|Meet Your Future Lover|
|November 14, 1998||Previous Tale||More Tales||Next Tale|
I met my first prospective Porsche 924 buyer today. He's a medical student at Georgetown University, and he even has the kind of name that suggests Porsche ownership. In preparation for the occasion, I'd washed the car and vacuumed up dirt clods from a recent trip transporting large paving stones. We did the usual tire-kicking and shop talk thing. To prevent undue embarrassment, I had boned up on the owner's manual and specifications, and my studies paid off.
I had figured that the kind of person who would be interested in the vehicle would be a fairly young man who didn't mind the various mechanical quirks and oddities of a Porsche because they were interested in buying a driving experience, not just a car. For such a buyer, hearing that the Porsche needs to warm up when first started, or that the turbo takes time to spin down before the car is turned off, is like a sign that this car is unlike anything else they've driven before. This actually frees me up to be refreshingly honest about the various oddities that the buyer will inherit.
This prospective owner liked what he saw, and so I climbed in the passenger seat and let him take a test drive. The twenty minutes that followed were like a perverse military experiment in fear suppression. Driving down a narrow one-way street with parked cars on both sides, the buyer with the Porsche-owner name asked me when the Turbo kicked in. I responded that stepping hard on the accelerator usually did the trick. He immediately did so. In seconds we were hurtling down the tiny street at nausea-inducing speed, and I was frantically trying to keep my voice from shooting up an octave. I was just waiting for someone in a parked car to open their door, or a small child or inattentive pedestrian to wander out and confirm the recklessness of this endeavor in grotesque fashion.
Still, this kind of careless abuse of automotive power was why the guy wanted the car. We shot up to Rock Creek Parkway, an oasis of forest and twisty road that goes right down into the heart of Washington DC, to put the sportscar through its paces. The posted speed on the Parkway's vicious curves is 25 miles/hour, and we easily doubled it. The Porsche, with its fat tires and stiff suspension, held on to the road like a monorail, but the frightened eyes of oncoming drivers was providing me with a new experience in bladder control. The buyer was enraptured. I was asking myself if this was really worth 2500 bucks.
Having managed to survive the test drive without damage to property or life, the buyer promised to call me. I was left with the uneasy sensation that he deserved the car more than I ever had. Clearly he was prepared to enjoy it in the spirit of abandon and gratification-seeking for which it was constructed in the first place. It was like watching an old lover get married to someone who loves them unconditionally. This man would shelter, indulge, and adore the vehicle as I never could. I wanted him to own the car for reasons beyond the sale price. But I was jealous of the relationship he could have with it. I was never such a perfect mate.
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