a few times, fire, and run for a couple of seconds, then die.

The gas gauge reads dead empty. I suspect that sitting all that time, condensation built up in the tank and got into the injection system. I told him to fill it with high test and see if it ran. It has a new battery and the tires look good. He has it advertised in the paper for $9500.00 and said that a dealer offered him $8.000. for it yesterday. I also told him that the $9500. asking price was way out of line and that if he could get the 8K to take it in a hurry. After talking with him for quite a while about what it was probably worth he indicated that he would entertain another offer in that range.

I don't think the car has anything really wrong with it. The few seconds the engine did run it sounded healthy. If any of you are interested his phone is 561-626-1640. He seems like a nice old guy who just wants to get rid of it. He drives a Caddie and said that the 928 is too much for him to handle, especially after just returning from over 20 years in Nigeria where the roads are lousy and the speeds slow. He was with Brinks or it's equivalent in Africa for many years but originally an Irishman from Massachusetts. With the 300hp, it might make a good car for someone who is into automatic transmissions.

Call him direct if you're interested. He's easy to talk to.

Gene O'Rourke

2nd May 1999

Subject: Ted Child's comments on scratches and pelican marks in the 5/2 digest


After considerable pondering, I've decided to leave the key scratches, pelican marks and malaleuca tree stains on the shark.

They lend a note of raffish elegance sort of like wearing old beltless jeans, busted topsiders, and a Casio plastic watch instead of the Ferragamos, Guccis, and Cartier Tank Watch. A little reverse snobbery is just right for this town of glitz and glitter, where Mercedes SL500s and 600s, Bentleys and Rolls, and herds of Boxsters, vastly outnumber Fords and Chevies.

And really, none of the marks were made by car washes, or else I'd have had the operators killed a long time ago.



2nd May 1999

Subject: Free 928s, also harems, and castles in the sky

I don't even know if this is legal or not. But it must be or they couldn't go on line with such an obvious presence. However, I'm not a lawyer. Maybe Thilo could enlighten us even if he is hiding in the Alps. I just received it a couple hours ago from one of my many acquaintances in Silicon Valley. Sounds like blue sky to me but then again, everyone thought those guys at Amazon.com were crazy when they started out too.

Theres' a startup company than plans to pay cash each month for some real estate on the bottom of your browser. Apparently its' a narrow bar that runs across the screen just above the message bar on the bottom. They intend to sell ad space to fit in same and get their revenues from the buyers for distributing the bar to browser owners. Sounds like an internet pyramid scheme so naturally, being curious, and at times somewhat obtuse, I signed up immediately. It doesn't cost anything and can be gotten rid of with a single click. If you don't want it on the screen you can hit the "diminish" button and it will disappear, but you only get paid when its' on your screen. They pay ten cents an hour up to forty hours per month for users, and five cents per hour to anyone that referred them to the service.

Anyone interested can find out the details by checking out: http://www.alladvantage.com/go.asp?refid=BNO218 Thats their number plus my brand new member I.D. If its' not BS and it works, and any of us make money on it, I'll take all the guys who signed up to dinner at a very posh place like Taco Bell in. Newark. I know the Maitre D' there and can always get a table out of the direct line of fire.

They go into great details explaining the whole thing. At present its' not available for MACs or out of the USA but they say that it will be by mid summer.. If it turns out to be bogus please don't come after me with cudgels and stuff. You can't lose a penny on it and you might make enough to get a new 996 twin turbo cabriolet or the successor to the 928 when they arrive.

If we're at the top of the pyramid as my Silicon Valley G2 suggests, and it makes us rich like the Amway guy, we'll all feel pretty smart. I'm not touting this, and I don't care one way or the other if anyone is interested, but I figure, what has any of us got to lose?

Gene O'Rourke
87S4 5sp ever so slightly cruddy (with apologies to LL for paraphrasing his line)

3rd May 1999

Subject: Re: 928 digest: May 02, 1999


I want to hear more on starting avalanches with a 105mm recoiless. I've blown the hell out of a lot of things with a jeep mounted 105, but never started an avalanche with one. I feel deprived. Particularly due to the fact that there isn't a hill to speak of within 500 miles of here.

Gene O'Rourke

3rd May 1999

Subject: Re: 928 digest: May 02, 1999 no Porsche content. Sorry about that, I'll seriously consider commiting sideways.


I was sort of kidding, but it was interesting to hear how you used the recoiless rifles to induce avalanches. Back in the olden days when I still skied, they used 105 mm howitzers for that in a lot of ski areas. Also, never skied Telluride but went hang gliding there a couple of times.

What really got my attention though, was the fact that we used to have 105s mounted on jeeps. They hung out over both ends of the vehicle and made them even more top heavy than they were normally. They were okay for some things, but almost totally useless against tanks. One of the scariest sounds an infantryman can hear is the sound of a tank engine starting up half a mile away at dawn, and knowing by the sound that its' not one of yours.

If you had a jeep mounted 105, the best thing to do was to immediately attack to the rear. (strategic withdrawal), If you were silly enough to hang around and try to duel with the tank, you had just one chance to hit it in such a way that he couldn't bring his super accurate, high velocity tank rifle to bear on you. The chance of that happening was somewhere between slim and none. Usually all it did was enable the tank crew to pinpoint your location and give them an easy target.

Then your only viable option was to leap out of the jeep and run as fast as you could, saying the rosary and trying to control your sphincter muscle, while trying to find a big rock to hide behind, before two thousand pieces of your jeep and the 105 passed you going six hundred miles an hour.

I was surprised to hear that you needed a 106mm for that, and that you had lost some guys doing it. Wouldn't a shoulder fired 57mm recoiless achieve the same purpose?




