GALLERY: Go Behind The Scenes On Our 1958 Porsche 356A Film Shoot
This week we are back in Germany with a beautiful 1958 356A 1600 Super. Its owner, Sebastian Wolff, has experienced plenty of Porsches in his time—just watch him riding the diesel tractor to the barn where he makes the switch to the significantly sportier for proof—but he makes no airs of being an expert on the marque. Rather than memorize decimals and stats, the enjoyment is found in the action of driving the car on country roads, or simply admiring the 356 at rest, taking in the distinct curves wearing the elegant shade of Meissen Blue. There’s no wrong way to express your passion for Porsche, but we tend to favor Sebastian’s approach: find a road far removed from the stress of urban density, literally unplug from the nagging call of constant connectivity, and submerge yourself in the joys of driving a simple but engaging sports car.
While the color refers to the Meissen porcelain that was produced in Germany—the first of its kind in Europe, dating back to the very early 18th century—this particular 356 spent most of its life in the sunny section of California. For more than 15 years now it’s been living back in its country of origin, but it was the time spent in the Golden State that made its current situation possible: unless you live quite literally next to the ocean or else actively abuse the car, it’s pretty hard to find rusty automobiles in that part of the world. As such, Sebastian’s car has never received a full restoration. The paint is too perfect to not have been resprayed along the way, but aside from that it’s only received repairs and maintenance when and where necessary. The engine and transmission are matching-numbers units, and are still in excellent working order, providing the sounds and other sensory sweets that well taken care of cars offer their owners.
Beyond the driving experience of a direct and analog vintage sports car though, the 356As were and remain sculpturally pretty. The Reutter-built steel body (after the run of early aluminum 356s made in Gmünd switched to steel shells, Reutter carried out the work until they were bought by Porsche in the early ‘60s. The seat side of the business remained though, and it was renamed to the one we all know so well today: Recaro), is still as beautiful as it was in the period, and while nothing is truly timeless, the soft but distinctive curves of the early Porsche shape are among the closest we’re likely to get.
Sebastian is clearly smitten with his Porsche, but while he fizzes with enthusiasm in the driver’s seat on his favorite driving roads removed from the tangle of the city, he sums it up quite simply: “Sporty seats, a few round instruments, a steering wheel, four gears—that’s all you need to have fun.”
It’s a car with frills or gimmicks, but one that has much to offer those inside its cabin. In this sense it’s a fitting choice for Sebastian; he has no need to rattle off facts and figures about the car, no showmanship in that sense, preferring to simply take it out for a drive and let the excitement come from the action the car was built for.