For $2m, this Porsche could be yours
I know many of you would be surprised to know your car still has spark plugs. Spark plugs are, well, so 60s, so last century. Like ashtrays, cassette players, chokes and your father putting a piece of plywood across the back seats with a slab of rubber on top so the kids could play while he and mum shared a Rothmans with the windows up to stop the little ones getting a draught on them. Best of all no one could ring, fax, telex, text, tweet, Facebook or otherwise contact you while the car rolled along the road.
Of course, we were a lot tougher as a nation then.
At my primary school, a few of us lads and lassies would go out in the playground in electrical storms and get a penny off the softie kids every time we got struck by lightning. One day I made two bob. Even worse, we survived drinking the free school milk which the milk person always left in the hottest part of the schoolyard for the three hours before the morning break. Where was I? Oh yes, the spark plug. It was invented by Jean Joseph Etienne Lenoir 157 years ago. Johnny Lenoir also invented the first successful internal combustion engine and ran it on coal gas and air. No reason coal gas can’t make a comeback the way things are going here. But I bet, last Sunday, Sebastian Vettel wished Johnny and his zut spark plug had never existed.
You see Seb and his driving partner at Ferrari, Kimi Raikkonen, have been doing it tough lately. Well as tough as you can when you’re earning a combined $65 million a year. The Ferraris have been having reliability problems.
Just minutes before the start of the Japanese GP, the Ferrari engineers saw that Seb’s engine had a spark plug problem. It was too late to fix it and six laps later he retired with a broken plug. Has anyone ever heard of a spark plug breaking? At least Kimi came fifth.
Bottom line is that Seb won’t be world champion, Lew will take the title and he and Val Bottas will take the constructors championship for Mercedes, while Ferrari boss Maurio Arrivabene will probably get the flick. You will understand how exquisite it is that the head office of the official plug supplier to Ferrari, Japan’s NGV, is just up the road from the Suzuka circuit.
So, with four races to go Lew Hamilton is on 306 points, Seb on 247, Bottas on 234 and our own Dan the man on 192.
Talking of reliability, you’ll be pleased to know that my boss here at The Weekend Australian has opened his wallet, let the moths fly out and let me employ our first mystery shopper.
Let’s call her Evelyn because that’s her name. Here’s her first report:
“I started to look around for what will be my next car. Test drove the new sports Jag, nice, but I can’t see out of it.
“I took an Audi RS for a spin, hmmm a possibility. There is the new C63 AMG which next year will finally ditch the superglued iPad on the dashboard.
“However, the icing on the cake was my test drive of the Tesla Model S.”
Like the rest of our team Evelyn is a traditional petrol head but she was keen to see, on your behalf, what all the electric fuss is all about.
“What made my day was the ‘Tesla Experience Emotion Representative’ (aka car salesman). The TEER told me that the next version of Tesla will allow you to sit in the back seat and let the car drive you home if you have had one Vodka Martini too many. I pointed out to him that this is illegal and will remain illegal for a number of years to come.”
As a result, Evelyn is warning readers to be very careful around Tesla cars.
“If you are motoring home after nine o’clock at night and see a Tesla, immediately stop, because the idiot who should be driving is sitting in the back in a very relaxed state while the software is upgrading.”
Now Toyota’s Lexus is a much better buy. It’s a really good car for the sort of people who like cruises. And the ad for the 2017 Lexus IS in Canada is genius. “Seize the drive: before the autonomous cars do. Contact your local Lexus dealer, for a test drive, before driving itself becomes a sweet memory.” Thanks Mr Toyota, I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Seb, Kimi and mystery shopper Evelyn would be better off with the rare 2015 Porsche Voodoo Blue 918 Spyder that BarrettJackson has up on the blocks next weekend at Las Vegas.
While it’s No 184 of the total 918 Spyders produced, it’s the only one in the world painted in Voodoo Blue at Porsche. Mention this column and you get the car’s ignition key in matching Voodoo Blue. Only 2000km from two years of indoor storage at the Rock and Roll Car Museum in Austin, Texas, this will appeal to green readers with $2m because it is a 500KW hybrid and can go 0 to 100km/h in 2.6 seconds and cruise past Teslas at 340km/h.
If I remember correctly (and that’s always a big if) this Porker has been up for sale a few times over the past year including at a Porker dealer and even that refuge of Shit Box Rally cars, eBay. Barrett-Jackson sold a less colourful version last year for $2.1m.
The Porsche Voodoo Blue 918 Spyder: yours for $2 million