From Cards to Cars, Porsche 911 is a Lifelong Love
Owner and photographer: Wade Devers
Year, Make, and Model: 1986 Porsche 911 Carrera
Location: North Attleborough, Massachusetts, USA
When I was seven years old, my brother and I each had a deck of automobile trading cards. On the front of each card was a picture of a car and its name. The cars were from all over the world: Lancia, Corvette, Ferrari, Peugeot, Jensen, Holden, Lincoln, Mini, Lamborghini, you name it.
The way the game was played was akin to the card game,”war”: You laid down a card, and if your opponent beat your card, he won that card, making his deck bigger. The goal being to have the largest collection of cards. Winning was all about the specs: On the back of each card were all the details: wheelbase, horsepower, fuel capacity, turning radius, etc. Say, for example your opponent laid down a Lancia Stratos and selected “horsepower”. If you knew your stuff you would look through your deck for a car that you were confident could beat the Lancia in horsepower, and win his card.
Well, one day I won a card that I just couldn’t stop looking at. It was of a Porsche 911RS in Grand Prix white with red Fuchs and Carrera spelled out along the bottom of the door. I couldn’t tell if it was ugly or good looking. But I loved it. At the time the most coveted card was the Lamborghini Countach, but for me it was the Porsche Carrera. Thirty-nine years later, I am still a car fanatic. I still look at cars virtually non stop.
My friend Darin, who’s family owns a company called The Boston Sportscar Company, is in the business of maintenance and restoration of collectible and classic sport scars. Part of his business used to be dealing in used Porsches. I called him one day to ask what to look out for if I were to buy a Porsche 944. At the time I was “between cars” as I liked to say, and was considering getting something that wouldn’t break the bank. Having recently seen an episode of one of my favorite shows, Wheeler Dealers where they bought and flipped a 944, I thought it would be the perfect car for me. And I had always liked the quirkier Porsches like the the 944, 914, and certainly the 928.
Well, Darin returned my call with a text. The text said, “You don’t want a 944. You want this…” Attached to the text was a picture of a black 911 sunroof coupe with a tail. The rest is history. But I still can’t believe I own that car.
It’s the car of my boyhood dreams. It’s also the car my wife and I drove to our wedding reception. Instead of renting a limo, we borrowed a red 1986 Carrera from a friend. On the way to the reception I said to my wife, “One day, I’d love a car like this.” And she said, “That would be cool. I’d like that too.” She’s pretty great.
The 911 is a drivers car, not a collectible. Just enough wear and tear that you don’t have to worry every time you drive to the grocery store, which I do, often. Want a jug of milk? A pack of gum? Any excuse I have to drive my 911, I will take. I live in North Attleborough, Massachusetts. This means that I get to drive as much as I want as long as there isn’t snow on the ground, which is too often. I love that my 911 is simple. A couple of seats, a gearbox, and an engine, not much else. I love to drive in the same way that my friends like to play softball or golf. There is something both calming and exciting about the act of driving. And my 911 is a pure driving experience. You feel everything. You can hear everything. It even smells like driving.
My favorite drive is a yearly ritual. Annually, for the past six years, my son and I drive three hours to Limerock Race Park in Lakeville, Connecticut to attend the Historic festival. The drive through the Berkshires and eventually down Rt. 7 through Great Barrington and Stockbridge is great. It’s great mostly because it’s just me and Finn in our Porsche. But the road is twisty and undulates perfectly for the 911. Connecticut also seems to appreciate a freshly paved road. When we go to Limerock we like to make a day of it so we go very early. The air is typically cool and the 911 eats that up. It’s a great drive through small towns and fields alternatively. As you near the track, the silence of the morning is broken by the sound of vintage race cars. We pull in and park in the Porsche corral. Perfect.
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