For Your Bookshelf – Porsche Boxster – The Practically Free Sportscar…
…Reviewed by Kim Henson.
(Book cover and Boxster photographs provided by Robert McGowan).
Title: Porsche Boxster – The Practically Free Supercar (‘The beginner’s guide to owning the ultimate roadster’)
Author: Robert McGowan
Published by: Independently published
277 pages; paperback
Price (typical): £13.75, including postage
In the second of author Robert McGowan’s ‘Practically Free’ series on Porsches (the first covering the 911 and rated highly in my review on this website; to see this please go to http://www.wheels-alive.co.uk/book-review-porsche-911-the-practically-free-supercar/), the Boxster is the subject under discussion this time.
At the outset I need to say that this book incorporates a huge amount of information for anyone interested in acquiring and driving a Boxster, but as with the previous 911 volume, this one also approaches Porsche ownership in a refreshingly different manner.
For a start, it is evident that Robert is an enthusiast of the Boxster and indeed Porsche models in general. He explains how his love for Porsche cars started, and how he turned his dream of owning them, into reality. Furthermore he explains in detail how he feels that anyone can enter the world of Porsches to buy and enjoy the cars without them having to cost a fortune – even, perhaps, to come out ‘on top’, financially. Yet he is not blind to the cars’ potential weak points and not afraid to mention the possibility that some repairs could cost plenty; he explains all within the book’s 277 pages.
What is covered?
The book takes the reader through the history and development of the various Boxster models, and looks in detail at each of the variants, their plus and minus points and the approximate prices that potential buyers might have to expect to pay to obtain the best available example within their budget.
Robert also writes in depth about the potential inherent problems that could occur with the different models, notably including cracked cylinders, scored cylinder bores, rear main seal issues, ailing intermediate shaft bearings and so on – but very helpfully for would-be owners, provides definitive advice regarding which motors are likely to be affected, and those that don’t suffer from such ailments. Much information is provided about the causes of such problems too.
There is also plenty of guidance given regarding how best to look after/maintain the Boxsters, and a useful section covering a wide variety specific jobs on the different models, from ‘easy’ levels to more complex tasks. In an easy-to-read style, notes are included to explain what needs to be done and when, the skill levels required, also the likely costs and time involved for do-it-yourself approaches (where these are possible/advised).
Interestingly, Robert McGowan doesn’t talk about the cars as vehicles used merely for transport, but writes in a very personal way about how he feels that owning a Boxster can provide a long-term driving ‘experience’, rather than simply a means of getting from A to B. He is lucky enough to live and drive his Porsches in Scotland, with magnificent mountain and ‘wild country’ scenery within relatively easy reach of his home, and he describes how owning his Porsches has helped him appreciate the landscape as well as the Boxsters. This book is written from the heart, and is far more than just a ‘normal’ motoring book!
If acquiring a Boxster is your dream (and it is, for many), this book is a ‘must buy’ that will assist you in very many ways, and could save you a great deal of cash, while helping you enjoy the ownership experience.
The in-depth knowledge and sheer enthusiasm of the author shines through the text from start to finish, which I feel is always a good sign.
I should just mention that the book is written for readers in the U.S.A. as well as other markets, so ‘American’ spellings are often used (for example ‘tires’ instead of ‘tyres’), but to me this doesn’t detract from the usefulness or enjoyment of the text.