Back in the year 1999 I spent most of my daytime studying at college for my HND and in the evenings I would earn money as pizza delivery boy . Yes, you read that correctly so laugh it up fuzzballs…
I was a bit of a late starter to the driving scene in that I started learning at 18, not 17. Both myself and my college buddies agree that the only simple explanation that can explain this was that cars were really not my thing. (As much as that’s hard to believe right now). However a few weeks shy of my 20th birthday, an experience would change the way I would think about cars probably forever…
A distant, emotive memory
Her name was Dawn and she lived across the road. Dawn was a successful business lady who specialised in some kind of insurance. One of the perks of her work was access to a company car. Rather than make do with the default company car that most of her colleagues had, she chose to upgrade to something a little more eye-catching! A BMW perhaps?………. No, only a brand new Porsche!
It was a stunning brand new X plate 2.7 Porsche Boxster. Not bad for a “work car” hey!
As we established earlier, back then cars really weren’t my thing at all. Still, there was no escaping the fact that when the Boxster was parked up on the street, everybody stopped and inspected it, including me and the rest of the neighbours. Although Boxsters may be ubiquitous these days, back then they had only been on sale for a couple of years and there were still not many around. Certainly I had never seen one, nor had the neighbours!
As the weeks passed I began to notice that Dawn was allowing some of the neighbours to drive the Porsche as they would be covered under her insurance scheme. I don’t even mean in a chaperoned sense, I mean with or without her as a passenger! What a life for these lucky few…
This part that follows is a bit of a blur but what I’ve been told over ther years was that my youngest brother Paolo who’d have been an amusing ten years old back then I’ve just realised, went over to Dawn’s early one evening and basically asked if I would be allowed to drive the Porsche! (Clearly over the past few weeks it must have been obvious, even from the eyes of a ten year old, the grim look of envy on his brothers face as the neighbours each took it in turns to drive the beast).
Dawn’s response was evidently ‘yes’ as Paolo teasingly unveils from his clenched fist the magical key. I am about to have unfettered access to a car built by one of the world’s most prestigious manufacturers. You may appreciate that the emotions that followed were indescribable – and I hadn’t even driven it yet ! I remember legging it over to Dawn’s and just repeatedly saying ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you so much’.
Let’s further put this into perspective; I paid £1500 for my Nissan Sunny Premium (with a side-order of some new, sexy 14″ alloys I might add) and now I was now driving a brand new Porsche worth nearly £40K. Enough said!
If you’re wondering why I never asked Dawn myself for this opportunity, well, it was a pride/respect thing. Comon, you must know what I mean? It just didn’t seem right to ask, besides I’d only spoken to her a couple of times previously. It would have been just rude!
Pride aside, what a lesson to be learned here – sometimes you’ve really gotta ask to get, as Paolo proved!
So to quickly summarise and completely play down my emotions of from so long ago (despite them being easily accessible from my memory banks), over a period of weeks that followed I was handed the keys to the Porsche on multiple occasions. This of course allowed me to share this amazing opportunity with friends who were equally thrilled even from a passenger seat. Let’s see, there were the compulsory LRT’s (Laps round town), early evening cruising along Weston seafront and midnight, roofless cruising to Bristol. I was, without much doubt, the luckiest 19 year old in Clevedon and probably a whole lot further afar…
Here’s a nice picture of Gino and myself, fresh-faced before the real pressures of life took toll on our now ageing faces… 🙂
Once I became more familiar with the car, I distinctly remember just wanting to be in it all of the time, wherever, whenever. Apart from the obvious, there was just something very special, very magical about it. Little did I know then (nor did the rest of the motoring world) that the Boxster would become the bench mark sports car for the decade to follow further explaining why I became so taken by it. I felt truly blessed for such an opportunity.