Porsche 356 as a daily driver

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John Linden
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Re: Porsche 356 as a daily driver

#16 Post by John Linden » Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:53 pm

Scott:

I put about 225,000 miles on a 63 Cabriolet as my every day work car and then about 100,000 on my 85 Carrera Cab.

These are my thoughts:

1) You will need a qualified mechanic. Less so with the 85 but you need someone to work on these cars and keep them running. Unless you are certain that the 356 is in really top condition, I would set some money aside so you can make it drive correctly. It's a much more enjoyable car when in top condition.

2) Neither car has modern safety equipment. No air bag etc. I had factory 3 point belts in my 63 cab and that was about it for safety. My 85 wasn't much better.

3) How dense is your traffic? I live in the dense metro San Francisco Bay Area. I try to drive my 63 when traffic isn't running 70+ MPH bumper to bumper. It doesn't take much at those speeds in dense traffic for things to go wrong. I trust the 85 Carrera more than the 356 for handling emergency traffic situations. But I don't drive either one a daily basis any more. I drive a 2009 997.2 Cab and feel much more comfortable at freeway speed. If you have lite traffic, the story can be different.

4) Do you need air conditioning in the hot weather?? My 85 Carrera had air and it worked. Not used that often, but when I needed it, I had it. The 356 could be hot in the Easy Bay summer. I recall arriving at more than a few business meetings sweating like crazy.

5) Better winter car -- the 85 Carrera. Much better in rain & fog. The heating system and blowers are better. I remember days in the 356 when I was drying off the window with a towel more than I wanted to.

I love both cars. I quit diving my 356 reluctantly. But I just began to feel the 356 was a 60 mph car in a 75-60 MPH world when on the freeway.

1) What car would I take to Napa? The 356 unless it was blistering hot. I love my 356 and fell like I spent a big part of my life in that car.

2) What car gives the biggest kick in the pants? For me the 85 Carrera. I wasn't driving on that many twisty roads while going to work in my 356.

3) What do I feel safer driving? -- a modern Porsche. It's probably the cheaper alternative.

Good Luck!

John Linden
Alamo, CA
John Linden
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Franny Brodigan
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Re: Porsche 356 as a daily driver

#17 Post by Franny Brodigan » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:56 pm

Wow John! Super solid advice!

f
 

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Re: Porsche 356 as a daily driver

#18 Post by Martin Bruechle » Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:23 am

Guy Nemark uses his as a daily driver for over 50 years and over one million miles.
I wouldn't recommend one as a daily driver. Anywhere you park it you will worry about it.
Low brakes lights increase the chance of getting rear ended in traffic.
Get one for weekends and you will enjoy it more.

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Re: Porsche 356 as a daily driver

#19 Post by Geoff Fleming » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:30 am

Not so much the low placing of the brake lights, more that today's drivers are in very high and large vehicles and their line of sight is inclined to be straight forward. More drivers today are behind the wheels of trucks, vans, SUVs and other big vehicles, which tends to make them careless and inattentive. Seen from behind the wheel of a normal sized car, the 356 brake lights are directly in front of you because you are pretty much on the same sight level. Not so with road users operating over-sized vehicles.
I recall the late Denis Jenkinsen, British motorsport writer and veteran 356 driver, (with 300,000 miles on his coupe), making a distinction between true motorists and people who operate cars but are really clueless about driving. These are the types we have to worry about with our 356s. Position of the lights would mean nothing if the dolt behind you isn't paying attention.
Back in the early 1980s, a friend was rear ended by a woman driving behind his A coupe. Her excuse.."I didn't see your car in front of me." The accident occurred during daylight hours. Go figure...she didn't even see the entire car, let alone the brake lights! This is the sort of person who typifies the average driver, unfortunately.

