Every now and then there will be a story in a classic car magazine about how someone has found a Lamborghini or the like that’s been sitting forgotten in a garage for 40 years.
I’m always amazed. I might forget that I own a disposable ball-point pen, but I couldn’t forget that I had a garage with a supercar in it.
But now I know how it happens. There’s my 911, parked in my secret underground bunker, where I left it a few weeks ago. It won’t unlock when I press the button on the key, but that’s normal. After a couple of days of no use, the 911 goes into a sort of shut-down mode to preserve the battery. All you do is put the key into the lock, give it half a turn, and it wakes up again. Then it unlocks with the plipper, and you can be on your way.
But this time it didn’t.
It’s happened before, this; a few months back, when the car’s original battery failed. I couldn’t even open the front luggage lid to jump start it, because the lock is electric. There is an alternative way to open the lid using a booster pack attached to a stupid little pull-out pin in the fuse box, which is in the front footwell, but that means opening the door.
So I unlocked the door manually and opened it. And then the alarm went off, which surprised me, since the battery was flat. The sound of a Porsche alarm going off in an enclosed and echoic space is like passing your own head through a bandsaw, but I struggled on and opened the front lid, and disconnected the battery leads. The alarm stopped.
But then it started again, obvs, and my ears caved in.
After a few minutes, it stopped again, just long enough for the sepulchral silence of the cool subterranean car storage facility to imbue me with a deep sense of calm. But then it started again. And then it stopped. And then started again, and so it went on, until I was driven into a corner, where I crouched down, gibbering, with a bucket on my head.
After about half an hour, but which felt like all of my life up until that point, the alarm stopped completely. I bought a new battery, wired it all up, and the car came to life and worked as it should.
But now… I’m not exaggerating when I say I’m too scared to open the door, because the noise of the alarm has been reserved in hell as a punishment for people who serve food on pieces of wood, it’s that bad.
I can’t take a recovery truck down there, because it won’t fit through the door. I can’t push it out of the bunker, because I parked it in gear, so I’d have to unlock the door manually and open it, and the alarm will go off. I could call the local Porsche garage and they would send a man out. But what’s he going to do? He’ll have to open the door, and we’ll all be killed. I have another car. I’ll use that.
Let’s fast-forward to 2050, when a man from Classic Piston Sportscar writes a story about how this mint 2010 Porsche 911 with under 30,000 miles on the clock has been found in a bunker in London. How did that happen?