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Apples and Oranges

Porsche and BMW are, in comparison to Maserati, mass market cars.

In the first half of 2005, BMW sold 145,000 cars (including Minis) in the US, Porsche sold 16,000. In ALL of 2005 Maserati sold 2100 cars of all types here. Worldwide sales were only 5600.

If I take a drive of any length around the Bay Area, I'll see at least 100 BMWs, probably a dozen Porsches (including the occasional Carrera GT) and frequently a Ferrari, Bentley or Aston Martin. I've only encountered another Maserati on two occasions.

In addition, it's hard to distinguish an M Series from a regular BMW (or IMHO a Saab, Volvo, Lexus, insert other boxy sedan here).

Porsche, although I love them dearly, aren't much better stylistically. Ever since the 993 they've been moving more towards the amorphous blobby styles of Nissan, Toyota and Mitsubishi.

On the other hand, Maserati retains the classic long hood, short deck of the classic sports car (think Ferrari GTO) It's far prettier than either the Porsche or BMW.

Finally there's this exchange from "Gone in 60 Seconds"

[in a Ferrari dealership]

Memphis: Roger, I have a problem...

Roger the Car Salesman: Yes?

Memphis: I've been in L.A. for three months now. I have money, I have taste. But I'm not on anybody's "A" list, and Saturday night is the loneliest night for the week for me.

Roger the Car Salesman: Well, a Ferrari would certainly change that.

Memphis: Perhaps, Mmmm. But, you know, this is the one. Yes, yes yes... I saw three of these parked outside the local Starbucks this morning, which tells me only one thing. There's too many self-Indulgent wieners in this city with too much bloody money! Now, if I was driving a 1967 275 GTB four-cam...

Roger the Car Salesman: You would not be a self-indulgent wiener, sir... You'd be a connoisseur.
 

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Couldn't say Demoe, once I was on foot in the City and there was a blue Coupe waiting for a light as I crossed the intersection. Gave the guy a thumbs up and got a wave back. Today the QP I saw was parked and empty.

I'm tempted to say it's the self-indugent wiener syndrome. There's a tradition among Porsche drivers to flash your lights when encountering a fellow Porschephile. Almost ALL the 356 drivers will give you a flash or a wave. 90% of the 911 drivers respond. 50% of 993 drivers respond, almost no 996 drivers respond, and Boxster/Cayenne owners start looking for a clean, well-lighted place to pull over and call the cops.

Interestingly I find other drivers bend over backward to be interested and complimentary. I'm always finding myself in conversations in parking lots and gas stations. I don't get that kind of reaction in the Porsche.
 
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