Header image  
"We Entertain When It Rains"  
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009  



Web www.rainydaymagazine.com

RainyDayMagazine's content can now be licensed for your print magazine or web site. Please contact us directly here. If you want to see something reviewed, then drop us a note with a link and we'll be happy to take a look.

NOTE: Click here to read more about our approach to product reviews.

Dec 8, 2010- Rainy Day Gift Guide: Tools...

Have someone on your Holiday Gift list who loves to make things, works on their car, or is a DIYer around the house? Give them something that will help them enjoy what they love to do even more.

The collection we have put together is a mix of stuff we have used for years and a few items which are brand new for 2010. As always, our guiding (ha...pun) principle is "We wouldn't put it in the gift guide if... [more]-Holiday Gift Guide: Tools


Oct 15,2010 - Farewell to the PPBB...

Everything has a lifespan...even a online comment board. For those who own a Porsche Boxster, THE gathering place for the past decade has been Porsche Pete's Boxster Board. When we first got our Boxster, PPBB was the place where we learned all about its quirks, eccentricities, and how to "manage" them. Over time, PPBB became a place where we would go visit even when we didn't have any problems with our Boxster or have any Porsche-related news to contribute. We would stop by just to see what others have been up to...much like our "local" in town.

After today, PPBB will go dark. The reasons are many, but ultimately it came down to the people. Most of the "old-timers" have heard all of the common problems, discussed in-depth all of the possible solutions, and have become bored with repeating the same things to the "newbies." The focus of the discussions started to... [more]-Farewell to the PPBB


Sep 17,2010 - PorscheFest 2010...

Porsche is a world-famous brand and their customers are fiercely loyal to it. It is not because the cars are trouble-free. We would call them ...finicky. What's more, the parts are costly and can be hard to find, and the are repairs difficult to perform. So why the enduring popularity? Regardless of vintage, Porsche autos all have a similar look. Within any given model, there are no radical redesigns, abrupt u-turns, or strange departures year over year. This is obvious especially whenever there is a bunch of them in one place. Design cues from one model to another are clearly evident. Changes are subtle, evolutionary, and logical. This, above all else, may be the secret to Porsche's enduring brand loyalty...they LOOK like they are part of the same family. If you own one, you are part of the "family."

The Boston branch of the "Porsche family" gets together every year in September at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum for a lawn event called PorscheFest. We have been attending this fun gathering for the past few years. The crowd seems to be getting bigger and bigger each year. It may have been the crystal-clear day and the comfortable top-down temperature, but it seems like everyone in the area with a Porsche turned out for the event.

We had seen the Porsche Spyder at the NYIAS back in April. Still, it was a thrill to see it out in the wild. This trimmed down (176 lbs lighter than the S) and more powerful (320 hp @ 7200 rpm) Boxster is not for everybody. It is for someone who is willing to trade practicality for performance. Is this a car for New England? Maybe not everyday, but it was for a day like the day of the PorscheFest :-)

Inspired by the 2011 Spyder, we decided to focus our attention this year on Porsches modified for performance, specifically racing. The two which caught our eye were the 928 and the Boxster. The Boxster we could understand, but the 928 was a surprise. We are the first to admit that we know NOTHING about modifying cars for racing, so we didn't really have the specific appreciation of the changes in either of the cars. However, one would assume that the car should be as light, as fast, and as maneuverable as possible.

Judging from what we saw in the two Porsches modified for racing, we would say those assumptions were correct. The interior of both were gutted to accommodate exactly what was needed for their type of racing and nothing more. There was no monster sound system in the trunk, no luxury interior, no air conditioning. Instead, there was a beefed-up oil pump, a roll cage, and a fire-suppression system. Everything in the car had a purpose and that purpose was to help win the race, be it a hill-climbing rally or laps around the track.

Seeing these racing mods reminded us of the fusion-powered Delorean in the movie Back To The Future. While we probably won't see a time-traveling Porsche with a flux-capacitor any time soon, what would be REALLY cool would be a Porsche converted to run on some kind of alternative energy source. Maybe a solar-powered Boxster running on Li-ion rechargeable batteries like those in the Tesla?

