Sunday, 1 June 2008

Shameless feel-good Sunday post

It's Sunday, and I've had a nice weekend cleaning & polishing the other half's car, tidying up, gardening, taking the dog out, and so on. So I'm in a good mood. Time, I think, to re-post here my favourite of all the posts I've made on Tyresmoke, the forum for performance car owners. This dates from January this year.

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So … as is often said, why do we bother buying these nice cars? Why do I have a 911 in the garage, when it costs me an arm and a leg in depreciation, tax, fuel, fuel tax, insurance and so on and I never really get the chance to use it properly? After all, I’m too busy to get to more than 2 track days a year, and for the other 364 days this year it will either be raining, foggy or icy, or there will be congestion, speed cameras, speed traps, poor road surfaces, and/or buses, Nissan Micras and Rovers in the way. Then, if the road does open up (which we know it won’t), it’s just an opportunity to be selfish, arrogant and irresponsible, and ruin the environment for our children and our children’s children.

So, why? Why do we bother? What’s the point?

I was reminded yesterday. Some good friends popped over for dinner, with their 9 year old daughter. After lunch, it was explained to me that their daughter is a car fan and has heard that I have a Porsche – could she see it, please?

(Rubbish, thinks I – her Mum is just as much a car fan!)

Anyway, we went out front, opened the garage, and reversed the 911 out. There are small squeaks of excitement – in stereo. Looks like both of them like cars, after all. So I opened the car and the roof and let them both all over it. Much smiling ensued.

Of course, then it struck me that I’d started the engine to reverse it out – would they mind if I took it round the block to warm the engine properly? No, it seems they wouldn’t, so long as they can come too! So off we went, with Mum in the passenger seat, daughter in one rear seat and one of the little Patentlies in the other rear seat. And we had an absolute ball. Managed to demonstrate the 911 handling with a sharp 2nd gear corner at which the pendulum-mounted engine helped us round the corner …. Then we headed for the lanes, with Mum & daughter shouting out every time we went over 6,000 rpm (which was often!). Then we get to my favourite bit – a sharp right into a steep downhill with a sharp left at the bottom – which was described as “better than a rollercoaster”.

All with the roof down, of course. 9 Centigrade is plenty warm enough!

We returned home with three grinning passengers. The daughter was so grateful I even printed off a photo for her of the car on a 2007 trackday – her eyes lit up! (and it was only me at the wheel!)

So … that’s why. Because it’s fun and people enjoy it.

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