PCA Iowa Region - President's Apex

A selection of the most recent Schonesland Porsche Club messages from the club President. Please view the Newsletters for other great information from the club and the region.

President's Apex
July 2019
Bob Timmerman - President

Welcome to July! Wait, what happened to June? The summer is flying by. I hope you’re all taking advantage of the weather to get out and drive.

My thoughts this month are about the eternal debate: PDK or manual transmission? I grew up driving manualtransmission cars and trucks (a 67 Chevy S10 pickup with a 3-on-the-tree and an MGB with a 4-speed manual) so I got used to being very involved with the driving experience. Not that it was always a good experience. Once, when I was learning how to drive the truck, I stalled it three times at a red light. The more it happened, the more flustered I got. Finally, I just pulled the parking brake, got out of the truck and walked away, leaving my older brother sitting in the passenger seat taking the heat from the drivers behind. He’ll never let me forget that. Then I got the hang of it. And I enjoyed that fact that I had total control of the gears and could use them for different situations. In the case of the MGB, it was helpful to be able to roll the car down a shallow
hill with the ignition on and pop the clutch to get it started. I had to do that a lot. Also, the speedometer didn’t work so I learned what speed I was going based on the rpms in each gear (2500 rpm in second gear meant I was going 30 mph, for example). Since we’ve owned our Boxster, I’m learning how to use the gears to help balance the car and how to heel-and-
toe to keep downshifts from upsetting that balance. I love the feeling that the car and I are truly connected.

My brother (the same one I left at the stop light) had a 2014 Boxster S with a PDK transmission and a sport steering wheel with actual paddles. Okay, PDK is magic. Whether I used the paddles in Sport mode or just left it in auto, the shifts were instantaneous. And so intuitive. I’m not a great driver and the car was never in the wrong gear. Ever. When I didn’t have to concentrate on what gear I was in, I could focus more on where I was on the road, where the apex of each corner was, and my speed going into and coming out of corners. Awesome.

So which transmission do I prefer? Simple. Both. It just depends on my mood.

Welcome to new members Marc Headington and Don Parbs and PCA Test Drive participant Scot Bauder. We look forward to meeting you at an event soon!

Have a great July.