By Dave Loudin
I call her Greta. She’s a black 1975 Porsche 914 convertible and she’s been a part of my life for more than 40 years. I was with my father the day he bought her at Cascade Porsche-Audi in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, and with her pop up headlights and removable hardtop, I thought she was the coolest car I’d ever seen.
Everything about her is a little unconventional. The engine is located right behind the driver’s seat, allowing for both a rear trunk and front “boot.” She sits very low to the ground and has amazing lateral stability. Nothing else on the road can turn a corner as tight as my girl!
My dad and I logged a lot of miles together in that little car. I was his wingman and he took me with him whenever he could. When the weather permitted, he would pick me up after work and we would play nine holes of golf. In the fall, we would take road trips to watch his beloved West Virginia Mountaineers play football. Mile after mile, my dad and I forged an unbroken bond. The time we spent together in that car, with me learning about life from him, are my fondest memories of my dad.
Unfortunately, my father passed away 10 years ago. He wasn’t able to drive the car in his last year and she needed to have a little bit of work done. It was very important to me to preserve his legacy by making sure that his little car stayed running and in the family. I towed her home and began the process of fixing her up.
After 40 years, Greta still runs like a champ, although she certainly has her quirks. She needs a little time to warm up before we go anywhere or she’ll stall out at the intersection. The speedometer sticks at 40 MPH, so you have to tap on the dial to get a good reading. She’s a classic beauty, but if you look closely, you can see the ring on the rear trunk lid where my dad installed his CB radio antenna and there are a couple of screw holes under the dash where the 8-track player was mounted.
She’s been my weekend car for almost 10 years now. It’s hard not to think about my dad every time I hear her engine roar to life. I still love the feel of the wind in my hair when I’m at the wheel and one of my sons is riding with me. It’s a great time to pass on to my boys some of the life lessons that my father taught me. When the time is right, I look forward to handing her over to one of them, so we can keep Greta in the family.