4th May 1999

Subject: Re: 928 digest: May 04, 1999 Fear & Loathing in Nanakuli


Close, but not a bull's eye. I did write a piece on Hunter way back when Sonny Barger and the Oakland Chapter of the Hell's Angels beat the hell out of him for something he wrote, or for not sharing enough of his pakalolo and windowpane. It was so long ago that I can't even remember who published it, I think it was either Parade or Penthouse. Anyway he was always too straight for my tastes. Gonzo Journalism indeed! Also, although I did have a Samoan significant other, she was a flight attendant for AA, not a lawyer.

The howitzer content was dragged out of the farthest recesses of my mental hard drive by Don Hanson's story on 105 recoiless rifles. Most of which are gone now except that I've heard that David Roberts occasionally uses one for squirrel hunting. Lastly, speaking as the quintessential haole, the only way I'd spend a night in Nanakuli would be in an Abrams M1A1 tank.


5th May 1999
Subject: 928 Gremlins---Goebel's revenge

I think that being an ex-engineer is one of the reasons why I've been addicted to 928s for 22 years. The never ending surprises that can't be explained by using such a silly thing as logic. Today I jumped in the old turkey and hadn't driven very far before I noticed the central fault light flashing. No big deal. I checked, made sure the parking brake was all the way off, the oil pressure and ampmeter were reading as close to normal as anyone could expect of a 928. Both doors were shut tight. Seeing as I paid cash for the car ten years ago, the late payment light wasn't on, etc. When I pushed the f**ker to shut it off, it stayed on and kept flashing. Then the brake fluid light and belt tension light came on. I turned around and two minutes later checked the brake fluid level, full. Belt tension, Boy who cried wolf., I've reached the point after owning a gang of these machines that nine times out of ten when that light comes on its' BS. Besides, I had a new belt and water pump installed about six thousand miles back and every time I bring the beast in for any reason, my mechanic and good friend Igor Wasilewski, checks the belt tension just to keep me off his

Left again, now I'm pissed. Late for lunch and my martini is getting cold. Made a left turn at "Ye Olde Martini Jointe" and the turn signal didn't cancel. Right turn did, left turn didn't. Meanwhile, the car with it's new (4 months ago) $1600.00 LH unit is running like new. Forgot about it. Drove home, all dash lights normal. Went back out late in the afternoon, same thing happened. Left the Christian Science Reading Room two hours later, same thing exactly. Drove home. Shut engine off. Restarted. All lights normal???

David, if you can tell me what causes this I promise I'll take back the crack I made about you hunting squirrels with a 105mm recoiless rifle, and downgrade my remarks to a 75mm Besides, the only person I know of that was ever killed by one of those benighted contraptions was a state representative from your state who wandered out of the bleachers when we were putting on a weapons demonstration in Benning, and happened to walk about thirty feet behind the turkey just as the crew fired it. Mercifully he never knew what hit him. They picked him up in several different places over an area about the size of a basketball court. Excrement happens.

Gene O'Rourke
87S4 5 sp. Ever so slightly scratched and haunted

6th May 1999

Subject: Re: Gremlins and false insxtrument readings.


I can't thank you enough for taking the time to send me all the material on timing belt tensioning. Printed out two copies. One for me and one for my mechanic who is very good but I doubt if he has your expertise on the above. He’s only 32, from Caracas but has been working on Porsches all his life. I think his father was a Porsche dealer there at one time. When I first went to him a number of years ago he told me flat out that he wasn't an expert on 928s but would by all the shop manuals and use my car as a learning tool, for which he wouldn't charge anything till he got it right. That was four or five years ago. Now he knows more about them than anyone I've ever met who works for regular Porsche dealerships. Also, he not only charges a lot less per hour but works a lot faster than the dealers do so the savings are considerable.

I'm sure he will appreciate receiving a copy of your instructions. He also has a partner who does really great body and paint work. I've referred a bunch of people to them and without exception they have been pleased with both the work and the prices. The only negative side is the fact that they have become to some extent victims of their own success. Once they get a customer, they keep him, and, as a result, they often can't take your car immediately as they only have room for about a dozen cars in their shop at one time. They also do total restorations on collector cars. They just finished restoring a Maserati Ghibli Spyder and I swear it looks better than it must have the day it left the factory. So much for the plug. They are: Igor Wasilewski who with a couple of assistants does the mechanical stuff, and George Dedes from Greece, who does the paint and body work. They're in Pompano Beach, Fl. and their number is 954-784-3754. I've included all of the above simply because like a lot of other guys who've been driving Porsches for many years, I've been jerked around by clowns who didn't know what they were doing and wound up costing me a hell of a lot more to get whatever the problem was repaired.

And no, I never was Travis McGee, but I've read every book that John D. MacDonald ever wrote, and a friend of mine keeps his charter boat in the Bahia Mar Marina in Lauderdale where Travis supposedly kept "The Busted Flush" right next to his buddy Meyers sailboat which as I recall was named "The John Keynes" after the famous economist.

Thanks again, and tell David that I really think he probably only hunts squirrels with a 3.5 Bazooka.


8th May 1999

Subject: The ongoing wonders of driving in South Florida, with definite intentions of preserving the remaining 928s in the world.

Yesterday, while visiting friends on one of the many barrier islands here in Florida, we decided, (two couples) to run a few miles over the causeway to the mainland to one of our favorite hangouts for "happy hour" where they have great, fresh, oysters, clams, conch chowder, etc. and drinks at ridiculously low prices from 3:00 - 6:00 p.m..

