Friday, 8 August 2014

Brand Leverage

I will never buy a new Porsche.
Don’t get me wrong, I know I’ll never afford one anyway (or any other new car for that matter). I love Porsches, they are superb small sports cars. But really Porsche died somewhere in the 1970s. By the 80s it was all over.
I blame marketing. There is a philosophy in marketing that once a brand is established  you can extend it into other products, so the original qualities are transferred through ‘brand’ onto other products the company makes. So when I buy a Porsche Cayenne,  I’m really buying a svelte little sportscar .
Right! This and other Bullshit destroyed the great marque of Porsche. In much the same way as Rover was destroyed and marques like Riley where humiliated by putting their ‘essence’ on bad BMC products. It’s the same thing, a 4 door is not a Porsche, a Porsche is not a fat bloated boulevard cruiser. Get real Porsche executives. You got it wrong!
Bottom dwelling Porsches
2001 Porsche Boxter
Porsches modern interpretation of the Speedster: Fat, bloated, ungainly. None of the elegance of a real Porsche. Performance and handling aplenty but hardly a ‘keeper’ or inspiring of ownership. Flash shape but not a pretty one. Prices have halved in the last 2years (they used to be $30k now $15k) but still $10k overpriced.
For: Might impress some people but how far can you push a dead horse?.
Against: Fat, overweight and ugly. Needs to go to the gym. Looks like they commissioned Toyota to style it for them, a speedster it is not!
Bottom dweller Status: 2/5 but growing rapidly, prices dropping. The brand is being to be exposed for the con it is!
1979 Porsche 924
Yet another attempt to make a cheap sportscar, as 911s grew too expensive. Hence Audi 2-litre motor. (but a rear transaxle gearbox) Still for all that they are relatively small compared with later attempts. A fine design if not exceedingly beautiful or endearing. The magic had probably gone by then but it would have been a great idea under another brand.
For: A nice car, lovely in this early form.
Against: forget that it’s a Porsche and an enjoy the  Audi sportcar it was always meant to be.
Bottom dweller Status;  6.5/5  At this price ($1500) who can complain?
French fancies
The run of wonderful French cars continues on trade me. They truly are the marvelous bargains of the classic car market!
1981 Renault Fuego Rally Car
Once considered a poor mans Porsche these have long been considered bottom dwellers, But look at this ! Fully worked track/rally car is an utter bargain! Find a Porsche of the same capacity that would keep up I say! Gorgeous and great to drive at the best of times, these Renaults are highly underrated. With excellent and controllable oversteer on gravel, you’ll surprise all the Toyotas and Datsuns on the corners!
For: Very little, but press the Buy now($3000) to stop yourself feeling guilty for getting it too cheap. Lovely original mags. Looks all well done (and no doubt huge cost) Absolute bargain!.
Against: I don’t have the money.Only bidding $1500 and getting it!
Bottom Dweller Status: 7/5  Fabulous!
1983 Renault 5TS
From the same seller as above, these used to be common as muck, but now alas our roads are bereft.  Unusual in that its not an east /west engine yet is front wheel drive.. The car is almost mid-engined, as the motor is under the dash driving forward to the front wheels. Most unusual in an age of Fwd east/west cars. All the better for it though with fine handling and French flair!
For: Character and compactness. Looks carefully looked after. Lovely small classic.
Against: probably won’t stay at this price.
Bottom dweller Status: 4/5 Far too rare. Long may they continue to appear!

1953 Peugeot 203
Beautiful aerodyne French saloon, Way ahead of nearly every other mass produced car of the time (except Citroen perhaps but a generations ahead in looks).  Almost as beautiful as a Bristol 403 Coupe. Long running mechanicals and a robustness which was legendary. Quality feel that reassures you of your superb taste in cars.
For: Tintin had one.
Against: If you hotrod it I will find you and kill you!
Bottom dweller status: 4.5/5 If this was a Volvo or a Saab it would cost ten times the price!