Monday, May 15, 2006

CT to PA to BC, a Porsche 356 C's Odyssey

I was only 25 when I bought this matching numbers car #221146 C coupe sky blue with red interior. A year after looking for projects and roadsters that were soaring in price. In its day it was driven seldom in Glastonbury, CT from 1965 to 1969 where I'm told (by 2nd owner) was involved in some race crash and taken off the road (original miles then in 1969 is 19,983). I have a few emails from old CT Porsche mechanics who remember a car like it then crashed the same way. Owned by a European couple, it now had some right side rear end damage and transmission damage, (axle tube severely bent). The car had a panel-repair (bondo) and quick repaint, and was resold then to the 2nd Owner, a real-estate agent from PA who was in town the time on business, bought the car from an estate sale, as the European couple were going back to Europe and then had it shipped to his PA house. He told me the car looked great then but drove poorly so he drove it up the driveway, and there it sat motionless until 2001. He told me he never drove the car except for that. Off the car carrier and down the street and up the driveway. A mistake he wishes he had corrected. In 2001, it exchanged a few hands quickly, from him to Bruce Baker (who could not in good faith chop it up due to its low miles and solid body) to Parker Tyler, who actually drove down to PA to get it from Bruce, and then towed it into Nova Scotia for me in 2003.

It was caught in Hurricane Juan, Sept in 2003 and soaked with water. When I got the car Oct 2003, I disassembled, sandblasted, and after a 2 year restoration, a proper rear end repair and colour switch and some leg work to contact all party's except 1st owners, I am left with a great low mile solid coupe today. I continue to talk to the 2nd Owner on a regular bases and he is very envious and notes he is first in line to buy the car back. He holds the cars original tool kit still as ransom, and jokes only to reunite if he gets the car back. It lost a few pieces in the transaction but I have been able to refit with some things and have all registrations going back to 1969, with proof of mileage. A 12,000$ metal work and paint job and some serious weld work and an amateur floor job done by myself. I am now back in Vancouver BC and it still has a few hiccups but I am intent on racing it in the local vintage events and driving on sunny days. Mileage now is 20,007 miles at the time of this story, and sounds nice running. (when it wants to start that is. Wife has named the car "Ooter" and I its safe to say "Ooter" is a little miffed he hasn't been driven in so long and the trials and tribulations he has gone through. Thus the trouble he gives me.) I have only driven a few miles in the last three years, basically around the block a few times and to the gas station, but when he goes he pulls great. Some carb tuning needed, but a great find for my first 356.

The little low mile coupe is the envy of a few old mopar and corvette neighbors who poke their head in and a nice addition with a 1959 Convertible D I have picked up, which has a story just as interesting.

Sean-Christerfer Longhi


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