GRAZ­ING CARS

911 Porsche World - - The Usual Suspects -

None of us like it when our cars are dam­aged, ei­ther in­ad­ver­tently by our­selves and es­pe­cially not when it’s done by a third party. My 986 was to­tally im­mac­u­late when I bought it, but within a month of on-street park­ing its ex­trem­i­ties were cov­ered in scratches. Hap­pily, its re­cent spray-wrap by John Isolda at Scratch-&-peel has com­pletely masked that, and now the house has been done up we’ve sac­ri­ficed a por­tion of gar­den big enough to ac­com­mo­date two cars: the Boxster shares with Mrs T’s lat­est ac­qui­si­tion, a 1-series BMW. The new Beemer is in such good nick that it is equally de­serv­ing of its off­street park­ing. How­ever – and here’s the point – its pre­de­ces­sor, an Alfa Romeo 156 that was low-miles pris­tine on ac­qui­si­tion, be­came so badly beaten up dur­ing a decade’s ten­ure that any scuff or blem­ish went vir­tu­ally un­no­ticed, cer­tainly un­re­marked. This also prompted a ca­sual at­ti­tude to nav­i­gat­ing crowded streets or tight coun­try lanes be­cause it sim­ply didn’t mat­ter if con­tact was made with the scenery. On-road in­tim­i­da­tion was fair game in the same way that it’s pos­si­ble to in­tim­i­date with a Land Rover. Go­ing back to my ini­tial thought, it prompts the no­tion that man­u­fac­tur­ers could market ve­hi­cles that are de­lib­er­ately dam­aged from the out­set, so you just don’t mind any fur­ther al­ter­ca­tion. Or, like Citroën’s C4 Cac­tus, the ve­hi­cle is pro­tected up to the hilt with rub­bing pan­els: scratch me if you can. Un­sightly? Not nec­es­sar­ily when it’s themed like the Cac­tus. Along the lines of the faux-cor­roded rat-look Bee­tles that flock to events like Bug Jam, my choice would be a dis­tressed 24-Hours of Le Mans look, where the car is cov­ered in oil, race rub­ber and stone chips.

Say what you like about them, but 911 & Porsche World’s elite squad of jour­nal­ists and Porschep­hiles have opin­ions aplenty on all man­ner of au­to­mo­tive mat­ters. And this is where they get their two-pages’ worthDANTRENT

CHRISHORTON

JEREMYLAIRD

STEVEBENNETT

BRET­TFRASER

PAUL DAVIES

KEITHSEUME

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