I had no intention of buying a 356. I've always been intrigued with them, and always wanted one, but it could wait. That is until I received an emailing detailing a very exciting '65 Coupe. One family ownership, never restored or rusty. Always taken care of.
And then the clincher: The car was owned by a gentlemen who ran a vintage Porsche shop for years. The car had always gotten what it needed; and had very recently had a new top-end, tires, brakes, etc. Not a restoration but just maintenance. It had been painted black from its original Light Ivory some 35 years ago. The paint is checked and scratched in places but I actually love it that way.
I made the deal in a day or two and now had to figure out if I drive it, or ship it. Problem was I'm in Seattle and the car was in Connecticut. The owner felt it would make it but of course couldn't guarantee it: He said it's super reliable and a great driver. I had to get on it as winter was fast approaching so made a call to my partner-in-crime Scott and we decided to drive it across!
I flew out the next week and stayed at my buddy Fernando's place who lived near the Porsche shop and we went over the next morning to snap up it up. The shop, Speed Sport Tuning, was very impressive, immediately allaying any fears of buying 'sight unseen', I saw at least a half dozen Carrera 4-cam engines sitting on racks in rebuild mode-- and Jeff, the engine rebuilder, was the one that took my new car's engine apart. Talk about being ' in good hands'...
I blasted off after giving Fernando a ride around the block. Fernando lent me Francesca as a traveling companion--she doesn't eat much and its very quiet. The car felt tight and, well, perfect.
I drove solo to Minneapolis where I picked up Scott and we scooted across Minnesota just as the weather had taken a turn of the worse: the temperature dropped 50 degrees in one day! From 78F to 28F. We plugged on through South Dakota stopping, of course, at Wall Drug, Pioneer Auto Museum, and Mount Rushmore. We took the little 6V battery into our motel room each night as it was well below freezing. The next day we finally got off the interstate and took 'little roads' to Devil's Tower. Both Rushmore and the Tower are definitely must-see's.
We made it over the 6500' Rockies in 4th gear and dropped down into Butte, Montana for our last night before home. Stayed at the cool Finlen Hotel and checked out the old mine site in the morning. Amazing history in this town.
The entire trip took 5 1/2 days. None of them crazy hours. 3,232 miles in all. Over 30 MPG and only 1 litre of oil used! The 356 ran like a top and we are both converts to this miraculous little machine. And I loved how I looked at the odometer when I arrived home and it showed: 14,356!