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Report from the Road: Intermeccanica Tour 2009

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Intermeccanica has been building specialty cars for the past 50 years. Founded by Frank Reisner in Turin Italy, their history is vast and interesting. Frank’s son Henry runs the company now, and every summer hosts a tour and BBQ to thank customers and friends for their business. This was the second tour I’ve attended, and the event was definitely one to remember.

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Please don't ding my vintage car!

Last year’s tour was held at Harrison Lake resort in Canada, and I was lucky enough to have a loaned Intermeccanica Roadster to drive. The majority of the cars the company builds now are Speedster and Convertible D Roadster replicas. Each car is a custom build, ranging from basic models with type 1 VW engines to cars with 2.7 liter 911 engines and even water-cooled Audi engines. Each has its own flair and features. Henry’s known for his willingness to build just about anything.

This year’s event was on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, and began at Bear Mountain Resort and Spa (northwest of Victoria). My son and I drove our 1972 Porsche 911S to the event (since I’m not fortunate enough to own an Intermeccanica… yet), catching the Port Angeles Ferry to Victoria.

Once at Bear Mountain we hooked up with 35 other cars including Intermeccanica Speedsters and Roadsters, a few Porsche 911s, and some 356 Porsche Coupes. We drove to Victoria and were treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the Royal British Museum. Very cool. After a spirited drive back to the resort Henry hosted a wonderful meal on the terrace overlooking the valley.

The valet thought he had died and gone to heaven.

A nice lineup.

Sprung a leak!

Sprung a leak!

Saturday morning, we gathered and took off up the west coast of the island on Highway 14. Over 30 cars participated as we wound through small towns along a very twisty, two lane road. As in most tours, there was a faster group up front followed by packs of cars. Touring with so many cool looking vehicles makes for some enjoyable sights as you pass people and they stop to look. Lots of thumbs-up, flashing lights (not the police kind) and smiles were enjoyed along the way.

Mid-day, we pulled in to a pub at Port Renfrew and enjoyed a great lunch and some exploring of the fishing piers and views of the mountains and water. That evening, we were treated to a delicious meal on the deck overlooking the rolling hills, and then enjoyed a slideshow, presented by Henry’s mother, that walked us through the 50-year history of Intermeccanica. I was amazed at all the different cars they’ve built.

Port Renfrew.

Port Renfrew.

Roadside stop.

Roadside stop.

The second day, we headed up the east side of the island on Highway 1 to Nanaimo, where we caught the ferry at Departure Bay to Vancouver (across the Strait of Georgia). Seeing over 40 of these cars loading the boat brought out many cameras and looky-loos. The voyage was fantastic. As we all pulled off the boat, those waiting to board brought out their cameras and grins.

The Strait of Juan de Fuca.

The Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Surrounded by Speedsters.

Surrounded by Speedsters.

Boarding the boat.

Boarding the boat.

Special Speedster ferry parking.

Special Speedster ferry parking.

We all motored along the Upper Leveis Highway toward the city and crossed the Lions Gate Bridge in to Stanley Park. The looks, smiles, waves and cameras continued to come out all along the way! Through the city we continued, exhaust notes echoing off the tall buildings, then on to the Intermeccanica factory where a BBQ feast awaited us. We enjoyed a tour of the facility and saw several cars in various stages of construction. It was an end to a great few days of playing with our toys.

Lion's Gate Bridge

Lion's Gate Bridge.

At Intermeccanica.

At Intermeccanica.

Front door parking.

Front door parking.

Cars being built.

Cars being built.

My son and I spent the night in Vancouver and then caught the Tsawwassen Ferry to Sturdies Bay. Spent some time in Victoria, and then another ferry to Port Angeles, and home in time for dinner. The 911S got a lot of exercise and performed perfectly… as long as you kept the revs above 4,000 that is!

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4 Comments

  1. what cars! simplicity at its finest.

  2. Dave Petty says:

    I had the chance to buy a ’57 Speedster in ’72 for $2250. As a beginning teacher I could not get a loan. In the early 80’s I learned about Reisner’s wonderful vehicle. I ended up with a lesser reproduction. Having seen an Intermeccanica Speedster mine was a pale immitation.I have had a series of four fantastic 911’s, but I will always long for the little red Speedster that got away.

  3. Degregori Fabio Massimo says:

    De Gregori Fabio Massimo 12/9/2009
    I have CMC speedster, it is so beautifull that over the last 9 years the car has averaged 2 compliments an hour. I would like to eare from some one who has atchived a better resolt than that!
    I am really considering sending the car to Intermeccanica for the interior ridoing,in lether obviously. I leave in Gold Coast-Australia with spectacular wether, so the hood is off, the double hump on, and it is a BARCHETTA speedster 356. I am Italian, CIAO.

  4. Degregori Fabio Massimo says:

    Dear Director’

    I would like to include two pictures of my CMC Ctype Speedster to this conversation I do not know how to do it. If I send the pictures via E-mail to you, would be easyer?.At the moment the Speedster has I.R.S and 1914cc 4 webbers, what cost would be a conversion to Porshe 911, with power brakes and power steering? At the moment the chassis is VW 1970.To much chamges are not allowed here in Autralia. Hope to hear from you soon Fabio Massimo

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