The other couple, driving a Viper was a few hundred yards ahead of my companion and I on the causeway when an octogenarian couple driving a Winnebago pulling a boat trailer, suddenly, without warning, pulled out of a parking area without looking and customized both the Viper's snout and the left side of the Winnebago. Okay, excrement happens. The Viper owner who looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger's bigger, meaner brother, but who in fact is a gentle soul, exchanged paperwork with the old couple who were shaken and badly confused, but unhurt physically, and able to drive the Winnebago although sort of crablike, off the causeway.

The other couple then proceeded to get in the back seat of my shark. It was the first time in ten years that I had ever had two adults in it. Small kids, and one adult sprawled across both seats, but never two large adults. Somehow they squeezed in and we continued on our way, as our destination was only a few minutes away.

Suddenly in my mirror all I could see was a vast expanse of gray primer paint on the hood of a seventyish sedan which might have been almost anything from Detroit. It was at least two inches from the back of my car. I was going about forty mph in a 35 zone and there were several cars in front of me. I pulled a little closer to the car in front and the primered apparition drew within millimeters of my back bumper which alone, is probably worth at least ten times as much as the behemoth hugging it. The driver obiously wasn't aware of the negligible effects of "drafting" at 40 mph.

We went like that to the next intersection where a right turn lane existed. I continued on straight and the monstrosity behind me pulled into the turn lane. It was occupied by four males approximately 16 - 18 years old, all of whom made the shooters in Colorado look like Tom Swift and the Boy Rangers. The bills on their Caterpillar, Nascar, and John Deere caps were artfully pointed in the four primary magnetic directions and the weight of their acne alone was enough to slow the car even without the brakes which it may or may not have possessed.

Both my side windows were open and the junior candidates for Mensa immediately filled the air with moronic crudities and vulgar gestures. I'm not in the habit of arguing with idiots but couldn't help saying: "Hey guys! I'll bet I can tell you what were the worst ten years of your lives"! a lot of DUHs etc. followed. I continued: "Probably the third grade!" Blank stares while they tried to figure this out, so to prompt a reaction while we were waiting for the light to change, My large companion, squeezed into the back seat picked up the thread and said, and I quote: "Listen sh*t for brains, if you smash into this car you'll spend the rest of your life flipping burgers in MacDonalds to pay for it, assuming you ever reach the intelligence level to be hired for such a demanding task". More sullen stares. The four of us by that time were in semi hysterics. The light changed and we all went our respective ways.

Point of the story: After meeting with a bunch of other friends, all of whom have had similar experiences, at one time or another, and discussing it over a couple of cocktails, we all decided that the world as we know it could be changed for the better and possibly even be the salvation of the human race if all people between the ages of 14 and 21, and also over the age of 75, were mandatorily shipped to the Australian outback, and put in really nice camps, equipped with all the normal creature comforts, but without any cars, booze, drugs, guns, or sharp pointed objects. Lots of books, televisions, norplants, cribbage boards,etc. and have the whole place surrounded by deep crocodile filled moats and highly electrified fences. If the teens achieved even a kernel of intelligence by their 21st birthday, they'd be allowed to re-enter society on a probationary basis for a couple of years. Then if they hadn't caused any major catastrophes or started any forest fires, given full fledged rights including driver's licenses. Unfortunately, the senior citizens would of course have to stay there, although they could indulge in electric cart races, wild orgies, and Formula One video games.

I certainly don't want to offend any of the group's many members from down under, Philip, Andy, et al, but I can't see how they could be hurt by all those lovely people two thousand miles away from the nearest city. The countries that sent them there would obviously cover all expenses and in addition, pay Australia handsomely for a long term lease on land that presently to my knowledge, doesn't produce a thrupence or even a brass farthing.

Think of the lives that would be saved and the enamel that wouldn't be ground off the teeth of millions of people all over the world who have to deal with these imbeciles on a daily basis. The worldwide incidence of strokes, heart attacks, cases of apoplexy, insurance rates, and strangulations by normally placid, peaceloving people would drop dramatically and the earth would be a much happier and safer place. The only alternatives we could think of were the Gobi Desert, which after what happened to the Chinese embassy in Belgrade last night probably wouldn't be such a hot idea, or the Libyan Desert which remains a remote possibility. Also, the time honored Eskimo practice of leaving the ancient ones on ice floes could of course, be reinstituted.

At any rate we decided that we're all going to write to some of our brilliant senators and state representatives such as Connie Mack and Bill McCollum and see if we can't get a referendum on the ballot in next year's elections. We're also going to start a petition to that effect and allow people to sign it as often as they'd like. What the hell. Fair is fair, and it may save a bunch of the list's members some serious repair bills.

Those of you on the list who have family members in the aforementioned age groups would have years of wonderful, hassle- free vacation time together, and of course if you felt so inclined, you could accompany them to the camps as long as you were willing to abide by the same rules imposed upon the others. Please don't go to the trouble of thanking me, I've already taken your gratitude as a given.

Gene O'Rourke
87 S4 5 sp

9th May 1999
Subject: Re: The ongoing wonders of driving in South Florida, with definite intentions of preserving the remaining 928s in the world.


Even though I was playing with words and generalizing to an excesive extent. I have to agree with you. I have three grandchildren. The oldest is 19, a sophomore in college, to my knowledge hasn't had and accident since he's been driving and is as normal a human being as anyone his age can be. He goes to Fredonia College in upstate N.Y.

A grandaughter who will be 16 in July who goes to a girl's school "Dana Hall" in Wellesley, Mass. who has no interest, at least for now, in ever driving, and who, for the past two years, has spent much of her time in Bali, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore etc. doing volunteer work with underpriveleged kids there. Straight 4.0 student and will spend the upcoming fall semester doing similar things in England and Wales.