 It is never too early to start cultivating the next generation of Porsche enthusiasts.   Larz Anderson Auto Museum hosts lawn events all the time. Check their site for the most up-to-date info on lectures, lawn events, and gatherings. The next event is in October. We would recommend getting there early. If the weather is going to be nice, we suggest you pack a picnic basket, bring a blanket, and make a day of it. [Permalink] -PorscheFest 2010

Sep 6,2010 - Visionary Lenses: Wild colors

Our newest (to us) pair of Oakley Juliet sunglasses was procured in July. The pair came with a few issues but we were able to fixed it up quick with parts from the Oakley store. We were all set to replace the lenses when we discovered that Visionary Lenses have added some new colors to their line up. So we decided to put the brakes on the lens-upgrade project until after we had a look at VL's latest offerings.

We are so glad we waited. What arrived in the mail last week was a batch of brightly colored polarized lenses. Polarization blocks glare off of flat surfaces like snow, water, and road. If you have a pair of Oakley Juliet frame and want to amp up its performance and head-turning factor, you NEED to check out these replacement lenses. Some of the colors are "cool" (Blue, Silver, Green) while others "hot" (Ruby, Fire, Gold).

Compared to Oakley OEM lenses, Visionary Lenses are thinner, but they still retain an extremely high level of impact resistance. Some of the lenses will "color-shift" (Ruby, Fire, Green) depending on the view angle to the lens. After much deliberation, we decided on Ruby as the replacement color for our new Oakley frame. While the red of these ruby lenses are not as deep as those of Cyclops in X-Men, they still look fantastic, especially when viewed head-on. Because the VL lenses are thinner, they also fit into the frame much easier. With the ExoVista and Caulfield lenses, we had to work to get them into the frame. These VL lenses just slipped right in. The fit of the VL lenses is PERFECT. There is absolutely no movement once the retaining screw has been tightened. Of the three installations we have done, this was the easiest by far.

Visionary Lenses have recently invested in new equipment to further expand their lens-coloring and manufacturing capabilities. We are looking forward to seeing what new hues will be available as a result of their upgrade. Got a color suggestion? Let us know! We hope to get some photos of their new equipment in action to give readers a better understanding of the overall lens making process. We find the topic fascinating. If you do as well, then look for the article in the Fall. [Permalink] -Visionary Lenses: Wild Colors


July 19,2010 - CarMD v3.0 FirstLook...

The check engine light (CEL) on our Porsche Boxster comes on periodically. This light is supposed to "help" the car owner by telling them that there is an issue with the car and should be brought in for service. The fact that the light can indicate anything from a loose gas cap to the engine about to explode means the CEL is about as helpful as someone telling their doctor "Doc, I don't feel right." As currently implemented, the CEL is one of the worse user-interface decisions ever. At the absolute minimum, there should be a RESET button: if the light keeps coming back on, then there would be more of a reason to bring it in for service. Car makers don't call them "idiot lights" because they think the lights are stupid. What they are really saying is, "Look, you won't understand the problem so we are not even going to bother trying to explain it, just let your mechanic deal with it." We find the attitude more than condescending, we find it lazy. How difficult would it be for car makers to give the driver some actionable info? With all of the LCD displays in today's car, a meaningful CEL message would put an end to the guessing. It is amazing that we all just put up with this kind of crap from car makers.

Well, the CarMD folks have a different attitude. They are saying..."You know what? Most folks are fairly intelligent. They want to know what the problem is even if they don't know how to fix it. Let's tell them what the sensors are saying." To do that, the CarMD folks have created an On-Board-Diagnostic (OBD II) code reader that ANYONE can use. Just plug it into the OBD socket in the car (it is easy to find and it is somewhere on the dash) and the CarMD code reader does the rest. It is easier than screwing in a light bulb.

The CarMD package comes with the ODB II code reader, USB cable, software, and a carrying case. The code reader has an LCD screen, a standard ODB II plug in one end, and a USB port on the other. The unit is powered by two AA batteries. It is shaped to fit nicely in the hand and weighs less than a typical cell phone.

When examining the unit, we noticed four screws in the back of the case. We took this as an invitation to open it up and take a peek inside. We liked what we saw: a nicely laid out circuit board, no moving parts, and solid looking construction. Unlike many of today's gadgets, the CarMD can probably take quite few drops onto concrete before it stops working.

CarMD is designed to work in parallel with the diagnostic software, but can give quite a bit of information as a standalone device. A quick status of car's health can be obtained by plugging in the CarMD into the OBD II connector and turning on the car. The the car's OBD data is autmatically downloaded to the CarMD, and its three lights give immediate feedback: Green-OK; Yellow-Possible Problem; Red-Sevice Required. The LCD display also gives a readout of any diagnostic codes. Since the meaning of the codes are up to the individual manufacturer (don't even get us started on the silliness of this), CarMD has a website with an extensive online database to help with further diagnosis.

