My Speedster replica Ruby1 has met the challenge again. After returning from the Import and Kit Nationals in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, I am convinced that the 3200-mile round trip was the highlight of my driving experience to date. It is unquestionably the most fun I’ve had in a car for some time. But there’s more to the story than just its roadworthiness, as this particular car is significant within the Speedster community, as I’ll explain.

Built in 2005 by Intermeccanica, the car remains pristine. The miles accrued over the years have served as a testament to the quality and craftsmanship in every car that Henry Reisner and his crew at Intermeccanica build. Ruby1 performed flawlessly, and has proven to be 100-percent reliable. I do not have any reservations at all about going anywhere with this gem!

I acquired the car in 2008, as a result of being in the right place at the right time. Jim Ward, the original owner of the car, had suffered from a very rare lung disorder that eventually took his life. The car was stored away in his garage for the next few years. At the point when his widow was able to “let the car go,” she approached Henry to broker it for her. I visited with Henry at his display at a previous Carlisle show, and in the course of our conversation, I asked, “What had ever happened to Jim Ward's car?” Ergo, being in the right place at the right time. I was able to come to an agreement with the owners widow, and the rest is history, as they say!

I am truly fortunate to be the steward of this magnificent automobile. I consider myself the steward of this car because Jim Ward had an inspirational effect on everyone who knew him. He routinely included input from members of the Speedster Owners Group into his build. Ruby1 is a compilation of all of the ideas presented to Jim during the brainstorming phase that ultimately became the completed project. It proved to be a collaboration and meaningful experience of inclusion, which gave special importance to the effects of coming together in the common goal of building the ultimate Speedster. The end result of such an endeavor speaks for itself.

In Henry Reisner’s words, “Ruby1 is the quintessential speedster.” How so? It incorporates many features of an original 1956 Porsche 356 Carrera. A true-to-original approach was adopted during the process, and has had real Porsche 356 owners take a second and third look at the car before they could determine its authenticity. 

Here’s an overview of some of its salient features: 142hp, 2110cc VW Type 1 from C.B. Performance with dual 44mm IDF Weber carbs; Intermeccanica/S&S Headers and Magnaflow mufflers. Special features: custom-made air filter with K&N filter elements; remote HD cooler; Ruby Red Glasurit urethane body color; curved top rollbar; 1956 NLA repro “beehive” taillights and front signal lights; Hella period-correct fog lights with vertical chromed grille; H-4 halogen headlights; period-correct bumper trim and guards; original-style rolled fender-edge treatment; Carrera louvered engine lid; Speedster bucket seats with body-color piping and dual-range heaters; and Lietz-style luggage rack; along with many, many other details, too numerous to include all of them here.

I am carrying on the tradition that Jim started. I have not, and will not change any feature of this car. It is impossible to improve on perfection. As to the condition of the car, I feel it appropriate to maintain Ruby1's integrity by keeping it as pristine as is possible. All of the effort has paid off, and it has been a labor of love for me. Jim is my co-pilot (in spirit, of course), and I am sure that he looks down from his heavenly home and smiles with boundless joy.

It's not about the destination—it's about the journey. And I’m ready to head out in Ruby1 at a moment’s notice!