The youngest, the only one at home, will be 13 in two weeks. He reminds me of myself at his age. Anything he really likes, such as computers, planes, building things, cars, etc. he gets straight As in. If its' something he's not crazy about he scrapes by with B or C+. Has his own web site, can cast a lure 100 ft. and land it on top of a snook or bluefish, can handle a 300hp twin engine, 60mph, 22 ft. boat, including docking and maneuvering in tight quarters, is the captain of both his schools La Crosse and Soccer teams, and is laid back, funny, and soft spoken beyond his age. Do I sound like a typically boring grandfather? I plead guilty. I can't believe how the three of them have turned out so far. By the time I was their age there was an APB out for me for treason, arson, heresy, and sedition and the attempted molestation of 16 year old maidens. Jesus or Buddha, or Allah, or Klem Kadiddlehopper must have been riding on my shoulders.

Obviously I've been spoiled. When I run across cretins as in the confrontation I mentioned that happened Friday, I guess I subconsciously make comparisons and you're right. The parents have to have a hell of a lot to do with it although as eveyone knows, there are the occasional wild exceptions to every rule. I don't have a clue as to what the parents of the Colorado shooters are like but whatever/however, what a horrible thing they have to live with for the rest of their lives. As bad as, or maybe in some ways even worse than what the parents of their victims have to endure. End of rant. Its something that defies quantification.


10th May 1999

Subject: Stolen cars


Re: your comments on stolen cars over here. When I was dabbling in the collector car business for a few years 89 - 93, I based the business in Ft. Lauderdale. I soon discovered that the whole area, Miami, Port Everglades, etc. is probably the largest concentration of car thieves in the country with the possible exception of NY - NJ. At that time, the general consensus was that about 1000 hot cars a week are shipped out of there! Most of them to South America, but a goodly percentage to Europe and the middle east. Apparently there is a huge network of dealers who pay off crooked shipping officials, change VINs, produce professioanl quality phony titles, change colorss, etc. Its' a hell of a big business, and there are a lot of real heavy duty bad guys involved. After living in Manhattan for 20 years I thought that I was pretty hip as to things like that going on, but was really jolted when I became aware of the whole scene down here. You don't see much about it in the media either. It has to be one of the country's best kept huge secrets. Drugs and money laundering are all intertwined in it also. As Paul Hogan said in "Crocodile Dundee": "Just a bunch of kids having fun".


11th May 1999

Subject: Nice 928

I don't subscribe to the 944 list so with all the flak flying around today on the 928 list regarding the moronic remarks on 928s, I don't know whether they were made by Mortimer Snerd, Klem adiddlehopper, or Elwood P. Suggins from the far dark corner of a bog. whomever---"Building that awful car is the only major mistake Porsche ever made" etc. etc. I also don't know which one of the "Big Six" it came from, London, Rome, Paris, New York, "Hoosierland" or Vermont. Obviously whoever wrote it probably wears snazzy double knit argyle overalls with vinyl cow pie shields on the legs, and could very well be a pregnant prostitute who drives a Trabant with a Spiro Agnew sticker on it.

However, I think that whoever wrote it has every right to display their ignorance to the world in general by constantly giving their mouth a three day headstart on their brain. Knowing that someone like that had gotten their hands on a 928 would sadden me no end. Talk about casting pearls before swine!

Fortunately this list has a large percentage of members who are epitomized by Rob Gold's thoughts in today's list on maintaining his membership even though he has sold his shark. --- Rob, a long discourse on fish husbandry follows.

Karl and Randy, Glad you didn't take offense at my suggestion on deporting America's hoons to the outback.

Brian, The reason The Luxury Car Network and Sovereign Brokerage won't deal with you is because you gave yourself away by revealing that being the quintessential Midwesterner, you didn't know that all us urbane sophisticates on both coasts switched to hot martinis years ago.

Gene O'Rourke
87S4 Major Mistake


12th May 1999
Subject: Mr. Binford's funny remarks

Regarding Mr.Binford's post on the crappy dentist's wives 928s. I'm grateful to B. Furman for identifying the brilliant author of same, and would like to take this opportunity to publicly apologize to Messrs. Kadiddlehopper, Snerd, and Suggins for the scurrilous remarks I made about them. Also its' heartwarming to see that Mr.Binford is not trying to keep up with the Jones but has found out that its' much easier and cheaper to drag them down to his level. Unless he was on a really bad crack trip when he penned those lovely words, and will at some time in the future, recover, I'd say that he is a perfect example of the reason that some species of animals eat their young.

Gene O'Rourke
87S4 Crappy Dentist's Wives Car

May 14th 1999

Subject: Carl Ungvarsky's comments on selling cars


In today's digest you mentioned that you had yet to sell a car that you owned. When I read that all I could think of was a remark by Jeff Foxworthy who said: "If you still have all the cars you've ever owned and they are in your front yard upside down being used as chicken coops and planters, you
might be a redneck".

No offense meant. It just struck me funny.

Gene O'Rourke

May 14th 1999

Subject: 924s/944s/vs 928s

Bill Coleman brought up a good point in today's list vis a vis the 924/944 vs 928 flap. In all the years I've been driving every kind of Porsche except 924s which weren't Porsches at all, but thinly disguised VWs, I can't recall ever hearing of a 928 owner selling his shark and regressing into a 944, and I had 944 turbo S for a short while. It was pretty fast but it was no 928, which many of the more knowledgeable writers in the various trade magazines still consider to be the best all around GT car ever built, regardless of make or price.

