Coffee Cars & Conversation By Bill Kruder photos by Jim Hirsch and the Author This month I would like to reminisce with you about a very special friend we recently lost. When I met him, he was already battling cancer; frankly, if I knew him healthy, I don’t think I could have kept up with him. We had a chance meeting a couple years ago at a Porsche Cars & Coffee on a cold blustery day in Addison as he drove by while the rest of us were standing in the drizzle. Since then I would see him out with us occasionally, always with a huge smile on his face! This might have been due to his 2015 Pure Whiteon-Espresso Turbo S. In more recent months I, and occasionally a couple others, would meet him up on the Celina Square for coffee and donuts. His family said this meant the world to him; heck it meant the world to us to be able to sit and listen to his stories. He not only had stories but he brought pictures, old Panoramas from the ‘60’s, and racing programs from some of the best circuits in Europe. So here is my “conversation” that first appeared in June 2017: 12 October Voy “Mitch” and Marie (MA-ree) Mitchell, owner 2015 911 Turbo S, founding member of PCA West Germany Region in 1963 (disbanded in 2008) Bill Kruder: Ok, I have to ask: where is the name Voy from? Sounds like it’s of a European decent? Mitch Mitchell: Oh no. Don’t think my mom had any idea of where the name might have originated but in those days everyone had two names and I guess she liked Voy Jerome so that’s what I was called. BK: Can’t say I have ever met a Voy before. Mitch: Well I hadn’t either until I went into the service and met another; he was an officer so we didn’t really speak until about 5-6 years ago. I was able to look him up and we finally spoke. BK: So what branch of the military were you in? Did you stay in long? Mitch: I was in the Air Force for 20 plus years; retired as a Master Sergeant in 1978. BK: After you retired what did you do? Mitch: I got a job with H-E-B in the meat processing plant, on what we would call today the IT side of things. BK: So you were kind of an IT guy in the Air Force? Mitch: No, I just kind of said I could do it and learned. We used a new system developed by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), who at that time was a leader in what was then called “Mini- Computers.” Taking courses thru the GI Bill helped fill in the areas I couldn’t learn on my own. BK: And are you from here? Mitch: No, I grew up in a small oil patch town called Eldorado, Texas about 45 miles south of San Angelo. Our last assignment found us in San Antonio and we lived there for about 28 years, and in 2004 moved to Celina. BK: So I understand you two just celebrated a milestone? Marie: Yes we did! In December we had our 50th wedding anniversary. BK: Where did you two meet? With your accent you are not from “these parts”? Marie: I’m from Ireland, but as it turned out I was going to nursing school near London, and Mitch was stationed near London. Mitch: I was stationed at RAF Chicksands, about 50 miles north of London. A friend I knew from assignment in Germany threw a party so that I could meet some girls, and Marie was there. This was February of 1966, and we married in December of 1966. BK: Wow! That must have been a whirlwind relationship. Marie: I guess you could say that; we both worked crazy shifts too. When I was working nights Mitch would be working days and vice versa so we hardly saw each other. Mitch: I think we probably spent the equivalent of two weeks together in all that time from meeting to getting married. BK: Ok so let’s talk cars. How did you get interested in Porsches? Mitch: Well I was stationed in Siegelbach, West Germany in about 1962 and a good friend had a 62-63 356 1600 Super cab. Together we would hit all the Grand Prix tracks and I guess that just hooked me. BK: And what was your first then? Mitch: Well before I bought my first, in 1963 I bought a VW 1200 Beetle, and drove it for about six months. I sold it and saved up so I could buy a 356. BK: How did that work out? Mitch: Good. I saved enough money and put down $200 on a 1964 Signal Red 356C coupe. As I recall I think they stickered at about $3600, which was a huge sum for a 22 yearold Staff Sergeant, but heck, I was single. So in October 1963 I took the train to the factory in Stuttgart to take delivery of my new coupe. After a tour of the factory I was off on my journey.
BK: How long did you have it? Mitch: Well I had it for about two years, driving it all over West Germany, and shipped it back to the states, selling it in 1965 I believe. BK: I understand you tracked the car down in later years? Mitch: I did. That car represented a special time, and to this day I’ve always admired the 356. It changed hands several times over the years and even spent time in San Antonio; currently it’s in Long Island. BK: And what was next? Mitch: Well, we had a pretty big gap between our first and second Porsches. It wasn’t until 2014 that we bought our second, and that was a 2007 Carrara White on Black Boxster. We took that out on several Sunday Drives (now Tours), and after driving it several months, something with the engine just wasn’t right. We had Al Zim check it out and decided before we put any money in it we would get rid of it. Marie: This is where it gets interesting (she laughs) . . . BK: And how’s that? Mitch: One day I traded it in at Park Place for a 2015 Carrara White Metallic on Black Boxster. Marie: He leaves in one and comes back in another; it’s white and black looked nearly the same to me (she laughs)! BK: And? Mitch: The 2015 was fun but just not fast enough for what I wanted as we took more drives . . . there was a “need for speed” happening. So one day I traded it for a 2014 Carrera S, Pure White on Black again. Marie: I’ve gotten pretty used to a white and black Porsche in the garage! BK: But this isn’t what you are driving today? Mitch: No, I was on a drive and the guys kidded me that there was a turbo S in Austin available, knowing that I had a “need for speed.” So last November I picked up the Pure White on Espresso Turbo S down in Austin. Marie: Now this one I noticed (laughing). It has such a lovely interior color and matching top. BK: And Marie all the time you were really ok with all these cars coming and going? Marie: Oh yes, Mitch has always been such a good provider, husband, and father! He deserves this and more. And once again to think that after a few chance meetings I would uncover yet another great personal story of a guy, his girl of 50-plus years and a handful of “white” cars. We will miss you Mitch and will always remember we are “driving friendships.” From the exotic to the everyday driver, we’ve got you covered. • Preventative Maintenance & Scheduled Service • Repairs on Electrical Systems, Engine and Drivetrain • Full Restorations • Paint Protection Film and Detailing Factory level diagnostics for Mercedes, Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche and BMW serving north dallas since 1989 13595 Floyd Circle #400 Dallas, TX 75243 972-437-4216 13