By on February 24, 2012

Unless you hate cars and live under a rock, you have undoubtedly seen the recent pictures of the Porsche 911 whose driver tried to take a shortcut through freshly poured concrete. It has been emailed, Facebook’d and even posted on my own message board with snarky comments about the arrogance and ignorance of Porsche owners.

With good reason, Porsche owners are jerks.

I should know, I am one. But, rather than use my car as an excuse to act like a Jersey Shore cast member, I try to be the exception. As a self-appointed representative of Porsche owners, you would think I find the behavior of these clowns annoying and a setback to my cause. I actually appreciate it.

When expectations are low, surprising people is easy. When you have manners, life becomes a seller’s market. When you have manners and a 911, life is like hocking free water at a Las Vegas 5K.

My friends delight in reporting every mis-driven 911. My El Camino and MG Midget stories don’t come close to generating the venom a stock Porsche comes with ex factory. Every karma-invoking Carrera story will be emailed, twittered and messaged with sneering joy.

I have met Porsche folks, they can be tools. Chances are the driver of the concrete-footed 911 was a S.O.B. and probably deserved it. Had this happened in a Camry, I would not have seen it, and neither would you.

It’s not the car’s fault. Chuck Norris drove one in Good Guys Wear Black. Like all well made things, 911s are a symbol of accomplishment, sought after by those who equate appearance with success. That is enough for self-entitled asshats to park a Porsche in handicapped space. When that happens, it will end up on the internet and emailed to me.

With a 911, you can tie young widows to railroad tracks, laughing maniacally while stroking your waxed mustache – people will nod knowingly, and say: “Yep, driving a Porsche.”

These stereotypes are OK, because they actually make me look better. Driving up to a business, intersection, or even an autocross; the immediate assumption is that I am a d-bag like the rest of them. The slow evolution of the 911 means few can tell that my car is 13 years old. An updated front disguises the rebuilt title and that I paid less for it than what a 3 year-old Honda Civic would have cost. The end result: I look like a choad, but I am really an enthusiast on a budget.

When I drive a 9011, and am respectful, I stand out.

An honest smile, firm handshake and deep southern manners make more of an impression when no one sees it coming. Coming from neutral, I can still make a good impression. But when I am pre-judged as a jerk, it works all the more. Let someone in front of you in traffic in a Subaru and it is appreciated (unless they are in a Porsche) but not shocking. But drive a Porsche, wave in the delivery box truck, and he is sincerely surprised. Give a genuine “thank-you” wave at the Buick who let you merge and get a real smile in return. It’s just not expected. See, I’m not a Porsche owner who learned manners; I am a well-mannered southern man who bought a Porsche. Aside from the fact that my Momma will still not hesitate to travel to Oklahoma and slap me for being rude, I discovered some time ago that it matters to be polite.

This past weekend on a trip, my tire went flat. Bright and early I was at a tire store seeking a rubber unicorn; a set of high performance tires in the middle of a Nebraska winter. The challenge compounded by the loathing on the manager’s face when I rolled up on the spare. Instead of demanding my car be ready within the hour, I actually acknowledged the task ahead of him and thanked him for the effort. Immediately, he was on the phone, found a set in his warehouse and had them on my car 4 hours later, for $100 less than the estimate. When he was done, I shook his hand, thanked him and left a good review online. Not extraordinary behavior, but miles away from what he expected when I pulled up.

I don’t feel bad about owning a Porsche. I certainly don’t get bothered by endless recounting of the endless idiotic exploits of the owners. So should you encounter one of these incidents, bust out your camera phone and drop me an email, text, or FB post; I probably owe that guy a thank you.

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75 Comments on “Porsche Owners Are Jerks. Ask Me Why I know...”


  • avatar
    mzr

    Isn’t this whole article just confirming what you say you’re not? Hey guys, I drive a Porsche!! But not like those other guys, I fly under the radar.

  • avatar
    Oren Weizman

    Porsche top down, affliction shirt and cowboy hat … Nickelback blasting through the speakers

    Suddenly

    Wet cement

  • avatar
    grzydj

    Ahem. It’s not concrete until it cures. That tarted up VW Bug was sitting in ready mix.

