story and images by rob verdicchio

I have always had a passion for cars since I was a little boy. I spent loads of time playing in the dirt with my cars, building homes for them, and pretending one day that I would be driving a fancy car around.

I remember sneaking my father’s 1972 Toyota Corolla out at night when he was asleep and drive it around the neighbourhood. By the time I was14, I anxiously awaited the day that I would get my license…it didn’t come soon enough. 
My first project was a garage find, a 1964 triumph TR4. I spent every moment I could under the cover of many dark cold nights bearing bloody knuckles, a Haynes manual and a 2’ x4.’  Those tough moments paid off handsomely when my friends and I managed to get her started and drive her around the block a few times! Man, what a thrill.

The sense of accomplishment was one that I’ll never forget. Then came time to pass her on to someone else who could give her much better care than I, my brother, a lawyer who had the money to do her justice…at least she was still in the family.

A slew of cars then followed. There was the Powder Blue Volkswagen bug which I drove the absolute life out of ultimately running that baby into the ground. Then, a yellow Honda Civic came along that I decided to fix up and sell. Tired with driving practical and reliable cars, I did a 180 and picked up an MG Midget—fun little car, but what a pain in the ass!

"That’s when everything went to hell in a hand-basket…the embers of passion were beginning to flicker."

Not getting my fill of frustration, a adopted a Triumph GT3. Now this was an awesome car and would have been stellar were it not for the missing 2nd gear. I drove it the way you would a Ferrari with cold oil in the gearbox…from 1st to 3rd. Great fun until I wrapped her around a telephone pole.

Over the course of the next few years I sampled everything from a land barge Pontiac, then a Ford Explorer followed by a Dodge Caravan for my new family. Then, as if by magic something changed…I decided to give the German higher end cars a go.
That’s when everything went to hell in a hand-basket…the embers of passion were beginning to flicker. Starting with a rusty1973 Porsche 911 Targa, then moseyed on over to sample the BMW Kool-Aid with a couple of 325s, and then, while driving by a used Mercedes car lot, love hit me right between the eyes. It was a silver/gray 1980 Porsche 928; 5 speed with only 48,000 miles. Why the hell she decided to leave California for Vancouver is anyone’s guess, but here she was…ripe for the pickin.’   

I could tell that she had been taken care of but perhaps recently, care started to fall off a bit as she showed some signs of neglect. I made an offer after a quick test drive and by the time a regained my composure, I was well on my way into unknown territory…the dreaded 928 lust. 
Now after days of Google searches about this new to me species, I couldn’t find the high number of positive reports I was looking for. Deterring phrases like too expensive, too hard to find parts, timing belt concerns…it went on and on, it honestly shook my confidence a wee bit. But the passion was too strong and love persisted. I plodded on with further, deeper research that eventually led me into a new world of eBay, Amazon, 928 Specialists, Pelican Parts, Rennlist—the sun was bursting through the clouds as this more up-beat Porsche world was unfolding in front of me.

Of the many forums I came across, the name of a fellow 928 owner/mechanic/inventor/guru who lived close to me became my teacher/mentor/mechanic. All that really needed to be done was a tune-up, some fuel lines, a little bit of body work because luckily for me, she was in overall great shape. Since she was always garage kept, time was very kind to her…not even the slightest dash crack could be found.

"I much preferred the more nimble and lissome manual gearboxed ’80..."

Everywhere I drove her, curious people would always ask me all sorts of questions about this beauty I had become the custodian for. It wasn’t until last summer, though, that I noticed another 928, an S4 of 1987 vintage that was for sale close by. Call me crazy, but in a rare moment of weakness, my wife allowed me to buy her!

