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First Person Report: The Moderne Up Close and Personal
By Jerry Gebhard, HCR Membership Chair

Travel 500 Miles to see a kit car? What do I look like, a person with nothing to do? That would have been my response to Dan Germain’s request on any given day of the year. But this weekend was different. July 14th, 15th and 16th happened to be on every 928 owners calendar - the first annual 928 Owners Club International Convention. Dan promised that this would be a unique opportunity to see a car that very few have seen. “As long as you’re going to Wichita, Kansas why not check out the Moderne and let us know what you think,” Dan suggested. “It’s a rare opportunity to see a very unique car.” He was trying to sell me hard. “OK,” I said. “I’ll check it out, but I’m warning you now, I’m not a kit car guy.”
Yet, after a long drive from Austin, pulling into the front drive of the Hyatt I am suddenly surprised. “Dad, what’s that!” shouts my son. While I was checking out the 928s parked on my side, he had spotted something special out his side. I turned to look and there it was; wide, muscular stance, bright red and beautiful. There’s a hint of a Boxster in that design, or something familiar I thought to myself. “That’s got to be the Moderne, the car we’re supposed to check out while we’re here!” I told him.

We parked our car and walked over to check it out. Walking around this car you can’t help but smile. (I smile when I walk around nice cars). I smile because I wonder what drives a person to develop something like this. I smile because I know I’m going to have fun this weekend. But mainly, I smile because my son says, “What the heck is it?”

The 928 Owners Club convention weekend was the perfect opportunity for Jeffrey Pink to debut the Moderne. After all, 928 owners would understand the thinking behind the development. Take a powerful German engineered GT car and turn it into a beautiful cabriolet. In the process, freshen the design taking it into the new millennium. The end result – an affordable, high performance open roadster like no other.

As the weekend unfolded, I saw the car again, this time on display in the convention center under the indoor lighting. I am not a kit car guy, I kept thinking to myself. This thing doesn’t look like a kit car. It looks like a concept car. I was starting to like this car! It’s not in the same league as the cars I classify as kit cars. The fit and finish were excellent. It looked like a pre-production car you would see at a major car show. I did not get a chance to drive the Moderne. There was just too much to do in such a short weekend. But I enjoyed checking it out. Who knows, maybe one of our members will get the itch to have a Moderne of their own. Then we’ll all have a chance to check it out and even drive it. What do you say Dan?

(Editor’s note to self: Remember to build bigger garage in next house…)

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