We climb on board and Guy heads for Highway One. The Porsche still feels tight as a drum, with nary a squeak or rattle to its name. This is an advantage of having a car made up from relatively few parts, all precision built to last and screwed together properly.
“Blue,” as Guy lovingly calls the car, has been to Scottsdale, Las Vegas and Palm Springs more times than he can remember. It has also taken him to the grocery store every week, and once even packed in six kids on their way to soccer practice. “Blue has been a stalwart and has never let me down,” he said.
Sitting here in the 356 with Guy makes me feel like the king of the coast, and people admire the car for what it is, many smiling as it passes by. Its smooth, elegant, classic profile and the rhythmic putt, putt of the four-cylinder boxer motor create a friendly character that is missing from modern machinery.
The flat-four’s 75hp is sufficient in moving the 2,059-pound Coupe along at a brisk clip on its tall tires and supple, long travel torsion bar suspension, but Guy takes the run from Manhattan Beach to Long Beach at a leisurely pace. “There are far too many cops with radar guns around these days, and I don’t need to get places quite so urgently as I did back then,” he says. Nevertheless, at the right time, on the right country road, the driver in him will always be there, hence the two pairs of perforated driving gloves hung in the footwell.
In town traffic, Guy visibly takes extra care, keeping a safe distance from other vehicles and making sure no one gets too close to us. The good thing is that most other drivers respect and admire a classic car. Even in urban traffic, everyone greets our progress with a smile and politely lets us fit in.
This is one of the reasons why Guy has no aspirations to drive a more modern car, or even another car. The only exception is Blue’s sibling, a red 1962 356B Convertible with a rare factory hardtop, which has shared the garage since 1971.
Other than a small fender bender Guy’s father had the one and only time he asked to drive his old car again, Blue has thankfully remained free of physical contact with other cars or fixed parts of the scenery.