23 May 2014

Are You A Driver Or A Polisher?

Do you like to drive your car and care little for its condition or are you a compulsive cleaner, or even detailer?

As many of us who dream about cars are wont to do I was recently checking out the price of Porsche 911s, even though I can't afford one.

Somewhere, in the trance-like state we adopt when perusing expensive metal, I came across an article, which had been retweeted by Philip Raby Porsche - not unreasonably as it name checks Philip.

The article talks about rising classic 911 prices, and asks if this inflation is a mere bubble, ripe for the pricking, or if there is more substance behind it.  Turns out there's a lot of substance behind it and the price of Porsche 993s, 930s and 964s is rising due to people buying the cars because they want to rather than to flip them to make a quick buck.

So I turned back to looking at 911s and quickly found that a good condition 996 can be had for £15k. So why, I thought, would anyone want an older 911 seeing as the 996 is a better car all round and much cheaper?

That's because I'm a driver, not a polisher, always have been and never realised it.

The article states, "If you’re saving hard and you’re a ‘driver’ as opposed to a ‘polisher’ then you view it as a double edged sword. The pricing is a continually moving target as you chase your quest. But of course once you become an owner, you’re having a combination of concern at driving it as hard as you used to, plus the combination of pleasure if it’s value continues up and concern that you have made the mistake of buying at the top of the market."

The paragraph basically states that those who want an air-cooled 911 in order to drive it are being prevented from doing so because to use it is to diminish its value, which could rise to a stratospheric amount.

My blinkered mind says, "so buy a 996 or 997 and drive the nuts off that."  To some people this is missing the point.  I like cars in order to drive them, not to look at them.  Some people think otherwise.

My cars are cleaned irregularly but I check the fluids regularly and have just spent a small fortune on new brakes for my Audi and new suspension for my BMW.  This is because I want to rag their arses, to thrash them and to enjoy the experience of driving them.

I care very little for how they look, as long as when they left the factory they were reasonably handsome/pretty (delete accordingly).

On the flip side some people spend an inordinate amount of time and money cleaning, polishing and detailing their cars. Some people have built entire businesses that revolve around cleaning rich people's super cars.

I do not understand this mentality but I duo understand that to these people the principle of ownership is pride in the car and it's appearance as much as the driving experience, and I respect that.

It's just not for me.

Are you a driver or a polisher?

By Matt Hubbard

Photo: Magnus Walker Porsche 911 - Historic Racer