So, I hear you all ask, you did you come to own such a beautiful specimen as this?
Well the answer is somewhat shameful, and if you (and you’ll know who you are shortly) are reading this at some stage in the future, I apologise profusely, I just couldn’t bring myself to tell you the truth.
I’d looked at my bank, I’d checked my funds and worked out that for the first time in my life I would be able to not only buy the object of my desires for many a year, but also have enough to look after her properly. I wanted a reasonably low mileage, 3.2s in dark blue with FSH, and preferably with servicing done very recently. And I wanted a left hand drive. I’d done loads of studying, and there was no way on this earth I was going to be able to buy a LHD with the money I had available, so I was content to let that one slide and buy a RHD but everything else had to be good.
I was working in Africa and had too much time on my hands, the call from the dreaded cash hoover that is Fleabay was too strong. Hard though I tried to resist, it just kept pulling me until finally, with the resistance of a soggy KitKat, I typed the words “Porsche Boxster” into the little box, and hit the return key. I knew what I wanted so the vast majority of the models in my budget were cast asunder, leaving me with a hardcore of 7 that were attached to my watch list by my finger even before my brain knew what was happening.
There was one in particular that I liked. Just something about it that appealed to me, so, stupidly, I put a bid for well over £5k on a car that I couldn’t hope to see before I bought it. This on a car that has notorious (if somewhat over exaggerated) expensive problems. I watched the car as the price climbed higher and higher, but I was still winning. With two minutes to go the sweat was actually appearing on the palms of my hands and my fingers were shaking slightly as I refreshed like a man possessed.
Disaster. I’ve lost. By £100. By now my gander was up. In fact, to say my gander was up would be akin to saying the Titanic suffered a scratch. The Porsche mist had come down and I had to have one. Had to.
I looked everywhere, as many places as I could, until finally I found a compromise. 3.2s, loads of history, a full running report over many years on a forum, where I could see the amount of work that had been done before. Decent mileage. But, and it was a big but, it was grey. Seal grey to be precise, came with a hardtop and a private plate, both of which I was going to sell and recoup around £1k so I was going to end up paying £5k for an immaculate, well presented, good history car. But it was grey.
I contacted the owner, a deal was done, no money changed hands but I was going to collect as soon as my sojourn in the dark continent had finished. I assured the somewhat nervous seller that I would be there, that I would arrive with my hands replete with used banking notes, and that I would leave with the seal grey monster.
I then contacted the Long Haired General (LHG) showing her the photo’s of the lovely, mechanically sound beast that we were going to collect. Her response was typically gallic. “Thats fugging ugly.” Hmm, Houston etc etc.
I sang its praises for two whole days, telling her all about the work it had had done, explaining how it was fantastic value for money, and by selling the hardtop and private plate (something unexplainable to the French) the car was almost given away.
“Its fugging ugly.”
Right, what to do now. I’d promised seal grey man I was buying his car. LHG doesn’t want it. Problem.
Oh no. Even bigger problem. Blue one sends me an email. Bid winner backed out, do you want it at second chance? I’ll accept your highest bid.
Oh arse. What to do? I really really wanted the blue one, but had agreed the grey one. A man’s word is his bond, and should be ever thus. My bond was cast aside momentarily as the blue dream car preyed on my mind. I called blue dude, explained that I wanted the car, but my troth had already been plight elsewhere. I needed some time to think. Could he wait 24hrs for an answer? Yes of course he could. Perfik.
Showed LHG the photos of the blue one.
“Elle est belle.” Ok, she likes it. “Now I’ve seen this, the other one is even more fugging ugly.’ It would appear the seal grey one was out of the question.
Its settled, the blue one is going to come across the channel and live with us in a glorious menage a trois in our French farmhouse.
I phone blue dude (a point to note, phone calls from Niger to the UK on a French mobile are expensive), we chat a bit about the car, I agree to buy it. As soon as the connection is cut I can hear alarm bells. Something isn’t right. No idea what, all seems kosher, but there’s just something. A couple of emails ensue, which ends finally with me offering a price much lower than my highest bid. I know that I shouldn’t even be doing this, I should be getting my extra long bargepole out and pushing blue Porsche away, but I’m attracted. Like a bee on its incessant search for pollen I cant stop myself heading towards the blue car. He replies, he would accept my bid but he will have to ask his wife as it’s so low. During the time it took him to track down his spouse, I had made a superhuman effort and sent the email telling him there was something not quite right and I wasn’t going to buy it.
I explained this to LHG. Trying to explain my inner alarm bells to a sanguine French lady was like trying to measure jelly. She was having none of it. “Mais elle est belle la bleu, and the other one is …………”
I knew what the other one was but I’d told the guy I was having it, so that was that.
A last doleful search around the World Wide Winifred was coming to a close when …. what do I see here? A blue, 3.2, FSH, reasonable mileage, in a garage, not too far from where my children live. Slightly darker blue, (didnt know the colour names at the time of looking) but seemed to have everything I wanted, at a price I was willing to pay. Again showed photo’s to LHG. “Belle.” She likes it, things are go.
Called second blue bloke. Noooooooooooooooooooo. What does he do for a living? He’s only a second hand car salesman. It’s not a garage sale, its a private sale, as he’s taken the Porker (as we Porsche owners refer to our steeds) as a private P/EX. Now I’m stumped. Asked the questions, got the right answers (but I would from a car salesman wouldn’t I?)
Decision time. What to do?
I wanted a blue one, I’ve promised to buy a grey one, LHG hates grey one, my word is my bond.
Only one thing for it. Lie to grey bloke. I hate myself for doing it, and am seeing this as a touch of absolution in laying myself open, should he ever read this blog.
I try to call him whilst thinking of a suitable lie. The phone network in Niger, never known for its Teutonic efficiency, is letting me down. This is good as it stops me from lying to him, but bad as I’m due to pick it up a week later and he asked me specifically if I couldn’t take it to let him know soonest.
Redemption comes from an unlikely source. I receive an email from my boss before I’ve had chance to speak to grey bloke.
“We’ve heard whisperings that the contract you’re on may well be about to be lost. Best you bring all your stuff home with you this time, in case this is so.”
With a slight embellishment of the gravity of my employment situation, an email was sent to grey dude. His reply was swift, he understood fully, thanked me for letting me know so soon, and wished me well in finding another job swiftly.
Just how bad do I now feel? If ever you come across this blog, please dont hate me, I’m really sorry, was under pressure from LHG and really wanted a blue one. Sorry.
However, with that emotional cross well and truly lifted from my back, progress turned to buying 2nd blue one. A bank transfer for a small deposit was carried out, money was received by greasy second hand car salesman, and I shall be collecting the car early morning on Easter Saturday.
The drive back to France will be the first time I’ve ever driven a Porker, and to say i’m excited would be to suggest that Dominic Strauss Kahn had a passing interest in a well turned female heel.