Purple pain: A bold lesson in disappointment
Monday, February 12, 2018
When I picked up my first 968 way back in 1996, I was thrilled. It was a 30K-mile example and a cabriolet. It was a blast to drive, and I was so happy to own such a great car.
It checked all my boxes for a fun car with one exception: color. The car was painted Amazon Green, which is a dark teal color. The color has many fans, but I'm not one of them.
I prefer sports cars to be painted in bright colors, and since the 968 was offered in 33 different colors I knew there were examples out there to my liking. The problem was they were rare. Most new 968 purchasers stuck with the standard colors for their new 968s.
That said, I kept my eyes open and, sure enough, after a few years had passed, an example showed up for sale.
The thing about wild, loud-colored cars is that many people love to see them, but only a few would actually drive one. This is not a problem for me. So when I spotted an advertisement for a Florida Porsche dealer's used car stock and noticed a purple 968, I had to investigate.
Wow! What a color. Officially, the color was called Amaranth Violet, code L39D/T3, but in person it is a bright royal purple, nonmetallic. I didn't know it at the time, but only five 968 cabs were produced in that color.
I contacted the dealer to collect information on the car, and it only got better. This cab had only 14,000 original miles, was in great shape and was ready to go. It was fully loaded with a special-order, two-tone gray interior, limited slip differential and many other great options.
And to top it off, the car had provenance! This particular 968 had originally been ordered by a famous magazine editor. I had to have it.
I continued discussions with the dealer on the car and the condition, and then we finally agreed to a price. Although I loved the bold purple paint, most others would not, so the dealer was eager to move the car, which worked to my advantage. I toyed with just shipping the car, but in the end I decided to travel to see it in person.
Little did I know what that decision would mean.
I booked a flight and arrived in Florida a week later with my check in hand. After I picked up my rental car, I made my way to the dealer. As I drove up, the 968 was parked right in front. Wow, it looked amazing, and the color was just fantastic.
I could not have done a better job optioning the car myself. Kudos to the original owner. After taking her in for a few minutes, I popped open the door and sat inside. Everything looked great, and I felt right at home.
I proceeded to move around to the back of the car, and then I noticed it. The 968 emblem on the rear tail panel was there, but it wasn't quite right. The numbers were out of alignment. This was not a good thing.
At this point, the salesperson had come out to join me, and he brought the keys with him. He handed them to me, and I popped open the trunk lid. Sure enough, my worst fears were confirmed.
I could see sloppy paint overspray all along the inside of the trunk. I went back to the doors and found the repaint marks there as well. And there was dust in the repainted area. The entire rear of the car had been repainted!
I was sick. I turned to the salesperson and showed it to him. He had assured me that the car was 100 percent original paint, but this was clearly not the case. He told me to take the car for a drive, so I did.
It drove great, and I just loved the way the purple paint shown in the Florida sun, but I was sick about the entire transaction at this point. The car was not what it was supposed to be. I realized that satisfying my desire for a brightly colored 968 would have to wait for another day, so I handed the keys back to the dealer and flew home.
Upon returning home, I found my Amazon Green 968 cab waiting to provide me many more miles of enjoyment, despite its muted hue. I could not help but reflect on the fact that others had told me to never buy a car without seeing it in person first and how true that had proved to be with this experience. And little did I know that a number of years later I would cross paths with the mint green and speed yellow 968s that occupy my garage today, satisfying that need for a bright-hue 968.
Still, I'll always have a soft spot for a bright purple Porsche. Who knows what the future may bring. I just need more garage space.
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