Ok, before I turn everyone against me, let me say that I do like Porsche. Well, perhaps an overstatement. I like the Boxster, the Cayman, the Panamera, the GT and the 918. I don’t like the 911 because it’s just wrong, and the Cayenne… well… I could write a book.
I will also say that I have been to bullfights in Spain, and found them a fabulous display of courage, art, tradition and culture. Later, I came to the conclusion that they were a barbaric spectacle and while I then despised Barcelona’s decision to ban them, I now applaud them. In other words, new evidence should allow us to move on.
So, the Porsche 356 is, then, an interesting field of study. In one hand, we have the fact that it is a Porsche, that it’s cool, old, classic, powerful for its time and, on current monetary standards, quite pricey.
On the other hand, we have everything else.
To start, it is a Porsche, right? Right? Or… is it? The 356 comes from straight down from the Beetle. It looks like a Beetle, and it has the engine in the same place as the Beetle did. This is genesis of the the 911, with the engine in the wrong place, and the looks of Herbie, the Disney car that ended as a co-star to Lindsey Lohan. Cool…
Cool, you say? All right, let’s take that on. Jay Leno owns one. He is funny, successful, a petrolhead, a master entertainer. But cool? No. Chris Pine, the latest Captain Kirk also owns one. Cool? My god, no. But most of all, Dylan, the black T-shirt and jeans idiot before Steve Jobs made the look work, from 90210, drove every teenager boy nuts, and made every teenage girl gasp, used to ride in one everywhere. Definitely un-cool.
Plus, it’s old. Very old. But not venerable. A 1.6l engine and 95HP. A Nissan Tiida of today beats that. And does it with less petrol, consuming less oil and throwing less pollutants into the air. Plus, it has A/C, connects bluetooth and beeps when you reverse too close to a lamppost.
Sure it was a great car, but when I look at it I can only think of those Amish guys that go around in little black carts, make their own furniture and go out to the barn to go number 2.
Culture and traditions are a great thing to have. But more importantly, they are a great thing to think about, analyze and, when they are nonsense, discard. The Porsche 356, pretty much as bullfighting, belongs in the pages of history. And let’s move on to better things.