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Don’t Baby Your Baby

Don’t Baby Your Baby
By Tony Mazzagatti

Call me crazy but I love to put miles and miles on my Porsches. I buy them to enjoy. I’ve met so many people who want to baby their cars and rarely drive them. Okay, some Porsche owners get the most enjoyment out of polishing and just looking at them. You should enjoy your car any way you want and not listen to anyone. However, being the bad influence that I am let me tell you how I treat my Porsche.

First some background. I’ve owned over twenty Porsches since 1967. 356’s, 912’s, Speedsters, 911’s, you name it and all have been bought used. They’ve been daily drivers, basket cases, competition prepared and concours winners…sometimes all at the same time. But there hasn’t been a hanger queen in the bunch. They were all driven just about everyday and I still sold most of them for more than I paid for them. My current car is a 1982 911 SC with over 320,000 miles on it’s un-rebuilt engine. Now that would impress a lot of people if it were just a pampered street car but it’s more than that. It’s my pet, my friend, my business associate and my racing buddy. This particular car is far from concours but from twenty feet away it looks great. I prefer to let it accumulate some character lines and a little thinning hair because it enjoys being a Porsche so much. What the heck do I mean by THAT!!? Well, if I were a Porsche with all of that history and heritage behind me I’d want to be on the road all the time. I’d want to go to the grocery store, the twisty roads, the office, the vacation trips and especially the driving events whether in a parking lot or the race track.

Sure, this particular car shows some wear, tear and age but it’s led a full life and shows no sign of slowing down (knock on wood/metal/fiberglass). Why does it keep going so well on the road and track? First I take care of it. Nothing fanatical mind you. I change the oil when I get around to it, sometimes 5,000 miles, sometimes 3,000 miles, sometimes less. But when I see, hear or think something is wrong I fix it immediately. I’ve never seen a Porsche fix itself or get better once it started to leak, clunk or vibrate. Secondly, and I think most importantly, I drive it a lot. No seal has ever prematurely dried out on one of my cars, never had to drain old sticky gas out of the tank or fuel system or replaced unsafe dry rotted tires or any other things that happen to hanger queens. Beware buying a super low mileage older used car. There are many advantages to having a car that has been “stored” for a long period of time but don’t think it’s going to be trouble free until you find all of the dried out and brittle parts that are lurking in the shadows.

My point is that you should enjoy your car while you have it. If that means polishing and pampering do it. For me its driving it on the street, parking lots and race tracks. If you don’t enjoy it while you have it all you’re doing is preserving it for the enjoyment of the next person you sell it to.


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