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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Greetings,

I am starting this thread to document the journey of ordering, taking delivery, driving in Europe, and eventual retail delivery stateside of a 2015 Carrera S Cabriolet.

Decision to Buy

This all started when my wife mentioned she wanted a SUV to replace her 2014 BMW 550i. Being a previous Boxster 986 driver, I thought she might like to consider the Macan which looked really nice. I took her the Porsche dealership to introduce her to the idea. We sat in a Macan and Cayenne, but did not test drive. She seemed to like the Cayenne better, mainly for size and roominess for our two school age kids.

I liked the Macan a bit better. It seemed a more sporty and the price was pretty good (considering it is a Porsche). I returned later in the week to test drive the Macan. I liked it and was thinking I would green-light a Macan. Alas, my wife recanted in her desire for a SUV. Being in the showroom and re-kindled my Porsche enthusiasm. I decided I would like another Boxster. I often get assigned taxi duties in my BMW X5 for our kids so the Boxster is not an option as my only car. Two cars maybe? I really don't have room for 3 cars. The 911 has backs seats I reminded myself. In the meantime I had noticed a 911 Cabriolet in the showroom. I returned again for a test drive. It did not take long and I was smitten. I returned again and took my kids (9 and 11[no pun intended]) for a test drive. With the top down they were sold. They tolerated the seats and gave a thumbs up. Major hurdle cleared. The in-stock did not have my exact preferred options, and I am very particular about options. After countless hours on Porsche's car configurator I had the my car configuration. A Base 911 Cabriolet.

It was a bit out of my price range. But I kept working on how to justify the purchase in my head. I am getting older (47), I have the means now, and I really like driving, and so on. In the end I just said to myself, "This is what i want to drive everyday". It makes me happy.

Back in 2000 I did a European Delivery on above mentioned 986. My wife and I had a great time in Germany and a few surrounding countries. I had always wanted to do that again. So I decided this would be a European delivery.

Pricing
I think of car buying as a sport. It is best done with no emotional connection to the car. Hard to do with a Porsche. But I needed to save some money to make the economics work. I joined a few forums and started looking for pricing advice. One factor is that Porsche dealers have an additional $3,000 cost for a ED car. I found a poster that got 5% off MSRP (not great by OK). But the dealer was 400 miles away. I called the dealer, told him what i wanted to do and got the 5% but he wanted to add the $3,000 back in. Back to the forums. I learn dealers get an additional coveted allocation when a customer does ED. Back to the dealer; 5% off MSRP now included ED. Fair enough. Call my local dealer, tell them I need 5% off MSRP including ED. At first they balk, but I threaten to purchase ED from out of town dealer and have it delivered to local dealer for retail delivery(that is an option).They then agree. We are off! Apologies to out-of-down dealer, thats biz.

I placed my deposit on February 3rd. This just held my allocation for a late June ED, and we agreed to meet again to finalize the configuration.
 
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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Configuration

After placing my deposit buyer's remorse set in quickly. Did I get the right configuration? The question kept me up at night. I started watching car reviews on YouTube. After watching everything I could find on the 991 platform. I started to have doubts. A couple reviews really favored the "S" model over the Base. Rave reviews of Sport Chrono and Sport Exhaust, started to haunt me. But I was already at near max budget. My fix date was coming up. I needed to make a decision. I said to myself, "I really don't want to regret not getting right car". Recalling how our base Boxster always seemed under powered, I bit the bullet and upgraded to the S with SC and PSE. Then the bad news. My Porsche Advisor said they didn't have a S allocation. I will have to stay with the Base. I pushed back in a partial lie, and said another dealer(out of town) has a S allocation and I would take my business to them. He said give him some time to make a trade with another dealer. A week later, success! Back on track. Phew, another hurdle cleared.

So here is the build:
991320 - 911 Carrera S Cabriolet
N0 Agate Grey Metallic
1V Cabriolet Roof in Black
AG Interior in Black
022 Instrument Dial in Black
176 Sport Exhaust
603 Bi-Xenon Lights PDLS
638 Park Assist with Camera
640 Sport Chrono
840 Sport Design Steering Wheel
900 European Delivery
P06 Power 14-way seats
P3E Premium Package Plus
P3H Bose Stereo
XXG Clear Glass Taillights

I will give you some insight on some of the selections.

