Thursday, July 1, 2010

My dream ride

Let's say, for the sake of this exercise, that I was rich enough that work consisted of calling in to the family accountant to "check on things". Let's also assume that I have the values of having worked (or, at least, have been helmsman of my family's 41-foot Sydney during the Tuesday night "beer can" races), but am now out in search of something. And whatever that something is, it is on the roads of America. Now, let's also assume I'm single and am not expecting a child.

What car would I choose for this soul-finding journey?

Easy. The Porsche 356. I'd even probably choose a coupe, just to keep subtle (plus the convertible tops look like someone sat on them).

This has nothing to do with my interest in VWs and the rear-engine, aircooled design. Though that is a bonus. Really, it has nothing to do with the Porsche status and has everything to do with the stance and personality of the car. In my opinion, there is no better looking or better designed car than the Porsche 356.

It begs for a cross country roadtrip. And it seems to want dirt roads just as much as the pavement of the East Village (another reason to get the hardtop).

My 356 wouldn't be too pretty. It wouldn't washed. It would wear the dust and dirt of a well-traveled road warrior.

What more could a single man of leisure, who takes to the highway to find himself, want? I'd sleep in small town motels, or places that had "rooms to let". I'd eat at the counter. I'd open up the throttle with the big sky of the northern U.S. providing a vast background for my adventure.

Ah, you say. Isn't this exactly when you want a VW bus to travel in? You can sleep and eat in it. You can relax at the beach in it. You can carry what you need.

I've considered this and, while I would have use for a cross-country VW bus trip in my current life, wife and child in tow, taking time, sleeping on the beach, seeing things slowly, my thinking on that is, there is a very subtle difference in mission here. In this scenario, it's more like I am hunting down that something rather than "exploring". And I need to be a bit more nimble in my approach to finding it. (not to say that, as a well-off loafer I wouldn't also have a SO-42 Westfalia Camper along with Big Blue tucked into a garage on the property of my Stinson Beach house).

This journey would require me to travel light. Switch directions at a moment's notice.

This is not a new vision of mine. I've pictured this 356 adventure since I was about 20 years old (back then, while still expensive, the 356 seemed a little more obtainable). And, while different, may be why I enjoy using Little Blue - our '63 bug - as a commuter car. But still, there's the dream...

I know what EP would say. She would say, "Well, someday we'll get your 356. You'll just have to sell the bus." And I'd say, "I can't do that." And it's not that easy. It's money. It's having a 2-seater (let's be honest, it's pretty much a 2-seater). But deep inside, the 356 still calls.

If we ever win the lottery, first thing is taking car of our kid's college fund. And the second thing would be to tell EP she has to pack light. 3rd would be a call to Paul at Valley Wagonworks to tell him to start looking. Hardtop. Grey. With a rack. Not a show car. This one has to love the open road...



Awesome Dream Dude.

PJ Alau

Oh man, tell me about it. The buses are practical vehicles, the porsches are just bad ass.


Great minds think alike...


Whadda buncha hopeless romantics.


p.s. I mean that in a stern but loving way.

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