I am a University of Florida graduate and current UF staff engineer. My family moved down to Florida from Boston in the 70’s and I came to Gainesville in 1982. My first memory of riding in a sports car was at the age of ten when my father traded in his Volkswagen for Triumph TR6. What a thrill! Having grown up riding in the back seat of a VW, this was quite a different experience. From that point on I was intent on owning a sports car of my own someday. Years later I recall seeing a neighbor in a new Porsche 911 (jet black with whale tail and wide tires). He was showing off to a friend and went ripping down the road several times. As I watched from a distance, I thought to myself, “That’s the car I want!!”.
A little over five years ago I was chatting with a colleague about his recent Porsche purchase, and he mentioned that a follow faculty member had offered to sell his early 911. He told me I should check it out but wasn’t sure if it was still available. I asked who it was, and the name rang a bell, but I couldn’t quite place him. So, I called him up and arranged to meet him. When I arrived at his house, I immediately recognized him. It was my old college professor from when I was an undergrad in the 80’s! He showed me his 1982 911SC which he got in the 90’s from the original owner who had purchased it new from a local Gainesville VW dealer (the same year I became a Florida Gator!) I could not take it for a test drive as it had been sitting in his car port for many years. He had sustained an eye injury which prevented him from driving, so there it sat with only 11,000 original miles. I asked my mechanic Carl to come take a look at it. He said the car looked practically new but wouldn’t know the condition of the engine until he put it up on the lift. So I agreed to buy the car and had it towed to my mechanic’s shop. Carl drained all the fluids and gave it some fresh gas. He cranked in over and discovered a problem right away. Cracked head studs. Oh No! I then heard him utter the words ‘engine rebuild’ and I shuddered. What have I gotten myself into?
I asked Carl if I could reduce some of the labor cost by helping him out. He said, “Why don’t you come down to the shop and we’ll see what needs to be done.” Over the next six months I spent my weekends in his shop, tearing down the engine, cleaning, painting, replacing parts. It was a learning experience like no other. I spent my evenings reading the service manual to prepare for the next day’s task. I walked into his shop as a passenger, I left as driver enthusiast with a deep respect for the brand and the people who work on them.
Over the past four years I have enjoyed driving the car on weekends, taking it to shows and Cars&Coffee events. I won a 3rd place award at the 2021 PCA Werks Reunion. And most recently, last year I entered it into the Porsche Parade Concours in the Poconos and took home a 1st place preservation class win!