Gene O'Rourke
87 S4 5sp w/101,000 miles that has blown endless 944s, turbo and otherwise into the weeds.

May 14th 1999

Subject: Statue of Ferdinand Porsche


Thanks for informing the list of the life sized statue of Ferdinand Porsche up for auction on E Bay. I think I'll bid on it. If I get it I'll put it in storage until Porsche comes out with an SUV, at which time I'll buy one and mount the statue on it as a hood ornament. I'll bet Zuffenhausen will pay me a serious fortune for it as they should, just to get it off the road.

Gene O'Rourke

May 14th 1999

Subject: Ferrari 355s vs 928s

Mike, this topic isn't a can of worms, its' a barrel of them. The cars are absolutely nothing alike. I've had a number of Ferraris, but would never have one other than as a second or third car. Admittedly, they're beautiful, and nothing but nothing sounds as sexy as a Ferrari engine. 928s have their own distinctive sound as well, but I've often thought that if the brilliant minds in Zuffenhausen would design the 928 exhaust system to sound more like a Ferraris it might increase sales.

Aside from that, except for the 400-412 series sedans and possibly the Maranello and 456 series, no Ferraris ever had enough storage room for the average woman to go on a trip longer than a weekend, unless it was going to be spent in a nudist colony, and although I'm only 6'2" I've never had enough leg room in any Ferrari. Also the cost factor. Maybe I'm getting cheap in my dotage but I'd rather have a brand new GTS for one hundred thousand plus another 150 thousand cash in my pocket than a 355 for the same amount.

I could go on forever but I'll mention just one other thing. If you think getting a part for a 928 in some place like Arkansas or North Dakota is tough, you should try to find parts for ANY Ferrari there.

I'll stick to the 928 any time. What other GT car can you think of that can hold two tall people in front, two small ones in back, half a dozen suitcases and a set of clubs and still go 160 mph if you're silly enough to do it? Also when I had my 308GTSI and 328 GTSI I got really tired of 16 year old kids in Buicks blowing me into the weeds at traffic lights. I had a Daytona Spyder that would kick butt big time but for what it cost I could have had a new Porsche and a 42ft. sailboat.


Gene O'Rourke

May 14th 1999

Subject: Wheel alignment


This happened five or six years ago and I can't remember all the details but as I recall, the steering felt different and I picked up a low amplitude vibration in the wheel at normal highway speeds, 70 - 75 mph. I was apparent within minutes. I doubt if I had traveled more than three or four miles before I turned around and went back. The dealer tried to convince me that it wasn't anything they had done, but that my chassis was out of line! I had to resort to some hard language to get the refund from them. I'm not damning all Goodyear dealers by any means, but that particular one was operated by people who didn't know zip about what they were doing. I took the car to another place right down the road who did it correctly for less than half the price Goodyear had charged me, so it all ended well.


14th May 1999

Subject: Addendum to earlier post on Ferrari 355 vs Porsche 928 prices

Before 40 of you guys jump down my throat on the prices I used to compare 928 GTSs and Ferrari 355s, I goofed. I was thinking of Maranello or 456 prices rather than 355 prices. Instead of a $150k differential it would be a mere $50k. Still an appreciable sum even in this day and age. The rest of my rant stands as is.

Gene O'Rourke

14th May 1999

Subject: Re: 924s/944s/vs 928s


I didn't mean to offend any individual, sorry you took it that way.However, that doesn't change the way I feel or think.

You say a 944 can be very fast with bolt-on mods. Hell! you can say that about damned near anything with wheels!

I'm talking stock. I had a 944 turbo S that would stay with my S4 up to maybe 120-125 then the cubes would start to tell. Also, comparing the two is obviously a subjective thing. To my way of thinking the 944 looks too much like a whole gang of other cars. You can't say that about a 928. Vive le difference!

Gene O'Rourke
87S4 5sp

15th May 1999

Subject: Tony Garcia's hot rod


First you said how cheaply you can bolt on goodies to get 400 hp out of your 2.5 liter, half 928 engine, and then I hear you've pumped $40k into it. Sounds to me like you have a hot rod more than a sports car. I can envision you out-dragging lots of cars for a short distance until the air over your car becomes filled with pistons, rods, valves, frammises, etc.

You can also shoot a plow horse with enough steroids so that it could probably win the Kentucky Derby three steps before it dropped dead.

Try driving your car from South Florida to San Francisco in 2 1/2 days and back again in the same time frame without a broken back and scattered engine. I've done it a bunch of times in 928s without ever having a single problem. I seriously doubt if an overstressed 2 1/2 liter engine pushing a car not all that much lighter than a 928 could stand the constant speeds necessary to cover a 7000 mile trip like that in the same time without coming unglued.

I'm not saying 944s are bad cars. They're a hell of a lot better than most of the cars on the road, but to consider them in the same class as 928s is to delude ones self. They're not even within screaming distance, and I'm speaking as one who started with 356s, 911s, a 930, the 944 turbo S I mentioned earlier and eight 928s. Roughly 1/2 a million miles in all of them.

Gene O'Rourke

15th May 1999

Subject: Tony's hot rod


To each his own. Obviously you have gotten terrific service and serious speed out of your 944. I really wish you well with it.

Having owned a 944 turbo S with only a few thousand miles on it, I had fun with it also, but it just didn't have the power, looks, handling, comfort, or quality that my many 928s have had. Lets face it, you could shoot a Yugo out of a cannon and it could do the quarter in a half second flat. That doesn't make it a Porsche 928. Lets just enjoy the cars we each prefer.

I'm never going to convince you that 928s are better, and you're never going to convince me that 944s are in the same league as 928s.

