Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

What's a good present for a hooligan?

In future I need to take more care about casual remarks. Twice while holidaying in France this year I mumbled to myself “I’d like to try out a Porsche some day.” unaware I’d been overheard. Yesterday I opened my front door to find a 22-year-old Porsche Carrera at my beck and call for the day. Thanks to Mrs BB, OS and PB. Yet my birthday is still two days away.

Thereby hangs a tale. Insurance companies take a dim view of old fools in Porsches and the cut-off age is 76; at present I’m 75. OS pointed out that the Carrera is as old as granddaughter Bella but certain cars do age graciously. Old men become incontinent, old Carreras become classics.

Parts of the Carrera are woefully antique. The dashboard is utterly non-ergonomic, starting the engine requires the brief but irritating insertion of a chip, the convertible body creaks and groans, at slow speeds the steering is as heavy as that of an oil tanker, and the unassisted brake pedal ideally requires both feet.

But the faster you go the more responsive things get. Not only does the car gobble up corners as if on rails, it invites you to accelerate round them. The lazy 217 bhp engine makes a noise like a washing machine (greatly disturbing OS’s cairn terrier) while you and Mr Toad struggle continuously for control of the steering wheel.

Took a little drive via Golden Valley to Hay-on-Wye, and the hills were alive with an engine beat that belonged to my youth. Speed, said Aldous Huxley, is the only new vice of our modern age. D’accord. Hay has the most beautifully located car-park in Britain: spot the Carrera.