Norfolk Island is an odd little place. There’s one set of traffic lights on the Australian external territory, albeit only about 80km of road, the speed limit is 50km/h pretty much everywhere, and you have to give way to cows.
But there’s also one Porsche, the only one on the island, and it’s a 964 911 Targa owned by a man named Duncan Sanderson.
He bought it from a Japanese auction site, even though he had originally set out to find a delivery vehicle for the jewellery business he and his wife run.
“I happened to notice that the auction was selling various Porsches. Of course, it’s a sports car I’ve always dreamt of, ever since I was a young child,” he says.
“You can imagine how my wife reacted… but when the 911 actually arrived and she laid eyes on it, she was as ecstatic as I was.”
“The Porsche was finally hoisted ashore by crane; I held my breath as I watched it dangle over the sea,” the 75-year-old says.
That was 22 years ago.
While it would seem the Porsche isn’t the ideal delivery car, Sanderson says it actually worked out alright for him and his wife.
“It turns out that the Porsche was the best thing that could have happened to our business. There’s no communications strategy, however well thought-out, that could have matched the Porsche.
“The Targa and its large rear wing were a real magnet for passers-by. People would constantly come into our shop and ask about the Porsche – which, of course, I’d always park right in front of the door.”
It seems the other residents of Norfolk Island (of which there are less than 2000) have become rather used to seeing Sanderson and his 911, though he says the island might not be the best place to take the car right to its ragged edge.
“You have to be a bit creative on Norfolk Island. Sometimes I wish there was a bit of motorway in the middle of it, so I could really let the Porsche fly. But I’m getting older, and these days I really just enjoy my time with the car. The thing is, every drive in a Porsche is unique, so I’m constantly rediscovering my 911 and the place I call home.”
“People know that I sometimes like to drive a bit quicker, but I haven’t got any speeding tickets so far. You have to keep an eye out for the cows though, as they can suddenly appear out of nowhere.”
He’ll be right, as long as he remembers to give way.
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