2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Road Trip Driver Change
April 18, 2013
If I needed any more conclusive evidence that New York is not the same as Los Angeles, I got it at the valet counter at Erin's Hotel. High-end valets in L.A. understand the needs of a driver with a valeted car and can grasp the concept of a car being dropped off by one party and picked up by another.
In NYC, you have to wait 25-30 minutes for them to retrieve your vehicle from some rat-infested subterranean nightmare and the fact that I had the valet ticket only convinced the hotel that I'd murdered the fair Mrs. Riches and was planning to flee with her Porsche.
Hey, at least they graciously offered to let me stand in their lobby while they tried to figure it all out.
I didn't really have time for the wait, though. This was day 2 of the 2013 New York International Auto Show, I'd already covered a few cars and had to get this car quick; me and Scott Jacobs had a date with Times Square.
We've all seen pictures of sports/supercars in Manhattan and virtually chastised the owner for buying it purely for the status. After all, how fun can driving a fast car in the Big City be?
It's only about 2 miles from Erin's hotel to the Jacob K Javits Center, home of the New York Auto Show and from there, 1.2 miles to New York's Times Square. And in our 2013 Porsche 911 with its 19s and winter tires, they were some of the most fun miles I've ever driven.
NYC is full of cars, yes, but most of them are slow, lumbering cabs. They're used to owning the road with size, boldness and a complete disregard for the exterior condition of their car. They are not used to a small, athletic car beating them at their own game.
Everything that makes the 911 great on a track or on a mountain road makes it great in NYC: You can squeeze in the smallest gaps. You can beat everything off the line. And because pedestrians think you're a banker who already doesn't care about people, pedestrians and bicyclists have some sort of internal fear/respect for a Porsche on the streets of NY. Best of all, the new 19s take a lot of the crashiness out of the suspension. If I didn't get a flat here, I was convinced I wouldn't get one for the next 3,000 miles.
As you can see, despite the time crunch, Scott and I made it to Times Square and got the shot. (He stood out in the freezing rain, I put the top up — don't want to damage the interior, right?) After that, it was time for me to start this trip.
But instead of going straight back to Los Angeles, I decided to take a quick detour to New England. It made sense at the time.
Mike Magrath Features Editor