CarMD has extended the functionality of their site quite a bit since we reviewed them a few years ago. In the FirstUse review of v3.0, we'll take a closer look at CarMD's new diagnostic software and updated trouble-analysis website. We are especially interested in the accuracy of their repair estimates. There is even talk of CarMD working with repair shops to honor the CarMD estimates. Now that would be interesting. [Permalink] - CarMD v3.0 FirstLook


June 30,2010 - Julbo Zulu: FirstLook ...

Sunglasses are standard equipment for many of our rigorous outdoor activities: backyard BBQ-ing, looking for fried clams, and top-down driving. To those ends, we have reviewed quite a few pairs of sunglasses (180s, Oakleys, etc...), especially the ones with more than just great looks. The three greatest sunglass innovations were probably: polarization (for glare reduction), polycarbonate (for strength), and photochromic lenses (for auto-darkening). It has been a while since we have seen something new under the sun (excuse the pun) when it comes to sunglass technology.

Traditional light-sensitive lenses are actually responding to the amount of UV light. This was fine as UV light is usually mixed with visible light in most situations. However, this is NOT true when driving some modern cars, because some modern windshields have a built-in filter for UV light. The UV filter helps extend the life of the dash material and protects the color of interior. This is great for the car, but messes with the light sensitivity of certain photochromic lenses. This was why our interest was piqued when we heard about Julbo's new sunglasses made using NXT-based photochromic lenses which change based on the amount of visible light.

High impact-resistant optical polymers such as CR-39 and Polycarbonate were developed over 40 years ago. Since that time, there has been little innovation in this area until the NXT. This patented family of polyurethane optical polymers is transparent and unbreakable. NXT was originally developed for the military as an advancement over polycarbonate. It is now finding its way into more and more everyday optical products. The following are some of the benefits of NXT:

  • NXT is lighter and stronger than Polycarbonate.
  • NXT is free of stress with superior optics.
  • NXT has uniform color regardless of the prescription
  • NXT eliminates the costly step of tinting

The creators of the Falcon lens have, by integrating the photochromic pigments into the NXT material, created a light sensitive lens which is more than just a dye coating on the surface. This layer will not scratch off, react to chemicals, or be affected by changes in temperature. Unlike UV-activated photochromics, the Falcon lens’ darkening ability is not affected by the UV filtering of the windshield. Julbo calls this "Behind The Windshield" (BTW) technology as it will react to visible light coming in through the windshield. Depending on the amount of light, the Falcon lens will block between 80% to 91% of the light. Since the reaction is activated by visible light, the change in color density of the lens is the same whether it is in direct sunlight or behind the windshield of a car.

The Falcon lenses are exclusive to Julbo for now, but will no doubt be available to other sunglass makers in the future. The Julbo Zulu is the only one in the Julbo line with the Falcon lens at this time. However, Julbo will likely offer this option in their other styles soon. We are looking forward to giving these Zulu sunglasses a full top-down test the next few months. We will report back in the Fall on how they fare InTheWild. [Permalink] -Julbo Zulu: FirstLook


June 25,2010 - Caulfield Lens Installation ...

We are starting a tradition of replacing our Oakley lenses on the Solstices (Summer, Winter). Summer officially started on Monday, but we didn't get around to it until today. We replaced the OEM lenses we had on these Oakleys in November with lenses from ExoVista because they had gotten scratched up pretty badly by our not using the microfiber case when stashing them in the door pocket of the car: the sunglasses bounced around and got nicked up enough to obstruct the view during wearing. We were more careful these past six months and the ExoVista lenses those came through unscathed.

In March, we told you about the Oakley replacement lenses made by Caulfield of New Zealand. They were the least expensive ($35) replacement lenses available on EBay. So we were naturally curious as to how they would measure up. The FirstLook was promising. Now it's time to see how well they fit the frame. After six months of use, we will know how durable they are.

We have detailed the lens removal/installation process a few times (Oakley, ExoVista) so we won't dwell on the obvious steps. Suffice to say, use the right tools (Torx T6 bit) and work on an uncluttered surface because the screw and gasket will fall out and to quote Treebeard, they are "very very small." This time we will try to give a few tips on how to make the procedure easier to do.

