Yesterday I went for a drive. It was one of those drives with no destination, no practical purpose and one that many would consider completely pointless. I went for a drive purely to drive.
There’s no point explaining why I enjoy driving, because here on Autocar.co.uk, it’s probably safe to assume you also enjoy driving, or that you’re at least slightly fond of some part of it. What I will do is explain why I have enjoyed driving my old Porsche 944 cabriolet so much, before opening the floor to you so you can explain what you drive and why. After all, we all love talking about what we drive, don’t we?
So, my 944. It’s red - well, one or two panels are a little pink now - it’s 27 years old and has covered only 46,796 miles in that time. I co-own it with my dad and have spent the past 48 hours soaking up every minute of sunshine possible from behind its wheel. It’s got a squeak here and there and the stereo’s rubbish, but as a driver's car, I think it’s brilliant.
The 944 is famous for having a near perfect 50:50 weight distribution thanks to its front-engine, transaxle layout. Admittedly, the convertible version’s weight distribution is slightly hampered with its folding roof mechanism, but even the cabriolet is still an excellently balanced machine.
It makes for a great driver's car because of that balance, and also because it has just about enough power to be throttle-adjustable. The steering’s heavy, the gear lever is weighted and heel-and-toe blips require you to rotate your ankle around 45 degrees because the pedals are quite spaced apart. It makes for a fairly physical experience, and one that rewards an ‘elbows out’ driving style.
Coast at speed into a corner and the car will naturally push into very slight understeer, but enter on the brakes and the front tyres bite with real intent. It’s at these times you can squeeze the throttle to tighten your line and start to dance the car around on its centre. It’s at these moments you also start to giggle profusely.
My drive took me from village to village, the name of each less familiar than the last, but an eagerness to re-experience the feeling of a loaded up chassis was enough of a motivator to keep me going. Yesterday afternoon reminded me of how much fun it is to just go for a drive. No destination. No real purpose. Just driving.
So, now to you: did you venture out onto sun-baked tarmac over the weekend? Or are you out in the sun driving your pride and joy now? If it’s sunny this coming weekend, what will you be driving and why? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll add your answers to our next Autocar Social piece, due online this Sunday.