Aesthetics are a major part of this whole conversation and they're something that can't be quantified by the addition of a million dollars worth of bolt on anything. If I was on the west coast I'd love to run the Angeles Crest Highway against your car from Altadena to Riverside. The combination of steep mountainous terrain and sharp curves, would, I believe, give you a different picture of an S4. Mostly it's tail lights disappearing around the next bend ahead of you. By the time you got to the Mission Inn, I believe I'd be on my second martini.


19th May 1999
Subject: Lyris censorship

Am I the only one on this list who is constantly infuriated by Lyris censorship? Somehow or another I managed to write several hundred articles for many magazines without having some damned robot bounce my work back as being "too profane". Monday I forwarded a treatise on motorcycles from a maniac in Santa Cruz that I used to Canyon Race with.

It was humorous and pertinent to the current ongoing thread on bikes. In two pages of type it had the word "Bulls**t in it one time. Lyris bounced it back with the usual inane boilerplate saying:

"These lists are for primarily discussing Porsche Automobiles. That being said. Rennlist is an international community of tens of thousands of members. As mentioned in both our list Etiquette and Charter, profanity will not be tolerated on the list posts.

Therefore, please re-read your post and feel free to resend it after you have removed those same profanities.

Thank You"

Andrew Comstock
Jerry Falwell
Pat Robertson Obviously the signatures are mine, but thats' who I'm reminded of.
Mother Theresa
Jimmy (I have sinned) Swaggart

I have contacted John Dunkle on this a couple of times in the past without success. Did it again yesterday morning and have yet to receive a reply. Apparently I've been laboring under the false impression that this group was comprised at least mostly of pretty sophisticated adults. Not too many kids driving around in 928s.

I realize there are a few prudes in any group but I can't imagine that any child old enough, and interested enough, to read this journal has never heard the word "Bulls**t) or be shocked and/or offended by it. Also, I share with every other writer in this country, and indeed, the world, an intense hatred of censorship in any form by anyone, whether it is an individual, organization, or government. How DARE any of them subvert our constitutional right of free speech!! Spare me from the do-gooders of the world. They're no better than the Nazi book burners of the thirties, and the long term results can or could eventually be the same.

I recall seeing far, far more profane inclusions on the old Porschefans and Porschlists without any negative feedback. As far as I'm concerned either Lyris is modified to adult standards or I can't be bothered wasting my time on it. Writing "kiddy stuff" was never my thing and isn't about to be now. And speaking of kids, I took my children everywhere but the little ba***rds always found their way home.

I'm interested in comments on this. Certainly there must be software available to run this list on a more intelligent and mature level.

Gene O'Rourke
87S4 5sp

19th May 1999
Subject: Re: Lyris censorship


Thanks for your input. I can sympathize with your feelings from a woman's point of view. I owned and operated model agencies for many years in NYC, and my agencies had the reputation of coming down real hard on any jerks who hassled our models. As a male, I'm as close to being a fem libber as any guy can get. Both my daughter, and ex-wife, who were working models for years, plus a whole bunch of commercial photography studios as well as a lot of ad agency creeps and their clients can attest to that.

However the most effective way of dealing with sickos like you described is to find them and turn them over to the proper authorities. There are laws against terroristic threatening that carry severe penalties, and morons like that are easily found by people who are really computer adept.

Confining the list's dialogue to the lowest common denominator of intelligence is condemning everyone for the sins of the very few. There are many more intelligent ways of doing it, than arbitrary censorship by a few self appointed guardians of the public morality.


31st May 1999

Subject: Re: F-4 Wild Weasels.


I'm really sorry...if you thought this was going to be an apology. I'd like to say we'll miss you, but we didn't even know you were here. Just as well. I have the suspicion that you changed your name from Earp to Fradenburg just so you wouldn't frighten us.


Gene O'Rourke

7th June 1999


Don't go away. We need more members of the cognoscenti like you to engage in stimulating repartee in between all the time you must spend chairing MENSA meetings all over the globe. Did you ever hear of the insomniac agnostic dyslexic who stayed up all night wondering if there was a dog?? Thats' a toughie you can bring up at the next embassy ball you attend.

Be sure to let us know how it pans out and hurry, because my breath is already bated. As a way of thanking you for the above, all members of this list worldwide are going to forward all the spam we receive to you without charge.

Thanks Again, and please pass along all our regards to the other members of the fifth grade. That one was always a rough five years.

Gene O'Rourke

8th June 1999

Subject: The ugliest cars

What a trap to get sucked into! A lose-lose proposition no matter what you say. How can you compare cars that are based upon totally subjective and personal tastes? Thats' why we don't all drive the same cars manufactured by "Automobiles International". No way would I ever be tempted to get involved. However, I will say that I have never owned an ugly car.

To truly be a thing of enduring beauty and a joy to behold, own, and drive, a car must be more than the sum of it's parts. There are esthetically beautiful cars that are dogs as far as handling, speed, comfort, braking, ergonomics, price, reliability, re-sale value, etc. are concerned.

Conversely there are a whole gang of really ugly cars that handle well, are rippingly rapid (a smidgen of alliteration never hurt anyone), are the epitome of comfort, brake like Formula one machines, have all controls at your finger tips, are reasonably priced, go seemingly forever without requiring a crew of technicians to keep them running, and have an inordinately high resale value. They are truly rare.

Hardly any of them meet all the criteria listed above. At the risk of sounding like the epitome of rabid 928 freaks, my personal nominee for the car that comes closest to meeting all those criteria is the Porsche 928. Period, paragraph, etc.

