Jim Bridges, vice president and chief operations officer for the EDS Asia Pacific region, traveled the world with his wife, Judy, and three children. Expatriates, they spent four years in Brazil and four years in Germany, then went on to Detroit, Shanghai and finally Singapore. Judy Bridges said they put a lot of things on the back burner, planning to do them when he retired. One of those things was buying a sports car.
They were empty-nesters in Singapore when Jim Bridges, then 51, was diagnosed with kidney cancer. After the surgery, they moved back to the United States so he could have easy excess to medical care, should the cancer come back. They moved to Dallas and bought a house. He continued to work in a company’s Dallas headquarters. Every three months he would receive a body scan to make sure the cancer had not returned.
Judy Bridges said they thought this was it: They were now going to do everything they had put on hold.“I said, ‘You should get your sports car.’ He said I should get one, too,” Judy Bridges said.
She bought a gray Toyota Prius; he bought a 2008 limited-edition Porsche Boxster S Edition 2. Only 500 were made, with just 50 sold in the United States. His was No. 228.
When they went car shopping, the Boxster was sitting in the showroom with all its lights on. Of all the Porsches there, Jim Bridges was drawn to that one. Judy Bridges said it had white wheels and a gray racing stripe.
“I told him it was a little too girlie for him. He would be pulling it into the VP executive spot at the company. He needed something a little more manly, like a Carrera,” Judy Bridges said.
A short time later they went in to have his scans done. His cancer had returned. It was in many parts of his body, and he was given six to 12 months to live. So he enjoyed the car as much as he could.
When he became too sick to drive it, he would go out to the garage with a folding chair, polish the car and admire the machine.
It wasn’t until later on that Judy Bridges discovered the reason he bought the car was because he was thinking of her. If he didn’t make it, it was a pretty car, one he thought she would want to drive.
In November 2009, a week after Thanksgiving, Jim Bridges died. Judy Bridges, who still has family in the area, eventually sold the house in Dallas and moved to be closer to her parents, family and friends. The car came with her.
Shiny and white with gray pinstriping and a gray convertible roof that folds back into the body, the Boxster is a girl’s dream. The six-speed has less than 6,000 miles on it. It’s never been driven in the rain, Judy Bridges said with a smile. The car has star spokes, painted white 19-inch Sports design wheels, side air intakes, a center console and instrument dials. It has a midengine, with a trunk in the front and one in the back.
The car spends the winter months in the garage on a trickle battery. On sunny days during warm weather, Judy Bridges gets it out and drives it with the top down, listening to music.