This 928 didn’t fare as well as my first. She had been totally neglected and left for dead like so many unwanted heaps all over the country. I felt so sorry for her, I had no choice but to make an offer and, BAM! I had my 2nd 928, and not just any 928, this one was the sought after S4. 
She wore a beautiful shade of blue, fitted with an automatic transmission, and a killer stereo system.The previous owner had purchased some gadgets from Jaegar Engineering that included the stereo system, interior lights in blue, and some chrome accents which were not at all my style, but I must say, tastefully done. After the usual clean-up done at the hands of my 928 guru, she was all cleaned up and looking just suberb! On a whim, I decided to contact the gang at Jaegar and found out the car had actually been owned by one of the guys and was even in a video that they’d made which, incidentally, is on youtube. It was actually very cool watching the video knowing that I now had this very car.

One of the best things about owning a 928, is having a second one...let me explain. While I was switching back and forth from my ‘80 5-speed to the automatic S4, I quickly realised that as sought after as the S4 might have been, I found it to be much too heavy and bulky for my tastes. I much preferred the more nimble and lissome manual gearboxed ’80 which was not only lighter, but quicker, more agile…the glove fit perfectly. Having two at your disposal allows your palette to be more honed, sophisticated…you can talk to any 928 enthusiast with seasoned confidence in terms of discussing their idiosyncrasies.
A decision was to be made, one that was hard for me to make. To ease the mind a bit, I listed both for sale and as expected, with a sigh of relief, the S4 sold first. Don’t get me wrong, it was truly hard to pick one, but the S4 going to a new home first made me happy. I could, again, focus on my first love and now that she had slipped into collector status, it allowed me to insure her all year for a minimal cost. What could be better?  

I could drive her whenever the time was right. But alas, there was nothing else to do but drive her and the market for 928's had unfortunately not followed the increase in price that her 911 sisters were enjoying, so the writing for me was on the wall.

I knew that looming in the horizon was an eventual timing belt and water-pump service along with the inevitable top-end refresh that was going to be needed, and with the price of these items costing nearly what the car was worth, I knew that I would never get that money back…at least not in the near future. 

"A decision was to be made, one that was hard for me to make."

It pained me to follow the more sensible path, but I had to put her up for sale…my heart was in my throat when I followed through with this painful decision. I knew that soon, the days of cruising in my grand touring luxury V8 beast would be over, but my thirst for Porsches was insatiable. My passion for the marque was hot, so which one I would slip into next was the question…this was weighing heavily on my mind.

The 911, that was it. The market was on fire and as I searched for my new addition, I came to the realization that it would be a sound place to park some money for a while. The few that were listed for sale were snatched up straight away...some were crazy-pricey and some needed more work than I was willing to take on. 
The focus, then, was on selling my 928 and dealing with the usual questions and answers from interested punters and semi-serious gawkers. My simple message was that this is a great car; solid fast and absolutely beautiful. Sure, it’ll need maintenance but then again, so does classic Porsche…even the ones listed as “needing nothing.”

I had a serious bite, things were ready to go. Luckily, while in negotiations to sell my baby, I found another beauty, a 1980 911 Targa. This was also an ex-California car that was very well taken care of, and garage kept by a fellow who was a bit of a fanatic…awesome. This sounded like my first 928’s history.

So here we are…she’s gone but not forgotten. This 1980 Porsche 928 5-speed luxury grand touring beast I once had, was the darling of the more sophisticated Porsche owner who opted for luxury and refined power. What I was getting into now was the polar opposite. Noisy, spartan, a bit raw, the earlier 911 was an all-out sports, the quintessential race car from birth. Wow what a difference. You feel the road, instant feedback; in a word, the true driving experience that screams blood and guts baby! My new relationship has begun, and I’m looking forward to the long, winding road ahead.
 


Comments

Robert William Verdicchio
06/05/2014 20:00

thanks pablo music is perfect.... brought a tear to my eye !!

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pablo
06/05/2014 20:10

my pleasure brother...I shared that tear with ya.

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Brigitte Maurer
06/27/2014 11:02

mega schöne PORSCHE..!!!🚖

Reply
Robert William Verdicchio
08/13/2014 01:11

thanks to all !!

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