Having established that personal aberration and/or addiction, I'll give an opinion or three on some of the cars mentioned in the past couple of days, and as I said in the first paragraph above, its' strictly subjective and the beauty and/or ugliness of the cars I'm about to mention is strictly in the eyes of THIS beholder.

Ugliest cars: Anything made in Sweden, especially all SAABS, with the single exception of the Volvo P-1800 coupe. I know they're dependable and solid, but so is a brick! Also they are, without exception, as exciting as a pocket full of wet pancakes, and not even comfortable on a long trip. Okay, so they're built like tanks and might save your life if you get into a bad collision. If they handled better, accelerated and braked better, maybe you wouldn't get into that collision in the first place! Also, if safety was the only criterion for picking your personal means of transportation, there wouldn't even be such things as motorcycles, another form of transportation I have known and loved since I was a kid, a few years ago.

The new Audi TT, I like Audis. I've driven countless thousands of miles in 5000s, Quatros, A-6s, A-8s, etc. They make great sedans. They go, stop, and handle better than many cars that cost much more. They got a bad rap by American TV years ago when a bunch of inept drivers claimed they accelerated all by themselves into walls, other cars, off cliffs, over the neighbor's kids, etc. Yeah, Right! Some sleazebag attorneys got hold of them, filed a class action suit, and got them on a bunch of shows like 60 minutes etc. Almost put Audi, one of the very best cars in the world, out of the American market for years.

However, to me, the TT looks like a really bad attempt to emulate a 1936 Chrysler Airflow. A car that a lot of pundits (punditry, unlike hindsight, is rarely 20-20) claim, is the new Teutonic wundercar for the 21st century. I predict this ugly dog will either undergo an emergency massive facelift, or disappear soon, as it richly deserves to. Its' as UGLY as the southern end of a northbound mule! I don't care HOW well it handles, or how fast it goes. A greyhound is still a dog.

The new VW bug. For a mere $18,000 with taxes you can buy a conveyance that looks like an original VW bug with a really bad case of the mumps. Statistics: 0 to 60: YES!

The Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable --- Since the re-design several years ago, to assume what the great minds in Detroit consider to be "the new organic look" to me, they much more resemble "the forty miles of bad road" look, combined with the "gasping guppy look" (a tiny bit more alliteration, again, done completely with malice aforethought). I'll soften that opinion to the degree of admitting that I had a 97 Sable Wagon and now have a 99 of the same breed, but with a slight re-style its' not quite as "live bait" looking, and as far as bang for the buck is concerned, its' probably the best wagon around if you don't want to buy a BMW 540I or Mercedes AMG wagon for $55 - 60K!

The various new desperate attempts by Chrysler Corporation to stave off it's seemingly inevitable slide into oblivion, such as the $85,000. uncomfortable, ergonomically ludicrous, truck engined hot rod. Do I have to name it? The Plymouth Prowler: Forty three thousand dollars worth of ugly retro stupidity. Just think! for that kind of money you could probably find a pretty good 94 GTS! A few years from now the original owners, much like those innocents who paid $65,000. for Cadillac Allantes, will be lucky to find buyers at any price. The new Chrysler 300. A car that demeans the heritage of it's ancestry, the original 300 series, one of the great cars of all times. The sleazy trick of naming the current wannabe leaves it just as it is; a sheep in wolve's clothing. Lastly and leastly, the show car that looks like an acid head's wet dream come true, a horribly mutated, 37 Ford Sedan, don't know it's name. If the public is lucky, it will be aborted or stillborn. I'd call it euthanasia.

They're not cars but I'll include them anyway. Humvees-Hummers, or whatever. Some imbecile who lives near me bought one, had it cut in half, a six or eight foot hunk grafted into it's mid section, ala dorky super stretch white Lincoln Limos with jacuzzis etc. and had it painted flat black. Being a small town, its' known by everyone. For a little more money the owner could have had hydraulic arms put on both sides to pick up dumpsters with, and made a few bucks to pay for the smelly diesel fuel.

Okay, Beautiful cars; but not necessarily all that dependable or practical. Every car ever built by Ferrari. Some obviously, more than others. E-type Jags as well as XK 120s and 140s. The 150s got that bloated look like the new VWs. The XJS series, Jag sedans since the early 80s, Mercedes 300SL Gull Wings and convertibles as well as the SL230-250-280 series, 69-72 280 3.5 Cabriolets, I had a beautiful 72 blue/blue/tan one that elicited more admiring comments than any other car I've owned. All Aston Martins except the Volante series built in the 80s and early 90s. Lotus Turbo Esprits, Miatas, yes, I said MIATAs. Maserati Ghiblis, Lamborghini Miuras, Iso Rivoltas, Facel Vegas, Datsun/Nissan Z Cars. I had two new turbo Zs. The only Japanese cars I have ever owned. Nothing ever went wrong with either of them. They were almost perfect, but not in the same league as Porsches etc. 1958 special edition Plymouth Fury Sports Coupes, even with lousy brakes they could outrun Jag XK-120s, and with torsion bar suspension, just about stay with them in the twisties. 300 H.P. and clear vinyl seat covers over the gold brocade upholstery. Seventeen mpg on 102 octane, thirty cent per gallon, leaded gasoline, pushbutton transmission. $2,900.00 delivered. No AC! Great in Needles or El Centro on a September afternoon when it was 120 in the shade and the nearest shade was in Oregon. And those fins! Porsche 356s, all types and variations of 911s, MG-TF roadsters, and last but by no means least, the cars we all drive, love, are mystified by, hate, kick, swear, mutter, and snarl at, and keep after the others are history. Maybe I wasn't emphatic enough, but some of you realize that subtlety is practically my middle name.

