Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Cars of Lynne

A few years back, on a Porsche Club of America driving tour of the great mountain roads that surround Asheville, North Carolina, I witnessed a near divorce. We were pushing kinda fast that day, to be honest probably too fast. Suddenly one of the other cars pulled off. We didn't see them again until evening. Seems the guy's wife took exception to the overall speed, and general nature of our motoring activities.

My wife Lynne was along for that trip. She enjoyed herself completely, did some of the driving and took video during the faster, curvy sections. I'm lucky. Lynne gets it. I married a car girl.

Lynne's Sprite was a Mark II, not a Bugeye.
Growing up in Raleigh, on Saturday mornings Lynne's dad would take her downtown to see the new foreign cars at Harmon Roland Motors. While his tastes went generally to big Chryslers, she was drawn to sports cars from the start, as was her sister Nancy.

One of Lynne's first cars was a black Austin Healey Sprite... I wish I had known her then, blond hair blowing as she flew down Dixie Trail or zipped across the old narrow Lake Johnson bridge.

Lynne's first husband tried to hand her the keys to a Ford Aerostar minivan. She drove it once. Over the years she went through VW Cabrios, a Plymouth Laser (I had an Eagle Talon about the same time, essentially the same car), and briefly a brown Pinto. A low point to be sure. She was driving a Ford Contour SE when I met her. Hard to remember now, but the performance version of the Contour was a heck of a sport sedan for the time.

We bonded over cars early. On one of our first dates, driving through the Five Points neighborhood of Raleigh I spied an old MG parked on a side street. "Did you see that MG TC?" I asked. "It was a TF," she replied, "You can tell by the headlights."

I would have married her right there, by the old Piggly Wiggly, if the deli counter guy could have presided over the ceremony.

Before we married I had sold my Contour SE (yes, we both had the same model of carher's had leather), and bought a 1996 Mazda Miata M-Edition for us to share. Lynne loved that car, stealing it every chance she got. We took some great trips in it too; Wrightsville Beach, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Washington DC via back roads. It was our first sports car together, but far from our last.

Lynne encouraged me to return to Porsche ownership and we shared first a 944 S2, then a 968, and finally our current Carrera. When I was searching for a Carrera she specifically asked if we could get a red one. "I always wanted a Guards Red 911." How many husbands get to hear their wives say that?

At the wheel on the 911 just off the Blue Ridge Parkway
Over the past ten years she has developed an appreciation for BMWs, starting with an E90 330i sedan. When we replaced that car, her daily driver, with an X3 to better transport our herd of Labrador Retrievers, she asked me, "Why do I always have to have the family car?"

She had me cold. I didn't have a good answer. I took over the X3 and found her a 2005 BMW 330i convertible. Lynne's car.

So now my lovely wife has come full circle, once again zipping around Raleigh in her little black sports car. Too bad they replaced that twisty narrow bridge over Lake Johnson.

And she will get behind the wheel of that car again soon. I believe that.