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Re: Porsche 356 as a daily driver

#20 Post by Steve Proctor » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:04 pm

Mitigate your dim taillight concerns with LED running / stop lights, regardless of whether you are daily driving or touring. The difference is staggering.
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Re: Porsche 356 as a daily driver

#21 Post by George Hussey » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:33 pm

I second or third of fourth that 356s were our daily drivers back then, I drove my 60 roadster every day anywhere including long trips.
However that was back then, as people have said, when the cars were much newer and not as prone to the maladies of old age including metal fatigue! Another BIG reason that 356s are not good daily drivers is because of the evolution of all of the cars on the road today. With their powerful engines, wide tires, great brakes, many many creature comforts, and safety features, the cars fly by our 356s, driving with abandon as if nothing can hurt them, and unless one can keep up, he she is putting their life in danger driving an old car! (as most of us motorcycle riders know, to try to avoid getting hit, one needs to drive AHEAD of the traffic!)
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Re: Porsche 356 as a daily driver

#22 Post by Adam Wright » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:59 pm

Geoff Fleming wrote:Not so much the low placing of the brake lights, more that today's drivers are in very high and large vehicles and their line of sight is inclined to be straight forward. More drivers today are behind the wheels of trucks, vans, SUVs and other big vehicles, which tends to make them careless and inattentive. Seen from behind the wheel of a normal sized car, the 356 brake lights are directly in front of you because you are pretty much on the same sight level. Not so with road users operating over-sized vehicles.
I recall the late Denis Jenkinsen, British motorsport writer and veteran 356 driver, (with 300,000 miles on his coupe), making a distinction between true motorists and people who operate cars but are really clueless about driving. These are the types we have to worry about with our 356s. Position of the lights would mean nothing if the dolt behind you isn't paying attention.
Back in the early 1980s, a friend was rear ended by a woman driving behind his A coupe. Her excuse.."I didn't see your car in front of me." The accident occurred during daylight hours. Go figure...she didn't even see the entire car, let alone the brake lights! This is the sort of person who typifies the average driver, unfortunately.
Remember the last words of James Dean, "That guy's gotta stop He'll see us."
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Re: Porsche 356 as a daily driver

#23 Post by Jon Schmid » Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:26 pm

Geoff Fleming wrote:Not so much the low placing of the brake lights, more that today's drivers are in very high and large vehicles and their line of sight is inclined to be straight forward. More drivers today are behind the wheels of trucks, vans, SUVs and other big vehicles, which tends to make them careless and inattentive. Seen from behind the wheel of a normal sized car, the 356 brake lights are directly in front of you because you are pretty much on the same sight level. Not so with road users operating over-sized vehicles.
I recall the late Denis Jenkinsen, British motorsport writer and veteran 356 driver, (with 300,000 miles on his coupe), making a distinction between true motorists and people who operate cars but are really clueless about driving. These are the types we have to worry about with our 356s. Position of the lights would mean nothing if the dolt behind you isn't paying attention.
Back in the early 1980s, a friend was rear ended by a woman driving behind his A coupe. Her excuse.."I didn't see your car in front of me." The accident occurred during daylight hours. Go figure...she didn't even see the entire car, let alone the brake lights! This is the sort of person who typifies the average driver, unfortunately.
I got run over in my Coupe a few years ago by an 18 wheeler while I was stopped behind a van at a traffic signal. The truck stopped fine behind me--the light turns green and the van can't go because of stopped traffic ahead. All of the sudden, the truck starts ramming me. Ended up under his trailer after he punted me up onto the sidewalk. He finally stopped just as the trailer wheels were going to run me over. Same deal--"I didn't see you." How the h*ll can you not see me when you saw me as you pulled up to the light? Luckily, I wasn't hurt--just pretty shaken up--the trucker was even worse off once he saw what had happened. $9000 in body/paint and the car was good to go. But I still get a bit nervous anytime an 18 wheeler stops behind me at lights these days.

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Re: Porsche 356 as a daily driver

#24 Post by Adam Wright » Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:32 pm