S - It was a tough decision, but car reviews just seemed to prefer the S. I did not get to drive a base and S back to back, so I went mainly on remembering my regret in not getting a Boxster S.
M/T - I just prefer to be more involved. I am not a track day guy. don't need the that last 10th. Just enjoy the feel and connection to car on the back roads with a M/T
Black Interior - Looks better longer (ages well), does not glare on windshield.
Agate Grey - I am kind of low-key, if you can get past the fact it is a Porsche.
Instrument Dials in Black $0 cost option on S - The tach is a little harder to read with the grey background. As much as I liked the idea of the color matching the exterior. Black was just easier to read.
Park Assist - Will never have a car without it. This has saved me a few dings in my life.
Sport Design Steering Wheel - I like the look and feel better. If the Macan steering wheel was an option I would get that one. That thing is nice!
Premium Package Plus - I have grown to like the creature comforts from driving my X5.
Bose - You need some extra sound in a drop-top.
Clear Taillights - This was a last minute item. Just to make a little different than all the other Agate Grey 991's.
ED - You HAVE to do this once in your life. Maybe three.

April 1st: Fix date arrives. No going back now!
 
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
The Waiting

April 28th the PA sends me an email with an update.

Vehicle Fixed: 4/1/15
Vehicle Entry to Body Shop: 4/13/15
Vehicle Exit Production: 4/16/15
Vehicle Completion: 4/16/15


Now the hard part. Waiting.... I pass the time making travel arrangements and second guessing my configuration. I lock in my airfare for the family (yes, taking the kids). Book hotel rooms and Google "great drives in Germany","things to do in Germany" and similar for Switzerland, Italy, Austria, and France.

Passing time waiting for our 6/23 departure date results in many questionable purchases: Special luggage that fits in the bonnet/frunk of the 911, DarkVue Dashcam, Hero 3, regular luggage, iPads to hang on seats for kids. Departure can't get here soon enough. I'll be broke soon.

Mid May and it comes time to settle up with dealer. I need to finance part of the car. With ED pretty much only Porsche Finance is willing to loan money on Porsche in another country. But the rates are fair and all goes painlessly in less than an hour at the dealership. Another hurdle cleared. They then ask me for a check for another $23K! This is for VAT tax. They reassure me that 1)They don't deposit the check 2)As long as the car arrives in the US, I get my check back. Phew! That was scary.

They give me a folder full of marketing goodies, a badge for the factory tour, a pen, and other trinkets.

 

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Nice that your dealer just held on to the check. I payed the VAT and only got the refund after the car was delivered to the Dealer.
I do wish that PCNA would handle the VAT.

Your ED Porsche pick will be a special day. The guides at the factory were very nice and gave an excellent tour.
Where will you be driving in france ?
 

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I payed the VAT and only got the refund after the car was delivered to the Dealer.
I do wish that PCNA would handle the VAT.
This seems to vary by the dealer. Last year we did not even give them a VAT check, the dealer took care that. Nice that you got 5%, I just got $1000, but then I also didn't shop other dealers. Maybe next time (Did I really say next time? Hope wife does not read this).
 
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Wow! This brings back great memories. I got the same deal. ED and 5% off but it took some work. You did the right thing by getting the S, PSE and SC. You would have missed those options. I think you configured a great car. You are going to have a blast and it will be a huge step up from a 986. Keep us apprised of your adventures. Have fun!
 
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Discussion Starter #7
The Delivery - Zuffenhausen

We happen to have friends that just moved a week before our delivery to Königstein Germany, just outside Frankfurt. We arrived at FRA. I had reserved a Sixt car, but after waiting in line for 30 minutes and the line did not move one person, I walked over to the Enterprise counter. I rented a manual transmission to reacquaint my self with rowing. The next morning we drove our rental car to Zuffenhausen.

Even though we had NAV and the address, it was a bit confusing on where to go once we arrived in the area. If you are arriving by taxi it should be no problem. If you are driving, it will seem like you are entering an alley. There will be a gate and guard house. Just tell them your doing an ED. They will direct you where to park. The guard will direct you to the door to enter. Go down the hallway to the ED Center.

The delivery starts off with entering the ED lobby. It is somewhat like a nice hotel lobby with several modern couches and chairs, a cafe and a reception desk. There were a few couples already in the lobby when we arrived. Everyone is very polite. An assistant walked up and introduced himself as Ronny. He seems to be expecting me. Which is an immediate relief. They checked my Passport, and after a few minutes they said it is time to go. We go to a showroom like area. There are lots of Porsches parked in rows. At one end there is a glass walled room with two 918's under car covers. In an adjacent room there are all kinds of Porsches parked very tightly including GT3RS's and 918's. As if they are mere mortals. The main area there are about 20 cars lined up. 10 on each side of the room. I get to see mine for the first time.

