by Pierre Martins
Any excuse to blow away the cobwebs…
Elsewhere on this blog there is a story of my friend Dave Fourie’s racing endeavours during 2007 in his spunky speed-yellow IROC 911 RSR replica. To find it, look for the link “Porsche 911 – Flying Doctor”. It’s a sweet story…
Anyway, Dave is from a town in the northern parts of South Africa called Nelspruit, not very far from the famed Kruger National Park. The nice thing about Nelspruit from a petrol-head’s perspective is that it’s nestled smack bang in the middle of mountainous terrain that offers some of the best driving roads in Southern Africa. Good road surfaces, canyons abound, cops are few and it’s only a two-and-a-half-hour drive from my house.
So does my buddy Mario from M&R Motors, who preps Dave’s race car. Ever so often he phones me with some bullshit reason to go to Nelspruit. I never decline. Last year on my birthday we did it in a blue 964 RS. Mario had just built the engine and the owner of the car was too busy or lazy to break it in, so he asked us to do it. We’re talking a 600km round trip whilst keeping the car under 4000rpm, but lemme tell ya, you can have plenty fun in the twisties with the revs under 4k. I thoroughly enjoyed driving that car. Sweet birthday, eh?
On this occasion the excuse was to deliver Dave’s white street-legal 911 to Nelspruit after Mario had done some exhaust and other mods, so we took not one, but two 911s for the trip – Dave’s white car and Mario’s ‘Red Lady’, an eighty-something SC in pristine original condition.
And of course we didn’t take the shortest route to Dave’s place. No sir, we took all possible detours to soak up every mountain pass along the way and put the cars through their paces. Schoeman’s Kloof, Long-Tom pass to Graskop and finally that sweet road with high-speed sweepers to White River. There’s a never-ending sweeper on that road that keeps you occupied for a long, long time…
I’m a simple man, but I know life is good when you’re blessed with the pleasure of driving cars like these, on roads like these and you know when you arrive at your destination there’s a buddy ready and waiting to entertain and cook up a storm.
That Sunday we got up late and I took the wheel of the Red Lady for the slow cruise home. Road trips with a good buddy are the best for talking shit and laughs, and right on que we spotted an old VW Beetle with side-pipes!
Now, I ask you with tears in my pale blue eyes – Surely the guy who fitted side-pipes to that Beetle must have thought it was a good idea at the time? And when the job was done, did he actually stand back and admire his handiwork?