The fountain of youth

A French filly gets Stahly thinking about his manhood

MICHAEL STAHL

OurGarage

I’VE been reflecting on the cruel irony of how most blokes, including me, have to wait until they’re old, bald and unattractive before they get to own the sports car that fired their loins as a youth. In childhood, I loved 911s for the shape, the mystery, the racing. In my teens and 20s, it was all about, er, my loins. Later still, it got to be about the engineering, the driving. And my loins.

Finally, as a middle-aged, married father of two, I get the car. But a few weeks ago I picked up this beautiful 20-something French girl in my 911. Okay, she’s a family friend, and I was collecting her from the airport. With its wedge-shaped boot and fold-down rear seats, the 911 is amazingly accommodating, so long as you’re talking soft luggage or smallish suitcases.

We pulled up outside the house where she’d be staying, on a hilly, high-crowned street. You’ve probably already guessed what happens next. As she opened the 911’s long, heavy door, not bothering to hold the interior grab-handle, the door seemed to hang in mid-space for an aching instant – “N-o-o-o-o!” – before leaping open and karate-chopping the concrete footpath.

The damage was limited to some gnawed paint on the door’s lower edge, and I was lucky to have a gummy, but salvageable sample of touch-up paint (in impossibleto- match Diamond Blue) from the previous owner. The paint repair was a lot easier than cutting up the girl’s body using the standard Porsche tool kit.

So the Porsche-owning motives of my 20s are well behind me. Instead, I find that the 911 fulfils something that was instilled in me at a much earlier age.

The weekend after the door incident, I took a quick 650km round-trip to meet my wife and daughters at the in-laws’ farm. The drive includes a flowing, open, 50km section of road where I always stretch the legs of whatever I’m driving or riding at the time.

At a speed north of niceness, my mind was catapulted back to my childhood, and a 911 advertisement in a foreign car magazine. A 911 fired along a country road, between a corridor of trees. At the wheel was a 30-something guy, successful-looking, wavy hair, a crook ginger moustache, Midori-puke green jacket, corduroy trousers. Probably smoking an HB.

Or a Porsche Design pipe. The headline read: “Leave home later. Arrive home earlier.

What better family car?”

On that country road, I realised that – apart from the hair, and the fashion, and the smoking, and the youth, and the success – I finally am that guy.

1989 PORSCHE 911 CARRERA 3.2

Date acquired: May 2012 Price as tested: $65,000 (estimated) This month: 720km @ 9.0L/100km Overall: 18,581km @ 10.6L/100km acqui tes month 18,

On a different scale

CURRENT obsession with matching my Porsche’s Diamond Blue (#687) paint isn’t about fixing my car’s door, but in finding the colour – a light grey, with subtle lilac tint – in a scaled-down metalflake. I’ve got a beaut 1:12 model Carrera that’s perfect, aside from being red and left-hand drive. I’ve come up with a cunning plan to digitally “flop” and 3D print a dashboard, but does anyone have experience with scale-metallic paint?

RESPECT

Driving in good company now with a rear window sticker tribute to Porsche racing great Stefan Bellof