Reader Submissions: Fiat And Porsche Firmly Bond Owner to Childhood & Family

Fiat And Porsche Firmly Bond Owner to Childhood & Family

By Petrolicious Productions
February 21, 2014

Owner and Photographer: James Deyirmendjian 

Year, Make, and Model: 1974 Fiat 124 Sport Spider and 1990 Porsche 911 (964)

Location: Hudson, Quebec, Canada

I love the Fiat 124 because it embodies all the charm, romance, style and sex appeal of the most famous classic Italian cars while delivering it in a practical, cheap package that anyone can get their hands on. For a car with such little value its astounding that it shares so much with similar cars that are now priceless. I compare it to alchemy in that the Fiat 124 Spider is lead to the Ferrari 275 GTS gold. It has the right sound, feel, and even smell to carry me off humming Matt Monro while driving it.

The Fiat makes going anywhere a romantic event. I purposely ask my wife if we need tomatoes just to start it up and go. There were a few 124 Spiders in my family that I remember as a kid. And upon picked this one up in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada last year with my father I was immediately hit with that familiar smell upon opening its door. That same smell that had such an impression on me as a kid. The car was the same as the others that my family had owned. The years, geography, and personal situations in between hadn’t changed any of the personality of the car. It was constant. I couldn’t get it on the trailer fast enough. I didn’t even negotiate with the owner I just paid what he was asking. I’ve driven it almost daily since. I love it, my wife and daughters love it too. It has so much personality and charm that it’s a member of our family.

The Porsche is a different story. I purchased the 911 because of a nagging that I just couldn’t ignore as I grew up in the back of one. My father had eleven 911s and every portion of my childhood had a 911 component to it. I learned to drive in one and was scared of it because my old man scared me when he was driving it. But after fifteen years of owning several (mostly American) classic cars I finally became a 911 owner.

Buying a 964 wasn’t an accident. I picked the 964 because of the perfect mix of old school 911 personality and just enough modern touches that I could rack up the mileage and thrill myself doing it. It’s been said by thousands of people, thousands of times but it rings true: it’s got that classic 911 shape, sound and mostly importantly FEEL. Yet it has enough technology to make it a totally useful and well performing car. It’s also got four seats, which means my two little girls get to enjoy it too. Although the main reason they like it is because of the bright red color.

I love the fact that (unlike my previous Corvettes) it doesn’t have any extra gizmos or gadgets. It has no cup holders, remote key fob, ambient temperature gauge, or even trip computer in the odometer. It’s just a car to do nothing in but drive. And drive it does like nothing I’ve ever felt.

I call it a schizophrenic. It putters around the quiet rural area I live in making all the right noises and looking the part while delivering my girls to their dance class. Then, when no one is around and these twisty country roads are empty, it runs, sounds, and feels like a 917 blasting through the French countryside. Same car, two very different personalities. I love how obsolete its technology is, too. It’s rear engined and air cooled yet is so highly sought after precisely due to that. There is just nothing like the sound and feel of this car. I’ve never smiled more driving anything else.

My love for classic cars has been a huge part of my life since I was a kid. Like most kids I played with cars and just happened to become an adult that plays with cars. It allows me to bond with my father, keeps me busy and at home. The investment works. It’s a win.

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Manuel deraspe
Manuel deraspe
4 years ago

C’est mon ancienne Porsche c4 964 j ai été propriétaire en 2011 il y as pas de doute contacte moi manu der sur Facebook

7 years ago

Beautiful example of both cars.
Always loved and appreciated the vintage Italian cars. The Fiat Spiders are amazing rolling pieces of art!
And the 911’s are the finest engineering machines on the roads.
I also have a 1987 , 911 Carrera I’m currently working on and hope to get it as mint as your 964.
I’m curious though, when your alone and the road beckons you, which is your car of preference?

Vianney Lalain
Vianney Lalain(@fb_616114853)
7 years ago

Those two cars are really nice and, even if i guess you did not buy them as an investment, they are a very smart investment. I am not used to see the red color on a Porsche but it looks really good on yours. A video about them, as Ryan said, would be amazing. I am a big fan of the 60’s, 70’s classic cars but i would love to see some cars like a 964 in your videos. You did such a great job with the Saab 900 i am looking forward to see an other kind of “youngtimer” in one of your video!
Thanks for the story!

Mike Greer
Mike Greer(@malikknows)
7 years ago

I enjoyed this story a great deal. Beautiful cars, of course, but what interested me was the author’s using them to connect with his father and family and his desire to get in touch with his own history, his own story. I think this is important for many men yet we rarely hear their stories, or have much validation for our own attempts to do the same. Mr. Deyirmendjian has imbued these cars and his owning them with meaning and that has made them all the more precious to him — and to us.

Tom Bruynel
Tom Bruynel(@ledzep)
7 years ago

Nice pics and story – thanks! Our garage has a red 964 Carrera 2 as well as a much-loved Alfa Romeo Giulia Super, so I can well understand your attraction to both these marques. One of the endless fascinations for me is seeing how classic cars often reflect the culture and personalities of their home countries. This is all level 101 generalisations and stereotypes of course, and hardly worthy of discussion, but to me the two cars in your garage (and ours) eloquently personify the widely disparate natures of the near-adjacent but vastly different countries of origin.

Ryan Hoyle
Ryan Hoyle(@drweelan)
7 years ago

That’s a beauty of Spider. I hope mine looks this good one day. Still putting everything together, but I should be able to get out and cruise soon.

video I hope!! With the 2 different types of cars I think it’d be a really good watch. *fingers crossed*

Dustin Rittle
Dustin Rittle(@mosler)
7 years ago

I always love hearing stories of childhoods and the cars that inspired us even at a young age. You think those moments are insignificant but they really do stay with us. I have to agree with the owner of the Porsche that the 964 always seemed like it had a retro vibe to it. Like its a 911 classic in design with a few upgraded features on it. A perfect Porsche to carve the corners with. I cant think of any better car to drive around the back roads then a classic Italian roadster like the Fiat 124 is no exception with its overhead cam engine and coil spring suspension. Plus you gotta love woodgrain dash with a big steering wheel in your face