Welcome home, Ruby!
August 17, 2016
The voice on the phone from Livingston Vehicle Transportation in Vancouver had told me that Invoice #104*77 would arrive on August 15th, at the latest, but I could call back next Friday. She gave me a Montreal number. Surely enough, Ruby arrived on the train over the weekend, but it took until Wednesday morning for her to end up on a truck, destined for Doug’s Towing yard just outside Embrun, to arrive between 10:00 and 12:00. Doug promised me he would call the instant that my Porsche arrived.
At 12:00 I phoned. Doug enthusiastically told me, “They’re just unloading your Cayenne now.”
“I’ll be there in an hour and thirty-eight minutes.”
Our first sight of Ruby was a little pathetic. Some wag had parked it straddling a large mud puddle — real, beige clay, the stuff that sticks to everything. What paint wasn’t spattered from the puddle looked very clean and shiny. It must have had a good ride on the rail car and the truck, but puddles are puddles.
Livingston Vehicle Transportation had done the job well which they had contracted to do.
I made departure arrangements with the genial guy in the office and started Ruby up. As soon as I moved forward an alarm went off: “Parking brake is still on,” or “Release parking brake,” or something. Here I was, stopped in a muddy, crowded parking lot, with very little idea of how to release a stuck parking brake. While I fussed, Bet stepped out of the Lexus and walked toward me holding her phone out. Column after column of “How to free a stuck emergency brake” appeared. Bet had resorted to the Porsche owner’s secret weapon, Google.
Most of the articles suggested worrying the release handle until the problem went away, and so I did, but not before sending a distress text to Charlie. By the time he got back to me I had the car moving properly, but I was too confused about the ventilation system to check for texts.
And it was HOT in this truck. Fortunately the route from Doug’s Towing to Smiths Falls involves a number of short drives across paved concession roads with no traffic — a perfect place for me to sort out the dashboard of a Cayenne. Why do they have two speedometers, two temperature gauges, two range meters (saying different things), and many other switches and buttons I was unable to fathom? And acronyms! Why do Porsche fanciers love acronyms so much?
As I roasted my way through a burnt-fingers exploration of the air conditioning controls, the sight of the Lexus cruising serenely along in front of me, the cool Lexus, chilled seat and all, that stately old gray car looked pretty good to me. The es330 was all about passenger comfort, and its designers did their job well. I can’t say the same for the Cayenne S dashboard controls engineers.
Gradually as I worked my way through all logical combinations of controls and vectoring flaps, I decided to try the counter-intuitive step of punching the icon which looked most like a defroster. Swoosh! Serene air all around me. I wondered if anyone else has tried that before?
I opened the sun roof, but found it was just too hot. I preferred the air conditioning. And to think my initial plan was to buy a Miata.
Incidentally, the Cayenne drove and rode very well, but operator comfort comes first. Performance is well down the list on a first drive.
I stopped for fuel in Smiths Falls and Bet cut for home. Freed of supervision, on the way home Ruby stretched its legs enough to impress me with its power. It will pass on a two lane highway with ease equal to that of the Lexus, but while the Lexus will top out at 110 or 115 km/hr on a typical pass, Ruby must be slowed down from 150 after an equal acceleration interval. This will take some getting used to.
After three and a half hours of driving and trouble shooting, we arrived home exhausted. Ten minutes later Ruby was hauling us to a local restaurant for a meal.
New toy, eh?