Steve Cropley: turbulent times can still create excitement


Wednesday

Tough times in the fast car industry always send me scuttling to check second-hand prices. Porsche benefits from its quality and stability at times like this and, sure enough, there hasn’t been much of a decline. But I can’t help noticing a considerable difference between used prices at Porsche Reading and Porsche Swindon (I’ll leave you to divine which is which) and wonder why the pricier one would do that. Do its incumbents reckon buyers are too dim to compare? If so, do they deserve our business? Not mine.

Thursday

The office is reflecting (via Google Meet) on the situation that will greet Moers at Gaydon in August. I’m cheered by an announcement from Mercedes that he left at his own request, on two counts. First, it eliminates the likelihood of some kind of Daimler corporate stealth (always unlikely). Second, it shows that this capable and ambitious man is tying his future to success at Aston Martin – a healthy situation.

He will get a friendly welcome, because that’s what we do in this country. Besides, UK car-making has much to thank German managers for, especially since they’re usually very respectful of our marques’ traditions. But Moers will do well to create the team spirit achieved by Palmer for four of his six years, as elements of his staff know well.

Friday

Out of the ether comes news that a friend who backed his hunch that Aston Martin shares couldn’t fall lower than 30p has made a decent killing at 55p, having owned his sizeable parcel for just a few weeks. He’s now buying the Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 he has always wanted…

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And another thing…

When I set out to build this Lego Land Rover Defender, I reckoned I was doing something intrepid. My mistake was to stick some images on Twitter. I got trumped by at least 30 people who’ve done one already, including various engineers who helped create the real thing!

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