A Work of Art

Words by @pjgrant Photos by @flatsix101

“Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today”. 

Ever since my older brother bought my father a framed print of The Boulevard of Broken Dreams, I’ve liked James Dean. His style, his attitude, his curiosity. He died so young. We all wonder what more was to have come from him, had he lived past 24 years. His journey had only just started, and the small part we saw was marvellous.

I was only 10 years old when that framed print was hung on the hallway wall, and I didn’t know about Jimmy’s love of Porsche back then. But I knew he had a style, and that he always pushed the boundaries, he was never complacent. He strived for more. 

Style, I believe, comes from a mixture of passion and dreaming big, and really not giving a damn. And the style of a Porsche 356 to me is an expression of its creator. It is someone’s persona in the shape of an automobile. The 356 serves such fantastic function, paired with dramatic style. Dramatic yet understated. A quiet achiever.

A 356 is a work of art. Ferry saw something in his mind with complete clarity, and I can only imagine, that it all came to paper very quickly, on a Friday late night in his lounge, or maybe in a 3am burst from sleeplessness. Cold sweats. I could imagine the impatience to get the idea on paper, and into form.

Everything flows on a 356. Nothing is out of place. Nothing an afterthought. The beauty is seamless, there are only four hanging panels, all serving a purpose. The body has no flat panels. The flow of the silhouette, the bold hips, the detail without being out of taste, it is astounding. 

 Opening the driver door, dropping down in between the sills and onto the seat, you immediately feel ready for the experience. Closing the door, hearing the crisp striker, starting the ignition, and hearing the sound of the flat four, this car screams classic James Dean. Delicately shifting gears, this car is one that needs romancing. Give and you shall receive they say….

The weight distribution with a total 840kg never surprises. It merely delights. The design’s lack of resistance glides you forward and slices through the air, and it pushes you to a place reminiscent of the early 1960’s in the Hollywood hills. I can hear the exhaust reverberating back at me against the mountain wall. I can smell the air.

This artwork sends shivers through all senses, during and after the ride. 

After any drive, you walk away, you always look back, and you feel like it never stopped, your body feels like it’s still moving in the Porsche 356. You’re left with that perfume smell and lipstick mark…. 

The Porsche 356 is what dreams are made of. It’s not a brute and it’s not underwhelming. It’s an object full of curiosity. The roads it sees, the memories it creates, a day is complete when driving a 356. 

In life we never really own anything but our memories. Possessions come and go, and get passed around. I never thought I could, or would, create memories with a Porsche 356. I’m not lucky. I don’t believe in luck. I dreamed. I sacrificed. And I’m thankful, that for a period in my life, I had a Porsche 356 in it.