When it comes to the custodianship of my fleet of horrible automotive purchase decisions, I’m no Mike Brady — pretending to love my entire "Brady Bunch" equally. Some of my kids are way more annoying than others (one was bad enough that I buried it), but the obvious favorite has always been my LS-swapped 1999 Porsche 911. That is, until my 1995 Ferrari F355 came along — and now I find myself questioning whether my Frankenstein 911 should remain the flagship of the fleet.
This debate was prompted during a very rare weekend off for me — a weekend where I could actually attend one of my favorite local car shows at McPherson College. This little campus in Kansas is the only college in the nation to offer a 4-year bachelor’s program specializing in automotive restoration. Graduates are recruited to work all over the world, and this show acts as a homecoming for the alumni — and it also attracts some very interesting cars. I was eager to go — but I couldn’t decide on which car to take.
The Porsche and Ferrari couldn’t be more different from each other — but both attract a lot of attention. Since the point of a car show is to sit in a lawn chair and observe as people silently pass judgment on your most prized possession, it’s important to have a car that draws a crowd. The Ferrari does a great job of that — but it also attracts the wrong kind of people. With the Ferrari, I have to field all kinds of personal questions about my finances — even though it cost me less than a new Ford Mustang GT. With the Porsche, all people want to know about is how that big lump of American metal actually fits back there.
Both cars perfectly showcase a major dividing line in the car community: built versus bought. Personally, I don’t understand the judgmental attitude of some builders who think less of enthusiasts who bought their shiny new toy. While it takes a lot of work to build a monster like my 911, it often takes a lot of work to be able to afford a Ferrari. In my case, all I did was make a bunch of horrible YouTube videos — so maybe I’m not the best case to make an argument. But I also don’t value my build credibility much either. Even though I was very hands-on with my Porsche, I didn’t actually build it. The parts were all built beforehand, and someone else crafted and sold me the kit to make it all work. There are very few custom fabricators out there actually building their own cars — and it’s not the guys that strip down a 240SX and drop in a turbo engine.
In the end, I still haven’t figured out which car is my favorite. I took the Porsche to the show just because my girlfriend wanted to join my daughter and me at the last minute — and the Ferrari lacks a back seat. So maybe the comments section can settle this for me? Find a Ferrari F355 for sale
Tyler Hoover went broke after 10 years in the car business and now sells hamburgers to support his fleet of needy cars. He lives in Wichita, Kansas.
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