Farewell, friend

Porsche Cayman S
The Cayman in all its moody glory. It will be missed.

Jack bids a heartfelt farewell to his Caymonster, as the Porsche Cayman S leaves the Drive Cult garage.

Normally, when I sit down to write a piece about my cars, I am enthused to do so. Sometimes it’s a positive moment, something that makes me smile; sometimes it can even be a primeval moment of fear and adrenalin. Either way, it’s a recollection that brings up a warm glow inside.

This final report is borne from none of those seeds of creative inspiration; quite the opposite, in fact. It’s taken me weeks of inner turmoil to get to this point of sitting down in front of a keyboard and actually putting my feelings into words on this matter. Even sat here now with a glass of wine (and a couple already inside me), it’s far from easy for me to pull my thoughts together and get this down.

On the 1st April 2011 my Porsche Cayman S, which I’ve owned and loved for the past five and half years, left my drive for the very last time under my stewardship, never to return. This truly was the end of an era.

I’ve never become attached to a car before. As an engineer I thought it completely ridiculous that an individual could become attached to a mechanical object such as a car. It’s just a collection of wires and plastic and metal and rubber, right? Every time I watch one of those stupid Top Gear specials where Hammond or Clarkson falls in love with their car in the closing scenes, it makes me gag a little, and I want to shout at them to stop playing to the camera so shamelessly. Yet here I am, admitting that my heart felt heavy and lumpen at the thought of not having that precious piece of Basalt Black metal sat on my drive every night.

For weeks before the day that it was due to leave, I lay in bed at night wondering if I’d made a huge mistake. Was I insane to let such a huge part of my personal motoring heritage slide away from under me? Even typing this now, three weeks later, I feel sad, as if a part of me is missing. Like my near-side front tyre is flat and I’m just drifting in lazy loops…

I’ve just put down the phone after speaking to the new owner, who recounted in vivid detail the pure unadulterated enjoyment that he’s had from my old car over the last few weeks. How stunned he has been by the ride, the noise, the brakes, and everything else about the car. He’s absolutely besotted with the damned thing. For me, it was forty-five minutes of happiness and pure anguish combined. Happy that someone else that I know and respect is enjoying the machine I’ve developed over the last five years, but sadness and heartache in the knowledge that when I wake up tomorrow morning, picking up the keys to the Porsche and firing up that sonorous flat-6 will not be an option to me. The Caymonster is gone.

Gone, but never forgotten. I have so many great memories of this car. Feeling the balance of that chassis as I tip it into Old Hall at Oulton Park, or how it sounded singing its lungs out over Route Napoleon, the exhaust echoing off the tall walls that line the streets of Grasse as it dropped me into the golden glow of a late summer evening on the Cote d’Azure. Or how every morning and evening, regardless of the weather, the window would be wound down as I passed through the tunnels adjacent to Manchester Airport on my commute, just to hear that exhaust note. Cycling the slick shift through gears just to hear the revs rise and fall. How poised it felt dropping through Craner Curves at Donington, urging me to take every direction change flat-out.

My Cayman was the car that taught me what a car should be, what a car is capable of, and in the end, taught me about what it’s like to let a mechanical object get so far and so deeply under your skin that you feel like your heart is going to explode when you watch it leave your drive for the final time.

Goodbye and farewell, friend. 

Watch a video of the Caymonster at Oulton Park here.