Words By: Adam Allen
At 70 years of age, Porsche is looking pretty good. Sure, the vultures might have been circling ominously in the early 90’s, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at them now- they’re thriving quite nicely, thank you very much. And just as it has been throughout the company’s history, they still churn out some of the best sports cars money can buy today.
As a birthday present to itself, Porsche pulled the iconic 356 from the floor of the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart for a whirlwind 17 stop tour of the world to celebrate this milestone. Wouldn’t you know it, our fair city Toronto was chosen as the only destination north of the border. We headed down to Harbourfront to check it out, something no Porsche fan should dare miss.
Most of us here in the Carpages Garage are children of the 80’s and 90’s, so most of our formative memories of this icon are when Michael J. Fox crashed his while passing through a backwater rural town in the deep south, and when the sultry Charlotte Blackwood (we’ll save you the trouble for a Google research- she was played by Kelly McGillis) took Maverick for a spin around the base. While the VW sourced engine never made serious horsepower, it would lilely have been a little slower than Mav’s F-14 Tomcat jet fighter- but no less special.
So here we are on a gorgeous late summer day to clap eyes on the one that started it all for the prolific builder of some of the best sports cars in history. Walking up to it, with the sun glinting off the wonderfully pristine and handmade fenders, it seems surreal. You’d think that with the car you see here being the only one in existence that Porsche would send a replica for tour duty, but you’d be wrong. This is the actual one that still has Ferry Porsche’s grease smudges fingerprints on it- and it actually runs and drives under its own power, too. Hearing and smelling that 1100cc four-cylinder roar to life as the lucky Porsche staffer blipped the throttle to the delight of the crowd was truly a special treat. We’ll let the photos below speak to the beauty of this septuagenarian because we lack the words.
After it leaves Toronto, the 356 Number 1 will head to California’s Laguna Seca Raceway for the Rennsport Reunion, and we’re told that it will take to the track- seeing this beauty tackle the Corkscrew would be quite a sight to behold. From there, it’ll accrue a whole bunch of the 61,000 kilometers it is scheduled to travel over its 288-day tour when it heads to China and will then onto the other ports of call around the globe.
So Happy 70th Birthday, Porsche. We can’t wait to see what you have in store for your 80th.