I believe the main reason I am into antique cars is because I grew up with a Porsche 356. For most of my life it sat in a garage or a barn and then in the 1980s my father brought it home and we worked on it a bit at a time. Dad bought the car for $500 in 1966 after driving a newer one. Below is a shot of him with the car around 1971. The car is battered but is all matching numbers including the original engine.
When my parents moved from Illinois back to our home state of Massachusetts a few years back he sent the car to me. I asked why and he said he thought I would fix it if it was sitting in my garage. It took a few years but he was right. The first step was getting it running around the yard.
Then it sat for a while longer. Dad came down to Maryland and taught me the leading and brazing techniques that were my first foray into metalwork on antique cars.
And finally I really got rolling on the project with the help of former students.
It was all worth it to see Dad with the car that I grew up hearing legends of. And with it all fixed up I heard even more stories that were new to me! One of my favorite stories is of a time he was pulled over for speeding. The trooper started yelling at my father and Dad was very confused because he was driving the speed limit. Well it turned out Dad had been speeding (120mph) an hour or two before and the trooper gave up chasing him!
Why suddenly talk about the Porsche now when I mostly talk Jeeps? Well after a year of sitting I finally took a couple days for my Dad and I, fixed some electrical issues, and put the Porsche back on the road again.
I feel guilty for not working on Jeeps for two days….. but it’s worth it to be able to call up my father and talk about the Porsche and having it on the road again. As Harry Pellow, Der Maestro, used to say, “Keep the 356 Faith!”
Back to Jeeps now, but I will drive the Porsche to the shop.