5 years ago – Joe was on vacation for his birthday. Part of the vacation was to pitstop and meet up with his buddy, Randall, a Porsche guy in Florida. Joe rented a Ferrari 458 for a few days and also drove Randall’s, Cayenne Turbo. A few day later, he ended up at a family party. At the party Joe met another Porsche guy, who had a 2012 Boxster Spyder (987.) They start talking cars and Joe V. asks the magic words – “Wanna drive my Spyder?” – not 5 minutes later Joe mentions his reaction being “The Ferrari was great, but THIS Spyder IS AMAZING…I’M HOOKED!” (sounds about right)
What’s your history with PCA and New England?
After the Spyder experience and upon his return to RI, Joe joined PCA when he came home and started browsing. He went to The Mart. He wanted a 981, so he started looking at used Cayman S’s or GTS’s – with some specific requests. “It had to be sapphire blue, it had to have PDK, Sport Chrono, PASM, Sport Exhaust…..” Joe explained, “but every time I found exactly the right car, it was sold. Then I hear about the 718 Spyder” in late 2017. ” So I go the dealership, put my name on a list for the Spyder (which still doesn’t officially exist yet). I scour the internet every day looking for the official release announcement, but it doesn’t get announced…months go by…I am driving myself bananas!” It had now been 2.5 years since driving the Spyder in Florida, and Joe still doesn’t own a Porsche! “Finally, I got sick of waiting so I call them (Porsche Warwick) and ask, what the hell do you have on the lot? After saying I’d never get a convertible, I got a 2013 Boxster (981) in Aug 2018. I was freakin’ hooked!” A year goes by and it’s Oct 2019… “I am scrolling on Cargurus and I see it! The 2014 Cayman S with all the options I’d been looking for. I told my wife Amy I am trading in my Boxster (she rolls her eyes). After days of trying to get the car, Joe gets an email…”You still want the car?” it was in western PA and Joe couldn’t travel. The Porsche guy friend from Florida flies to, CT then drives to Cumberland RI, to help Joe out. “He grabbed the Boxster from my house, drove it to western PA, picked up my my Cayman S but it wasn’t until two weeks later that he drove the car back to me. Meanwhile, in those two weeks, he took it to our high school reunion, and there were videos of people doing triple digits in my car before I even saw it. He eventually delivered my Cayman S dream car to me…and you know what I learned? I LOVED the convertible more than the Cayman…… and the 2021 Spyder is a convertible GT4.”
“If it’s 38 or higher my top is down with the heat on” ( Despite my telling Joe I thought his idea was crazy, he iterated that a convertible is meant to be driven with the top down – Fair point, Joe)
How are you keeping busy beyond cars this winter?
“Skiing, snow shoe-ing, hangin’ out in the cabin. Leukemiapaused my business for 1.5 yrs…now I am getting the business back up (after 21 years of running it all along)…and making maple syrup”
Favorite and least favorite parts of winter?
Favorite – winter activities
Least Favorite – having to work a job site in the winter
What are the best and worst cars you’ve driven in the snow?
Best: “I loved my Subaru (2.5L, 5 speed Legacy Wagon with Blizzaks) and my buddy Andy’s Mazda 323GTX was a hoot doing ice racing” (Joe has a knack for the track and Auto X and has been involved in these since the 80s)
Worst: “A car my dad was going to get for me and my sister to share – It was a late 70s Corolla, so i said no thanks and got my own car, a Datsun 200sx” (either car would be highly respected and sought after in the JDM culture today). Correction: the Datsun 200SX was 5 cars later. My first car was an early 70’s K5 Chevy Blazer (blew the engine within a year), then I got a Fox-body Mercury Capri 5.0 liter (lots of fun w/ that!), then a piece of $#!t, rusted out VW Rabbit, then a ’55 Chevy wagon (stylish and fun, but not a commuter car), THEN my first Datsun 200 SX (then an ’89 Mazda MX-6 GT Turbo, then another Datsun 200SX and on and on….Volvo, Acura, Subaru, Ford, Chevy, Porsche)
Any words of encouragement for members who don’t drive their Porsches in the winter?
“Everybody’s got a different take on this thing…they say I they don’t wanna get salt on it, or get hit by another car, or I have a truck. I have a 4WD truck too. The roads are perfectly dry right now (January). If you have a car you love, why go through the fuel stabilizer and surround it with mothballs, and try to avoid a mouse living in the car? Just drive it! I’m driving a 2021 Spyder in the winter, so you can drive your Carrera 4 or anything else…just try it once. I don’t know, maybe I am too addicted to my car.”
Cheers to many more smiles per hour in your 2021 Spyder Joe! (no freon was wasted during the making this NER WinterBeaters”