The easiest way to remove the lens is to first pop out the edge closest to the arm because that area has the most give. Once the lens was no longer entirely in the frame, we gripped the lens with a cloth and slid it out. We encountered more resistance with the ExoVista lens than we had with the Oakley one, but was able to remove it without causing the lens or the frame any damage. To put the the new lens in, we reversed the steps and started by anchoring the edge closest to the nose piece first and working our way toward the screw end.

These new lenses fit perfectly. While doing the lens replacement, we did make a new observation which might save folks some headaches: the rubber gasket is not symmetrical. When everything has been reassembled, there should not be any bits sticking out. If it is protruding, it probably means that it was put in reverse and needs to be flipped.

We will be wearing these ice blue lenses from now until the Winter Solstice. We will try to remember to store them in the microfiber pouch when not being used, but they will not be handled any more delicately than they have had in the past. We'll see in six months time how well these lenses stand up to the wear and tear of daily use. If you want to get yourself a set now, head on over to EBay, search for seller "bigdaddyjj" and tell him the folks at RainyDayMagazine sent you :-) [Permalink] -Caulfield Lens Installation


June 14,2010 - Corvette Day ...

Yesterday was Corvette Day at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline. We had a full plate on Sunday, but managed to make a quick stop in the morning to check out the line up. We had an occassion to ride in a recent model Corvette when we were last in Texas on business. Our friend Mike showed us what the modern 'Vette could do on an open stretch of the Dallas highway. We were duly impressed and it renewed our interest in this American motoring icon. One of the best ways to follow up on that interest was to attend the LAAM's excellent lawn events. This Sunday, we had the perfect opportunity to do just that.

Quite a few Corvette enthusiasts had already registered their cars for the show and were doing some clean up and detailing when we arrived on the museum grounds. We wandered around and chatted with some of the owners about their vehicle. Most of them were local to the area, but a few of them were up from Conneticut and Rhode Island. Quite a few of the owners of the more vintage 'vettes were regulars to this event and were on a first name basis with the other owners.

We admit that we are not at all familiar with the subtleties and differences of the different model years, but we can certainly appreciate the lines and curves of these graceful vehicles. We took particular notice of this white two-seater with red interior and the two-tone paint job on the side. The body certainly reminded us of the lines of our Boxster, but we have to concede that its interior esthetics were far more to our liking. Granted, it does not have the protection of modern air bags, the comfort of air-conditioning, or the convenience of an auto-retracting top. It does, however, have an abundance of style!

Everything about this white roadster screams "fun!" Just look at the layout of those dials and gauges on the driver side. It is practically daring the driver to push the needles to the far right. The passenger side and its "dash grip" is clearly an indicator for anyone sitting on that side to hang on for the ride. The clear badge reminded us of Iron Man's Arc Reactor. The forward lean of the car, the two tone vents on the sides, and the sliver of red in the integrated tail light all contribute to the sense of movement even when this Corvette was standing still.

The love of cars is often passed on from parent to child. It was great to see them with their sons and daughters at these events. Future 'Vette owners were easy to spot.

Next weekend will be German Car Day at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum. So if you have a Porsche, Mercedes, or an exotic/vintage German auto in your garage, dust it off, pack a picnic basket, and share the love at the Museum. Rain or shine, it will still be a great way to spend the day. [Permalink] -LAAM: Corvette Day


April 22,2010- Vespa Battery Installation..

Our Vespa battery started showing its age last Fall. We obtained a replacement battery from YUASA because we could see the writing on the wall. We knew our old battery would not survive an entire Winter out in the cold, but apparently it couldn't make it through inside, either (we removed it from the Vespa and brought it in when we were done riding for the year). When the temperature in Boston got over 70º a few weeks ago, we uncovered the scooter, put the battery back in, and tried to fire it up. It cranked a few times, but did not turn over. After a more attempts, the starter went silent. We knew it was time to activate the YUASA battery.

Lead-acid batteries are great for cars, motocycles, and scooters because they all need a burst of energy to start them. and that's what those batteries excel at. The chemistry for lead-acid batteries has been well known for over 150 years. The reversible chemical reaction can both store and discharge energy. The battery uses a combination of lead plates or grids and an electrolyte consisting of diluted sulphuric acid to convert electrical energy into potential chemical energy and back again.

