Pride, Prejudice and a Porsche

In 2019, I made a rash decision – maybe due to a midlife crisis or perimenopause, but more likely just tired of seeing to the needs of three dependents single-handedly for way too long. I’d been left a little inheritance, which I diligently placed into savings for a rainy day. Being the responsible individual that I am, the savings remained untouched for a good few years. Two adult semi-dependents later, both with driving licences, I thought it might be worth permitting myself an upgrade on my little entry level vehicle, which the children could then share (whichever was at home at the time). I decided that a cash purchase could save me a lot of paper work and would keep my monthly expenses the same. I was grateful for the inheritance but still trying to act responsibly.

I started looking. I thought I had a relatively decent amount of cash and would find something of an improvement: it could represent a pat on the back or be a symbol from the Universe of a job well done and here’s a promotion. I was mistaken. I canned the idea of a newish upgrade and decided the two semi-dependents could have access to my car and I should perhaps look further afield at all the possibilities within my spend limit. Maybe I could find something with more class or more savvy or more sexy than any new model. What the hell? I had worked hard and seldom put my needs above those of my children.

I looked again. It jumped off the page. A classic little sports car with a drop top. And within budget. Yes, you guessed right: a Porsche. It’s a Boxster Sport 2001. I had no idea what that meant but I liked how it looked and I fancied how it might make me feel when driving it. So I bought it 24 hours later. One of the most impulsive things I have ever done and one of the wildest thrills of my life.

Enter prejudice.

What precedes prejudice is ignorance. The irony is that my ignorance was greater than that of others. I can admit, even with a sense of shame, that I knew not what I had done. I am not a car fundi and only ever considered cars like Porsches to be on the higher end of the market, rather than in a market of their own. People perceive Porsche owners as having extreme wealth and lavish lifestyles. It goes without saying that you’d be part of a Sunday drive club or own at least one other luxury vehicle. This is the one you take out once a week or once a month to cruise around and strut your stuff. Oh dear. I think I preferred what people thought of me in the Hyundai i10 – even if it was pity from people making assumptions that I couldn’t afford any extras.

People who’d known me for years, and those who hadn’t, suddenly saw me as wealthy, got it all, made the grade and holding a status worthy of making sure all company was informed of this latest acquisition. They never considered that their SUVs might be double the price I paid for my sexy car! Suddenly I was somebody different in the eyes of almost everybody. I didn’t like it.

It affected my pride.

Pride can be good and bad. My negative pride made me feel guilty by what was perceived as a show of excess. My good pride made me laugh with joy, drop the roof and enjoy the smooth ride this car offered – I never understood what driving a car with power meant until I drove this one. It’s a two-seater so there is only space for one passenger – no more lift requests! This is my car and I love it. But I’m too easily swayed by popular opinion and my pride gets in the way of ignoring what others think.

So now I sit with pride, prejudice and a Porsche.

What might Jane Austen say? Give it time, be not too quick to judge and love will blossom in all the right places. For all of us!

From functional….

To fabulous…

Note: Thank you to SAFREAN colleague, Gudrun Kaiser, for editing this article.

Disclaimer: the views expressed herein are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of SAFREA or the SAFREA Chronicle.

Author

4 Responses

  1. This made me smile. I had a mid-life crisis about two years ago and used a windfall to buy the ultimate car of my dreams – a Subaru WRX! Family size but with the fancy leather trimmings, a radio that spoke to me, played my text messages….ohhh….and the power. There is nothing like the growl of that engine underneath you or the second when your head shifts back with the raw thrust as you take off. Alas about a year after getting the car, I was struck by a crisis of conscience. Also, I was terrified of driving it anywhere cos I loved it too much and the thought of someone else bumping me or scratching my door at the mall – enough to cause a heart attack. I ended up selling it back to the dealer, trading down to another Subaru that I loved not quite as much ….and bought my son the piano he needed for his lessons.

  2. Yups Alexis. It’s the way you feel. When I decided to buy a car I had but three requirements. Two-door. Convertible. Sports car. I have a passenger or date only 10% of the time but but SLK attracts attention. But as you know, I am mostly on my motorbike. I have the best of all worlds. And like your Porsche, my SLK probably costs less than half the cars in any shopping centre on a Saturday. That power of the Porsche lurches through your bones and oozes out of your pores. It’s a delight. ENJOY!

  3. Hi Alexis,
    You are so right about driving a Porsche.
    I’ve owned three Porsche’s over the years, the first bought for R30 000. I sold it three years later for about R38 000 with a further 40 000 km on the clock.
    The other two were old Porsche 911s Targa models.
    Oh dear, suddenly I was (as you found) a wealthy snob eager to show the world that I had heaps of cash lying around. Those perceptions were totally unfounded of course.
    As with my earlier Porsche, I drove the cars for a few years and sold them for more than I paid. And, since they were far older than the BMWs, Benzs and SUVs of my critics, they cost a lot less.
    Here’s the trick: unlike more popular vehicles, their value goes up. And because they are ‘veterans’, insurance costs are far lower provided you travel less than a stipulated distance every month.
    But the hackneyed old saying ‘perception is reality’ sticks like super glue to ownership of these beauties.

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