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Thread: A gal named Elsie and her little Tornado...

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    A gal named Elsie and her little Tornado...

    When I was little, one of my best friends was the lady that lived next door. Her name was Elsie. She was certainly a character. She had a bunch of little dogs that she constantly toiled over. Yorkshire Terriers. She also had another passion:

    Porsches! She and her husband had a garage full of them. A 928, a 914-6.... and this little 1973 911S she called the "Tornado". It was her baby, her pride and joy. You see, she raced this little car. And she was good too. They bought the car new in 1973. She barely knew how to drive a stick-shift. But, by the time the 1974 Porsche Corvette Challenge came around, she was pretty good... she won 1st place. Over the next few years she kept winning, A LOT.

    Just a few of her wins:
    SCCA Regional Champion 1975
    SCCA Regional Champion 1976
    SCCA Regional Champion 1977
    SCCA Regional Champion 1978
    SCCA Regional Champion 1979
    SCCA Regional Champion 1980
    SCCA Regional Champion 1981
    SOLO I winner (stock class) 1976
    Central Division Champion 1978
    Central Division Champion 1979
    Central Division Champion 1980
    Central Division Champion 1981

    Finally, she was the FIRST woman to ever win a SCCA National Championship. And she did that TWICE - 1976 and 1981.

    All of that was done in this little Tangerine Orange Porsche 911S... the Tornado.

    I was obviously over at her house any chance I could get. I'd spend hours in her trophy room looking through all the old Porsche Panorama magazines and other artifacts she kept over the years. Of course, every time she would fire a car up for a drive, I was right there. She was a BLAST! And I always hoped she enjoyed my company as much as I enjoyed hers. She didn't have any children of her own (well, except for the dogs). When I was 12 years old, we moved away. It was one of the saddest days of my life. She cried, I cried... it was terrible.

    Life went on over the years and I kept loose tabs on how she was doing. They moved to NC and then back to OH and I ultimately lost touch. Then one day I got a phone call from my Aunt that Elsie had passed away. She had lymphoma and went home in 2009. I never got to say goodbye or tell her how much she meant to me. ....... Over the years, I thought about her often and always wondered what came of her little Tornado. Then, earlier this year, as I was unpacking some old boxes my Mom sent to me I found something amazing. Elsie had given me three of her trophies when I moved away... and there they were! They brought back all the great memories! And gave me a deep and unshakable need to try to find her husband. Through friends and family in the old neighborhood I was able to get a phone number. I ended up connecting with him and even went to visit him this last July 4th. It was a great visit and I learned a lot about her life and love.

    ..... about a month later, I received an email from him. He still had the Tornado and has been agonizing on what to do with it since she passed all these years ago. He didn't want to sell it to just anyone, even though it's now worth a significant amount of money, because he didn't want someone to restore it back to "stock" and remove Elsie's soul from the car. He wondered if I wanted to buy the car.

    It was like a surreal dream. The car that started it all for me and something I thought had been long lost! Of course, I was honored. He knew I don't have much money, he just wanted the car to go to someone that would love it as much as she did... her only "child". So, he made me an offer I couldn't refuse and we finalized the deal this last weekend. I am now the proud caretaker of a wonderful piece of history and a huge reminder of a great friendship with a wonderful woman that had the soul of a saint. This little gal named Elsie that could drive like the wind!
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    Last edited by 4SFED; 11-21-2013 at 09:46 PM.

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