Would You Buy A One-Way Ticket To Start A Road Trip?
Story & Photography by Mike Choi
I had been on a search for a Porsche 964 for about four months when I saw a listing on AutoTrader for a Baltic Blue 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 4. I called the seller and was only the second person to reach him. We built up a good rapport, starting with the fact that we both daily drive Audi RS cars, him an RS4 and me an RS5. He was very helpful in taking it for an inspection—as most 964s these days will sell within hours sight unseen if priced right.
Why go through all this trouble? I’ve always wanted to buy a car from far away and drive it back home.
With the car given a thorough inspection, including compression and leakdown tests, my friend Scott and I booked a one way flight from LAX to Wichita, KS. We took a redeye to ICT airport and was picked up by the seller in said RS4. We examined the car, and it was actually in better condition than I expected. The seller also turned out to be as nice a guy as he was on the phone.
He had owned it for 15 years and had driven it 10,000 miles. He was glad that someone was going to drive it more in two days than he had in two years. We headed to a Walmart and stocked up on snacks, a gas can, oil, towels and painters’ tape for the front end. We started in Wichita and stopped in Oklahoma City, Amarillo, and Albuquerque for the night.
The tally? Seven hundred miles in 11 hours. The car performed flawlessly. The ride wasn’t too stiff, and we didn’t have to use the heavy clutch all that much. The second part of the trip was from Albuquerque through Flagstaff, to Los Angeles. We drove 800 miles on the second day without any problems with the car.
Blessedly, we didn’t encounter any traffic, flat tires or accidents. Driving a new-to-you car 1,500 miles in two days makes you real familiar with it. I got to know the car in a very short amount of time. Scott also acquired an unexpected appreciation for air-cooled Porsches.
Why go through all of this trouble? We both have families, so seeing them was motivation to keep the trip short. It was a great experience, and I will cherish the memories forever.
Note: The pictures were taken with a Canon F1 camera on Kodak Ektar film.