What is the perfect vehicle for a snowy week-end? A modified 1956 Porsche 356 Speedster T1, of course. Oh and don’t forget your spiked wheels and louder exhaust, just enough to provide you with that little extra grip and power to fly over a crest and get to your destination in time.
Since it’s December and you cannot resist the idea of having a week end in a ski resort, enthusiasts like our good friend Mattia Colpani love to prepare their prized possessions for the sake of having more fun.
Porsches never fear snow or bad weather. Back when 356’s where new, specialized press loved their remarkable handling in harsh conditions. No wonder why so many people use these to compete and win in every event possible throughout the year. They’re reliable, sturdy, fun to drive and easy to maintain.
Mattia, all around Porsche-maniac has raced this car for a long time and did all the maintaineance for each race and fun week end.
The original 1.6 liter engine has been replaced with a race-spec 1.8 liter flat four with a Sebring style exhaust: “120hp against the 70 from the stock engine, very good decision indeed to have the best fun possible”.
Keen to let us savor his wrenching finesse and willing to risk his entire upcoming week end in the snow, he very kindly hands over the keys and grants an afternoon of fine driving in the countryside. With -2° celsius outside and with spiked wheels, we head out for one of the last joyrides of 2018, the Porsche 70th Anniversary Year. We don’t remember being so cold in any car but the soul of a Porsche warms your heart like a girl’s hug. It’s always that special.
Driving the Speedster reminds you that simple things are always the best in the end. It’s light, nimble and extremely exhilarating to drive. Essential to the bone, the torquey engine is fabulous. Only 120 hp and it’s just what we all want to drive: potent, flexible and extremely effective. Better leave modern-day electronic complexities for other days.
What it’s disappointing is how “collectors” made Speedster prices skyrocket over the roof. How can a simple pleasure like this cost a fortune? Driving the Speedster is like eating a plate of tagliatelle: it’s one of the best things that exist on Earth and it’s so simple. How much would you pay for it? How much would we pay for the simple things that give us joy?
With half a day at our hands we decided to fill ourselves with pure German finesse and drive it on the long, stretched out roads around the Ghedi Airforce Base: we lived up to the name of the car, speeding freely through the countryside, with no particular place to go other than to live our small journey mile by mile.
All weight is in the back, the steering is light, the pedals perfectly positioned, with the classic slightly imprecise gearlever feedback…all of this translates into greats amounts of joy. Driving a Porsche equals to happiness: It’s a wonderful and fantastic feeling that is worth a million smiles.
As we came back from our trip, Mattia is waiting for us at the entrance of his garage. “Might do a few tweaks to it before going out for the week end. These things are reliable but tricky to set up”. Nevermind, perfection is best seen in the details. After all, the simplicity of a Porsche 356 will make for the best ever experience possible for any petrolhead.