As you can see, I'm totally un-opinionated. But as I said above, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I would never put down someone who loves the looks of the Audi TT. Just because it looks like a wart hog to me doesn't mean that it can't look like a gazelle to Brian, Daniel, David, Marty, et al. Just one final thought; if any of you guys ever buy one and come by to visit, would you mind very much parking it out back behind the barn?

Gene O'Rourke
86 Trabant - 89 Yugo --- Both on nitrous. You want to talk about FAST!

9th June 1999

Subject: Audi TTs, Volvos, etc.


Even though you agree with my thoughts on the Audi TT, you have a helluva nerve stating that I'll never, ever check before I say anything, ever! I researched my remarks extensively. Both the guys from Guatemala who mow the lawn, and the swimming pool skimmer said that the TT is ugly, and that all Volvos suck. However, none of them speak English, so there does exist a very slight chance that I may have slightly misinterpreted their remarks. Also, a couple of years ago while in NYC I was going to rent a car to drive to the Annapolis Sailboat Show, when a friend insisted that I take his new Volvo. Its' only about a four hour drive, but my back felt broken by the time I got there. I can rip off 1100-1200 mile days in the shark and be ready to do some break dancing when I stop for the night. If that isn't exhaustive research I don't know what is!


I mentioned two or three times in my rant that my remarks were completely subjective. I have absolutely nothing against Volvos. Vive Le Difference! I just wouldn't want one, when in my not so humble opinion there are so many other more desirable sedans around like the Audi - BMW - Mercedes - Infinitis - Acuras - Jaguars, etc. etc. However, if I ever decide to enter the Australasian Touring Car competition, I may change my mind. Thats' about as apt to happen as me eloping with Sharon Stone to Kosovo.

Gene O'Rourke

11th June 1999

Subject: ACs -- belly pans -- leak down tests

I just made the 40 miles from Pompano Beach to Palm Beach in two hours and fifteen minutes flat There are four ways you can go; all of them are parking lots as I type this. Haven't the vaguest idea why there isn't any movement. Its' close to 100 degrees and my main wrench had just put a serious shot of R-12 in the AC system. Thats' all that prevented my sudden demise from I-95 heat prostration. While there, I asked him whether I should convert my system to R-134. His response was "No way"! I have a tiny leak that defies discovery without major surgery, and requires a shot of gas two or three times a year. At that rate, he said that it would take several years to equal the cost of converting the system properly to R-134.

While he was paddling about under the hood, I mentioned the ongoing discussion on the list regarding the time involved getting the the belly pan off the car. He said; "Geno, get the hell out of here before I call the police"! Just thought I'd mention that.

In today's list Ian Wiik queried the group as to info on a leakdown test: Last night when I pulled into the garage, the press of time forced me to perform one in the flower bed immediately adjacent to the garage doors. Everything came out allright but that particular bed is filled with petunias. Another type of flower could, I suppose, cause the results. To vary. YFMV.

Gene O'Rourke
87 S4 5 sp

13th June 1999
Subject: What kind of Porsche - cup holderfs -belly pans

Why should any of us plan on what kind of Porsche we're going to buy next when the ones we own now are constantly being renewed piece by piece! I've had the 87S4 I presently drive for ten years and it runs like new. It damned well should. The only thing that hasn't been replaced is the speedometer needle. Also, with 101,000 miles on it, its' still in it's early adolescence. I know its' going to outlast me, so I plan on being buried in it clad in a nomex driving suit. I may have the only 928 down there and the place is full of my kind of women. Besides I have nothing to worry about because the dude that runs the place used to be my brother in law. I married both of his sisters.

That brings me to someone's comments on cars that have nothing wrong with them. 94 Mercedes C-300 convertible, 98 Dodge Van, 99 Sable Wagon, 99 BMW 750IL, EVERYTHING works on all of them. I had two turbo Z cars, put a gang of miles on both, NOTHING ever went wrong with them. Thats' why I keep the 928, its' constantly being renewed piece by insanely expensive piece.

Cup holders: I never liked them anyway. Every time I'd hit a bump the olives and onions would fly out and roll under the seat.

Alignment: Walt, for Christ's sake, stop whining about your left front having a quarter inch less clearance than the right. Just hang a small 100 pound hunk of lead ballast under the hood just forward of the coolant cap. The car will be perfect and the extra weight will help keep the nose down at speeds in excess of Mach .2 .

Belly pans: FWIW: One of the very few things I haven't replaced. Several years ago while driving through an empty mall parking lot at 3 A.M. experiencing sonic buffeting, I hit the mother of all speed bumps and became airborne in slightly less spectacular fashion than the Mercedes racer at Le Mans. My perfect four point landing was accompanied by a loud CLANG. The car appeared to be okay and it was, but the belly pan had been customized to the extreme. Had my mechanic remove it and completely forgot about it. The car runs just as cool as it ever did. I don't know how the aerodynamics have been affected but at 140 -150 mph it feels just as solid and connected to the road as it ever did.

Lastly, even though I'm convinced that Walt Konecny is a direct descendant of Atilla The Hun, I couldn't agree with him more on his reply to Jonathan Rackowe on cupholders etc. "In 1776 we declared freedom from all kinds of crap".

Jonathan, no offense meant, but if you're going to take us all to task over whether we say 928 - 928s - 928's etc. its' time for you to hit the nearest pub and have a few nice warm beers. Lighten up pal, enjoy yourself. It doesn't make a damned bit of difference how you say it as long as you have fun driving it.

Gene O'Rourke
87 S4 5 sp belly panless, many new parts, love it anyway, even the cracks in the dash that lend it a note of raffish "don't give a sh*tness".