Weekly Roundup: Goodbye (Second) Porsche, Hello (Next) Lynskey Edition

And then there was one… For a solid decade of my life, I owned three Porsches. Now I’m down to just one. The Boxster is gone to a very fit blonde friend of mine who wants to make her mark in the trackday community. It was hard for me to sell it. Some of the most memorable moments of my life took place behind that cocoa-brown leather steering wheel.

About a third of the proceeds from the sale went to the bike you see above — a 2017 Lynskey Pro29 with most of the available upgrades. Three months ago, I bought an older Pro29 off eBay with the intent of returning to weekend mountain biking. The frame was in perfect condition; the helix-twisted-tube Lynskey bikes are effectively immortal. But every single part on the thing needed a refurb or a replacement. As fate would have it, it is possible to trade your old Lynskey in on your new Lynskey. So that’s what I did. The old bike was good but this one is a revelation. It handles better than a 24″ BMX cruiser and it somehow manages to fit perfectly. She needs a name, but what name could I possibly give a big titanium-hearted girl from Tennessee? Have to think about it.

Tomorrow I’m going to shake the Lynskey down at a local trail. It’s going to be hard to sleep tonight. That’s how excited I am. Anyway. To read more about my Boxster sale, and plenty more besides, click that jump, my friend.

For TTAC, I answered a reader question about replacing a Passat wagon with something cheaper, considered the idea of getting rich by driving a $5,000 car, and asked our readers if they would buy a Russian car.

Over at Road&Track I bid farewell to the Boxster and suggested that new-car owners shouldn’t wait forever to buy their modifications of choice.

Last but not least, my cover feature from last month’s issue of magazine is now online. I drove the McLaren 570GT4 racer and compared it to the street car from which it is derived. A good time was had by all, believe me!

48 Replies to “Weekly Roundup: Goodbye (Second) Porsche, Hello (Next) Lynskey Edition”

    • Athos

      I worked with a kid who had a modified VT Clubsport… with ~400+HP. License plate read the equivalent of WhipA$$. He used a very clever spelling and was able to sneak that through VICROADS. FTMFW!

      • CJinSD

        I have a coworker with a lifted Dodge Durango that has 2INCHPP on the license plates.

  1. Athos

    Nice bike, nice Weiss watch (I went to their website), great story on the Porker. Could relate to parts of Bark’s football tale… it’s like entering a zoo, it keeps surprising me the BS that I can hear from people.

    Car wise, I still miss my Impulse: the near 8 grand redline, the exit ramps @ 70+ mph, the wind stability, the kids smiling and wowed when I flipped open the headlamp covers. And the trips, the memories… that little Isuzu took us to a lot of places.

        • Ronnie Schreiber

          Is there an automotive brand more closely associated with good handling than Lotus?

          Every enthusiast knows that McLarens, high end Porsches, Ferraris, and the like can pull high numbers on a skid pad but when it comes to handling everyone acknowledges that Lotus are the experts.

          Interestingly, Lotus (and McLaren) refuse to use electrically assisted power steering, saying that hydraulic units have better feel.

          Humans are kind of amazing. We can actually feel the difference between something with direct mechanical feedback and a very good simulation. I guess it’s not surprising. There are audible differences between digital and analog audio, and visual differences between digital and film chemistry (I may just be used to the look of film, but not long ago I shot some new Fuji 35mm and had it processed at a shop with a Fuji machine and the color looked so, so rich). It took about 40 years to be able to digitally reproduce the sound of a tonewheel Hammond playing through a real Leslie, and folks familiar with real B3s say it’s still not the same.

          • silentsod

            The electric racks I’ve driven have all paled in comparison to the hydraulic rack in my daily driver 996.2. I know electrically driven power steering saves weight and steals fewer HP, but the loss in the connection to the front wheels is not worthwhile.

          • silentsod

            I think I read that they tied it into the system used for raising and lowering the car, therefore making for much less of a trade off in terms of power/weight as it is a dual purpose hydraulic system.

            Could be remembering wrong, though.

  2. frankev

    What a great bike! I’m still often puttering around on a Trek 820 Antelope bought in 1993 when I was 20, though its hardtail is hard on my tail these days, I still love it. Now we have some Schwinn comfort bikes (bought at Performance Bicycle for the kids) that work well on the forest preserve trails, so sometimes I’ll grab one of those for variety’s sake.

