recollection and photos by matt d'arienzo

My freshman classmate Fred introduced me to Porsches, he had a passion for these quirky cars that stuck with me. Fast forward 30 years, the passion of owning a 911 is more intense than ever.  
By this time, I had done my homework with the help of some co-workers. Returning from a golf game with my son, we passed a gray Targa on the side of the road with a “for sale” sign in the window.  About 2 miles down the road I did a u-turn and pulled up next to this beautiful 1972…I ended up driving my first 911 that day. 

"Joe, the owner, felt like he had just ripped my heart out..."

Two days later, I brought my wife to go for a ride in it with me. A week later with check in hand, I rang the doorbell only to find my car was on its way to Japan…sold.  Joe, the owner, felt like he had just ripped my heart out and assured me his contacts would find me an even better one.  Two weeks later, he gave me a list of three cars to consider; one in Atlanta, the next in Phoenix, and the last just North of Baltimore…keep in mind that the these cars were unofficially for sale by individuals. 
After weeks of emails, I decided to drive to Baltimore to see the closest one, a 1980 Black Metallic Euro 911 SC Coupe the owner called a daily driver.  About half way there with my old camcorder in the back seat, I thought what are you doing? What are you going to look for? You’re not a mechanic, you don’t know what a chain tensioner or pop-off valve is but it better have it. 

Barry introduced himself and showed me around his new project of building his horse ranch.  Behind the double door of the barn was a silhouette of a car under an old blue cover.  He carefully removed it while I watched.  I thought “don’t look too anxious,” but I couldn’t help it.  Barry opened the door, settled in and started it up—what a sound!  I even liked the musty smell of the interior. How sick is that!  
He told me he was the second owner, the first in the USA. The 911 was purchased by a doctor in Germany in late 1979 who was a friend of his.  When they ended their business relationship in 1983, they shipped each other their cars; a Porsche for a Jeep. 

I turned the camcorder on and the battery light came on and shut off. Oh well. Believe it or not, I left that day without making an offer. I convinced myself that I wasn’t qualified to own a Porsche.  After returning home from my 7 hour drive, my wife Cindy thought I was crazy to travel that far and not buy it.  “It wasn’t a purse” I told her, “it was a Porsche”. The more I thought of it, she was right as always. 

"It’s a special car born the same year as our first child and I had just adopted it." 

Another week went by and I emailed Barry with an offer. He accepted and I bought a one way ticket to Baltimore. Barry arranged to have his mechanic go through it bumper to bumper and split the cost of whatever was found.  Imagine that! I think he felt that his baby would be in good hands. 

Before I left to drive home, Barry handed me an old musty, leather briefcase with instructions not to open it until I got home.  In that old case was a treasure. A real “baby book” documenting every step leading up when to this car was his. Baby pictures, documents, the original German registration, the German owner’s manual with a stamped signed delivery date (11/22/79) and dealer records of oil changes and baby check ups. 

It’s a special car born the same year as our first child and I had just adopted it. Although I waited too long, it was truly worth it. Like all of our children, they don’t look the same as when the day we brought them home; they take on our personalities and chemistry.

I’ve looked at other newer cars but none have thrilled me and continue to thrill me the way this one does.  I still turn to get one more look as I’m walking away from it or putting it away for the night.   

It must be love.


afterword

That this story written about Matt's passion with a 911 doesn't matter. This magazine embraces all forms of Porsche passion because we all speak a common language that needs no translation.

Matt, a member of PCA's Eastern Buckeye Region, emailed me after he'd read my article for PCA on Porsche passion with a story of how his own started. 

I was moved. 

Any story on how one's passion of the marque was the start of a beautiful, lifelong relationship, is worth telling because it touches us deeply. You see, irrespective of what model holds our adoration, we all have one thing in common...a Porsche was the reason we met.

highball!

pablo
el jefe
 


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