Sunday, 11 December 2011

Alex Georgiades

The most impressive Porsche 911 for me ever was the limited edition 1973 2.7 Carrera series. Porsche had built a limited number of these 400 in total, 200 touring car trim and 200 lightweight versions. I first drove one of these whilst working at AFN but working in a private capacity.
Philip Tyrell had come to me late one afternoon and asked me. “Alan would you pop over to Kingston-upon-Thames after work, to free off a stuck handbrake on a Porsche 911 belonging to some Greek chap?” I was a bit doubtful of this and had visions of spending my evening sorting out a rusty old handbrake system, not getting paid and losing out on my time and petrol. I eventually succumbed and agreed to go and took the details of the customer. I was suspicious as if this was a bonafide customer, why could we not sort this out in the works time? To add to my doubts I had done some work previously for a Greek chap and he had bounced a cheque on me. I had lost out, so I had a biased view on his fellow countrymen even before I had met him and perhaps unfairly?
Upon arrival at Kingston, the address of the house was Coomb Warren, which turned out to be a very plush private estate; I found the house where the Porsche 911 Carrera was parked just inside the gates. The house was magnificent and I went up to the main black steel gates and pressed the intercom. Shortly after, the butler came out and showed me into the house to wait in the African room. Mr Alex Georgiades the owner came in to meet me and to say I was impressed was an understatement.
Alex was the most delightful of men and so appreciative that I had come over in my own time to sort his car out. We went out to the car, which was an immaculate Guards Red 911 Carrera 2.7 Touring with black leather interior. He explained the problem and then he left me to get on.
I had recently sold my Ford Anglia to my girlfriend’s father and bought a Morris 1100 off Nigel Batchelor, one of AFN salesman. It was cheap and another MOT failure, but I got it fixed up in my spare time at AFN with the help of Ken Tolfree, as a run around. So I drove my Morris 1100 into the drive to get access to my tools and got to work on the Porsche 911 Carrera. The handbrake had locked on due to poor adjustment and had over centred which was a common problem and easily sorted.
Alex came out shortly after and told me he and his guests were going out to dinner and he gave me a plain sealed brown envelop for my trouble. When I had fixed the handbrake I packed up my tools, washed up in his garage and took my overalls off. I looked into the envelope and there was more than my month’s salary staring me in the face in fresh crisp notes. Well so much for not getting paid for my time!
I told the butler I would take the car for a test drive and took it for a run along the A3 heading towards Esher. All I can say is that of all the cars I had ever driven, this was it! Porsche had built a car that was so responsive, quick and did everything you wanted it to do. I was mindful that this was a new car and as I had not been driving Porsche 911’s for a while, so I took it carefully. The word impressive did not do this car justice; you did not need to know too much that this would be a collector Porsche in the future even then when it was new!
As usual I made a detailed note upon my return of all the minor faults that needed attention even down to the ashtray light not being seated correctly. I left a note for Alex in the car with my contact number at home and left a very happy young man.
When I was at work the next morning, Steve Reagan who I worked with, asked me.” What did I think of Alex Georgiades?”  Steve had usually gone over to see him on occasions, but he had arranged to go out with his girlfriend that evening, which was why Philip Tyrell had asked me. I told Steve I was very impressed by Alex especially the reward for my time.
He asked me if I drove the Carrera and I told him I did. Steve summed up the Porsche 911 2.7 Carrera when he said, “It’s like wearing a custom leather glove, you did not just drive it, you wore it and it was part of you. The Carrera was everything you would dream it would be and just did what you wanted of it.”

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