I have been worrying about them drilling holes in the front bumper. I am pleased to see none are there. See my notes in post http://www.planet-9.com/981-chat/81...very-buyers-front-license-plate-mounting.html for details.

They take a picture of me and my family beside the car. Then Ronny gives me a detailed tour of the car, covering all the features. He then reviews the paperwork. Mostly insurance (BTW spouse is covered). I sign a few documents, and they give me the keys and a copy of the photo. All that takes about an hour. Ronny asks if I want to drive it out of the showroom or have him do it. Thinking I don't want to be responsible for dinging a 918, I let him drive it out of the showroom.

Next up was the factory tour. My two kids 9 and 11 are not old enough (12) to take the tour. I took the tour and my wife and kids waited :( It was pretty much the same as in 1999. But if you have not seen the tour, I recommend it. The tour takes about 90 minutes. It is both more complicated and simpler that expected.

After the tour, it is lunch time. The restaurant is very nice. BTW, We had dressed business casual for the delivery. Others seemed to be dressed the same way and it felt like the correct attire for the restaurant. The food was very good.

Unfortunately our youngest daughter got sick and vomited in the bathroom. They escorted me and her to the infirmary. There they treated her for travel sickness. Seems the jet lag caught up to her. After some Dramamine, liquids and a nap, she is good to go.

After lunch, I go back to the lobby to retrieve the second key. My car is now parked in a lot across from the lobby. I hop in, pick up the family back on the restaurant and we are off.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Pics and Video of Autobahn and B500 coming soon.

Driving in Germany

Before we hit the road....
I had originally planned to drive to Rome via Stelvio pass, Venice, and Florence. I was warned against driving to Rome by anyone that had been there. My PA back in Raleigh had suggested not to go either. The drivers are crazy they said and you have a really good chance of getting a ding from scooter handlebars. I was already on the fence with the prospect of being in the car so much with two young ones in those tiny "back seats". That settled that. We decided to fly to Rome after returning the car. We had also planned to multi-city circle in Bavaria, but with our friends moving from the States to just outside Frankfurt a week prior, we settled in to staying with them and doing day trips together. It was nice since they had moved out of NC a few years back and we had not seem them in a while.

Adding to the our stay with them, his new BMW X5 had just come in at the Frankfurt BMW dealer. I drove him to the dealer and he took delivery. I had traded from an X5(which I liked a lot) to the 911. After the delivery we hit the Autobahn together back to his new house.

We make plans to visit some touristy places in the Black Forest. We plan to go to a palace/museum, an outdoor museum of old German farm houses, and a mountain coaster. TIP: I recommend this site for planning tourist attractions in Germany.

Other than driving from Stuttgart to Frankfurt, this is my first drive of any length in the 911. To prep for the drive, first I add a dash cam. I chose the BlackVue 650. I also add a GoPro Hero on the trunk lid with a suction cup mount. I'll post vid soon after I get back and process them.

BlackVue: The Blackvue is a small tubular camera that is built specifically for the dash. It has several features for dash recording. It records continuously, overwriting older videos as needed. It records speed, location, g-force. I used the lighter type plug in the glove compartment with the cord hanging down. I will work on a more permanent solution back in the States. The first issue is the glare from the dash. You can see the vents and chrono clock reflection in the window. More to work on...

GoPro: I got the suction cup holder and mounted it on the trunk lid. I adjusted it so you could see in to the cockpit. Everyone is familiar with a GoPro (I think), so I won't go in to that.

On the Autobahn:
First off, let me say the Germans are excellent drivers. I wish the driving culture in the US was the same as Germany. On surface roads, back roads, and towns driving is much the same as in States. It is easy to go with traffic and rarely do you even realize you out of the country other than the signs look a little different and the names are hard to read. If it will be your first time on the Autobahn here are some tips:

1) The highways (Autobahn) are in very good condition. They are clean and neat; even a little better than here in NC.
2) There ARE speed limits (most of the time). Usually 100 or 120 kph. Especially around interchanges.
3) To indicate there is no limit you will see a no-restriction sign. It only appears once. So if you don't see it, you will only know it has changed when all of a sudden your getting passed by someone going much faster than you. OR if you have the Porsche supplied Garmin GPS, it shows the current limit (or lack there of). So you can check. This is important as speeding in Germany is rare. The limits are obeyed by the locals (+10kph). I did not see a highway patrol or speed trap the whole time I drove in Germany. However, the locals take the rules of the road seriously. I respect that, and took my queues from them.

