The first time I drove a Porsche was in 2001. I had just sold my AWD Eagle Talon and I was looking into getting a rear-wheel-drive sports car. I was primarily on the hunt for a Mazda RX-7 TII or a MK3 Toyota Supra that needed a little bit of work so I could keep within my limited budget. I have a very distinct memory of that day. It was a bright, sunny, clear Tuesday and Toronto was enjoying a lovely spring. Back then, before the rise of online buy and sell forums, Tuesdays were special to me and my friends. Tuesdays were new Auto Trader day, and that meant hours of poring over the latest edition. Whether or not one of us was currently in the market for a new used car or not, we read it from cover to cover, absorbing all the information about different trim levels, models and most importantly, the current market value of any given car. On that particular Tuesday, I didn’t manage to find an affordable RX-7 or Supra, but what I did find towards the end of the new edition, buried in a page full of automotive appliances, was a 1985.5 Porsche 944 — and it was within my $6,000 budget! What makes this memory especially exceptional is that 14 years later, I’m sitting in the Auto Trader office, writing a review of a Porsche. It’s funny how life can work out.

I called the dealer up and hopped into my friend’s 12-second Mustang and headed over to the dealership. We got there and the 944 was indeed as clean as the dealer had told me over the phone. The car was beautiful. I’d never seen a 944 up close and I was mesmerized by the lines and wide rear end. Upon sitting in the 944, I was immediately struck by how well made everything was. The interior was gorgeous. I ran my hand over all the surfaces and eagerly fired it up. My buddy hopped in and we went on a spirited drive through the neighbourhood. Being a naturally aspirated 944, power delivery wasn’t spectacular, but the car’s chassis was incredibly rigid and solid. It was balanced, composed, and the car begged to be thrown around corners. I had never felt so confident in a vehicle before, though granted, I didn’t have much to compare it to at the time.

I wanted to buy the car there and then, but I was cautioned to take some time to think it over. After all, it’s a Porsche, not a Honda and replacement costs can be considerably higher. I went home to think about it and said I’d have an answer the next day. By morning, I’d made up my mind to go buy a Porsche, so I called them up only to discover the car was sold about three hours after I left the dealership. That ended my dreams of Porsche ownership but those 20 minutes of driving a 944 marked the beginning of my worship of all things Porsche.

The next time I would drive a Porsche would be 12 years later. I was working in automotive journalism and my dreams were being realized car by car. Over the past few years, I’ve had the good fortune to drive all manner of Porsches on and off the racetrack, so when I was asked if I wanted to review a 2015 Porsche Cayman GTS, the resounding “Hell, YES!” could have been heard back in 2001.

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