Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Personal Porsche Tale

I recently picked up the February issue of Excellence Magazine, a US mag dedicated to Porsche cars.  I don't subscribe, but a few months out of the year I can't resist as the cars featured or the stories are just too good to pass up.

My dad's 1964 Porsche 356 SC
The February issue has the wickedly awesome Champion Motorsports Turbo S RSR I featured on Friday.  But more important for me was the article comparing the 1964 356 SC and the 1965 912.  The story instantly made me think of my dad and our own history with the 356 and 912.  Before touching on the personal aspect of this story though, the history of these two models is worth a note.

When Porsche introduced the 911, the 356 replacement in 1964, it was almost double the cost of a 356.  To keep a more budget minded customer in dealers, Porsche came out with the 912, which shared the 911's new body but carried over the engine and many other parts of the outgoing 356.  The final version of the 356 was the SC model, which carried the most powerful motor ever offered in a 356.  While not as powerful as the 911's new 6 cyclinder, the 4 banger from the 356 moved the 912 quite well and was lighter giving the 912 a lively feel.  1964 was the last year of the 356, 1965 the first year of the 912.

Now for the personal tale.

In 1972 my dad owned a yellow 1964 356 SC.  It was second in a string of 3 awesome sports cars which included an Austin Healy 3000 and an Alfa Romeo GTV6.  He bought the 356 for $2000.  A year or so later someone offered him $2500 so he sold it.  I've lamented the sale of each of those cars but none so much as the Porsche.  There is just so much soul in a 356 and to think my dad had such a future classic in his hands and sold it has always made for good conversation in our family.  Of course my dad was just starting his family and a small sportscar probably wasn't the best option.  They sold the 356 and my mom's VW Beetle and got a Volvo.  How quaint.
My mom and the Austin Healy
Still pimpin' with the Alfa Romeo

More Ausitn Healy
At the same time, my dad was attending architecture school at the University of New Mexico and made a few good friends.  When my dad bought the yellow 356 one of those friends, Tom Tayor, decided to get a blue 1965 912.  The novelty of my dad owning the last year of the 356 and his friend owning the first year of the 912 wasn't lost on anyone.

My beloved MR2
Fast forward to my sophomore year of college at New Mexico State.  I had made a great group of friends.  One of those friends was Tyson Taylor.  Now, Tyson and I had no idea of our fathers' friendship.

When we returned to school after fall break, Tyson drove up to the dorms in, you guessed it, a blue 1965 Porsche 912.  Of course I was enthralled.  He told me it was his dad's and I shared the story of my pop's 356.  That night I called my dad and he related the above story to me.  Turns out Tyson's father kept the 912 all those years and passed it down.  I had no such luck.  Before, I was bummed about my dad selling the 356, but after seeing Tyson's car and hearing the tale, you can imagine how that has changed our family's conversation about those cars!

My fantasy's of my dad's cars are what got me into sportscars as well.  I briefly had a Porsche 924 then a MG Midget in high school.  When I got home from my mission in Chile, I got a Toyota MR2.  Someday I'll get another project and hold onto it, pass it down to my kid.

I've attempted to track down my dad's yellow Porsche.  There weren't too many SC's made in yellow.  I've found one or two that maybe the car but we don't have a VIN to make sure.  My ultimate dream would be to find the exact car, restore it and give to my dad.  What an awesome story ending that would make!

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