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Reply to "Were 356 Speedsters ever "affordable" in years past ?"

@Sacto Mitch posted:

 There are still some guys around who are driving original Speedsters - mostly gray-haired folks who got them 20 or 30 years ago before prices became eye-watering.

... perhaps in coastal states where intellectuals and advertising executives congregated.

But out here in the heartland they were never a thing at all. Most men who might have purchased one bought a VW Beetle instead after being sat down in the den by their fathers-in-law, who schooled them regarding how wasting money on a ridiculous sports car (which was really just a fancy VW anyhow) was not "taking care of his daughter". Those who made it through that gauntlet were generally laughed and ridiculed off the factory floor, or left for dead after a late light stoplight dual with a Corvette or Mustang or 6-cylinder Valiant hitting on 5. Air-cooled cars were a "phase" college kids went through before settling down in their split-level and getting serious about life.

The weirdos who hung in there after the "fatherly advice", the ridicule of their workmates, and the humiliation of being a perpetual loser in stoplight altercations were able to watch their investment oxidize into base elements within 5 years of purchase (which was good, because nobody adjusted their valves, and the engines were making about 50 psi of cylinder pressure at that point anyway). Nobody has owned and operated a push-rod Porsche out here in, well, forever.

Everybody dreams of the "barn find" speedster, but anybody with the need of a barn had no use for a toy car with a lawn mower engine that cost about what a new Mercury went for. The 5 or 6 that sold new in mid-America were all resold or scrapped for pennies on the dollar back in the 60s, replaced with a Pontiac, Oldsmobile, or Buick depending on whether or not the initial automotive detour was made in one's 20s, 30s, or 40s.

Cable TV would have you believe they are "out there", just waiting to be discovered. They aren't. They've been uncovered, restored (or not), and have ended up in the collections of men who won't be your friend unless you can submit an application and copy of last year's W2.

A replica thumbs ones nose at all of that. For a car that everybody loves - car-guys in most places remain ambivalent towards anything fiberglass, and especially anything fiberglass with a Type 1 heart. There is no admiration or respect or even acknowledgement. VW guys don't know what to do with us, and Porsche guys think we're fakes. You're a rock-star at a stoplight and a outlier at a car show.

One has to be secure in one's manhood, interested in the thing for it's own sake, and unconcerned with impressing one's peers to be a long-term owner. Not everybody is all of those things, and that's cool too. If you can't tick all of the boxes, then something else is a better choice. If you do - then this is a great hobby.

Last edited by Stan Galat