I have been a car nut since I can remember.  In late 1964 when I was barely three, I got a shiny red toy Mustang coupe.  From that point on through Hot Wheels, A/FX Aurora HO gauge slot cares and Legos I was all about cars.  Mostly muscle cars and hot rods because that’s what the American car culture was all about.  I had a bike but I wanted a car.

I spent the summer of 1971 and 1972 alone with my grandmother in Leonberg, the town my mother grew up in, near Stuttgart, Germany.  I really didn’t know what Le Mans was all about but my prize possession was a 1/12 scale Porsche 917k in Silver Martini livery.  It had a wired remote and was amazing!

The year when I was fifteen, I worked at my father’s restaurant and saved money by skipping lunch.  Dad had promised to match my savings 1:1, but bailed on that when I presented him with the amount owed from work, allowance and lunch, $600 which, in 1977 dollars was substantial. He balked on doubling it but I did manage to have enough to buy a Dart-Swinger with the skat-pack package (340 engine, full gauges with a 150 mph speedo, mag wheels, hood with functional scoops and a black stripe around the pack in “Plumb Crazy” purple.  A Puerto-Rican family had it on Rt. 13 just outside Wilmington and was only too ready to pay the $550 asking price.  Just want a 16 Year old needed!

I didn’t actually have a license yet, just a permit, since I was a Junior when I turned 16 and had to wait until the following spring to take Driver’s Ed.  At some point, it developed a rod knock and I had the bright idea to have “Mobil Machine” grind the crank in the driveway with the engine still in the car.  Wow did I not know much then!  The next time it broke down I had to leave it in Oxford PA where the Carb and battery were stolen.

Sometime not too long after that, I got a job at Nick’s Foreign Car in Newark, as a gas pumper, and that gave me access to tools and mechanics who actually knew what they were doing.  We replaced the crank and…um…I convinced my mom that the camshaft was worn out so she loaned me the money for that, and machine work, and a Mallory Dual-Point distributor.  Holy crap was that car quick.  I painted it red with a black hood and rockers…with a rattle can…or actually many rattle cans. What a POS.

While that was broken I boght a 70 lemans 2-0door, with a 350 V8-2bbl.  Kind of a dog.  Gold with a brown vinyl top and a cloth bench seat. Yuk.  It was a clean reliable one-owner car and I promised not to modify it, and i didn’t.

I drive that the summer of ’79 then managed to trade the dart for a 67 LeMans with an OHC 6 cylinder.  My plan was to make it into a GTO. That never happened.  Concurrently I acquired a 70 Firebird (which I think had been mostly totaled, with a dent in the rear fender for $200) so I was now a college freshman with three cars.  The same summer I got a 67 Camero convertible with a 6-cylinder and a 2-speed powerglide.  Wish I had kept that!!  Oh well.

All the cars went away Junior year in a stroke of brilliance, level-headedness, and practicality when I convinced Mom to co-sign on a student loan so I could buy something decent.  That something decent was a 1972 Triumph GT6.  That car was actually pretty reliable, but me owning it (at 6’7″) with its ridiculous wiring system was not the best choice, but it was cool. So now I became a British car guy and ended keeping that car through the 80s. In 1984, around graduation, I picked up a Rabbit. That was a good car and I kept it nearly as long.  In 1986 I picked up a really terrible Olds Omega and let the 70 Lemans go…then bought a Chevy K5 Blazer as a utility vehicle.  First truck I ever owned and 4WD to boot, with a top that came off.

So…all that…what about the Porsches?