Friday, September 21, 2012

The Life n' Times of an Ol' Porsche Speedster ...

"New for 1955, you will find this Porsche comfortable, easy-riding and a sporty car"..."You really can't beat this deal Mister"..."Wow Bea, the lines of this new Speedster are beautiful and the interior leather sure smells good. What do you think, can we afford it? And it is the least expensive of all the Porsches"....

"Sure Wally"...

"Fill'er up Tommy, it's under the front trunk lid, I'll pop her open for you, oh and can you check the tires please, the engine is in the back for the oil"..."No, it's not a VW"...

"Bea honey, I hate to move out of San Diego to a colder climate, but the job has transferred me, we are going to have to sell the Speedster"..."Yes I know, it's really a good car, but we're moving to where it rains a lot and this is a top-down car and it's just got to go"....

Photographed, Steve Brown's original Speedster. Image © "Along For The Ride"


"Hey dad can I take the Speedster you bought from that guy that had to move out of town to the Prom, I'm taking Patty and it's such a cool car"...

"You know son getting speeding tickets like this is just not a good thing, our family car insurance has gone through the roof"..."I'm going to put a new clutch in the car and then I'll be the only one driving it, no more dates for you in the Speedster"...

"Man, that's a sharp Porsche, you want to sell it?'...

"Hey guys look at my new Speedster, I'm going to take the bumpers off, store them in the garage, put a roll bar in and take it out to Riverside for some races"..."All I did was put a header on it, velocity stacks, and change the jetting, a 'First Place'. I can't believe it"...It's just a small dent in the fender, call it a battle scar"...

"Wow College is getting expensive, I'm going to trade it in on a new VW Beetle"...

"Yep, it's pretty fast, you need this car kid and it was a trade-in on a new Beetle, the payments won't be much"..."Brenda, you want to go to the Drive-In tonight in my new car, a movie called "Harper" is playing, Steve McQween drives a Speedster just like this"..."You going to the "Beach Boys" concert Bill?"..."Yeah that sounds good, it may be my last one for awhile, I'm getting drafted soon, so I'll be off to "Vietnam," but I think I'll keep the Speedster at my parent's house until I get back, I'll just throw a car cover on her, she'll be fine"...

"We really hate to sell it. It was our son's pride and joy, it's been covered up here in the garage for a long time"..."You know some previous owner raced her, our son said she was pretty fast, but we just can't bear to drive her"...

"Thanks, I promise I'll take good care of her"...

"Wow, Mike where did you find a relic like this, are you sure you like this? The new 911's are so fast"..."It just needs tires and a good cleaning, it's been sitting in a garage for years"...

"I didn't think, putting these plastic side curtains on the doors each time it rains was going to be such a pain, and the water still gets inside and just collects on the floor"...

"This car has got to go"...

"Bob, you really want this car? Sure, it's a wedding present to ourselves"... "Let's join the local Porsche Car Club and have some fun with it, entering some Time Trials at Willow Springs, Riverside, Holtville and other places, it's already got a roll bar"... "It sure gets a lot of attention at these events honey"...

"Bob, guess what? You're going to be a daddy"..."The Porsche needs to go, there just is nowhere to put our Son in those new car-seats"..."I know, I know"..."Yeah, it runs great, we just need a bigger car"..."Let's buy another car for the car-seat then"...

"Bob, every time I go out in the garage I keep tripping over your old car...and I can't get to the freezer! If you aren't going to do anything with it, you need to sell it to someone who will"..."OK, OK!"...

"Yeah, I bought it some years ago as a wedding present to ourselves from a guy that had to sell it, but my wife is on my back and I just don't have the time to take care of it"..."Yeah, I know it looks pretty bad"...

"But, it's still a neat old car"..."I'll take it"...

"Yep, it's a Speedster"..."I found it in a garage on the other side of town, been sittin' there for years"...It's the real deal, not fiberglass"..."I'm doing a full restoration on it, the roll bar will come out, I'll put a stock muffler back on, get some air cleaners, and find some bumpers for it somewhere"..."Sure, it's got some rust holes in the floors from water, but I can fix that"..."I just wonder what this thing has been through...and how it got this dent in the fender"..."Yeah, if only this Speedster could talk. Man, I bet the stories it could tell, over fifty years worth. Stories of that new car smell, maybe of adolescent freedom, stories of irresponsibility, of racing, romance and heartbreak, neglect and now resurrection."

To share a comment, click here. And don't forget to share this post with a friend.

PS. The inspiration for this came from a couple of old time Porsche friends Wally and Bea Cole that saw many Porsches during their lifetimes.

11 comments:

  1. Have any of you known of a car like this?

    ReplyDelete
  2. John, that's an excellent piece of writing. Great way to start a Saturday. Thanks for that.

    ReplyDelete
  3. There is truly something special about a early porsche. A artful combination of simplicity, engineering, handling, style ,overall practicality but most of all just plain fun to drive .
    I've had several 356's but the first one was a "bent windshield " '54 coupe that I bought for $500. Sure it needed alot of work but I drove it home with thoughts of fixin her up abit. Well not long after ( 43 years ago ) I resold her to buy a wedding ring, for all the same reasons listed above .
    giddy up , Carson

    ReplyDelete
  4. Another artful piece of writing. It was a bit of melancholy to go down memory lane again with my various cars & their histories.

    ReplyDelete
  5. GREAT piece John. Beautiful patina.... scarred , yet telling a story.

    Yes I own several with similar stories, and one was owned by a 'Nam Vet who did not return, sitting for nearly 25 years inside a barn and for a short while behind it in the shade in the pasture . Now it waits for its day in the sun at car shows, after I find the few missing pieces of headlight trim and a new front replacement fender, pranged by a deer. Amazingly it never had a vermin problem. A red ' 68 GT 390 Ranchero, never having hauled a load in its unused bed, awaiting for its soldier owner to return and love it again.

    As with every survivor, each car has their story..... some will never be known, some retrieved from rusting brethern in salvage yards live hidden lives like the school child who never knew his parents, grew up in an orphanage, or because of a lost story , simply never had any remembered details.

    But they are stars shining brightly in the heavens today, and have important things to reveal, things to tell us if we only take the time to listen, to look their way and appreciate each individual's beauty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The first time I worked on a Porsche, a friend I went to college with, asked me to give him a hand with this "58 speedster. It was off-white with red leather interior. The engine had a burnt valve. He did know much about engine work and I knew a little more. I had a VW previously that we had put a roots type blower on it and had broken a few things. It was a learning experience to say the least and I could not believe it when we put the motor back in and it started. I don't know how long it ran afterwards but we never heard back from the guy.

      Delete