LET­TERS

GOT SOME­THING TO SAY? NEED TO EX­PRESS AN OPIN­ION ON THE CLAS­SIC PORSCHE WORLD? WELL, HERE’S YOUR CHANCE…

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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…

TRAC­ING HIS­TORY

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.

DDR DREAM­ING

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…

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