Well, the rush and public acclaim that’s come from being a special envoy for Coopers, Stepney’s best BMW mechanic, official painter of nude royal portraits and host of Meghan and Harry at the Kensi (naturally the function was in the appropriately named Kings Room because of the easy access to the Corner Bar and the UBET facility — doesn’t Megs love a punt!) and senior driver in both WARTs (rally and racing) has seen Michael McMichael move up well above his station.
Before we move on to detail his many failures, can I just suggest that if you and the other non-execs are planning your Christmas function, then you had better book The Regent or The Kings Room at the Kensi now. What better way for a chairperson to say thankyou to fellow directors (other than lifting the extra pay for being on a board sub-committee) than mini pulled pork buns with pickled cucumber and chilli mayo, or gruyere and leek semolina balls, washed down with five or six Japanese Slippers (Cointreau, Midori, lemon juice and a glazed cherry) followed by a cleansing Coopers to wrap up entree.
OK. It’s only about 21 sleeps to the Adelaide Motorsports Festival and the premium event, The Shannons Adelaide Rally Competition, where Michael and I are aiming to take the podium, drink from a shoe, spray Coopers Sparkling over the crowd and be invited to compete in the 2019 World Rally Championship. Of course, like any sporting competition that warrants a metaphor (we’re behind the Eight ball, have hills to climb, are facing obstacles at every turn and ready to hit it out of the park) we have a lot of work to do to get The Weekend Australian ’s mighty 1990s Beemer with the Alpina engine and M3 running gear ready for its first run since Targa Tasmania.
Has my fellow team member even got the pride of Bavaria out of the woodshed in the Adelaide Hills where it rests off season? Has he checked it to see if our old friend Blackie the black snake moved back in to help Mrs Red-Bellied Black Snake give birth to 18 babies? Will Blackie be annoyed if we come around and disturb him, the wife and the 18 ankle biters in the Beemer birth machine? Friends and readers, let me tell you what the quacks at Sydney Uni told me about Blackie and his mates to make me feel better. “While the venom has neurotoxic, coagulopathic and myotoxic actions, it is not as potent as most, and no deaths after a red-bellied black snake bite have yet been reported but we believe there could be one coming up in a woodshed in the Adelaide Hills. Can ‘jump’ in the air if disturbed or chased.” Beauty. All good now.
Not that we have much competition in the driving part of the rally. Think David Brabham, Alister McRae (78 world rally championships) and our old betes noires Coral Taylor and Neil Bates (winners of everything).
Talking of tough competition, I need to give a huge plug to Jim Pollicina and Ryan Simpson in the MoComm Motorsport Communication Lotus Exige, who are the outright and A1 Champions in the 2018 jacuzzi Spas Australian Production Cars series. Jim and Ryan got a $10,000 jacuzzi Spas voucher each. I’m not sure of the connection between hot tubs and motor sports, except the lurid stories I have read about after-race antics in motels (no I wasn’t there after the big night at Pino’s Trattoria and the after-party at the Sea Horse motel, even if my car was parked outside) but all motorsport backers do deserve a plug.
Talking of plugs, if you can’t afford the Kensi, then do yourself a favour and pay Nathan Duff (www.retromotive.com.au) $79 for a subscription to his motor mag Retromotive. The most beautiful pics of classic cars, great stories on real owners and (at the moment) no ads.
Too late. You’ve missed out. The Project Gold Porker went for close to $5 million at RM Sotheby’s Porker-only auction in Atlanta. This car is a 993 (1994 to 1998), which last came off the assembly line 20 years ago. And it was the last of the air-cooled Porsche models made. I stupidly traded my dark blue one in on a 996, the next model, which came with the fried egg eyes for headlights and that went on to become the worst investment I ever made in a car but let’s move on, this is not all about me. The top luxury car brands have finally woken up to the fact that the margins and dollars in the expensive end of the industry are going to independents restoring and remaking old Jags, Mercs and Porkers. Think of the Singer Porsche ($400,000 to $2m), the Lynx D-Type ($300,000) and E-Type restorations ($500,000).
So, the tricksters at Stuttgart got one of the leftover 993 body shells from down the back of the warehouse, then spent 18 months dropping a six-cylinder bi-turbocharged boxer engine in it, hand painting the outside and hand upholstering the inside. It was built entirely from brand-new parts, delivers 335kw, which should give it a 0 to 100km/h time of 3.8 seconds, and Mr Porker says he won’t allow another one to be built. The sale proceeds go to benefit the Ferry Porsche Foundation, a non-profit charity dedicated to education, social issues, and youth development. Did Australia’s favourite Porker owner, Virgin boss John Borghetti buy it?