“My passion for Porsche autos came about from the early 80’s. One Christmas, Santa (at the time!) gave me a simple remote controlled Porsche 928 – the type where the handset is connected to the car by a wire. I remember the 928 as being the latest offering from Porsche at the time, packed with advances in technology and latest styling! I still have this car today.
Some years later in early high school, a good friend wouldn’t stop raving about how the 911 was the world’s best sports car despite the controversy at the time when Porsche was making some changes with the addition of power assisted steering to the 964/993 and then later, water cooling.
Several years ago I saw in a private collection, a 356 Speedster Carrera with a Carson roof. I fell in love instantly with its vintage motorsport appeal and I knew that one day, I will have to own something similar! I realized I needed to get my hands on the oldest Porsche I could afford!
Well, the hunt is never short or easy and with early Porsches, it can take you across the world and back and occasionally fill some of your days with disappointments!
In January 2015, I settled for a ‘73 VW Beetle that had been chopped up a bit and in general, had a hard life. My intention was to build out of it a kit car version of a 356, either Speedster or Coupe or maybe even a 550! After stripping the car down to its basics and researching kit manufacturers first hand in the States, I came up with a better idea… how about I buy a complete set of reproduction panels and start welding together my own car?!
Luckily towards the end of 2015, this silver 1958-356A came up for sale in Melbourne. I received an email alert of this car for sale within 3 minutes of it posting, and I was on the phone! Finally the opportunity to own a piece of motoring history was ours! With my wife also sharing my passion for early Porsches (how can you not have a soft spot for a 356?!) we planned our drive to bring it home to Brisbane.
Around the turn of the New Year of 2016, we made our journey over five days, taking the small roads home and covering some 2100 kms. Passing through towns such as Myrtleford, Yackandandah,
Gulgong, Coolah and Deepwater – and making our way through the Black Spur, crossing the Great Dividing Range, Kosciuszko National Park, and a couple or three laps of Mt Panorama!
The car features a freshly built 1725 motor with a later model crankcase, Scat forged crank and big bore cylinders, Super 90 camshaft and original Zenith 32NDIX carbs. The gearbox has been rebuilt with new synchromesh on all four gears, and suspension and brakes are all sorted as well. Thankfully the previous owner wanted this car to be without mechanical flaws and all work done is at a pleasing high standard. Previously, bodywork has been carried out and the interior refreshed, maintaining many original features. The long term history of the car becomes vague, something I’d like to research in time.
My impressions of our 356A so far? Apart from it oozing style and class and being nice to look at?
What a fantastic car to spend some time behind the wheel! Nothing else I’ve driven is similar in any way. The body feels so rigid and light with comfortable suspension, it rolls along really well. It can feel a little awkward in congested traffic but comes into its zone on the open and winding roads, eating up the miles nicely! The thumping of the motor, the slight smell of fuel and oil and that little extra effort required to drive, all adding to the experience. It never lets me forget I’m driving something special!
We love it!”