I accept that I am not as fit as I used to be. I get out of breath getting up from the sofa to look for the remote. I can even forgive Father Time for the fact that wisdom is apparently not the only thing that expands with age!

Other aspects about getting old are harder to live with. The grey hairs creeping in, the dependence on medications (and anti-acids) and the slow, painful realisation that I should probably start taking better care of myself now, if I still want to see the other side of 50.

This ageing process makes a lot of people do weird things like change their hair colour, quit their jobs or buy a sports car. Unfortunately, the latter has been giving sports cars a bit of a stigma as being a mid-life crisis on wheels, when in fact they are beautifully sculpted reminders of just how much fun driving can be.

Overcome the mid-life stigma and step into a properly-sorted sports car and you will instantly see what I mean. I’m not talking about poseur cruisers or number chasers either. I’m talking about something that doesn’t necessarily have the best 0-100km/h time, but a machine that makes driving feel like the most fun you can have without removing your undergarments.

Cars like this can relieve your stress at the end of a long day, get you involved with social groups for breakfast runs and simply put a massive smile on your dial. Cars like these will change your life! In fact, if I were a doctor, I would recommend sports cars to all my patients because I’m convinced they can make you live longer.

If I may, I would like to get a little more specific though. Don’t fall into the trap of buying something that looks good on paper because it has impressive performance figures and blistering lap times (a-la GTR). Go for a car that follows the simple sports car recipe – simple being the key-word here.

Simpler cars feel more mechanical, which is exactly what you want! They’re usually lighter too, which just makes everything better. Don’t isolate yourself from the experience – it should feel like you’re wrestling with an uncontrollable mechanical beast and becoming its master!

Sports cars are NOT front wheel drive or four wheel drive, so make sure that when you do doughnuts and burnouts, it’s the rear tyres pouring out the smoke. Avoid as many driver aids as you can or at least make sure you can turn them off.

Yes it makes things less “safe”, but you’re getting older now and you’ve had a good run, so why not!?

It should look good, sound fantastic and feel like it is going 600mph when you’re bumbling around at 60. Sports cars should ALL have proper three-pedal manual gearboxes too. But above all, they should make you want to drive; they should make every single journey feel like an occasion. You should feel like you’ve arrived even before you set off!

But beware – these cars are highly addictive, and once you’ve had a great sports car, you will never be able to live without again…

2 thoughts on “The sports car recipe

  1. Christo Thomson says:

    The only real issue that I personally have with sports cars mr Q, is getting in and out. Boy are they made for the vertically deprived!!
    My favourite of all times are the MR Toyota…mid 90’s…the one copies from the Lotus. I played with one to my heart’s content, unfortunately never on a track. Second are the MX5…for sure.

    1. Mr Q says:

      LOL I can believe that Oom Christo! ( I should explain, Mr Thomson is a rather tall man).

      Those MR2 Toyotas and the MX5’s are perfect little cars to throw around, and exactly the kind of thing I’m talking about. Brilliant sportscars! I have a VERY funny picture of you somewhere from that track-day we did. In the picture you were sitting in the driver’s seat of Wihan’s MX5 and it looks like your knees are about to touch the roof!

      I believe Mr. Clarkson (also a tall man) said it best – “I can fit into any car that’s worth fitting into!”

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