    The person in this Porsche was simply frustrated that BMWs had taken up all the handicapped parking spaces.

    • 0 avatar
      carlisimo

      I first saw the photo on Facebook (since it happened nearby here) with 20 comments calling it “cement”. I’m a structural engineer so that was pretty annoying. So annoying, in fact, that I am perfectly okay with hearing “concrete” instead of “ready mix.”

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      Uh, no. When somebody says “cement” the response should be “would you like some aggregate with that?”

  • avatar
    doctor olds

    Great cars, and:
    “What is the difference between a Porsche and a porcupine?
    The porcupine has pricks on the outside.”

  • avatar
    Jack Baruth

    And in the space of a single article, I become the SECOND biggest 911-owning jerk writing for this site!

    Just kidding :)

    Watercooled Porsches aren’t Porsches!

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTheDriver

      Hrm, in that case I wonder what those GT guys were driving in those podium finishes at Rolex ;-}

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      “Watercooled Porsches aren’t Porsches!”

      And with that, you claim the top spot again. There’s something to being an elitist snob’s elitist snob.

    • 0 avatar
      Dukeboy01

      Dang it. I read the first paragraph above the fold and thought I was going to be in for a Porschiphile on Porschiphile Thunderdome of Awesomeness and flame between you and the author in the comments section…

      and then you ruin it by being civil just I was ready to start chanting “Two Porsche owning d- bags enter, one Porsche owning d- bag leaves!”

      (Sulks away from the keyboard in disappointment.)

    • 0 avatar
      jco

      you know what, I have a problem with this article. And the article a few clicks up by Mr Baruth points to exactly why. REAL 911s were built to a higher standard. performance was important, but durability was the real secret to the air cooled cars. And so when you bought one, you were buying a sports car that would also happen to last a long time with proper attention. Doesn’t sound like something a tasteless person who thinks “911s are a symbol of accomplishment, sought after by those who equate appearance with success” would purposely seek out just to show off. The people who bought original 911s because they understood what they were underneath bought them in spite of appearances. If they were showing anything off, it was that they understood that they weren’t idiots interested in showing off.

      Now, any jerk just buys a 996 or 997 to pose. they aren’t built the same, or for the same reasons or clients. But if I see someone driving a 993, I don’t immediately identify the person inside with the article’s descriptions. If they’re driving one now, in 2012, I see them as true enthusiasts.

      I also get why you went off on RWB, even though I defended them in that post. Because he’s ruining them for ‘others’. I do happen to think he cares about Porsches, just not in the same way we do about preserving them historically.

      • 0 avatar
        priapism

        I disagree. My Cayman was SOLID. That’s why I bought it. The guys in RX-7s and STIs are all overheating at the track while I just pound lap after lap after lap with no issues, no drama, nothing. I drove the piss out of that thing and it never failed me once, in any way. They’re still built to a higher standard.

  • avatar
    Junebug

    You know, I don’t care. If you drive a Porshe then good for you. I’m glad you can, cause I can’t and will likely never be able to. I am glad you succeeded where I haven’t and made more money, good for you. Please keep it up. A lot of people have this stupid wealth envy thing going and think folks that have more money than them ought to support them in some way. Not me, I’m happy for you. People seem to forget that a poor SOB ain’t never give anybody a job.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      A loaded new Suburban costs M3 money to own. So does a Vette. Or a built up Rubicon. Or an Equus. But only one of them is widely expected to have a complete asshat behind the wheel.

      It’s not the money. It’s the Ultimate Driver pretense.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    I hate to stereotype, so I will, but it was one of the most hilarious exercises I’ve ever engaged in to merely surf all manner of Porsche owners’ forums regarding the legendary IMS bearing failure (leading to catastrophic motor failure), and to see the vehement arguing taking place whether there was or was not a statistically high % of motors affected, and moreover, watching said Porsche owners try and deduce the precise percentage of IMS failures via extrapolation involving everything from forum surveys, to smoking chicken bones and reading tea leaves.

    But I digressed.

  • avatar
    bryanska

    No surprise on the benefits you receive.

    Read the book “Influence” by Cialdini. One of the seven major levers of influence is the appearance of authority. Affluence is a symbol of authority.

