While browsing early reviews of the new Porsche Macan, which is expected to be delivered to its first customers around April 2014, I came across the official unveiling of the car by Porsche on YouTube. The event took place at the LA Auto Show earlier this year. And it had me hooked for a full twenty-seven minutes. Not particularly due to my interest in the first launch of an ‘entirely-new’ car in the Porsche family but more because the presentation was, among others, an exercise in brand promotion as opposed to a product launch, a camouflaged apology for not producing a sports car, and a presentation that evoked memories of presentations of suits, handbags and expensive watches more than it did of cars. Porsche has come a long way.
Buying a car is an experience that most people look forward to irrespective of whether they consider themselves ‘enthusiasts’ or otherwise. Everyone remembers their first car and most people remember the cars their parents took them to school in. I distinctly remember my mother’s Hillman Hunter and my father’s Fiat 131 Mirafiori. When I started driving, I started off in a broken down white Metro and eventually I graduated to a Peugeot 505 which I held onto till I drove it to the ground and went on to own several cars but till this very day, I have never bought a new car. And I often think: what is it that makes people buy new cars? If everyone had my mentality there would be no cars on the road because no one would buy them new in the first place.
I have been through quite a few cars in the last years of my life. Petrol has gone to my head. I have learnt to dirty my hands, empty my pockets and feel the immense joy of losing a tenth of a second at the track. I have made impulse decisions which haven’t always gone well and I have driven through some beautiful roads on numerous road-trips. Cars are a disease, an incurable mental condition that intensifies as the years go by.
Here are a few of the lessons I have learnt along the way: