This is very much a first world problem – how to pronounce the name of my favourite car maker. There must be so much confusion that the company itself has released a video covering this very subject. In usual Porsche … Continue reading
I’ve removed a few distractions – like power poles and the inevitable overhead wires – and played with the colour but that’s about all.
Photographers talk about the “magic hour” just after dusk – and this shot is a good example.
I’ve included the original shot as a point of reference.
This gallery contains 45 photos.
As we do every January, here’s a quick look back at 2015. Some shots you may have seen and some new ones.
That’s right dear reader, the engine that usually resides in the back of the 911 is currently across the workshop bolted to an engine stand awaiting surgery.
The Powerhaus medical team of Reuben, Dave and Reuben are working on a fix for a faulty oil return valve – hopefully which doesn’t involve stripping the engine down any further.
The 356 (which still has it’s engine attached, thankfully) is waiting for parts for a starter motor which are coming from the US. So with luck, that will be home in the next few days. The wait for the 911 will be a little bit longer.
I was driving home Thursday night. It was a beautiful evening, the rain that had hung around all day had cleared. It was still and clear. I had just picked up the 356 from the Powerhaus where it had a new ignition switch fitted and it was running like a dream.
All was well with the world.
I was winding around the hills of Wellington on one of those narrow roads that is only wide enough for two cars when a bus approached from the other direction. A bus always looks big but on narrow Grafton Road it looked huge. The only option was for one of us to mount the pavement to let the other pass. As the bus approached I realised that was going to be me. But no problems, it was a lovely night, there was room for both of us.
I used a driveway ramp to get my left hands wheels up onto the pavement. All went we’ll until my front and rear wheels dropped into the gap between the driveway ramp and the pavement and I was stuck. Completely stuck – I couldn’t move forward or backward. No amount of power would free the wheels.
A call to the AA rapidly had a service vehicle on the scene. The bemused AA man admitted that this was a first for him but with a gentle pull the 356 was free and the journey home was completed without incident and only a slight denting of pride.
Yes, that’s the 911 sitting forlornly on the back of a tow truck on it’s way to the Powerhaus for repairs.
The reason for the repairs? The complete absence of a clutch – push the pedal and there’s nothing, nix, nada.
And forcing the car into gear amid a graunching and grinding of gears doesn’t make for enjoyable motoring.
Summer has hit with a vengeance and the forecast for the next week is sun and lots of it. An ideal chance (in fact the only chance) to dust off the Porsche 550 replica and put some miles on the clock.
When one long, hot, dry day is followed by another, the complete lack of a roof is no longer a problem.
The more I drive it the more impressed I am with the way it handles and performs. I’m especially impressed by the way it pushes my eyeballs to the back of my head every time I accelerate on a straight and then pops them out on stalks when I brake.
Luckily it also goes around corners – but always with a slight sense of menace that next time, if I’m not careful, it could end badly – in the harbour or over a bank.
Tonight it got photographed just as the sun was setting parked outside the house.
It could have been a line from a crime novel. But it’s wasn’t. It was the sound I heard just before my 550 Spyder rolled slowly to a halt. The engine was running and the gears were changing but somehow the power wasn’t getting to the wheels. Somewhere in the mechanical marvel right behind my head, something had said enough. Thankfully, for a car with no roof, this happened close to home and on a fine day.
I’d just washed the car for the first time, in the process figuring out how to do that without filling the cockpit with water (the trick, it turns out, is to be really careful) and on the drive back to the storage garage I experienced the aforementioned clunk. It was followed by cursing, grunting and swearing as the car was pushed the final 50 metres to the storage garage by myself and my lovely wife.
A few days later the 550 was dragged unceremonially on to the back of a car transporter and taken to the wizards at the Powerhaus. I have to admit as it was driven away my only thought was that even on the back of a flat deck transporter, the car looked good!
Footnote: I got a call later that day to say that the patient was sick but could be cured easily and quickly without the need for any form of open heart surgery. Apparently a nut and bolt holding the drive shaft had come away which, for a modest sum, could be replaced and the car will be as good as new.
Now all I need is a fine day to drive it home.
Well I now have the 911 certified and registered and on the road. This wasn’t without some drama however. Despite going very well after 15 months sitting still, it didn’t stop very well – or even at all, really.
Driving it to the Powerhaus across Wellington to be certified was an adventure. Every set of traffic lights required a lot of pre-warning and frantic brake pressing as the car slowly, slowly, slowly came to a stop. Usually just inches behind the car in front.
The brakes are all fixed now and we are back in action – and I have to say, the lads did a great job tuning the car. It hasn’t run better in the last 5 years.
After the initial shock of moving back to New Zealand there are some things to look forward to that relate to being home. One of these was the chance to ‘unbox’ my cars.
For those of you who don’t know, I like old Porsches and have accumulated a few over the years. On Wednesday I went to the rented garage where two have spent the last year to check on them. Good news! They were both there (a relief) and seemed in good condition (a bonus). In the next week I’ll get a friendly mechanic around and we’ll start them up.
For a petrolhead like me this is bliss.