The Bleak Mid-Winter
And how to tackle it...
I bought my Porsche 911 less than 3 months ago...
Now I've enjoyed every moment of ownership so far. Comparing it to the old Focus ST3 (Well, I say old - I was actually going from a 2015 to a 2005 car!) I'll admit it's less practical, but it's more refined, faster, classier. You get more admiring looks and nice comments. It's rarer, it makes you feel more special...
Though if I'm honest the Focus ST3 DID make you feel a bit 'Barry Boy': like you should be cruising around with a car full of baseball hat-sporting, beer-swilling chavs and blaring out drum and bass at ear-drum shattering volumes...
The present Mrs. Stanley even likes the 911! She says it's comfier than the Focus and she prefers the image. There's really not much to complain about.
So What's this post about?
Well, I bought the car in the middle of June. It was in the middle of a bit of a heat-wave and I had the sunroof open for pretty much all of the first journeys I made in it. We're not in August though. The height of a traditional British summer: in other words it's p*ssing it down almost all day, almost every day.
THIS... I can live with. One of the reasons I went for a Carrera 4S over a 2S was that I missed the AWD of my old X-Type and wanted a car I could use in any weather. To that aim, I think I've succeeded. The question is though: Should I use it in any weather?
Rain is no issue, snow, I don't think will be an issue. Yes, I accept having tyres wider than Clarkson's patented 'smug grin' isn't ideal for snow. But the AWD should at least allow me to get up the hill and into my drive and that's really what counts.
SO? Get to the point!
Right! The issue probably isn't going to be the weather. The fact is the Porsche is a very nice 15 year old car, but it's still a 15 year old car. It's already got sufficient stone-chips and areas of rust on the arches to justify spending a couple of thousand getting the paint refreshed. How much worse is that going to be if I spend the winter following gritters and getting the car essentially painted in salty slush on a daily basis? This might not make sense to those of you who don't live in the UK, so I'll explain it. Here in Britain, when there's ice and snow the council send out these lorries full of rock salt and they literally spread rock salt all over the roads and any vehicles they happen to pass in the vicinity of. The theory is that the salt will melt the ice and prevent it forming again and to a degree it works. However, the salt melts the car's bodywork and engine, albeit more slowly. I think the rear-mounted flat six in my 911 is fairly exposed to the elements, so that could well end up coated in salt too.
So what are your options?
This is the tough bit. I like driving my 911. I like it to the point where I actually see driving anything else as an unfortunate inconvenience. I'd really like to drive it every day, whatever the weather. However it concerns me that driving it non-stop through the winter could potentially really wreck the car.
Am I being a bit precious? Possibly. The fact is I've never owned a car that's worth as much as the 911 and I like to think if I keep it in good condition it should depreciate very slowly if at all. One of my justifications for getting it was that I'd rather spend £2000 a year on maintenance than £2000 a year on depreciation.
My options are fairly limited, but here's how I see it.
1. I could just accept I'm being a bit precious and drive it like I stole it EVERY day, come rain, hail or shine. Even if Mick the council gritter has overloaded his truck and set it to maximum spread then somehow planned his route to ensure he dumps a metric tonne of salt on my Porsche.
2. I could try and borrow the present Mrs. Stanley's Toyota whenever they gritters have been working their magic. The issue will be when we need to be in two separate places at once.
3. When the weather turns bad I could give it a good clean, garage it and walk to work.
4. When the weather turns bad I could garage it and get a cheap and cheerful 4x4 to use and abuse over the winter. I'm thinking £1500 worth of Suzuki Jimny perhaps?
I really don't know how to tackle this or even IF to tackle it. I bought the Porsche to drive, not to polish to oblivion then store in my garage on a trickle charger. At the same time I really want this car to last.
So what do you think?