Thursday, July 17, 2008

NPR - Just in passing

Thursday mornings are the time for errands around town, and usually ending at a cafe for a mocha to take home and enjoy with lunch and my 4-5 papers I picked up along the way. And I often try to find a new cafe I haven't tried before to see what they have and how well they make a mocha, which after a doppio con panna, are the only two coffee drinks I like.

Anyway, today stopped by a new place, just opened in a new upscale shopping center in the local town, a Cutter's Point cafe tucked in the back, but with a loyal following of people. And one was driving this 1964 Porsche Carrera, obviously refurbished, but still, who would argue driving it?

You can have all the new expensive sports car you want, almost any 1950's to mid-1960's sports car will always be better for the sheer enjoyment and spirit of driving something meant to drive. Granted compared to today's cars, almost any midsize compact can out perform it, and any modern sports car will leave it in their dust. But it's not the same if you've ever had the experience.

Throughout my life I've the occasion, and even short periods, of driving them (eg. Lotus Europa, Fiat 850 Spider, 1954 MG TF, etc.). I even still remember my second real car - my first a 1961 Studebaker Lark shared with my sister- a 1963 VW Notchback. Besides my 1971 VW Bug, that's the one car I would love to have again, warts and all. It was simply a car, but a lot of fun just being a car.

But for me the best one was a 1961 BMC (Bugeye) Sprite. My uncle was heading overseas for the summer and dropped it off and tossed me the keys saying, "Take car of it and just don't wreck it." For a teenager with a summer and this car, "Wow." is an understatement.

I learned to service it and find a good place to keep it tuned up, and just kept filling up the gas tank and driving. It was funny at stop lights being able to reach over the door and touch the road. And look straight at the axles of semi trucks. It was without a doubt a tin can with a little motor, but it was mine for the summer.

And I remember when we lived in Germany, 1959-63, and Dad, my brother and I would pack the camper and go to car races at Nurburgring and Hockenheimring. Friday you'd see herds of Porsches packed with families, camping stuff, and whatever else you could squeeze into one racing down the Autobahn, racing and weaving among traffic and themselves.

They would unpack the camping and families, tune the motor, and go racing for the weekend. Then Sunday, if they didn't burn the motor or wreck the car, they'd reverse the process, join other Porsches and go racing up the Autobahn home. They were a blast to see, 6 or so at a time coming up from behind, blasting past and gone, out of sight. And then another bunch.

And so on a Thursday morning, it all came back in a moment seeing this fine car. I can't think of a better road car ever made. But that's my view.

No comments:

Post a Comment