As part of its 60th anniversary celebration, Porsche Cars North America embarked on a quest to find the oldest Porsche sold in America. The Porsche Classic Search, conducted online at www.Porsche60Years.com, encouraged individuals from coast to coast to submit documentation that his or her Porsche was one of the earliest in its category to be retailed on American soil.
With awards and bragging rights at stake, the call for entries yielded an impressive collection of finalists, including the oldest U.S.-retailed model found, a lovingly restored 1952 Strawberry Red 356 Cabriolet.
Launched in August, the My Porsche Classic Search received hundreds of submissions from Porsche owners across the country. Among them was a rare 1952 356 Cabriolet owned by Dr. Robert Wilson of Oklahoma City, Okla. Wilson’s car was imported in November of 1952 by Austrian businessman, Max Hoffman, in New York, who brought the first Porsche cars to the U.S. beginning in 1950. The 1.5 liter, 60 horsepower gem was discovered in a salvage yard by Wilson years after arriving on U.S. soil and meticulously restored.
Porsche also encouraged owners of cars spanning 12 model ranges to enter their cars for a shot at earning the ‘oldest’ designation for their respective car model. Apart from the 356 lineup, entries were submitted for the Porsche 911, 912, 914, 924, 928, 944, 968, Boxster, Cayenne, Carrera GT and Cayman. The oldest Porsche models in America and their owners are:
1965 911: Barry August of Clarksville, Md.
1965 912: Steve Torkelsen of Wilton, Conn.
1970 914: Ralph Stoesser of Marco Island, Fla.
1977 924: Jay Hoover of New Haven, Ind.
1977 928: Jim Doerr of Richmond, Va.
1983 944: John Denning of Covington, Wash.
1992 968: Jeffrey Coe of Trumball, Conn.
1997 Boxster: David Adrian of Worcester, Mass.
2004 Cayenne: Adam Reichard of Magnolia, Texas
2005 Carrera GT: Robert Ingram of Durham, N.C.
2006 Cayman: Eugenie Thomas of Martinez, Calif.
The My Porsche Classic Search also yielded the discovery of another distinguished and even rarer Porsche – a blue 1950 356 Cabriolet owned by Richard Brumme of Annapolis, Md. This car is one of the very first series production 356s built in Stuttgart, after the company relocated from Gmund, Austria. Impeccably restored with original parts sourced from around the globe, the 1950 356 Cabriolet was also recently honored with the 2010 Best in Show and Best in Class Awards at the 356 Registry’s annual gathering in Cleveland, Ohio. While Brumme’s car is unique and special, it was not the oldest Porsche actually retailed in America. This distinction goes to Wilson’s 356 Cabriolet of 1952.
Porsche plans to honor the owners of these cars with an exclusive badge issued by the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, and by featuring images of the cars at the new “Sixty Years of Porsche in America” exhibit, which opened in the museum on October 12. Additionally, the 1950 356 will be displayed at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, where it will join the company’s newest models.
The celebration is not yet over. Porsche aficionados still have an opportunity to participate in Porsche’s 60th anniversary. Open until November 1, the My Porsche Passion Contest encourages enthusiasts to submit a 500-word story that communicates their passion for a specific Porsche car or an experience with the Porsche brand at www.Porsche60Years.com. The top 20 stories, selected by a special panel of Porsche judges, will be available for public judging October 25–31. Fans are encouraged to vote online for their favorite essays from the list of 20 finalists. The three entries with the most votes will win an all-expense-paid trip to the Porsche Sport Driving School in Birmingham, Ala.