Total 911

Natalie Stratos

- London, UK

What’s the saying, one man and his dog? I prefer one woman and her dog – ideally, in her Porsche Targa. Two passions of mine, cars and dogs. What’s not to love? Working for myself, I took my white staffy Bobo everywhere with me. He was my ‘bit of hot stuff’ in the seat next to me. He looked so handsome, hanging out of the passenger window with his front paws on the arm-rest, catching the breeze driving through my gorgeous London town. He complement­ed the classic lines of my 1982 Porsche perfectly, and got so much attention it was insane. Not only did people stop me to talk about the car, but with a dog or two hanging out of the window it caused delight for passers-by.

During COVID I was missing using my car, so to keep her alive I started a new business involving the Targa, mixing my two loves: my car and dogs.

So I started picking up friends’ dogs and would walk them in Richmond Park. It was the perfect way to keep my sanity during lockdown and keep the battery of the Targa alive. I drew on my fashion roots and started designing dog coats, with a few of my tailor friends. It’s still in its infancy but the Porsche and Pooch mixture is magic. I have an Instagramf­amous doggie modelling the coats in my car… Fiorucci, that ’80s fashion label, have just used a 1980s Porsche as part of their new ad campaign. All things ’80s are so fashionabl­e right now.

On the technical side of having an old Porsche there are the constant maintenanc­e issues. Unless I spend serious money or a full rebuild she will continuall­y need fixing. One thing I have learnt is how to feel if there is any issue with my car. I know each sound or vibration and can sense a problem coming. We have been together for 27 years so it is a sixth sense. I know something big is going to need doing to her engine soon, which really worries me. She has a recurring oil problem. A few months back No5 Garage in Colville Road, West London, removed a sender unit and replaced the leaking gasket. It was a nerve-racking experience as my beauty was up on the ramp. Thankfully this was detected and the problem solved without huge costs. So I continue to enjoy her until the next hiccup.

My dream would be to do a full engine rebuild and take her through Europe for a few months. So a plan needs to be hatched… oh, and an end to that pesky thing called lockdown and Europe banning us!

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