The YUASA lead-acid battery is unlike a car battery in that it does not have the electrolyte already added. Once the electrolyte is added and and the battery sealed, it cannot be replenished. The electrolyte will evaporate over time/from use and the battery will not be able to hold a charge at that point.

The directions for adding the sulfuric acid electrolyte was clear and the assembly process was easy. Still, we performed the task outside and were careful to avoid contact with the chemical solution. We prepared the battery by peeling off its foil and removing the cover to the sulfuric acid solution container. The cover will be used to permanently seal the battery once the sulfuric acid electrolyte has been added.

The electrolyte container consisted of six separate but connected vials of the liquid, each protected by a foil cap that gets punctured when the container is inverted and pressed into the battery opening. Once punctured, the solution emptied quickly, fully, and without any problems. We removed the empty container and covered the battery with the supplied cap. The cover's fit is very snug and isn't meant to be removed after being attached, and it took a bit of effort to press the cap into place.

With the electrolyte added and the battery activated, the last step was to install it and get the Vespa started up. The battery came with two special terminal-fitting nuts and bolts. The nut was designed to slide into the terminal and stay in place. The screw fits in from the top and anchors the leads. Once we had both leads attached, we hit the Vespa's starter button, and the scooter came to life. Easy-peasy.

Our original battery was less than two years old. So we did a little more research to better understand how to make this one last longer. Lead-acid batteries designed for starting engines have a large number of thin plates in order to maximize the surface area and, therefore, the current output. This design can be damaged by deep discharge from non-use, which can result in capacity loss and premature failure. These kinds of batteries should be used at least once every few weeks. No doubt this was the problem for our original battery as we did not use our Vespa at all once the weather started getting colder. We will use it more this year. As a matter of fact, we are off to the coffee shop right now for an espresso. Abbondanza! [Permalink] -Vespa battery installation: YUASA


April 15,2010- Boxster Spring Prep...

Today is Tax Day. Yesterday, we could've either detailed a Porsche Boxster or done our taxes. We don't know what others would have chosen, but we picked the Boxster. Not that we didn't WANT to do our taxes, but the recent flooding in Massachusetts gave everyone in its federally-declared disaster-area counties an additional month to file (with no need for an extension, either).

The warm weather in early April allowed us to swap out the snow tires. Every time we swap tires we are reminded of how much of a pleasure it is to have the Tire Totes. The tires are stored in the basement. Getting them out of storage and carrying them up and down the basement stairs used to be a MAJOR hassle. The TireTote handles are beefy and make the tires easy to handle. The wide side covering means protection for the wheels and no brake dust on our clothes. With the Tire Totes, one person can actually carry two tires in one trip up the stairs.

We also took the opportunity to take the hard top off. This, of course, is the official sign of the start of Spring. The hard top is stored in the basement using a wall mount. The wall mount gets the top off the floor, out of the way, and away from possible damage. It also gives us room to store the associated gear (JNC Air, hydralic jack) beneath it.

Spring prep is not just about removing the top and swapping tires. It is also time to vacuum the carpet, treat the leather, and get the Winter grime off the glass. With the hard top off, it was also a chance to clean the rear window and re-weatherproof the top.

We have used a lot of different products over the years. Plexus and RaggTop are the two that have consistently made the cut and have been invited back year after year. Two new items we are trying this year are Stoner's InvisibleGlass and Weiman's Leather Wipes. We have heard good things about InvisibleGlass, enough to make us want to take a look for ourselves. Our experience with Weiman has been with their Stainless Steel cleaning products. They make really good ones, which is why we were eager to give their Leather Cleaner a try.

We used the Weiman Leather wipes on every interior surface we could reach. The two largest were the seats. They were quite dull before the treatment., but the Weiman Wipes gave them back a warm shiny glow. Many of the smaller pieces in the car were also covered in leather, but a number of them were plastic, rubber, or painted metal. The wipes appeared to work great on them as well.

We also used the leather wipes on the rubber trims and some external plastic pieces. While definitely not on the Weiman's list of recommended uses, the Leather Wipes appeared to work quite nicely on the sun-faded trim. Check out the "before/after" and the close-up pics.

For cleaning the glass, the product we used was Stoner's InvisibleGlass. We were quite impressed with the InvisibleGlass and found it to be much better than the usual ammonia-based cleaner. We arrived at this conclusion by first cleaning the windshield with Windex, then cleaning it again using the InvisibleGlass. It got the dirt off the glass that the Windex left behind and left a streak-free shine the likes of which we have never seen on the car before. The InvisibleGlass was also pretty impressive on the side mirrors and windows.

