Back-from-Sydney Snippets

I’ll get up to speed on the Saab stuff shortly, but first….
Friday in Sydney – a tale of two Beamers
I featured a Google Images shot of Sydney when I posted the other day, but just to prove I was really there, here’s my own little postcard photo taken from my spot on the Manly Ferry.
The place sure does look pretty on a day like that, though it’s still nuts.
That night, we headed off to the Belgian Beer Cafe, the NSW Saab guys’ unofficial home, for another get together over dinner.
Richo was kind enough to organise a ride for us, though as he no longer has his Viggen, we were totally reliant upon his taste and discretion for our transportation…….
…..yes, we were in a Beamer.
Well, we were spread out between two Beamers, actually. That dark one is Richo’s own 325 Coupe, which I drove after dinner (more in a moment).
We also had this little baby, which is what I was driven to dinner in:
The M3 belongs to a mate of Richo’s named John. He was kind enough to take myself and my young bloke, Geoff, over to the BBC and join us all for dinner.
Let me tell you, that M3 is one incredible driving machine. It’s got plenty of presence, though it’s not nearly as loud in the metal as it is when you press the loud pedal. It is one immensely powerful machine.
This M3 has a little ‘M’ button on the steering wheel and it’s like a switchable automotive steroid injection. John showed us the M button in action, driving at a moderate speed and keeping his foot in the same place whilst hitting the M pedal. Wow! No change in pressure at all on the gas pedal but the whole attitude of the car changes and it’s super-aggressive.
Incredible stuff.
I’ve given Richo plenty of grief about his decision to sell his Viggen and buy a new BMW and whilst I’d still rather see him back in the Viggen, I can now better understand his decision for the BMW. It’s a very solid car and quite a bit better than I’d expected.
I drove it back from dinner to our accommodation and whilst it’s the baby six of the BMW-bunch, it’s still got enough punch to keep you interested. The finish is exceptionally good and the attention to detail is, frankly, kind of jealousy inducing. But that’s what successful companies can do.
My thanks to Richo and John for the experiences and of course, just for catching up.
Dinner with the Sydney Saab guys is always fantastic and Friday night was no exception. It was mostly familiar faces with a couple of new ones too (G’day Sue and Alan!) and it’s always good to get together again with a group of guys with whom I waste so much time via email.
Here’s PT enjoying one of Belgium’s finest:
Brendan bought his black 99T and Joe Lobo had his Turbo X there as well, so we had the Black Turbo bookends there.
Hawkeye had his Concours prizewinning BioPower 9-3 there as well.
Carlton lost, so Saturday sucked. Meatballs for dinner.
Back home on Sunday – time to sell the Alfa….
We came home this morning and I had plenty of work to do. I’ve been flat out raising money for the Alfa’s replacement car. I had 7 auctions on Ebay, which finished Saturday morning, and I also had to prepare for the two people who were coming over to check out the Alfa I’ve got for sale.
Yes, good photos did the trick again….
Alfa 33
The first group was a young kid with his parents. It was going to be his first car and after a ride in the car with me at the wheel, his folks came to the opinion that this probably wasn’t the ideal car for him 🙂 — They were concerned that he might get into trouble a little too easily in it. The young bloke looked suitably disappointed.
The second guy was in his early 20s and knew a little about them, having had an Alfa project that didn’t get finished a few years ago. He really liked the car and seems quite keen on it. He’s got to speak with the Ministers for Agriculture and Finance (i.e. the parents, from whom he’ll borrow the money) and should get back to me within a couple of days.
Fingers crossed.
MX5 or 944??
I’m feeling like I’m in a dilemma once again. The Alfa will be replaced with one of two models of car. It’ll either be a Porsche 944S or a Mazda MX-5. The only problem is that I can’t figure out which.
I’m really drawn to the Porsche. That badge just seems to have a giant magnet in it and I can’t help but being drawn back to it. BUT, I’m really worried about the maintenance cost if/when something goes wrong. And I know something will go wrong – something always does.
My brother-in-law in Canada got an old MX-5 last year and I drove it when I visited him in Vancouver. I’d never driven one before and it really was a lot of fun. It’ll be a little cheaper than the Porsche I’m looking at and is reputed to be more reliable, and would most likely be cheaper to maintain.
So….which to go for (if I get the chance)?????
Internal stuff out of the way, time for some Saab updates…..