Thursday, 20 January 2011

"Boyracer scrapmetal"

During work I Skyped with my boss's younger brother discussing cars. He was eager to buy a Porsche 924 and had a Mazda MX5, a BMW 3 series, a Ford Escort XRi and some other cars on his list.

I asked him whether he had thoughts about the first-gen. SEAT Ibiza.

"Come on... No way." he was stunned by my seemingly stupid concept.

"Why?" I was acting up being innocent.

"Are you kidding?"

"Well, it has THIS under the hood." and sent a link of the camshaft cover. It read "Porsche System SEAT"
One real sleeper hatchback I ever owned. It was terrible in almost all respects. It had a ridiculously small boot, it needed a football field to make a U-turn, it felt falling over in a tighter bend and it had quite a lot mechanical problems. Basically this was the only car by SEAT that was designed by the Spanish. But the aanger under the hood just made the male body part looking for space in the pants. Even when you were just looking at the engine.

I waited for some beats.

The pencil started skating on the bottom again.

"Which one has it?"

"Except the diesel? All of them..."

"Which year is that again?"

I gave my answer though I failed at the exact years.

"Your Porsche has a VW eninge inside, right there."

"I know, I know... but it's not about the engine in the first place."

I was scratching my head. My fingers were running the keyboard again.

"Well, I would DEFINITELY feel bad if Peugeots were running circles around me in my Porsche."

"This is an old-timer. It's class. This is not a boyracer scrapmetal."

I was thinking. Would I be mistaken? Is it really the nameplate and the tradition that matters? I kept thinking about it through the rest of the day.

It is... for the most part. But not this time. The Porsche 924 has as much to do with Porsche as my SEAT Ibiza used to. It broke every rules Porsche set through the decades as the Cayenne and the Panamera just did today.

I was rambling on telling if I were to buy a car for the sake of its old-timer factor not caring about the mechanics I would end up with an Alfa. Every Alfa in history has had that original DNA people keep falling for. It attracts hearts.

German cars are mostly perfected machines, too much perfect to have that human factor. But not the Porsche 911. The basic design is screwed up, there is nothing to say for the rear mounted engine except it being a flat six. The pursuit of perfection that makes that car as human as every spotsman has been in history.

The Porsche 924 was everyhing an everyman could dream about. A sportscar with enough power to feel superior, enough luxury to feel class, enough tradition to boast, enough compromise to be suitable for all groups, cheap enough to buy and had enough Porsche plates to call it a Porsche. Except it wasn't.

I backed out with my "boyscraper scrapmetal" designation. My car never had any tradition. Never had any quality, has never got into mainstream for this reason.

But it was uncompromised. One dimensional.

One. Freaking. Awesome. Car.

No wannabe aristocrats can tell me otherwise.

1 comment:

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