Cars I Can’t Write About 2: Porsche

Some cars defy one’s capacity to describe or discuss them except in the most general terms. Here’s another, a Porsche of some type.

2014 Porsche collage

There was a 1970s example of one of these things parked on the road today. They are very rare around my district. I chose to look at a Vectra parked one space ahead of it. I’ve always admired the 2002 model’s headlamp design. When I was in Germany at Easter I saw a rare high-spec 2002 saloon in green metallic that made me catch my breath.

The Porsche, on the other hand, doesn’t say anything. I can imagine a comfortable life trickling around in a Vectra, not being very bothered by much and enjoying the Opel’s robust easy-going nature. And when it breaks and dies, I might not feel bereaved. Expensive sports cars on the other hand don’t move me. Even if I was very rich indeed I really would not consider buying one or even trying one. If I was very rich I would buy a whole showroom of used Vectras and park them in a barn as an exercise in conceptual art.

What the sports car offers I don’t yearn for. I can’t address the excellence of the engineering solutions because I feel the Porsche guys just spent their way out of the problem. If you show me a €10,000 car that does 0-60 in 5 seconds I would really be interested to know how that was done. But if the solution involves burying the problem with consultancy time and rare metals then I feel this as interesting as taking a taxi along the pilgrim’s route in Spain. And by the way, the Porsche is rubbish at carrying things. The life I imagine involves some suitcases and these fit better into a 2002 Vectra. Finally, I can’t address the styling of the Porsche as it is neither good nor bad, a bit like a pebble on a beach.

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

2 thoughts on “Cars I Can’t Write About 2: Porsche”

  1. I am officially not a member of The Church of the Holy Elfer, but seriously, Richard – the 2002 Vectra?

    Having driven one of those, as well as two Signums, I believe I’m entitled to stating my utter lack of fondness for this car. It wasn’t terribly bad in any one category, but far from excellent, too – and its interior (excluding the Signum’s packaging) was as unimaginative as they come. I’m sorry, but if I want a sober-as-a-Mormon saloon, I’ll get myself a Passat B5, pre-facelift.

    And despite my discontent with many aspects of the cult the 911 has evolved into, I must admit to still being impressed and – I’d type these words like a hushed whisper if I could – enamoured with the 997 Carrera S I once got to drive. Which didn’t involve going sideways or challenging others at the traffic lights, but the simple enjoyment of a glorious engine, delightful steering and a pleasing gearbox.

    There, I said it!

  2. My taste in automotive design is a bit bipolar. On the one side I own a 1990 Citroen XM which is very much an emotionally appealing car from the aesthetic and engineering standpoint. Other brands I hold a candle for are Lancia and Saab. At the other extreme I take an intense delight in cars that cleave to a conservative and rationalist line. I´ve written about the stern seriousness of the 1999-2005 Bora elsewhere. I regularly admire the 2000 Mondeo (especially in V6 Ghia spec). The 2002 Vectra is another of those cars. The design is its own and its well resolved; further, it´s a great package, offering tonnes of space for passengers and luggage. Finally, when well specified they provide a lot of comfort combined with a robust design that doesn´t require a trust fund to maintain (unlike, say, my beloved Citroen, in that regard). Just today I saw a white V6 turbo Vectra with a very appealing dark, reddish-brown hide interior which worked really well. Too few people ticked that option. Given that it´s not very expensive and very, very practical, I think Opel produced a super car for the daily grind that also looked good in the way a similar period 407, Avensis or Laguna doesn´t. They aren´t enthusiast’s cars by any measure but they don´t pretend to be. What makes these vehicles worthwhile is that Opel managed to provide all that content and capability for a very affordable price. But if you like industrial design, as I do, I they also wrapped it in an enduring shape. I´d take one of those over its VW peer. And I´d be avoiding the keeping-up-with-the-Joneses battle the BMW 3 and Audi A4 are endlessly fighting. What I can´t do is bring myself to write that much about any 911 to which I can´t relate.

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