Me and my motor - Adrian Kermode - Porsche 911
PUBLISHED: 01:16 19 September 2011 | UPDATED: 20:00 20 February 2013
Adrian Kermode has had a life-long association with cars. Here he explains his passion for Porsche
When I was 17, as an apprentice mechanic, I had my first time in a Porsche. I was just blown away by it, and said to myself that one day Id have one. Actually, I bought my first 911, a 2.2-litre powder blue coupe, only two years later. Since then Ive always had a Porsche.
I left school at 15 and after an apprenticeship as a mechanic on the Isle of Man where I lived, I worked as a salesman on the island. After a stint living and working in London during my 20s, I returned to the Isle of Man where I bought the garage I used to work at.
One of my reasons for going back was because Porsche had been added to the VW dealership. That was my real drive, to become a Porsche dealer. The big turning point came in 2002, when I was given the opportunity to take over Road Range Porsche in Liverpool. I sold my interests in the Isle of Man and we moved Porsche into its new premises, Cheshire Oaks, near Chester in 2005.
My first motor sport involvement was at 18, working weekends on the car of the Manx autocross champion, Ken Clarke. One time he asked me if I would like to double up with him at an event. I did and he only beat me by half a second. Early in 1978 I bought a Mini 1275 GT and started rallying, and by September I got my licence to do the Manx international. I won my class and I think got into the overall top twenty.
I rallied the Mini for a few years while still working as a car salesman and did quite well with the class wins, then I got a Metro and British Leyland started to send me free parts. When I got a Sunbeam Lotus my boss said it was either rallying or work, I chose work.
When I went back to the Isle of Man to take over the VW dealership I started rallying a 1964 Mini Cooper S. I campaigned this through the 90s won the Manx Historic twice and had a few class wins in the British Historic Championship. I also rallied a two litre Porsche 911 for some time, then bought a three litre.
I decided I wanted to build an ultimate 911 for myself, starting with a 1980 911SC bought on ebay and turned it into the Rothmans Replica I drive now. I had it gutted, acid dipped and rebuilt as a Classic category (1975-81) car. Although in the Mini I had done a lot of forest stages and I enjoy them, I decided to concentrate on tarmac events with the 911, such as the Irish Historic Series.
As well as the Rothmans Replica Porsche I still have five Minis at home in Liverpool the Cooper S which Ill never sell, a wood and Pickett Mini once owned by Tommy Steele, a Radford Mini, MkII Cooper S and original Mini Sprint. I had been looking for a Sprint for some time when I tracked down Neville Trickett who designed and built them, after chatting he agreed to build one for me.
I also support the Sporting Bears Motor Club at events most recently the Classic Car and Motorcycle Show at Capesthorne Hall where they raise money for local childrens charities by offering Dream Rides
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