Monday, 19 November 2007

RIP: Black 968 Sport with Air

A couple of weeks ago I met my Ring-buddy Mikey for one of our regular dinners in a local Chinese restaurant. It’s our chance to put the world to rights, and talk a lot of bollocks about cars. Or it used to be - nowadays we share Dad’s angst: kids education, idiots at work, wives, that sort of stuff. It used to be a bigger group, but geography favours Mikey and I, and we don’t spend as much time in Devon/house-husbanding as the other car-listers.

Afterward a pleasant evening I headed home, and spent a couple of hours watching Billie Piper being all grown up on TV. At around 11.30pm I noticed a text message from Mikey, announcing that he’d managed to crash his lovely Porsche 968 Sport on the way home, and when I spoke to him minutes later he was enjoying yet another RAC flat-bed ride home.

He’d been exiting a local roundabout with a little squirt of power, when without warning the back let go, and he pin-balled the Porsche down the Armco. It’s a notorious local accident spot, and I’ve seen plenty of incidents there. Its partly because the Shell-grip on the roundabout ends, and also I think partly because the road crosses a bridge over the Thames at this spot , which encourages slimy condensation to form on the road.

The damage didn’t sound too bad, so as Mikey was unhurt I retired, expecting to see pictures of a slightly dented 968 the next day.

I did see the pictures. The Porsche’s a right old mess. A friendly local Porsche body-shop quoted more than £20k for repairs, roughly double the market value. Mikey took the trouble to have it taken to the guys at EMS for a more realistic quote, but even at Brummy labour rates and using second hand parts it’s a no go.

So sadly another fine 968 will be laid to rest. The numbers sold in the UK were small enough, and I’ve heard of a number of write-off over the last couple of years, so the numbers are dwindling. The Porsche 968 is a fine sports coupe, and has aged particularly well. Even in its middle-age can it hold its head up high as a drivers weapon of choice..

Mikey’s had too many trips back home on an AA transported recently (“Guilty as charged m’lud”) so understandably wants a new car with ESC, ABS, ASC etc. The hunt starts now!


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