Let us never forget the time that Jeremy Clarkson, professional afro-haired automotive curmudgeon, once killed a Porsche 911 on purpose.
Let's never forget that he took a 1969 Porsche 911S, updated to resemble the legendary Carrera 2.7 RS, complete with faux whale-tail, and eventually set it on fire.
Let us remember how young Clarkson, speaking to the camera that will then go into one of his bizarro-world annual, low-budget, Top Gear Lite, sold-in-England-only DVDs, cranked out by the millions just in time for your grandma to pick one up for you at Christmas because, after all, "I know you liked cars and I didn't know what to get you!" This chapter was entitled, It certainly lives up to its promise. You can get it on Amazon, used, for £7.99.
It begins with the self-assurance of the most famous automotive journalist in the world: "this is the Porsche 911…and it's going to die."
"That is, of course, unless it kills me first." Then, he slides around a wet track and the "ass-engined Nazi slot car" swings wide, reiterating the biggest cliche in automotive cliches, which Clarkson and Top Gear have always done with shameless aplomb. Yes, back when the 911 was simply a used car, and not a phenomenon, the sent many a wealthy ladder-climbing yuppie to an early grave or a higher insurance premium. For this, of course, it deserves to die.
How, then, does Clarkson gleefully kill a Porsche 911?
He drops a piano on it.
He crashes it into a shed.
He shoots it with a pellet gun. He throws a brick through the window that remained surprisingly intact after shooting it with a pellet gun.
He douses acid on it.
And finally, he lifts it with a crane and drops it into a mobile home, which then explodes, finally killing it once and for all.
Yes, the Top Gear trio did all of these things to an entire fleet of Morris Marinas, to hilarious expensive. But it stings to see the same treatment performed on such an icon, a celebrated form of engineering, where , a car that today, even after its unholy charbroiling, that car is probably worth—
You know what, don't even think about how much that car is worth. Even in its crispy state it is worth the GDP of an African country. ("But it's numbers-matching!" you'll stand on the trailer and explain to your family, your neighbors, your therapist.) Oh, if 1998 Jeremy Clarkson had the foresight to realize that well-heeled enthusiasts are willing to pay for the chance to own a pre-70s Porsche, just to stay "period correct," then he could've tucked this car away inside the very shed he crashed into, driven it to the nearest Porsche show, and sold it to an "aspiring" "producer" with a stack of Heuer stickers just waiting to slapped on during .
For the army of nailbiting Porsche fans out there, your humble chronicler included, it is indeed like watching a box of kittens being lit on fire. It is that feeling that a perfectly good car, , went to an early grave simply for crass entertainment. It's a waste. And it's a kuhlt, alright.