Have you ever regretted selling a Porsche? Pembrokeshire businessman Dave Amos (65) certainly did, having sold his silver 911 SC for £8,500 in order to finance his business startup 25 years ago. The business later became a success, and recently Amos announced his retirement.
Mr. Amos' business partner, Bill Duke (63), knew that he had to find the perfect retirement gift as a way of saying thank you. Without telling Dave, Bill flew from Texas where he lives, and began the job of tracking down the Porsche. With a couple good leads, it only took him about a week to find the car in Kent.
After finding the car, Bill made the owner an incredible offer, and later drove off with the car. During Dave's combination birthday and retirement party, Bill turned up to wish him well. As the party was winding down, Bill took the guest of honor outside where the Porsche was waiting in the driveway.
Dave Amos -
"It was just one of those amazing moments - I could see a Porsche and thought one of my family had arrived in it. Then I thought: 'It looks a bit like my old one' - but even then I didn't realize what was going on. But I saw the registration number and realized it was my old car. I couldn't believe it when Bill handed me the keys - the last time I saw it was over 25 years ago."
The friends and business partners met when they were working together in Bahrain. They were tasked with inspecting gas storage tanks for cracks, and required to use inadequate scanning equipment. Once back in Texas, they designed a "better mousetrap". Without the capital to put the product of their designs into production, Dave reluctantly sold his beloved Porsche.
Dave Amos -
"Bill had four young children so it was a struggle for him and I didn't have any capital. But I did have the Porsche back home in Wales so I reluctantly decided to sell it. We used the cash from the car to build our first scanning machine and we never looked back from there. It was my pride and joy, I'd always wanted one but I had to do the sensible thing and sell it. I often wondered what happened to it - it was a bit special.
"Apparently the owner didn't want to sell - he'd spent a lot of money on the car bringing it up to tip-top condition. But Bill made him an offer he couldn't refuse. I think he felt he owed me for the sacrifice I had made 30 years ago and the Porsche was payback. But I never saw it that way - he's like a brother to me. He owed me nothing."
Bill Duke -
"It took a while but with the help of Dave's wife Sandra and his nephew Richard we found the Porsche after all those years. The problem was that the owner was in love with it, he had spent a lot of money on the car and didn't want to sell. But I sent him an email explaining the history of the car and what it meant to Dave. I must have touched a nerve because he emailed me back saying he was really moved by the story and he didn't feel as if the car was his any more. So we did a deal.
"Giving it back to Dave was one of the best feelings in my life - and he was gobsmacked as you say... In fact he actually sobbed and he's not an emotional guy. But it was my way of saying thank you for everything he did for me and my family - he is the nicest guy I've ever met."
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Source: The Western Telegraph