    Seriously, read the book. It’s quick, fun and in my top 10 of essential texts on life.

    • 0 avatar
      rodface

      Of course, now I have to ask what the other 9 are :)

      • 0 avatar
        bryanska

        Maybe I’ll know all 10 by the time I keel over. As the Chinese say it takes a hundred years to educate a man.

        One thing for sure, residing in the top 3 texts is the Cosmos TV series by Carl Sagan. It makes me chuckle at “faith” and yet completely, utterly humbles me. Next to my casket will be a open box of free copies (along with a message to please, please ignore the cheesy music).

  • avatar

    Great piece. And yes, manners do matter.

  • avatar
    1000songs

    The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

    Seriously – google “car wet concrete” and hit images. The interwebs are littered with pictures of cars stuck in “ready mix”. Yes, I see the idiot in the 911. I also see an idiot in a Police Car, an idiot in a Lexus. An idiot in a delivery van. An idiot in a Mercedes. Etc.

    https://www.google.com/search?btnG=1&pws=0&q=car+wet+concrete+image

    Disclaimer – I drive a 911. And I drive the same way in my Porsche as I did in my Mercury Sable, my K-Car, my Tercel, my G-35 and my Audi; extremely well!

  • avatar
    Dawnrazor

    I say drive what you want, treat other motorists as you would have them treat you, and don’t worry too much about what some stranger that you’ll likely never meet face-to-face thinks of your automotive choices (or what assumptions he/she makes about you as a result).

    Plenty of jerks driving around in Fords, Toyotas, and Kias too…

    • 0 avatar
      jeffzekas

      The problem with that idea: folks buy certain cars PRECISELY for the image that car projects. Thus, you MIGHT buy a Porsche for performance, but, unfortunately, the other 98% of Porsche drivers got the car to say “I am better than you! I have money!”

  • avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

    I dunno, I tend to think the definition of ‘jerk’ expands to fill the capabilities of the vehicle in question. How jerky can you be in a Geo Metro if you wanted to?

    (and it’s surprising how big of a jerk you can be in a Volt, especially in traffic..)

  • avatar
    number9ine

    I think Jack just successfully divided by zero. Well done!

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    ah yes, a 13 yr old junk title reclaimed! life is good, i’d like one of them. All the good stuff on a budget. Hell, i get me armanis and Brooksees at a local high end clothing re-re seller. But do i buy these luxo clothes cause i like the superior fit? the wonderfull material? the amazing workmanship? Yes, i tell myself, thats it. Not the snoot factor of a thousand dollar suit for 150 bucks at a dinner party. Perish the thought! A cheap porsche fits my MO well. Excellent workmanship throughout. And one ARRIVES.

    Ciao bello, I’m off to see the wizard!

    PS. I see that you are using your four names with a very sporting letter for the first. What do you suggest? Can one have a mere three names and own a porsche? Or does one simply NEED four names?

    • 0 avatar

      Ya nailed me on that. I was raised by my middle name as a favor from my Dad. Anyone in the south that have their father’s name are not called “Junior.” They are known as “litttle” regardless of their adult size. My Dad ensured I would never be called “Little Willie” and for that I thank him. But the W makes resolving my ID and Credit card easier and to be honest, a former president did kinda make it cool.

      “Mental” is an Air Force “call sign” thing, and I have friends that for over a decade have never called me anything but Mental

      • 0 avatar
        DubTee1480

        Ha, I am also a junior and my first name is Willie (and I live deep in the south, Mississippi). My parents called me “W.T.” growing up, but I’m not sure what is worse: the dick jokes the kids made regarding my name the first day of high school during roll call each year until the teacher learned to call me W.T. or the “is that really your name” questions I get as an adult talking to people in other parts of the country where initials aren’t very common (and the constant use of wrong initials, JT, TW, etc). And most foreigners refuse to use your initials, ever. I think it has something to do with politeness. Oddly, even though neither me or my dad have Pete or Peter anywhere in our names, he grew up being called Pete so of course I was… RePete.

  • avatar
    nikita

    I would still rather encounter an arrogant 911 driver who is somewhat paying attention that the hapless Camry drivers who dont have a clue where they are going. Ride a bike in Los Angeles and you will learn to fear the sight of a white Camry, not a Porsche.

