Thursday, 22 May 2014

It's baaaaaack...

Well, I finally collected my car... and there are STILL issues.

The afore-mentioned "unavailable parts" are obviously not fitted.
This is particularly galling when the repairer removed the perfectly functional parts to repair other areas, and then somehow forgot to replace them , then lost them, then claimed that they were unavailable.
I have the new fender liners in the garage (six days from order to pick-up), ready to be fitted when I get some fasteners (6.3mm x 19mm self-tapping screws - this is, of course, a standard 1/4" x 3/4" screw relabeled to a metric size).
Total price was $554, covered by a cheque from the insurer.

The protective kevlar film on the trailing edge of the front wheel arches is not fitted. I have these parts also - $35, included in the cheque from the insurer.

There is (was!) a smear of blue-green BMW paint on the rear corner. Fortunately, 25 year old two-part paint is harder than freshly sprayed whatever-they-used on that poor BMW, and it polished off fine.

These parts are still available from the manufacturer after 25 years, so most people will realise that I don't drive a Ford, Holden, or Japanese import. Those companies have a statutory requirement to carry spare parts for seven years, measured from the last date that a model using that part is sold in Australia. In fact, a childhood friend was employed in the warehouse of Nissan and a significant part of his job was destroying the parts that were outside this age limit. When I say "destroy", I mean "smash beyond recognition" - anything plastic or glass was broken into pieces, steel panels were bashed flat under the forklift's wheels, and "hard" assemblies like gearboxes, differentials, and engines were smashed with hammers and sold for scrap. No doubt the company claimed a tax write-off for the parts (at full retail price).

My car is a Porsche. I bought it used, and I have driven it for nearly 20 years. For some reason, Porsche treats the spare parts market differently. You can still buy body shells for a 1950s era 356 fresh in-the-white from the factory. They are NOT cheap, but they are still available. In fact, over 95% of the parts in my humble 944 are still available ex-factory, and more than a few have been re-engineered with better design and new materials since the model went out of production.

.. and there is NO comparison between the driving experience in a 25 year old 944 and that in a nearly new Toyota Corolla. It's like the difference between a rapier and a blancmange in a sword fight.

I find that I don't care that I don't have Pandora, or air-bags, or auto-headlights, or rain-sensing wipers. I don't care that the steering is heavy at car-park speeds, or that you need muscles in both leg and arm to change gears - get moving and everything lightens up. Sure you can tell the brand of a cigarette butt when you run over it, but you can change lanes by thinking about it and there's not much that will beat you in the traffic light grand prix unless they are really trying.

I am happy that the old car is back - and now I'm going for a drive.