- The Washington Times - Friday, August 7, 2009

General Motors had shut down the 1972 Corvette assembly line in late autumn so it could gear up to manufacture the 1973 Corvette models.

That is when Glenn Edgecomb placed an order for a bright-yellow 1973 Corvette coupe. The dealer said it would be delivered in the spring, just in time for the beginning of prime driving season in his home state (at the time) of Connecticut.

How was he to know that the dealer had oversold his allotment of 1973 Corvettes and GM would not be sending any more Corvettes to him? Mr. Edgecomb learned the bad news in April 1973. “I was very disappointed not to have my Corvette, especially at the start of summer,” he says.

Judy, his girlfriend, who two years later would become Mrs. Edgecomb, grew tired of her guy bemoaning the loss of the Corvette. She suggested that he go look for another car, perhaps a Porsche.

With that encouragement, Mr. Edgecomb went to the Ted Trudon Porsche-Audi dealership in Talcottville, Conn.

“Upon arriving at the Porsche dealer,” he says, “there were several new 1973 911 coupes on the showroom floor, all looking very European - and quite pricey.” Mr. Edgecomb noticed that the Porsches were about half again the price of a Corvette.

When a salesman offered to help, Mr. Edgecomb observed that none of the Porsches on display was painted his desired color of yellow. The salesman said they had a yellow 911 in the back, which the dealer was using as a demonstrator. He went to retrieve the car.

Around the corner of the service department came a Signal Yellow 1973 Porsche 911T with an “S” trim package, alloy wheels, “S” brakes and heavy-duty front and rear sway bars. “Visions of my stillborn Corvette began to rapidly fade from memory,” Mr. Edgecomb says.

The salesman urged him to take it for a spin. “By the time we returned to the dealership, I couldn’t spell the word Corvette,” Mr. Edgecomb says. “The 911 was amazing.”

He went home and spent the next 24 hours crunching numbers. How was he going to pay for a car that had a price slightly more than his annual gross salary?

After some creative negotiating, including swapping fancy wheels for plain 15-inch ones and replacing the four-channel stereo AM/FM cassette unit for a more docile AM/FM stereo radio, the price dropped to a barely manageable $9,016.

“On May 29, 1973, I became the proud owner of a new Signal Yellow 1973 911T, a car that I still have to this very day,” Mr. Edgecomb says.

During the last 36 years, the Porsche has been driven to each of his new job assignments, including moves to Rhode Island, New York, North Carolina, Georgia and now Texas. At each location, Mr. Edgecomb put his car away as wintry weather approached to avoid slippery and salty roads. Being out of action each winter kept the mileage down. The odometer only recently rolled over 45,000 miles.

Inside, the cozy interior remains in the condition it was in when it left the factory, with the 8,000-rpm tachometer prominent in the dashboard, red lining at 6,600 rpm. Adjacent is the 150-mph speedometer, although the actual top speed is closer to 130 mph. The five-speed manual transmission shift lever sprouts from the floor.

Behind the two brown leatherette-covered bucket seats are two diminutive pull-down seats in the rear. Mr. Edgecomb calls his Porsche a two-and-a-half-passenger car.

The air-cooled, rear mounted six-cylinder 2.4-liter engine has mechanical fuel injection that drinks fuel from the 16.4-gallon gasoline tank at the front of the car. The spare tire nestles nearby. An amazingly large oil capacity of 11 quarts keeps the engine lubricated.

The sleek Porsche is a hair over 14 feet long and rides on a 89.4-inch wheelbase, which enables it to turn around in 35.1 feet. At 5 feet, 3.4 inches wide, the car is about a foot wider than it is high.

Some of the parts on his 1973 Porsche are usually found on 1972 Porsches. Mr. Edgecomb surmises that since his car was an early 1973 model, the leftover 1972 parts were used at that time.

He says the “S” appearance group includes upgraded instruments and large, aluminum front caliper brakes. “It’s bare bones after that,” he says, calling it a straightforward car.

After all these years, Mr. Edgecomb says his 3,086-pound Porsche is still fun to drive. “It’s really a time capsule,” he says. “It has become a member of the family.”

If you would like your Out of the Past review to be considered for an upcoming article, e-mail us your car’s jpeg image, plus brief details and phone number. Type “Classic Classics” in subject box to info@ motormatters.biz.

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