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Old 10-22-2013, 09:07 PM   #1
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Default A gal named Elsie and her little Tornado....

Some of you might remember a story I told years ago on another forum about a friend and mentor I had growing up....

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 - 1977 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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Old 10-22-2013, 09:12 PM   #2
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Default Re: A gal named Elsie and her little Tornado....

beautiful
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Old 10-22-2013, 09:33 PM   #3
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Default Re: A gal named Elsie and her little Tornado....

Very cool, And a great story.
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: A gal named Elsie and her little Tornado....

It's a great story and one so well told.

Congrats all the way around, Jacob.

Just don't become a Porsche fanatic.

When I was about to buy my 911, I got into many conversation with my 93 y/o neighbor. He was a lovely old guy who knew a thing or two about life. The day I came home with my turbo Z, he came over and congratulated me for not getting a Porsche. It kyna blew my mind since he'd been a PCCA member for like 65 years or some shit... He pulled an electric toothbrush out've his pocket and said, "this belonged to my Porsche.. I used it to clean all the deep recesses of the car. It was a bloody fanatic... That car almost owned me, I loved it so much.... It's a disease. "

I have nothing to add....

Love the car ....... love the story even more. It says alot about who you are.

Mazel tov, baby.
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Old 10-23-2013, 02:35 PM   #5
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Default Re: A gal named Elsie and her little Tornado....

It's a beautiful car that is only surpassed by the beautiful story behind it.

May you treasure her car, and her memory for as long as you live.
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Old 10-23-2013, 05:23 PM   #6
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Default Re: A gal named Elsie and her little Tornado....

Would you mind if I shared that story over on one of the Cobra forums. It's small forum with a close knit group of people that I know would love it.

And don't worry if you don't want to. I will understand.
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Old 10-23-2013, 05:28 PM   #7
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Default Re: A gal named Elsie and her little Tornado....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverback View Post
Would you mind if I shared that story over on one of the Cobra forums. It's small forum with a close knit group of people that I know would love it.

And don't worry if you don't want to. I will understand.
You're more than welcome, John... won't bother me none.

I'm going to post it over on the Early 911S Registry too.
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Old 10-23-2013, 06:45 PM   #8
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Default Re: A gal named Elsie and her little Tornado....

Thanks kid.

Take care and stop by more often if you can find the time.
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:23 PM   #9
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Default Re: A gal named Elsie and her little Tornado....

These stories are great to hear about, and to hear it from Jake is even better.
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Old 10-23-2013, 09:03 PM   #10
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Default Re: A gal named Elsie and her little Tornado....

Thanks guys and gal. I'm in once or twice a week usually...



The batteries gave up in the car about 4-5 years ago according to her Husband, Glenn. So the car hasn't been started since. I have 2 fresh U911 Interstate batts on order. The car had a recent tune-up before it was driven last. Everything is very sanitary and well cared for. I will drain oil, fuel, brake fluid and change all filters. I'll check the plugs and make sure there aren't any critters (or remnants thereof) hiding anywhere... then we'll fire her up and see what happens! Elsie put in Scheel seats and a Racemark steering wheel, which are all in great shape. The motor is stock, as far as I can tell and has a Rally muffler on it. She sent it to Stoddard in the mid-70's to have it lowered. There are Koni shocks on the car as well. Everything else is original to the car.

As I'm digging through all of the axillary stuff that he gave me with the car, I came across this great picture of Elsie and Glenn from 1977. The local newspaper did a story on her incredible success racing.
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Old 10-24-2013, 01:01 AM   #11
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Default Re: A gal named Elsie and her little Tornado....

Beautiful stuff, man...
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Old 10-24-2013, 01:08 AM   #12
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Default Re: A gal named Elsie and her little Tornado....

That is the most awesome story I have heard all month! Right on brother Jake

And Miss Elsie - well, she is a woman to be remembered! Glad you got her trophies, too - treasure the memories

Glad Miss Elsie knew that RED truly is the fastest color, no matter what the make

Thank you Miss Elsie for stickin up for the girls .... RIP
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Old 10-25-2013, 04:29 PM   #13
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Default Re: A gal named Elsie and her little Tornado....

Thanks, guys. It's all still pretty overwhelming.

My Wife came out to the garage last night and asked if I was coming to bed. Apparently, I was sitting in the car for 2+ hours.... just sitting there. Crazy, eh?
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Old 10-25-2013, 07:22 PM   #14
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Default Re: A gal named Elsie and her little Tornado....

Nope, not crazy at all.

Is the Corvette jealous?
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Old 10-25-2013, 10:52 PM   #15
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Default Re: A gal named Elsie and her little Tornado....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverback View Post
Nope, not crazy at all.

Is the Corvette jealous?
The Vette was in Louisville and on it's way to GA... Sold it (bought out) to Dad about 2 years ago. It'll be "mine" again one day.
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