We have found two new additions (InvisibleGlass, Weiman Leather Wipes) to our "cleaning kit." The windows and mirrors are now clear, the leather rejuvenated, and carpets vacuumed. Our next tasks are to wax the car and to take care of some of the nicks and dings. There are some interior touch-up work which we may tackle. We might also decide that the Boxster is good enough as it is and just go for a long drive! [Permalink] -Boxster Spring Prep


April 2,2010

Today is the opening day of the NYIAS. This annual event will see over a million visitors wander through the Jacob Javits Convention center over the course of this weekend. The amount of organization, coordination, and physical labor which goes into pulling something like this together is simply staggering. Today, we want to give some credit to the all the onstage and backstage folks (set constructors, booth babes, etc...) who work so hard to make the show a fun and exciting event for all who attend.

The use of eye-catching displays is a time-tested method of drawing showgoers over to a vendor's booth. Slick video walls, touch panels, and interactive kiosks were out in full force at the show. We saw one made using a few dozen iPod Touches which was pretty innovative. How well they hold up to a couple of hundred thousand finger presses over the course of two days will be an interesting story.

Most vendors have their vehicles on the floor or on some raised rotating platform. The Scion folks decided they wanted something more MatchBox-ish and built this giant indoor garage in their display space. Getting all the cars up there must have been fun. The wall of cars can be seen even from the other end of the huge convention hall!

Of course, the tried-and-true method of getting people to stop, look, and maybe even listen is to put a pretty girl next to the car. A few car companies have also realized that not all car buyers are men. It is not an easy gig to stand in high heels and smile all day long. Many of them have to do more than just stand there and look glamorous. Most also have to memorize a prepared shpiel about the car. Surprisingly, some of them even know what they are talking about.

Not everyone has to work the "platform", but not having to stand next to a car is no picnic neither. Working the booth means constantly replenishing the bag racks and handing out literature to the passersby. The crowd is light on Press Day, but once the doors are opened to the general public, it will be a whole different scene.

A million visitors translates to plenty of fingerprints, smudges, and who-knows-what left on the paint, chrome, and glass of the cars. There is literally an army of detailers running about making sure the vehicles look as best as possible at all times. They will dust, wipe, and polish from when the doors open on April 2nd to until the show wraps on the 11th.

While a lot of the behind-the-scenes tasks are active and demanding, some are just mind-numbingly dull. We have to give a shoutout to those who are willing to suck-it-up and do it just for the paycheck. We know we wouldn't last a New York Minute if we had to suffer through those tasks.

To those fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend the NYIAS this weekend, we know you will have a great time. If you are interested in seeing what 3DTV is all about, swing by the Mercedes Benz booth and check out the 3D display. It will be worth the 30 seconds! [Permalink] -NYIAS: Opening Day


April 1,2010

The main reason we go to the NYIAS is to see what's new with Porsche. Clearly they had a few things under wraps for the 2PM press conference. The booth space his year was a lot larger than previous years. Not sure if it was because they now are part of VW and was able to negotiate a better price. In any case, it was nice to be able to sit down, chat with some of the folks, and enjoy a few espresso all courtesy of Porsche.

We were hoping to get a look at the 918 electric concept. It is one of the few cars we would consider when we are ready to trade in our beloved Boxster. Another may be the Boxster Spyder. The 918 was not on display, but we got a nice long uninterrupted look at the Boxster Spyder.

We love the new detailing of the Spyder. It really felt like Porsche engineers had looked at every piece, considered its usefulness, and kept or reworked it as needed. The new convertible top and latching mechanism was redesigned for the Spyder. This is the one component which may make the Spyder not suitable for Winter driving in New England. Unfortunately, we did not get to see it in action.

Both the Cayman and the Turbo were also on display. We have warmed up to the looks of the Cayman quite a bit since its introduction. Many love it because it is a coupe. We can appreciate that, but being that the Boxster is quite a satisfactory Porsche, we could not see trading its open cockpit feeling for any amount of increase in handling stiffness or performance.

The Turbo is an entirely different category of Porsche. We, like many others, can lust after its near supercar specs. However, as we like living in a house rather than in a car, it will be a few more years before we could entertain driving one of these beauties. Still, it was nice to have had the chance to run our fingers across the paint, sit in the car, and pretend that we were driving down the highway in one :-)

The crowd at the Porsche booth really got thick around 2PM. The press conference started on time with the usual review of Porsche's current and future business prospects, growth potentials, and pipeline. The one interesting takeaway was the comment from Porsche senior management that the 918 prototype may actually make it to the production floor in the not too distant future!