    Best bike memories in the recent past: twice my wife and I biked from our home in the NW suburbs of Chicago to a hotel in downtown Chicago to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We’d pack all we needed for the weekend in a backpack and trek the 35-40 miles in on Friday, starting in the morning, and back out on Sunday afternoon. Then upon arriving home we’d zonk out. Some of our friends thought we were nuts (esp. as it was mid-July), but we found it truly builds the sense of teamwork and mutual encouragement.

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      I’m always surprised at the amount of serendipity out there in the world. I’d been thinking about writing an article on the Trek 820 — it was the “default bike” sold to new students at my school in the early Nineties. I saw thousands of them. I’m definitely going to do that now…

      • Sean

        I’d read that! I bought an 820 from a very skilled sales woman back then. Shameful purchase. We dated for a short time but I wasn’t meant to peddle off road. The call of the liquid cooled YZ250 was too much to resist.

      • rwb

        I sold dozens of those 820, and rented hundreds more when I was a kid. My mother still has one.

        My only remaining Trek item is one of the first-generation ZX8000 bonded AL frames (prepped for paint for 5 years,) which I wanted to implant into my goofy beater bike but it wouldn’t be appropriate.

        I’m jealous of the new bike.

  3. Mike

    I was interested to read in your R&T article about the reliability of the Boxster, given the fluids and sensors aside. Did you really mean MX-5’s we’re no more reliable for track use?

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      I mean that my Boxster was just as reliable as any MX-5 would have been. I certainly don’t mean to imply that Boxsters, as a whole, are just as reliable as Miatas.

  4. viper32cm

    I very much appreciated the common thread between the $5000 car article on TTAC and the modifications article on R&T. A wonderful way to highlight the problems with the extreme Davy Ramsey devotees and secular afterlifers. However, in fairness, it’s a really matter of hypocrisy, as a lot of the members of those groups I encounter really have no problem spending money on their own vices and hobbies. They just seem to have some sort of mental block that prevents them from understanding why anyone would indulge even a bit on cars, track days, etc., and they have no problem talking to/about you like you’re the proverbial grasshopper for doing so.

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      Exactly. They’ll drop $300 on wine but $300 on a trackday? THAT’S CRAZY

      • Ronnie Schreiber

        When I consider how much money I’ve wasted on inconsequential things, it would be inappropriate for me to judge how others spend their money.

        Isn’t the Golden Rule hard?

        • ZG

          It always amazes me how few people get that. Like, if you live in a first world country in 2017, congratulations, basically all the money you spend is on inconsequential things! Unless you live in poverty because you donate every spare cent to charity, don’t give others shit about how they choose to spend their money.

  5. CJinSD

    I’m a bit older than you, but I didn’t have a CD player in any of my cars until after I graduated. It took me a minute to remember that they were even available. They were, but they skipped like crazy in the sorts of cars people were putting them in, like lowered Japanese coupes and 2nd generation water cooled VWs. I think the first acceptable cheap CD player happened about when I graduated in 1993.

    As for the credit cards, I remember going to a pool party the weekend before classes started with a DJ and many kegs of cheap beer. In exchange for filling out a credit card application, we got beer cozies, big sports bottles that were better than the sub-Solo cups by the kegs, and maybe some t-shirts. IIRC, our opening limits were more like $600 or $800, but I may be thinking of my AT&T Universal Card(with long distance benefits!) instead of whatever they were pushing on the drunk teenagers. I also remember the people who went on spending sprees that had no way of covering their minimum payments until their parents were involved. The penalty for demonstrating the foresight of a drowned rat? A girl I lived with in my 4th year as an undergrad graduated with a five-figure credit card limit, having failed to make minimum payments for over 90 days twice in her first three years of financing her shoe and accessory purchases. I never carried a balance from one month to the next and graduated with my $800 limit. Many times I wondered how I was supposed to ever get tempted into going into debt when my credit card limit was usually below my weekly take home pay.

      • silentsod

        You can also get a 500HP 997 Turbo S with a manual transmission. They are… quick. I mean all I did was giggle the first time I drove one. They’re also quite docile around town if you just want to putter about. Owing to the manner in which the turbos come on they also require you to be in the correct gear (much like any other NA 911) to actually go fast.