  • avatar
    typ901

    I dunno about the P-Car stereotypes-You can never please people. Main point of (me) owning a Porsche is because I enjoy them, not to show off to others. Jerks or d-bags come in all different colors, sizes and shapes, just like cars. Stupidity does not discriminate.

  • avatar
    stryker1

    So… What is this piece about? Most Porsche owners are jerks, but you’re not? Doesn’t this type of Naval-gazing conform pretty well to the narcissist-Porsche-owner stereotype?

    • 0 avatar
      Dawnrazor

      I think it indicates a certain level of insecurity on the part of the author. Any psychologist can tell you that feelings of inadequacy or insecurity are risk-factors for developing narcissistic personality traits. The main characteristics of narcissism are an inflated sense of self-worth and a lack of empathy for others; the lack of empathy could lead to “douchebag” behaviors behind the wheel and the inflated sense of self-worth could lead to a blog post like this :)

  • avatar
    daviel

    This piece sent in from Sedona, AZ

  • avatar
    priapism

    In the two Porsches I’ve owned I’ve never had that kind of positive experience. I am also aware of the stereotypes involved and I really go out of my way to try to be nice and respectful. Because it’s the right thing to do, but also because people fly off the handle so easily. I never drove it for the “image”, I drove it because it was a hoot in canyons and a blast at track days.

    I sold my last Cayman when, while sitting at a stoplight, some random schmuck rolled up and tried to start a fight with me. I had barely left my driveway, so there was no chance I could have done anything wrong–he just wanted to start a fight with a prick in a Porsche. I’ve had people spit on me, I’ve had people start fights with me plenty of times, and once someone backed up to my car in a parking lot so they could do a huge burnout towards my drivers’ side door. Really? What driving offense did I commit while I was in aisle 12 at Pep Boys? The security guard at my building stopped talking to me the day I showed up in a P-car; he had previously been totally friendly.

    People suck, particularly here in LA. I drive an E30 now solely so I can fly under the radar.

    Stereotyping people on the cars they drive is really no different from stereotyping based on the color of their skin, yet it’s socially acceptable. Give it up.

    • 0 avatar
      doctor olds

      @priapism- I apologize for my role in perpetuating the stereotype. Get another Cayman, the sweetest car in the line up, to my eye. Don’t let the a-holes get you down!

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      You’ve almost got to feel sorry for people that feel inadequate when they see a Porsche in LA. Los Angeles must be one of the highest density Porsche cities outside of Greece. It’s got to be like becoming psychotic every time you see someone with a clean pair of Nikes in the hood.

    • 0 avatar
      fincar1

      I’m here to tell you that it does not require a Porsche. All it takes is a ten-year-old red Firebird Formula – not even a Trans Am – with a WINNERS vanity plate.

  • avatar
    doctor olds

    Porsche owners I’ve met are great people, for the most part, but this one college prof…..
    And did I say, they are great cars!!

  • avatar
    replica

    The only type of cars I’m actively a jerk towards are Prius owners. In the Seattle area, they’ll hypermile in the fast lane after getting out of the HOV lane to dodge an even slow Prius in front of them. So highbeams and horns it is.

    I don’t let them in, I won’t let them merge. Depending on traffic, I’ll get in front of a Prius and go even slower.

    Porsche owners? Don’t really care. I’d probably drive like a jerk too knowing my lease is $700 a month.

    • 0 avatar
      srogers

      You’re certainly showing them who’s better! You should get a gun and wave it at the Prius owners (if you don’t already). That would be so cool.

      • 0 avatar
        replica

        Yeah.

        Them driving vastly under the speed limit in the fast lane and disregarding basic traffic etiquette doesn’t increase the chance of accidents when everyone has to make unnecessary lane changes to pass on the right.

        I will tailgate, regardless of vehicle, if someone is doing 45-50 in a 60 zone in the fast lane for no apparent reason. If there’s a left exit coming up and you need to hop in the left lane for a bit, no problem. Understood. But to do it for the duration of your travel? Yeah. There are two other lanes that can accommodate your rate of travel.

