Valentine's Day special: Journey through Time
Bill MacEachern has had a singularly long-lived love affair with his Porsche He has driven it more than a million kilometers—a distance that would take him to the Moon three times.
After all the years, adventures, heartaches, miles, and smiles, the car remains his four-wheeled soulmate. “I grew up with American muscle cars,” says MacEachern, a lanky Scots Canadian from Toronto with an entrepreneurial spark, a racer’s singleness of purpose, and near-limitless tenacity. “In my younger days I had an Oldsmobile 4-4-2. It was fine for drive-ins and stoplight drags but handled like a milk truck.” He still laughs at the thought and immediately proceeds to describe his astonishment on test-driving a Porsche for the first time in 1970—a red 911 T. “I couldn’t believe how agile, well constructed, and poised the car was. And comfortable, too, despite the compact dimensions and impressive performance.”
0 kilometers / Energy crisis
Retrospective: gasoline is in short supply in 1973. While some car owners toy with the thought of switching to smaller models, MacEachern sticks to his decision, which he puts into action in the fall of 1975: he orders the 911 Turbo—in deep Midnight Blue with a cork leather interior, a sport driver’s seat, and a limited-slip differential. Perhaps there might never be another chance, he thinks, to buy a genuine, ultra-high-performance sports car.
23 kilometers / Initial shock
The car is flown in from Germany in May of 1976. His heart sinks: “It looked like the wrong color.” But no, there hadn’t been a mistake with the order. “The car was just covered with a layer of dust.” When the traces of the long journey are washed away, he starts to drive.
6,245 kilometers / Racing fever
“My first major road trip took me across Ontario and Quebec to a Trans-Am race in Trois Rivières,” MacEachern recalls. George Follmer wins in a Porsche 934, followed by Al Holbert in the same model. Over the following decades he and his Porsche cover hundreds of thousands of kilometers on countless memorable journeys to places like Sebring and West Palm Beach in Florida, Road Atlanta in Georgia, and Lime Rock Park and Watkins Glen in New England. MacEachern goes on extended cross-continent jaunts to the fabled Monterey Historic Automobile Races in California no less than five times.
Feb 14, 2020 at 16:13