Former Porsche Speedster Race Car Now Cruises San Diego Hills
Another interesting aspect of the car that Jon enjoys is that every bit on the car is an aesthetic treat as they were originally designed: the seats are beautiful on their own, the gauges are jewel-like, the windscreen frame is a sculpture in its own right, the wheels disappear into the body which appears almost space-like, and the stock steering wheel from 1956 is vintage elegance. People who couldn’t care less about cars (including people born decades after the Speedsters were made) get caught up in the details and the simplicity. Jon feels the car is like a work of art created with a perfect economy of brushstrokes.
In 2008 and 2009, Jon started looking for a 911S restoration project, but after weighing the costs, he decided that while the 911 was very nice the Speedster was even cooler (at the time, the price difference wasn’t what it is now). The restorer called Jon in September 2009 saying he had found an unrestored, complete '56 race car in Connecticut that had been stored since 1976. He said the owner had raced it and won many times but hadn’t driven it in years. Jon liked that it was a ’56, because this meant the car had the 356A improvements and the beehive tail lights but didn’t yet have the big American bumpers.
Jon bought the car, sight unseen and signed a contract for the restoration (photo below of the banged-up yellow Speedster is from Jon's first trip to see the car after it arrived for him in California). Now that this 57-year-old beauty has been restored, Jon doesn't let that keep him from driving and enjoying it. Despite its name, this Speedster isn’t all that fast anymore, so the rolling back roads in eastern San Diego Country are pretty much ideal for Jon and his car. He also enjoys taking her out to lunch during the work week as a kind of therapy – parking the car in front of a restaurant, even a modest one, usually turns into a social experience.
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