I had always thought that a Porsche 356 looks like a toy that I would have liked to play with in my bathtub when I was a young boy, but not as attractive as a rubber duck. Which is probably why my parents didn’t buy me one. They look like a streamlined slug, don’t go much faster, and go around corners like a raw oyster on ice. They sound like lawnmowers, but they are not as useful.
Porsche made zillions of them, and, I have to admit, the quality must have been relatively good, as not a day goes by without at least three examples for sale dropping into my inbox. At this point, if your imagination goes no further than this little sardine can, its time to abandon this website.
Prices of 356 seem to go from 50K for a clunker, to 400K for a speedster. Fantasy Junction has just offered a modified ‘outlaw’ for 750K! If you want to be like everyone else on the block, and mix it with VW Beetles, that’s the way to go. But be careful. A Beetle with ten grand spent on the engine and suspension will make you look like a total idiot. But do the same to a 356, and you will be frowned upon.
The Delahaye 135 was a bespoke motor car, hand made for ladies and gentlemen in tiny quantities. Like the 356, it was extremely reliable, but there the comparison stops. The Delahaye engine boasts 3600cc, as opposed to 1500cc. And there are two extra cylinders. Unlike the 356, torque comes in low down, which lets you drive in two modes. Lazy or sportive. The Delahaye is the ultimate grand touring car from the glamorous years just before and after the war but also proved itself in racing circles such as Le Mans. Simply the greatest car from that period. It would take you from London to Rome in comfort, and win races at the same time.
Let’s say you have 300K to spend. You can buy a 356 speedster like everyone else, or you can purchase a piece of rare automotive art that will be the star of the show, will take you reliably on long distance road trips, and the chances of anyone else turning up in the same car are zero.
What about this for 250K?