        I’d say you should keep eyes out for a 997.2 GTS; they appear to be a bargain for a car that revs out to 8k and make 400HP.

        • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

          I should mention that the 997.1 Turbo has the proper split-case engine. The 997.2 Turbo uses the all-new direct-injection engine. Although that engine is a vast improvement over the M96, it does NOT take boost the way the “Metzger” motor does.

          • Hogie roll

            Yes I was aware that in the bad old days of early wasserboxers the turbos and gt3s still got the good older race derived block.

            The turbo would probably be an expense I’d avoid. Although your experience would make one second guess that. The wide bodies certainly retain an edge in value as well.

  6. drs

    Ten years ago I saw somebody at my local time trial absolutely clean up on one of their road bikes. I’ve lusted after those frames ever since.
    Are you riding Alum Creek? Fun trail, would also recommend MOMBA out in Dayton. Better facilities, kid-friendly test track. Most of it is a bit easier than Alum but there’s a “hard” part (Hawk’s lair) that better built than anything at Alum Creek.

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      I’ll definitely check it out. I was on the Alum Creek P2 because the P1 was closed. It wasn’t technically difficult but I’m just not used to pedaling up hills 🙂

    • Eric Daume

      Also check out Chestnut Ridge near Canal Winchester. It’s a nice mix of trail types (climbing, twisties, open stuff, roots, a few rocks), but definitely more climbing than Alum.

      With your BMX background and (ahem) body type, I would have pegged you for a B+ wheelset. Although, I’m tall and skinny, and also enjoy fat tires.

      • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

        Apparently there’s a six-hour race there in July.

        I might do the first hour, take my T-shirt, and go home 🙂

        As far as wheel size, I like to think that I ride smaller and lighter than I am. I’ve never seen anybody else close to my weight clear most of the boxes at Ray’s, for example. It’s probably self-delusion at its finest.

  7. Lsh

    Same age as you Jack..this makes me want to drag out my old Cannondales and go hurt myself

  8. Andy W

    Enjoyed your Boxster article in R&T. Great stuff

    Glad to hear you were more positive about the overall ownership experience than you were in 2012, when you wrote your “Disposable luxury” article for TTAC including some harsh words about the Boxster’s likely future durability.

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      Part of might just be that I’ve become VERY GOOD at putting the car into “service position”! 🙂

      • viper32cm

        So, at what point does a used Boxster become a good idea, if ever? I will confess that I’m still very much enamored with the idea of a 996 despite purchasing my M Coupe. However, every time I’ve sat in a 996, it’s taken about 5 minutes to re-realize how bad the interior is and promptly call off the whole affair. Part of me says, well at least the Boxster is cheaper, so who gives a shit about the interior! But then I remember they are still laden with roughly the same set of mechanical maladies as the 996.

        $7-12k in my area will buy private party what appear to be well cared for examples of first-gen Boxsters, including S’s, with as low as 44k miles on the odo. I suspect the reality is that most of these cars will eventually be beset with mechanical problems that will likely cost close to their retail value to fix and, thus, make them essentially disposable. All the same though, it’s tempting.

  9. Frank Galvin

    “The business of life is the acquisition of memories. In the end, that’s all there is.”

    This is what the extreme ramseyites always fail to understand.

  10. Hogie roll

    I’m kind of conflicted about boxsters and caymans. Technically they are better cars than 911s due to the lay out. And they really aren’t that different hardware wise other than the direction the engine faces. They would seem to be the screaming deal next to a 911, but for some reason are still less appealing.

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      It was Porsche’s decision to position them as cheap alternatives to a 911 that did it. The production costs for a Cayman and 911 are nearly identical but one of them is sold for much less.

      • Hogie roll

        That could make a turbo mid engine supercar a difficult sell. Maybe why they don’t do it.

    • tkm

      Drive both a 911 and a Cayman and I think you will see that the Cayman is the better “driver’s car” (and you’ll save about $25K). However, even though the 718 Cayman is technically faster than the one it replaces (the 981), the 4-pot turbo has diminished the driving experience IMO.

  11. galactagog

    sweet bike!!

    congrats!

    Good to see WTB is still around. I bought a set of their Greaseguard MTB hubs: both are still going strong 20 years later. don’t think they make them anymore though

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