Presented today is Part II of our two Part series on Porsche greetings. The conclusion wraps up the findings in our fully controlled, scientific survey. If you missed part I, then start with this piece on Porsche Greetings.
What are acceptable ways to greet other Porsches on the road? Drivers tell us Porsches have traditionally greeted one another by waving, flashing lights, and honking, and they continue to do so. (Our research also suggests that among Porsche friends, flashing your middle finger, also referred to as “the good finger,” is considered a friendly greeting, particularly when authorizing a pass at a driving event. However, we don’t recommend this approach with strangers as it may get you a not-so-friendly response).
Is there a Porsche “hierarchy,” and if so, are some Porsche models more worth saluting than others?
Several respondents complained of Porsche discrimination. The most cited offenders are, according to you, 911 Carrera drivers: 997s failing to wave at Boxsters, 924s, 944s, etc. Simon from Salem, OR, wrote, “I have a Boxster and I rarely get any greeting from other Porsche drivers.” Several others mentioned that 996-7 drivers won’t salute or acknowledge various models. But is the discrimination truly a matter of model?
Perhaps it’s a matter of vintage. Matt told us, “I'm a 944 driver in Dallas, and it seems only other 944 drivers or 924, 914, 912 drivers bother to wave. Every Cayman, later model 911, and Cayenne I've waved at has just sped off or ignored me.” It would appear that some newer model-year Porsche owners have no interest in the heritage of the marque.
For Nic, who works at a dealership in Fort Lauderdale, FL, this discriminative behavior is more related to purchasing a Porsche for status vs. for the love of the car itself. “Most of my customers are too ignorant to realize they drive a Porsche, or are only driving one to be better than the next guy,” Nic wrote, “so they won't acknowledge [each]other.”
Admittedly, the 911 is a cultural icon of sorts, and the most recognized Porsche model out on the road. Those who are unfamiliar with other Porsche models tend to make assumptions about them. I once heard a young doctor describe a Boxster as a “poor man’s Porsche” (yes, he was a terrible driver).
Porsche Lovers come in all Models and Vintages
After hearing from so many owners, we can assert that true Porsche lovers come in all models and vintages, and they all have experienced the let-down of being ignored while saluting. In our opinion, if a Porsche owner doesn’t believe in the merits of greeting/returning the greetings issued by drivers of all Porsche models, they’re probably not true Porsche lovers.
On the subject of model discrimination…what about the Cayenne?
Asking about the Cayenne is like opening up a Pandora’s box. Porsche’s fantastically successful SUV stirs up quite a bit of controversy among Porschephiles. Are they worth saluting? Thomas from New Haven says, “…I drive a 911. Not to be a snot, but I don't wave at Cay[e]nne drivers. In most cases, they're just chatting on their cell phones anyway and don't even notice me.” Then there’s the other side of the coin, from Cayenne owner Ross from Texas: “I always give the peace sign to other Porsche drivers. However, I drive a Cayenne Turbo and rarely receive any acknowledgment from other Porsche drivers; especially from fellow Cayenne drivers. They just ignore me or look at me in a bewildered way.”
I must confess that of all the Cayennes I have waved at, only one driver has ever returned my wave. Like Thomas, most of the people I see driving Cayennes around town are on the phone. One woman I waved at even looked at me the way you would look at a stalker. I leave waving at Cayennes up to you…but if a Cayenne driver does wave at you, be sure to wave back!
Does driver age/sex factor into Porsche greeting frequency?
Are younger drivers more likely to greet other Porsches? Not necessarily. I have been greeted by young and older drivers alike. My Boxster-driving mom is a shameless Porsche greeter; she greets all Porsches by flashing her lights or waving. If she ever saw a Porsche tractor on the road, she would wave at it as well, and just as excitedly (then again, her Porsche has a name and she talks to it, so she may not be the sanest example here).
Apparently, far more men than women greet other Porsches on the road. But this may be due to shyness vs. unfriendliness. Felicitas tells us, “I have a [B]oxster and sometimes feel that if I wave at 911s they may think I am trying to pick them up ... so I lay low.” (Felicitas has promised to say hello to other Porsches more often from now on).
Does location (and frequency of Porsche sightings) matter?
Is the frequency of Porsche-to-Porsche greetings directly related to Porsche volume? My father, a longtime Porsche owner living in Miami, complains that Porsches are so common out there that no one bothers to wave or flash lights anymore. “They have become more of a status symbol than a passion in Miami,” he says. In contrast, Mark from Orlando tells us, “I live in Downtown O-town and always wave at a fellow Porsche [o]wner...I am happily surprised how often I am beaten to the greeting...[I believe in] solidarity among Porsche [o]wners !!”
It would seem that various towns and cities have different personalities, much like their local Porsche owners. “I think Chicago Region has some of the friendliest Porsche drivers I know,” affirmed Sanford via Facebook. Brian added, “I've found … a mixed bag in western PA. I think some [drivers] are clueless but I get a [wave] response about two thirds of the time.”
In Ann Arbor, MI there are not too many Porsches, but the ones we have are generally friendly. A few months ago I parked next to a 996 GT3 in a parking lot. I was giddy with excitement, as if I had found the Holy Grail. It turned out the owner was also a woman and we’ve since become friends. In a town where Porsches are de rigueur, this may not have happened.
Greetings from other marques
Every so often you may get other cars waving and honking at your Porsche. I’ve had all sorts of interesting comments/greetings thrown at me while driving. Two teenagers once said, “that’s a sick ride, Ma’am!,” making me feel old but happy. Not too long ago a gentleman pulled up next to me at a traffic light and said, “that’s my favorite car and you could be my favorite girl!” (much better for the ego). Last but not least, somewhere in Ohio last Summer, en route to the track, a gentleman in a pickup truck pulled over by me at a gas station and asked, “what kinda car is that?” and when I answered, “Porsche,” he said, “whatever it is, it makes you look hot.” If someone is kind enough to appreciate your car, definitely smile and wave!
Give greetings and ye shall receive!
Though Porsche-to-Porsche greetings have indeed declined with the increase of cars on the road, the kinship still exists. If, like us, you have noticed a decline, maybe it’s time to amp up your own greeting efforts. When you see a Porsche on the road, say hello first. A true Porschephile will appreciate it!
The Porsche Salute
An Introduction to Driver's Education for Porsche Owners (Part I)
Part II of An Introduction to Driver's Education for Porsche Owners
Book Review: Porsche High Performance Driving Handbook, 2nd Edition, by Vic Elford. Minneapolis: Motorbooks press, 2008.
Porsche 356: My First Porsche (Part I of II)
Porsche 356: My First Porsche (Part II of II)