Sunday, May 19, 2024

A car called Otto

Forty years ago, I bought a 1980 Porsche 911SC off the showroom floor of the Porsche dealership in Framingham, Massachusetts. Otto is forty-four years old according to its model year though it was built in October of 1979.

The occasion of the indulgence was the sale of chain of Kentucky Fried Chicken stores in Boston. I was a ten percent owner of the franchises and as part of my deal to develop Pizzeria Uno as a national chain I received my share. Flush with a fistful of buckaroonies I did what any red-blooded American male would do. I purchased a snappy Super Carrera for $22,500 cash. The car had about that number of miles.

Today it has 77,000 miles give or take meaning that I’ve averaged something like 1,375 miles a year on the trim little machine. The miles suggest it’s a vanity item, little used but much loved. In the last 13 years it’s been 125 miles a year. That’s half a dozen round trips to the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge from our house in Taos. You could ask, “What’s the point?”

That's the question I’m gnawing on. At issue is whether to drive it a helluva lot more or make sure it’s in primo shape and sell it for, well, a lot. Peggy told me Wednesday morning, “If you do sell it don’t use the money to live on. Do something with the money.” That generally points to the purchase of a Mercedes Sprinter camper van we’ve lusted after for ten years and counting. 

According to Porsche Panorama, the magazine of the Porsche Club of America, the legendary German motor cars are rated 1, 2 and 3. A one is in concours condition, a two is near perfect and a three is a typical specimen. In my view ours is a three yearning to be a two. Cosmetically I think it’s a new carpet and a right front quarter paint job away from being a two.

These images, bye the bye, are precisely 13 years old. The perky beauty is, if anything, better than it was in May of 2013.

1 comment:

Blacks Crossing said...

Otto is a jewel! I only saw it once, 2010 I think it was, when we did our experimental portraits session with the lights in your garage. I do hope if you choose to find him another home, regardless rating, Otto renders a Mercedes Sprinter camper van to take you to all those places you yearn to see and photograph. Your photographs do that beautiful 1980 Porsche justice. Thanks for including them here.