3435095150_9c57d55434.jpg
Important Rules of the Road..

4)NEVER EVER EVER NEVER pass on the right. I can't stress this enough. If the car in front of you OR the car to your left is going slower than you, don't be tempted to pass on the right(like we often do in US). SLOW DOWN, and move to the left. I will get back to this later.
5) The Left Lane is for PASSING ONLY.
6) The Left Lane is for PASSING ONLY.
7) Check your mirrors often. You will NOT be the fastest car on the road.
8) Signal and check your mirror before changing to left lane. You will need to get used to checking for, and gauging the speed of cars approaching/passing in the left lane. Some will be going 50-100kph faster than those in right lanes.
9) Get used to changing your speed often. Cruise control is useless on Autobahn. You need move the right often and you will need to slow down to do so to let faster cars pass. Then you just signal, speed up, pass, move right. Rinse and Repeat. You don't just cruise in the left lane.
10) Be embarrassed if you look in the rear view mirror and someone is on your tail. See 6 and 7 above.
11) Flashing to pass is no longer allowed.
12) #4 is very important because when you are doing #9 and you are passing the car next to you at +100kph more than them, you need to know with certainty when you move to the right after the pass you won't be met by someone passing on the right. After a few days you don't even check you right mirror. No one is there except the car that you just passed(hopefully). On the first day I tried to pass a truck on the right. I almost got ran off the road. See #4.
13) Speed limits change often. People bleed off 100kph in just a few meters, so be prepared to brake a little or a lot when you see the speed limit change.
14) Germans will turn on their flashers if hard breaking is required to warn behind cars that it is not just a speed change.

Follow these rules and you will find driving on the Autobahn at speeds >160kph is an enjoyable PREDICTABLE experience. Predictable is the key at these speeds.

The worst(only) experience I had was a middle lane car decided to pass the car in front of them. They started to enter my lane as I was planning to pass both of them. I assume they realized I was approaching they balked. But instead of going ahead in a getting in my lane (I would have slowed to allow them to pass as is the custom). They were indecisive and straddled their lane and my lane for 3-6 seconds as I approached them at an estimated 80kph delta with cars in my mirror. I needed to know wether to move to right and let my behind car go or pass at speed. I finally had to slow. But it was dicey for moment. At these speed differentials, you have count on the other drivers to do predictable things.

We drive to the Black Forest. Generally at 160kph, as he was still getting used to his X5 and we both had our entire families in our cars. We enter the Black Forest at Baden-Baden on the B500. After cruising through a upscale town, we start up the mountain on the B500. We know right away we are in the right place as droves of sport motorcycles are coming the other way. Twists ahead! The B500 is akin to the Blue Ridge Parkway in NC. A twisty two lane road in the mountains. Very well maintained, smooth and most of all scenic. Elevation changes, blind turns and open vistas for three hours with an occasional village. Speeds average 70-95kph TIP: Bikes will make a middle lane, so watch out.

After a few more adventures in Bavaria, my time in Germany is over and it is time to return the car. I drive to Zuffenhausen alone with plans to ride the train back to Frankfurt. Alone, I stretch the car a little more. I slip behind some station wagons (they go the fastest for some reason in Germany) and reach 220kph+. It is nice to trail faster cars with some space as they provide some cushion/advanced warning of slower cars ahead. At speed I start to get a little uncomfortable. That has nothing to do with the car. The speed differential is now reaching 120kph vs the cars to the right. Even more if they are a truck limited to 80kph. It feels like you are driving 140kph past parked cars. You just hope all the folks are following the rules of road, because if someone moves in to my lane, we are both toast. Luckily Germans are great drivers, bar the lane straddling idiot mentioned before. I will assume he was from Italy.

I am on the flight home. I imagine my car is sleeping and dreaming of the A6 and B500 like I do. Next is retail delivery in Cary NC. Now the waiting game.....again. Arrrrg.
 

