GOT SOMETHING TO SAY? NEED TO EXPRESS AN OPINION ON THE CLASSIC PORSCHE WORLD? WELL, HERE’S YOUR CHANCE…
We hear from you
GULF HISTORY THANKS
I have been a regular purchaser of your magazine since issue #2 – sadly I missed the very first one and have spent the last few months trying to track one down in good condition, to no avail. Over the years I have come to enjoy your occasionally off-the-wall features, such as the one some issues ago about Frank Lloyd Wright, and more recently the comparison between the 356 and the Chevrolet Corvair. Itʼs features like these that help set your magazine apart from the rest, so thank you for that.
The reason I wanted to write to you was to say how much I enjoyed the article in issue #47 about the history of the relationship between Gulf and Porsche. I had often been fascinated by this tie-up, and always wanted to know a little more about the Gulf oil company itself – Delwyn Mallettʼs excellent feature answered my questions.
This leads me to another question: what are the chances of a similar feature about the links between Martini and Porsche, or manybe even Rothmans and the German marque? Perhaps there is the basis of an interesting series there. What do you think? John Mezaro, via E-mail
Keith Seume replies: Thanks for your encouraging words, John. You’ll be pleased to know that we’ve already set Delwyn off on the course of creating a story about Martini and Porsche – you may be interested to know that he spent much of his working life as a creative director in advertising, his work bringing him in close contact with the Martini concern. As for the other sponsors you mention, I’ll see what Delwyn has to say, but I like the idea. Watch this space…
I wonder if there is any way you can help me? I recently purchased what is today referred to as a ʻbarn findʼ but what we knew of years ago simply as an abandoned car! It is a left-hand drive 1957 Porsche 356A that I am led to believe came to the USA with a returning US serviceman who had been stationed in England after the war. I was told of its existence by a neighbour who had seen an old car almost hidden under straw bales in a local farmerʼs shed. It turned out to be a Porsche, and as my neighbour knew I liked them, he passed the details on to me.
I have no paperwork with the car other than a bill of sale, but I am working with my local DMV office to get a title. However, what I am really after is to find out some history of the car back in the UK. The car has what I presume to be the original rear licence plate on it under the current US plate. It comprises six figures: two numbers, two letters and two further numbers.
Is there any way you think I can trace the past owners of this car? Iʼd love to CLASSIC PORSCHE know how it arrived in the USA, and who drove it in England. Is there any way I can trace the history that you know of? In the States itʼs getting difficult to do this because of privacy laws. Many thanks for any help you can give me. Price Kelly, via E-mail
Keith Seume replies: The number plate you describe sounds to me more like a French plate than British – our plates of the time generally came with three letters and three numbers. We definitely did not have plates as you described. If it is French, the last two digits would tell you the area in which it was registered – ‘75’, for example, denoted Paris. If your car did come to the UK, we suspect that it was purchased in France by the serviceman immediately before shipping it back to the USA. He may have brought it into the UK but not registered it as it was due to be exported immediately. Sorry we can’t help any more at this stage, but it may be worth contacting a Porsche club in France.
The feature on the Lindner coupé that you published in the latest issue of
Classic Porsche was most interesting. My father grew up in what was East Germany during the 1950s (he was born in 1932) and trained to be a mechanic, working initially at a local garage before then starting his own workshop fixing trucks and buses. He was kept busy because there were so few spare parts available, meaning he had to mend things the best he could using whatever parts he could scrounge.
I remember him telling me how, one day, he got a call from an old farmer who asked if he could come and mend his tractor. My father said yes, and drove out to the middle of the countryside to find this old rundown farm and rather upset farmer who was anxious for his tractor to be mended. He led my father round the back of his property and there was the aforementioned ʻtractor ʼ – it was, in fact, an old wartime military Kübelwagen which had been converted to pull a plough! It had broken a halfshaft, it turns out.
Dad had no problem fixing the Kübel but couldnʼt resist asking where the farmer had found it. It turns out he had five or six others which heʼd found locally in various states of repair, having been abandoned by the Wehrmacht at the end of the war. Most were in a poor state but one always stuck in my fatherʼs mind as it had been partially rebodied as a sportscar, something along the lines of a crude 550 Spyder, from what my father could remember.
Your story reminded me of my fatherʼs tale and makes me wonder how many other ʻDDR Dreamersʼ there were in Germany in the early 1950s. Jurgen Zigmund, Leipzig, Germany
“I HAD OFTEN BEEN FASCINATED BY THIS TIE-UP…”
The story behind the marriage of Gulf and Porsche appealed to reader John Mezaro, who would now like to know about similar links with other brands…