Being an automotive enthusiast is a fraternal organization—we have rituals, hold regular meetings, and often act inappropriately in the presence of women. However, instead of handshakes and keg stands our sense of belonging is found in what we drive, where we drive, and why we don't use car washes. The best part about membership is we are always looking for new frat brothers and we love to talk (mostly about our own cars). So naturally when I met George and noticed his Porsche 968 hanging around my neighborhood, I decided to stop by and find out what his story was—little did I know it would be so interesting.
Having spent the majority of his military career throughout Europe and Vietnam, where he served as an intelligence analyst, George has a global appreciation and perspective not often found among individuals in small-town North Carolina—he has his own bread recipe (during our interview, he was actually baking a fresh loaf), enjoys modern art, and has an extensive collection of usable Porsches and Mercedes.
When talking with George, I asked Why Porsche? What drew you to the brand? After a moment of hesitation, he answered "Flexibility. There aren't many cars (the 911, specifically) that have interchangeable parts over a thirty-year period—and for guys like me, who couldn't afford them otherwise—the 911 had gone virtually unchanged until the 993 in 1995."
George was driving his 1994 968 when I met him, a car he purchased in 1995 for a mere $6,500 after it had been involved in a front-end collision. He said "The frame wasn't damaged, and the car was over $40k new in 1994—I couldn't pass it up. " George has created his collection through cars like this—those in need of a little attention and a lot of skill. The 968 is his preferred long-distance driver, featuring the creature-comforts of most modern cars, plenty of space, and a good power-band—all essential to complete his annual road trip with his long-time friend and army buddy; "This year we are going down to New Orleans, driving through Alabama and Mississippi to pick up a few things along the way."
Each year, George tries to take a different car on his journey and after prepping the 968 with some preventative maintenance for a PCA event in California he wasn't able to attend, he figured he would take advantage of the recent work performed.
George's collection includes a number of Porsche's ranging from running, driving, investment-grade 356's to a supercharged '89 Carrera Coupe and various other cars at multiple stages of life. In addition to his Porsche habit, he is quite fond of the W123 Mercedes sedans and coupes (the infamous 300 and 240 Diesel E-Class predecessors) for their rugged design and effortless reliability. However, all of his vehicles share one thing in common—they are meant to be driven.