Ted’s essays

remembering 20 years of friendship

Freshly out of the US Air Force, still full of vim, vigor and barely-bridled enthusiasm, I went to a randomly selected used car lot to spice up an otherwise uneventful day with a bit of joy-riding.

I had never driven anything but Detroit Iron. This little yellow car called to me. A couple hundred feet down the road, it owned me. I am still, and have always been A CAR GUY. The fit, feel and mechanical precision of this car was light years away from anything I had experienced. I did not figure a part-time clerk/shelf-stocker attending college on the GI Bill would qualify for a loan on it, but the very next day, I traded my ’67 Plymouth for a ’66 Porsche 912.

It was magical. Wherever I pointed it, at whatever speed, it went. Request stop; get STOP! My previous steeds got around 15 miles on a gallon of fuel, this went like stink at 30 mpg. Gone by were 2-speed automatic transmissions and 3-speed standards. My first ‘foreign car’ had five speeds forward putting the engine at the right rev range at all times. It sung to me.

Then during a day of sliding downhill on two fiberglass planks, it left the ski resort parking lot without me. 🙁 ugly day.

The replacement was four years older, had only four forward gears, but was even a bit tighter feeling to a serious, appreciative driver. Either of these I would still love today, and drive enthusiastically, but collectors have run their prices up into silly territory so they can park them in expensive garages to look at once in a while.

I had added autocross to my con-brio street driving repertoire and was considering beginning to put serious go-fast tricks into a really pristine 1962 356B Super coupe. That somehow, cosmically, seemed improper. Plus I had read of a lightweight version Porsche built that would respond better to my need for speed. Having no idea they were rare, I tripped over one and began a 20 year journey with the most interesting auto I ever owned.

We thoroughly enjoyed years, miles, smiles, twisty roads and pleasant cruising together. It not only took me to track time at Laguna Seca and Sears Point, we established new track records at both running street tires in a race tire class… before it got a close-ratio 4-speed and race motor.

Our relationship ended when I realized how desperately I needed to get out of The People’s Republic of California and David Coleman contacted me to do a photo shoot and feature story on my Speedster. I swallowed deeply and took advantage of a unique marketing opportunity to sell my dear Speedster and finance a move to, and building my business from scratch in Nampa, Idaho.

This is the magazine that ended my 20-year friendship, and financed my escape. The article has a few irrelevant tiny details incorrect, but is nearly perfect in every way.

Here is our story.

The scanned .pdf version is not in the correct order: Excellence February 1997
The .jpg pages below are.