LASTMAN STAND­ING

Paul Davies reck­ons he’s got some­thing in com­mon with the fre­netic pi­ano-play­ing rocker Jerry Lee Lewis. There’s also a bit about his Car­rera 3.2, just in case you thought he was los­ing the plot

911 Porsche World - - Practical Porsche -

Dear Steve

Thanks for that email to con­trib­u­tors re­quest­ing words about their cars for the next is­sue. You com­mented that there might not be much to re­port on ac­count of win­ter’s grip but, per­haps, we could out­line the sta­tus quo.

De­spair set in, was there any­thing to say? The Car­rera 3.2 has been sit­ting in the, un­for­tu­nately not heated, mo­tor house since early De­cem­ber wrapped up in its rather faded soft cover (a Christ­mas present for the 912 over 15 years ago) with the Bat­tery Fighter plugged in main­tain­ing a healthy charge. The odometer re­veals that since this time last year an em­bar­rass­ingly few miles have rolled away un­der the Avons.

No fast trips on hol­i­day to France or Spain or scenic runs through the Welsh moun­tains to liven Porsche mo­tor­ing in 2017; just some reg­u­lar short trips to blow away the cob­webs, a ser­vice at Jaz Porsche and a re­place­ment si­lencer. In all a some­what mun­dane year for my pride and joy.

Then, Steve, I opened last is­sue and re­alised just how vi­tal my car had be­come to ev­ery­body’s favourite Porsche pub­li­ca­tion. Just like the old rocker, Jerry Lee Lewis him­self, we were The Last Man Stand­ing. (Please ex­cuse the gram­mar there but re­fer­ring to a per­son and a car as ‘Last Men’ doesn’t sound right in this sit­u­a­tion – I’m try­ing to get a point over.)

Keith Seume’s the rea­son for all this. The Clas­sic Porsche edi­tor con­fessed he’s ditched El Chu­cho in favour of a Cay­man. Keith’s sell-out to wa­ter means, un­less some­one changes ve­hi­cle pretty quickly or Peter Simp­son fin­ishes his 356, that Yours Truly now has the only op­er­a­tional air-cooled Porsche on the fleet ( In the UK at least, Paul. There’s still 911&PW’S North Amer­i­can Cor­re­spon­dent, Matt Stone, with his Car­rera 3.2 in LA. Ed). Just like Jerry Lee I’m in a very spe­cial place.

For our younger read­ers, Jerry Lee Lewis has the dis­tinc­tion of be­ing the only re­main­ing mem­ber of the orig­i­nal Sun Stu­dios record­ing gi­ants, Elvis Pres­ley, Carl Perkins, Roy Or­bi­son and Johnny Cash. In 2006 ‘The Killer’ as he was also known pro­duced an al­bum ti­tled ‘Last Man Stand­ing’ along with a host of more mod­ern stars.

Now back to Porsche. Sorry, Steve, I can’t re­veal plans for 2018 but with the Car­rera 3.2 now stand­ing alone I think it right to re­mind ev­ery­one just why I love mine. To quote an­other but younger than Jerry Lee rocker, Ian Dury, they’re my ‘Rea­sons to be Cheer­ful’. One: Sound Se­lect third gear in the Car­rera, floor the throt­tle and wait for the noise to sink in as speed climbs to the le­gal limit and be­yond. A friend once de­scribed it as kick­ing a dust­bin over. Sounds un­kind, but I know what he means. No other car de­liv­ers that six-pot, hor­i­zon­tally op­posed, crescendo. Two: Drive­abil­ity Still in third gear, take any ‘fun’ road and you’ll find there’s lit­tle need to do much cog- swap­ping. Power flows seem­ingly end­lessly and you can eas­ily for­get you’re driv­ing a car that’s at least thirty years old. The power out­put is mod­est by mod­ern Porsche stan­dards but it could be a lot more. Three: Con­trol Yes, there’s no power steer­ing with a 3.2, and park­ing can some­times be a bit of a wrestling match, but once you’re rolling you’re in an­other world. No as­sis­tance re­quired, most cer­tainly not of the elec­tri­cal kind. It’s so pre­cise. Four: Cock­pit The Re­caro seats hold firm, no ‘numb bum’ even on the long­est jour­ney. The di­als are right in front, rev counter not speedo to the cen­tre, The per­fect driv­ing po­si­tion was in­vented in 1963. Note with sat­is­fac­tion how the tacho and speedo nee­dles are in har­mony in top gear. Five: Gearshift No need to look for the lever knob, it’s just where it should be. Spring-load­ing moves the hand in­tu­itively from one cog to an­other. The G50 ’box is light­est, but the ear­lier 915 can be a rev­e­la­tion when prop­erly sorted. Six: Smile. Leave the daily-driver be­hind. Fire up the Porsche and head for the open road. What­ever a day it’s been, you’ll be smil­ing.

I know, it all sounds idyl­lic and we know there’s a traf­fic queue around the next cor­ner. But with the coat of arms of Stuttgart on that front lid and air-cooled pre­ci­sion hang­ing out in the tail, there’s no bet­ter place to be. Yours, with a blast of cool­ing air, Paul. PW

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