Sunday, June 18, 2017

RETRO: My Father's Porsche...

Porsche 924. (Source: Images)
While the "Family" Mustang was a better car all around, I still fondly remember my Dad's Porsche...

Yeah, it may be a STIR-RETCH! But once again I'm Swimming in Synchronicity, or is it synchromesh? Since after all there's some racing cars from Weissach going round 'N round le Circuit de la Sarthe right now! Although Thar 919 Hybrid's 'lil 4-banger's gotz' a whole lotta more Giddy Up!

Although this story is more about the car, nevertheless it's also related to my Father Tomas Senior, since after all it's what day today? When I'd typically have been off gallivanting 'bout Portland International Raceway for an IndyCar race; but I digress...

At the height of his "Cool" factor; Hey! Uhm, insert Fonz' pronunciation here? As obviously Dad's still cool, especially when 'Ol Huey Lewis croons 'bout Square's being Hip; Hya!

Thus the car in Questione was a brand spankin' new 1977 and-a-half, or as European designation of 1977.5 silver with black interior Porsche 924. Which reportedly was not only Porsche's first water cooled car produced, but also has the distinction of being the first front engine rear wheel drive vehicle and first ever automatic transmission; for which Pops' opted for, which was a 3-speed "Slushbox."

As it's funny what our memories retain, eh? Since I still vividly recall the silver paint and black vinyl front bucket seats, black door panels, etc. today, four decades later; whilst having completely forgotten it was billed as a 2+2 Coupe, and even worse yet totally don't remember that as a Wee' lad, I sat in the back seat; Huh? Which I'm told were miniscule at best.

When I asked Pops' what he recalled 'bout the car, he was pretty non-committal, other then immediately recalling the time the mechanic forgot to replace the valve cover cap after an oil change, which promptly caused hot oil to spew everywheres' in a smelly, hot, Smoke-On emitting cloud from underneath the bonnet!

Whilst my future Mum was less ecstatic 'bout the Porsche, noting the following issues with his 924. First telling me it was continuously Tinny sounding, along with always smelling of burning Oil.

Worse yet was the ridiculous $500 repair to fix the windshield wipers, which required removing the radio! For which the factory Dealership then broke the radio! And refused to repair it!

Also the "Eyes" were always going Catty-wompus! Oh, you mean the retractable "Pop-up" Headlights, right? Yeah, you'd see other cars with theirs going spring-spring-spring down the road, whilst you'd have to sit on them to make them retract...

Presumably the burning Oil smell was attributed to that Cluck-up by the mechanic? While I'm no engineer, et al, but I've read that Porsche utilized two harmonic balancers to smooth out the normal vibrations four cylinder lumps' inherently produce, so might the tinny sound been a byproduct of this?

Joe Walsh
"My Maserati does 185,
I lost my license,
Now I Don't Drive"

Speaking 'O Sounds, what I recall most, was never having any lengthy conversations in the car, since typically the sunroof was off, presumably during our brief, sunny summers!

And why do I still remember the black cloth bag in the hatchback's trunk for putting the removable sunroof panel in? Or the black plastic wind deflector on the leading edge of the roof's hole?

Along with us Rockin' out to one of two well played 8-Track tapes; EUREKA! Y'all recall 8-Track tape cassettes, right? As we seemed to gravitate between Joe Walsh or the Little River Band, to which my Hipster Dad introduced me to.

As the song Life's been Good is Joe Walsh's highest charting single, reaching No. 12 on the Billboard, on his album But Seriously, Folks, released in May, 1978.

While I tend to recall that it was the Little River Band from Down Under that got more "Play-time" in the radio's 8-Track, as I still remember the novelty of the radio's face-plate swiveling inwards for the 8-Track's insertion nestled in front of the automatic's T-handle selector in the center console.

Think we wore out the State side's version of Diamantina Cocktail, which I'll let Y'all look-up what that is Mates!

As I won't even try explaining the dichotomy of LRB's album releases Stateside, other than my introduction to the band was Thar first Top-40 single It's a Long Way There, which chimes in at 8:38, whilst Joe Walsh's Life's been Good is 7:57.

Hmm? It's interesting to Mwah how songs could routinely span 6-8mins duration during the 1970's - when we had longer attention spans, Pre-computer/Cell Phone era, as imagine listening to an 8min song today?

Meanwhile, it's always bemusing to Mwah what Pops' holds back, since while querying him on the 'Ol 924, he volunteered without prodding that it was the replacement to the 914; Uh huh. And when I told him I'd always liked the 944, he said yes, that's a more powerful version but it was also costlier; Correctomundo!

As I won't debate the merits or panning of it by Porschephiles', or try explaining its history, other than over 150,000 were produced during its twelve year production run as a vital income stream for Porsche.

While this chassis was the basis for the 924 Carrera GT racecar the late Peter Gregg was supposed to race in 1980 at Le Mans, which I've previously chronicled here in Nofendersville.

While the renown Doc Bundy drove a 924 to an SCCA National Championship in his rookie season, along with claiming the GTO Class victory at Le Mans...

As thanxs for the memories Pops', and Happy Father's Day, Y'all!