Well of course you would, wouldn’t you?! Unless you were a complete bellend/vegan/Donald Trump (delete as applicable). But then what appears to be a no-brainer of a poser might not be as straight forward as it first reads. Not when I introduce the digits, 1, 3 and 2 into the mix, and proceed to add the word ‘Abarth’ to the equation. Aha! (NOT the 1980s Norwegian pop trio just for the record), now things are becoming a little less cloudy; but none the less confusing when I then explain that both the Fiat and the Porsche are diecast scale models of the real deals. I need to describe this unfolding situation a whole lot better, don’t I?
OK. I’ll start at the beginning. Recently, rubberwear-providers to the world of motorsport, Falken Tyres (or Tires, if you’re of American heritage) launched an online competition to find the best scrappage-spec toy cars out there. You know, the sort you had from a child and which had suffered more knocks and bangs than Katie Price in her prime. And once you’d rooted out your best/worst examples of childhood carnage, Falken invited participants to upload the pictures of said battle-scared vehicles onto their social media pages, along with a brief descriptions which would afford readers/all-important judges some sort of summarised back story.
Well, I did just that, choosing my wounded Fiat 132 Abarth; which – and again, echoing the lads mag favourite of yore – had seen (much) better days. The only difference being I hadn’t shared the better days with the Abarth, largely because my Italian stallion hadn’t been by my youthful side through thick and thin; but had instead been spotted at a local antiques-cum-bric-a-brac workshop just a couple of years back. Still, I managed to create a suitably impressive history file re: the Abarth, uploaded the images and thought nothing more of it. Especially after browsing some of the other entries at that juncture, many of which – in my opinion - provided formidable competition for the hapless Fiat.
So, fast forward a couple of weeks and lo and behold I received notification that I – or rather, the 132 Abarth – had been selected as one of the 20 winners; my prize being a Falken Tyres-liveried,Hot Wheels-manufactured shiny new set of rims – in exchange for my ‘pulled-through-a-hedge-backwards’-looking Fiat. And therein lies the rub, as perverse as my reasoning might sound. The mini-scrappage scheme concept dreamed up by Falken, whilst actively encouraging petrolheads to compete for either a Porsche 934 or some sort of non-descript Toyota off-roader, ultimately meant that winners would have to subsequently part company with the jalopy which had done them proud one last time. All for a good cause, just so you understand, with charity set to benefit from the resale/auction of the glorious victors, according to Falken.
But that’s the issue I’ve now got, you see. I don’t actually know if I want to swap my old Fiat for a brand-spanking new Porsche, despite the underlying fact that I routinely perv over the latter and continue to (wet) dream of ownership of a classic 911. Something which first started as an adolescent. Ergo you’d automatically believe that I would be boxing up my 132 and heading off to the Post Office as opposed to writing this blog; seemingly excited by the prospect of acquiring an automotively-inspired semi if nothing else. But how wrong you’d be, as in the event I’m not entirely convinced that I want to bid farewell to the characterful little Abarth, and replace it with a personality-lite Porker. The latter box-fresh and without a single memory etched into its dazzling bodywork, in contrast to the former, the once bright white little knock-about Fiat with its lifetime (albeit belonging to some else) of memorable adventures. It doesn’t somehow feel right now.
I mean, I’m probably not alone. I wonder how many car owners who have taken advantage of the Government’s Scrappage scheme had second thoughts about trading in their little shitboxes for a gleaming, faceless car of the people, before they’d even hit the first set of traffic lights.