Jon Schmid wrote:
Geoff Fleming wrote:Not so much the low placing of the brake lights, more that today's drivers are in very high and large vehicles and their line of sight is inclined to be straight forward. More drivers today are behind the wheels of trucks, vans, SUVs and other big vehicles, which tends to make them careless and inattentive. Seen from behind the wheel of a normal sized car, the 356 brake lights are directly in front of you because you are pretty much on the same sight level. Not so with road users operating over-sized vehicles.
I recall the late Denis Jenkinsen, British motorsport writer and veteran 356 driver, (with 300,000 miles on his coupe), making a distinction between true motorists and people who operate cars but are really clueless about driving. These are the types we have to worry about with our 356s. Position of the lights would mean nothing if the dolt behind you isn't paying attention.
Back in the early 1980s, a friend was rear ended by a woman driving behind his A coupe. Her excuse.."I didn't see your car in front of me." The accident occurred during daylight hours. Go figure...she didn't even see the entire car, let alone the brake lights! This is the sort of person who typifies the average driver, unfortunately.
I got run over in my Coupe a few years ago by an 18 wheeler while I was stopped behind a van at a traffic signal. The truck stopped fine behind me--the light turns green and the van can't go because of stopped traffic ahead. All of the sudden, the truck starts ramming me. Ended up under his trailer after he punted me up onto the sidewalk. He finally stopped just as the trailer wheels were going to run me over. Same deal--"I didn't see you." How the h*ll can you not see me when you saw me as you pulled up to the light? Luckily, I wasn't hurt--just pretty shaken up--the trucker was even worse off once he saw what had happened. $9000 in body/paint and the car was good to go. But I still get a bit nervous anytime an 18 wheeler stops behind me at lights these days.
Same thing happened to my mom and dad in a MG Midget. The light turned and the truck was on the back of their car. My mom said every time he shifted he jumped forward, she was sure they were dead. My dad cranked the wheel and it popped him out the side, the guy said the same thing, "Where did you come from?"
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Re: Porsche 356 as a daily driver

#25 Post by Charles H Jacobus » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:06 pm

It's a little like riding a motorcycle, you need to be a very defensive driver and avoid putting yourself in dangerous positions (like at a stop light in front of a truck). :) I get out of the city as fast as I can and have a good time in the country.

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Re: Porsche 356 as a daily driver

#26 Post by Martin Benade » Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:21 pm

I keep my eyes open and never stop!

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Re: Porsche 356 as a daily driver

#27 Post by Jon Schmid » Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:45 pm

Charles H Jacobus wrote:It's a little like riding a motorcycle, you need to be a very defensive driver and avoid putting yourself in dangerous positions (like at a stop light in front of a truck). :) I get out of the city as fast as I can and have a good time in the country.

Chuck
Chuck, help me out here. What choice did I have in that situation? It isn't like I cut him off to get in front of him. 100% the opposite.
Anyway, when licensed truckers can (mess) up, I agree, the so-called "average" drivers with all their electronic distractions are even more of a menace. :(

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Re: Porsche 356 as a daily driver

#28 Post by Jeffrey Gamble » Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:55 am

Scott; insure and go for driving what ever car you like. We all are playing the ods other drivers are paying attention. Stop light rear ended wrecks i blame on the advent of the automatic trans. People are accustom to going when they no longer see brake lights in front of them. This happened to me while waiting at a red light on a clear middle of the day. with no other cars around this guy all the sudden noticed no brake lights (because i was in sitting there out of gear) and stood on the gas.

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Re: Porsche 356 as a daily driver

#29 Post by Ron LaDow » Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:49 am

We have tandem parking, so the C gets less use than it used to. Prior to this arrangement it (and earlier 356s and the Lusso) was (were) my primary transport.
Only once did I have a problem with 'not seeing' the car; the perp paid. As when I was riding bikes (the ones with motors), I try to make sure I am visible: *OCCUPY* that lane, don't hint you are moving over! Use the turn signals, make sure the brake lights work, do everything you can to make yourself visible to others. Some artful lane changing tends to get attention. The horn helps if that twit in front of you is texting when the light changes.
You pay road taxes; you have the right to use the road and make others understand that.
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Re: Porsche 356 as a daily driver

#30 Post by Adam Wright » Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:16 am

Ron LaDow wrote:We have tandem parking, so the C gets less use than it used to. Prior to this arrangement it (and earlier 356s and the Lusso) was (were) my primary transport.
Only once did I have a problem with 'not seeing' the car; the perp paid. As when I was riding bikes (the ones with motors), I try to make sure I am visible: *OCCUPY* that lane, don't hint you are moving over! Use the turn signals, make sure the brake lights work, do everything you can to make yourself visible to others. Some artful lane changing tends to get attention. The horn helps if that twit in front of you is texting when the light changes.
You pay road taxes; you have the right to use the road and make others understand that.
I agree, I routinely wave backwards when people are following me too close in the 356. I've gotten some funny looks, but no one has hit me.
I always need stories for my Barn Find column in the magazine, if you have a good story to share, please let me know.

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