      • 0 avatar
        Dynasty

        LOL

    • 0 avatar
      priapism

      So you tailgate, creating a dangerous situation, because someone else is, in your mind, creating a dangerous situation. Makes total sense.

    • 0 avatar
      Dawnrazor

      Why be an “active jerk” towards anyone? What does that prove? It likely has no effect at all on the intended target of your contempt and only serves to raise your blood pressure and make you tense. I certainly understand the frustration of bad/clueless drivers, but I’m willing to bet that (being human and all) you similarly piss off other people during your daily routine (though perhaps in a different arena than on the road).

      The point is, our culture is becoming ridiculously hostile and people seem more intolerant of others than ever before, and this type of behavior only exacerbates the problem. Not trying to be glib here, but why can’t we just accept that by living around other people (each with a unique set of traits and preferences) we must learn to tolerate a certain amount of inconvenience and even behaviors we might find offensive, and just live and let live?

      Have you considered that some people pick up on your hostility and perhaps gain pleasure out of further enraging you?

      • 0 avatar
        replica

        I’m not mad about it. Blood pressure doesn’t go up a bit. My diastolic probably stays at a smooth sub 80′s number. I find inconsiderate people fascinating and enjoy interacting with them to see how they tick.

  • avatar
    chuckrs

    I used to have a 911 C4. Air cooled. AC didn’t work. Crappy Blaupunkt did, but due to blown out speakers, was better left off. Convenience features were not what I bought it for (used), which was durability and reliability (albeit with expensive routine maintenance), reasonably high performance and just because I wanted one.

    I live in New England, where being a considerate driver is a sign of weakness and the author’s observations re:politeness really ring true. I’m older and accept that if I really need to get somewhere five minutes sooner, then I need to leave five minutes sooner, not drive crazily. And it is inconceivable to me to park in a handicapped zone or similar asshattery. Why writing about that should be considered a sign of being a smug jerk escapes me.

    The older 911s also didn’t require making a big deal about going somewhere. If some cars were a fine red wine (open it, let it breathe, decant it to get rid of sediment, etc) then the Porsches were a good beer (grab it out of the fridge, open it, gun it back). In that regard, much more like a Corvette.

  • avatar
    azmtbkr81

    Here in Phoenix Porches are the exclusive domain of well to do senior citizens and don’t have the same connotations. Our local flat-billed baseball hatted bros choose lifted full size trucks with 300 lb chrome rims. These rolling barges of douchebaggery (extra points for a diesel) would have no trouble tearing through a wet patch concrete especially if it meant making it to Circle K in time to scoop up the last case of Four Loko.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    I live in the land of pedestrian cars reign supreme. The most exotic anybody in my family has ever had was a 14 year old Volvo. I couldn’t care less; even if I made enough to buy a Porsche I wouldn’t, but won’t begrudge anybody who has the chance.

    Class envy is for people who are too insecure to make the best of what they’ve got.

  • avatar
    philipwitak

    i am not a witch…er…jerk.

  • avatar
    JMII

    I live in FL thus anyone from NY or NJ is a jerk… regardless of what car they drive.

    Seriously this type of stereotyping is silly, my brother has owned such a wide range of vehicles (pickups to ‘vettes and everything in between) anyone trying to typecast him based on the car he is currently driving is SOL.

  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    I still get a warm, fuzzy feeling whenever I box in the driver’s door of a 911 parked across 2 parking spaces with my LC on my trips down to Porch[sic] country in S. Florida. The paint job is a mix of primer and krylon in a nice black and white urban camo motif, but I still get a few frustrated key marks… or a size 6 men’s footprint (the average shoe size of a Porch owner) on the doors or quarter panels.

    Let’s just face it, those of us who buy an expensive sports car because we actually lust after driving it on the perfect spring or fall afternoon when the sun, the grip, the wind, and the flat six engine notes are just so perfect are far outnumbered by cawks who buy it for attention. I personally lust after a Targa, but the thought of people hurting such a beautiful machine because they assume I’m a “Porsche owner” deters me… that and the handling dynamics of a rear-engined car.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    According to Top Gear a few seasons back, all of the a%$^(&@s got rid of their Porches and BMWs for Audis.