Porsche big announcement at the NYIAS was the Cayenne Hybrid. This is a lighter, faster, and fuel-smart Porsche SUV. Even thought is is lighter, it is actually bigger...translating to more leg room for the rear passengers. Porsche management clearly has high hopes for this new offering.

The price/performance ratio of the new Cayenne Hybrid is not low, but fairly standard for a Porsche. For those who really want to whip past a Boxster, the 500hp Turbo should do the trick. However, the priviledge will cost you. There is a $60K gap between the two ends of the Cayenne spectrum.

We are not SUV fans and the Cayenne is the least interesting Porsche to us. However, it is still great to see hybrid technology being offered in a Porsche vehicle. Perhaps what the engineers learned from building the Cayenne Hybrid will work its way down to their 2-door sports cars.

Porsche also had a nice display of the various accesories for the various models. The aluminum gas cap is a totally extraneous item, but we find it strangely desirable. We had made some Porsche Wheel covers as a project a few years back. The official ones are MUCH nicer and much more expensive compared to our homemade ones. For those attending the official pening tomorrow, we heard that Porsche is giving a set away to the first visitor that asks. [Permalink] -NYIAS: Porsche News

BTW...we have extra copy of the Porsche Press CD and we are going to give it away. If you want it, just answer the question correctly, and we'll put you in the drawing for it.


March 31,2010

The RainyDayGarage guys braved the storm and drove from Boston to NYC on Tuesday for the NYIAS today. Our main purpose of the trip was to get a live look at the new Porsche offerings. We secretly hoped that there would be a Boxster Spyder or a 918 at the show. The trip down was uneventful except for the one section of I95 in Rhode Island that was flooded because of the heavy rain. The Boxster forded the small lake which formed at the underpass and came out of it with no noticeable damage.

Today, we got to the show relatively early as Porsche's press conference wasn't until 2PM. We love attending on Press Day because we get a chance to see everything without having to step on any small children or little dogs. Another reason is many of the exhibitors have free food, beverages, and other goodies at booths to entice us to stop and chat. We will always stop for a free mimosa or two (Thank you Lexus).

Ford made their big announcement of their "HOHM" venture with Microsoft right when we were walking in. The two companies are teaming up to implement the Microsoft Hohm energy management application for Ford’s electric vehicles. Ford is the first automaker announcing the use of Hohm, starting with the Focus Electric next year. Hohm will help owners determine when and how to most efficiently and affordably recharge battery electric vehicles (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV). It also should help utility companies manage the added demands of electric vehicles on the grid.

While none are yet for sale, electric vehicles were more "real" this year than previous years. There was even a test track set up so the press could take different ones around the course to see how they feel. It is still amazing to us how whisper quiet they are. Some will lament the disappearance of the "vroom-vroom", but we love the peace and calm of moving in silence.

Those who love the throaty roar of traditionally-fueled vehicles have little to fear. The gas-guzzling supercars will be with us for some time to come if Manhattan Motorcars has any say in the matter. Those guys always have an awesome collection of outrageous vehicles on display. This year was no exception.

In fact, quite a few drool-worthy luxury sports car caught our eyes this year. The first in the list is the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Gullwing. This car is every bit as beautiful as the 1955 300SL Gullwing we saw at the MFA.

Next was a silver sculpture from Infiniti. We were just wandering around when the display caught our eye. We never did get the name of it. Maybe we did, but after a few mimosas, our memory got a little fuzzy. If you know, drop us a note.

Rolls Royce, Audi, and Lexus all had models which we found head-turning for one reason or another. With the Rolls, it was the tricked-out door. The Audi snagged us with the look of the rear engine cover. The Lexus stopped us in our tracks with its matte metallic paint job.

We have only presented a small fraction of the cool cars we saw today. There are tons (literally) more to see at the show. If you love cars and will be in NYC this weekend, the NYIAS at the Jacob Javits Center is definitely worth putting on your list. However, do know that they typically get over a million visitors for this event...so plan accordingly. [Permalink] -NYIAS: Day 1





Garage GEAR*
Garage TRIPS*

Rainy Day Magazine is a Publication of Rainy Day Entertainment© 2009