More than Just a Little Brown Car

Writer / Janelle Morrison
Photos submitted

In 2008, Candyce Jones set out on a journey of self-discovery and re-invention upon the passing of her husband, Jim. Jones and her husband spent many years and countless miles cruising in his 1973 Sepia Porsche 911S coupe. The time had come to either “drive it or sell it,” and she knew that she had no interest in selling it.Candice-Artomobilia-2

“Becoming a ‘car chick’ was never on my horizon, but stepping into that unfamiliar arena of car enthusiasts has proven to be a wonderful adventure,” Jones explained. “The brown car and the Porsche community really inspired me to make the most of the next chapter of my life. The 911S was driven during the summer for pleasure, and we never missed a race at Road America in over 30 years. There were cross-country vacations too and the occasional trip to Mosport, Mid-Ohio and Watkins Glen.

“Like most car hobbyists, Jim was self-taught and did his own maintenance, though the 911S never needed any major work or touch-up painting. I had the time, so my job was to wash the car. My own journey with the 911S began in 2010 when the car was started, washed and waxed. In June, it was shown at a local cruise night. While there, an on-patrol police officer suggested the car should compete in the concours at the PCA Parade. The same police officer even washed and waxed the car for me for free. On the very last day of registration, I changed my entry from show to judge, and a few weeks later, on July 4, the 911S entered the national competition in the Preservation class.”

Much to her surprise, Jones’s 911S won both its class and its division. She recalled thinking to her late husband, “What in the hell have you gotten me into, Jim?”

Jones continued to show her car at additional concours events, charity events, small local cruise nights and car shows.

“Over the years, I have turned from being a laidback passenger to a devoted female owner,” Jones enthused. “The 911S is now my passion – and its local and national awards have opened me up to a whole new world. Truly, the treasures on this award-winning journey are the kind and supportive ‘car people’ who have stepped into my life. This Porsche was really the vehicle for starting my life over and making new friends. Members of the Chicago Region PCA Concours team taught me how to clean, detail and judge a car. Without their guidance, the 911S would not have won the Preservation Award at the 2013 Porsche Parade. I am a member of that team today and will be forever grateful for their friendship.”

Another twist of fate would introduce Jones and John Leonard, the organizer of Artomobilia. She met Leonard in French Lick, Indiana, at a Porsche Parade over a year ago. Upon that chance encounter, Leonard had taken an interest in Jones’ 911S and implored her to bring the car and show it at Artomobilia. Jones recalled, humorously, that she replied to Leonard’s request, “John, I’ve registered my car at your show before, and I didn’t hear back.” Jones brought the car to Artomobilia in 2015, and it won 1st in Class.

Jones is incredibly complimentary about Artomobilia and her time visiting the city of Carmel.

“Artomobilia is an incredibly well-organized show,” she expressed. “You know what you’re supposed to be doing before you even arrive at the event. Another thing that really impressed me was the judging. They were using smart tablets, and each team of judges had only one tablet. That meant that they had to actually discuss the car among themselves and have a dialogue about the car’s features. I really like that concept. The entire experience was fun with the entertainment and the ambience. Carmel is a wonderful city. It was the first time that I had been to Carmel, an it was overall just a great experience for me.”

Reflecting back on the car’s history, Jones expressed that she certainly didn’t see her life as it is today. After her husband passed, she began competing and found joy in it. She has taken classes to become incredibly educated about her car and is currently judging as a PCA judge.

“I have traveled the country and made many new friends who are also enthusiasts and are always willing to help me if I have questions,” Jones said. “I was able to go out on my own, take a risk and try something new. I am having new and incredible experiences all because of this little brown car. It has opened so many new doors for me. One of the things on my ‘bucket list’ is to take the car on a cross-country trip. The car is 43 years old now, but I’d like to do it one day. Over all of the years that Jim and I drove this car together, we never thought the car would end up where it is today.”