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Unfortunately our youngest daughter got sick and vomited in the bathroom. They escorted me and her to the infirmary. There they treated her for travel sickness. Seems the jet lag caught up to her. After some Dramamine, liquids and a nap, she is good to go.
Years ago my son threw up in The Sistine Chapel. I'm not sure which is worse . . . throwing up in The Sistine Chapel or throwing up at the Porsche factory. ;)

Glad you are enjoying your European Delivery. That's the last thing on my bucket list.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
First video from Autobahn. Not much to look at, but in the end the Autobahn is a just a freeway and I am not a nut.
 

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Great thread, thanks! Would love to read more about the factory.
 

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How did I miss this thread of a fellow 911 owner?!!

Congratulations on your icon... I'll go though the thread in details in my spare time and get back to you. Meanwhile, can you kindly warm our hearts with pictures in and out?
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
MidEngine-Fan,

Per your request:

The Factory Tour

After your delivery you are offered to take the factory tour. At first this seemed out of order, but I then realized many folks might skip the tour and go straight to driving. Understandable.

There are about 8 of us in the group. It is just ED customers. There a hundreds of tourists a day, but they are not mixed with the ED folks from what I could tell. We have two guides. One a young fellow. He is somewhat new to Porsche. He is from the marketing dept. The second is a retired Porsche engineer. He explains he has worked on the line, designed parts, test drove, managed whole departments and so on. He has quite a history. I hang with him.

Before we get started we are asked to put our phone and cameras in a box. We enter the factory. It is hard to gauge the size and there are no long sight lines. I would guess the assembly area is 50m wide and 200-300m long (best guess) with a large T intersection. Keep in mind there are other parts we don’t get to see for sub parts that take longer to make. This is all about the assembly. It is noisy, but not loud. More of a constant hum. There are robot carts that run along lines on the floor. We are warned about them. Good, because we are constantly asked to move out the way as they come along. It is clean and organized. The tour starts at one end of the line. At this point you can see the raw bodies with no parts attached on floor two, and finished cars below on floor 1. He explains we can see the beginning and the end of the assembly line(one is above the other, as it makes a two story loop) from this one place.

He talks about how the painted bodies come in and are queued on floor 3. 911's and Boxsters are built at Zuffenhausen. They are built in no discernable order. In storage you can see random 991 and 981 bodies lined up above the line. They are painted, and the lime green, speed yellow, orange and purple bodies stand out. A computer decides which body to pull next. A robotic transporter selects the bodies like books on a shelf, and inserts them in to the beginning of the line.

The lines moves continuously at about 1/10 a man's pace. As we stroll down the line you can see the assembly is organized in to stations. He explains that each station has 3 mins 44 seconds to perform their tasks. It is the same for all stations. The first few stations are for cables and such. Next, dash components, more wiring. As we move down the line the body gets doors, windows, and an interior. At each station there are about 3-5 workers. They take parts from the carts and attach them to the body. They seem work at a comfortable pace. None seem rushed or pressed to make the time constraint. The guide seems quite proud to say the only station with robots is the Windscreen installation, and he says this is due to the weight of the glass.

The guide explains that unseen the chassis is being assembled in much the same way. We get to the T section and enter the area the chassis and engines are being built. This kewl because the bodies are just over our heads here and you can reach up and touch them. I can't resist touching the bottom of the Purple GT3 body overhead. We don't go down the whole chassis line, but we do stop for a while to witness the "marriage" of the chassis and body. It's now a car.

We take a side tour to the see the leather shop. There he explains that the workers take may hours to make one dash, and that it takes years to be approved to work there. It is what the driver sees the most.

During the tour we ask lots of questions, and the guides answer them with as much detail as possible. The tour takes about 90 mins.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Meanwhile, can you kindly warm our hearts with pictures in and out?
I have only one really bad picture of the outside and no pictures of the inside. I do have some video I will be posting.

I literally was too caught up in driving to take pictures. I regret not taking more in country. Once it get's to the states, I'll post pics.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Just the clamp. However, in the future I think I will use the flex or other pole to get the angle better. I don't like that the rear view mirror blocks the horizon. You can't see what the driver sees. I do have some BlackVue dash cam vids that solve that. But I am still working on some reflection issues with that.
 

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Thanks! I agree with you that the angle using a clamp only is not the best. I just bought a smatree adjustable arm for my gopro. That should give the camera more height and bring it closer to the driver. I hope it will do the trick! I am doing an ED 8/31...getting a base agate cab. I went through a similar struggle as you between the S and base but decided the base was going to be enough hp for a daily driver. Thanks for sharing your ED experience. I think I have read almost every post on both Rennlist and P9. The wait is killing me!!!
 
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