The Power of Coincidence appears in all of our lives to some degree or not. I’m a big believer in coincidence — that nothing happens by accident, people and events appear on our path for a reason.
I’ve always been a car nut. When other ten year-olds in my small hometown were collecting hockey cards and reading the Hockey News, I got my first subscription to Road & Track.
In the mid-1990s I had a senior marketing role at Roots Canada and reported to the CEO. In him I found a kindred spirit as we’re both car obsessed. Marshall was a mentor but we also became life-long friends.
To understand the depth of our car obsession, consider this trip: While other head to Vegas or a golf resort, Marshall, David and I flew to Germany. We toured the Porsche factory and rented race cars for laps at Nurburgring. Now that’s a boys’ weekend!
Back to our story on coincidence: For years we had spoken of our mutual admiration for a small Vancouver company that hand builds replica Porsche 356s (www.intermeccanica.com) . I knew about Intermeccanica but had never visited the factory nor seen their cars in person. Marshall and I vowed to visit one day and finally that day came. We dropped in unannounced and were heartily greeted by the owner Henry Reisner.
We toured the impressive factory and passed into Henry’s private office where I noticed a large poster of a vintage sportscar. The poster featured the car only, no text or brandname but I was pretty sure I recognized it.
I said, “Wow, cool poster of the Apollo.”
Henry got a bemused look on his face: “That’s an extremely rare car, how did you know it’s an Apollo?”
“Well, my Uncle Milt worked on the Apollo in Southern California.”
Henry looked like he’d seen a ghost!
“Your Uncle helped build the Apollo?!” he asked.
“Your Uncle Milt?”
Henry explained: “Milt and my Father founded Intermeccanica in California in the 1960’s, they launched the Apollo. Their business relationship eventually dissolved and our family moved to B.C.”
It was one of those hair-stand-up-on-the-back-of-your-neck moments. We all got real silent and then burst out laughing. What were the chances we would walk-in off the street complete strangers and end up with a family connection? And we didn’t just stumble on Intermeccanica… It had been on the radar for years — I felt drawn to it for some reason.
Henry moved Intermeccanica from Vancouver to New Westminster in 2012 and my family and business followed in 2015. I feel lucky to be able to drop in anytime — his shop is ten minutes from my office. I hope we stay in touch for another twenty years and continue a legacy started in the 1960s. – rich patterson