    • 0 avatar
      Lynchenstein

      Agreed! The douche-bomb in the 6-series convertible who parks across the street from my office must have honed his skills by owning dozens or Porsches before moving from Stuttgart to Munich.

      The two Porsche owners I know are actually pretty down to earth (one owns and races a 914, so…)

  • avatar
    carguy

    I just don’t think it is a big deal what car you choose to drive. So much in fact that I own both a Porsche and don’t bother writing online editorial articles assuring readers that I’m just your average good mannered guy.

    I don’t care if you have a pimped out classic, an over lift-kitted truck, a riced out import or a Euro-snob mobile – enjoy what you have, its a free country.

    • 0 avatar
      doctor olds

      +1cCarguy!

      • 0 avatar
        Dynasty

        It isn’t a big deal what you drive, but what you drive says a lot about someone.

        For example, I was on my way somewhere the other day. And this retarded jerkoff drives by me in some POS Kia, with some crappy custom two tone paint job, some ugly ass wing on the rear end, and the fart can.

        It appeared the car had been lowered a couple inches too.

        Oh, and one other thing. Since I only really got a basic glimpse of the front end, there seemed to be some sort of an aftermarket front end effects kit on it… that was half falling off.

        This is how stereotypes are created. Generally speaking, people with certain characteristics gravitate towards something. In the case of the Kia above, it was one of the many many shades of d-bag out there.

        What really makes my head spin, is the dude probably thought all of that made him look cool.

      • 0 avatar
        tankinbeans

        Dynasty

        Just so I’m clear, the guy driving the Kia was a d-bag because he’d “modified” his car and turned it into a tacky mobile? Or was he a d-bag for driving a Kia?

        I drive one, but it is bone stock and I use it for its intended purpose; to get from point A to B. I try not to make an a$$ of myself and just go about my business.

        I don’t want to put words in your mouth so I figured I’d ask. :)

  • avatar
    Charles T

    Very ‘umble of you, Mr. Heep.

  • avatar
    ajla

    All auto enthusiasts are jerks.

  • avatar
    PartsUnknown

    I owned an ’86 911 for a few years. Paid less than a new Cobalt for it, drove a beater Honda in the winter and did my own maintenance. I sold it when my daughter was born. I always drove it sanely and politely; the thing wasn’t that fast anyway. The very few interactions I had with strangers were always positive. I bought it because it was my dream car and I loved driving it. I never felt like a d-bag for owning it, nor did I get that vibe from anyone else. I’m with carguy – drive what you want, I couldn’t care less. A d-bag is someone who drives their car like a d-bag, whether it’s a Versa or an Aventador.

    • 0 avatar
      priapism

      One thing I notice is no matter how douchey a car is when new, people are more accepting when it becomes vintage or “retro”. BMWs are for “cocks”, but my 1990 3-series gets nothing but positive comments.

  • avatar
    fredtal

    I wouldn’t care what any body thought of me if I could afford to drive a Porsche. Guess that makes me a jerk.

  • avatar
    Monty

    Perusing the comments on this post was an interesting study of psychology and sociology – more so than it was informative about cars.

    We as humans cannot help but pigeonhole other humans with a myriad of definitions. What type of car, how the other person drives said car, and as importantly, the reaction of a person to those other two definitions.

    Almost like being back in 2nd year sociology.

  • avatar
    sohc2

    That this happened in San Francisco is of zero surprise to me, the part about the road actually being resurfaced notwithstanding. (This being the worst-run town in the country where an annual budget of $7 billion doesn’t provide for road maintenance or repair). It’s 49 sq miles and less than 850k residents. Think about that for a moment.

    More than the car (these often come over the Golden Gate from Marin) is the sense of entitlement that so many here possess. It’s also seen in spades by on those on bicycles, in crosswalks (or just out in the middle of the street) and of course, those behind the wheels of vast and ever expanding SF Prius (Pious) fleet.

    I will aim my Porsche or Prius or bicycle anywhere I choose, whenever I choose without looking, respect to traffic or to pedestrians, and expect those lessers to part the way the Red Sea did for Moses.

    I wonder however if this damage will make it onto the carfax, when some unsuspecting dupe is the next one to pick it up.


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