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Porsche 356: An Undying Classic

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I know this is a car blog, but I have to vent.

Thanks to the wonders of Netflix, my wife has roped me into binge-watching the entire run of The Vampire Diaries. If you somehow managed to dodge the teen-vampire Twilight bullet, consider yourself lucky; I'm taking one for the team.

The show follows the adventures of two post-adolescent undead brothers, Stefan and Damon Salvatore, who pine for the love of a beautiful girl named Elena. One of the perks of being a hunky hundred-and-fifty-year-old bloodsucker is that you get to hold on to the things you love for eternity – and I'm not talking about the girl. Stefan gets to wheel around town in a gorgeous, cherry red '65 Porsche 356C; it's just one of many details that allude to his identity. And that's really what a classic car is – a rare piece of history that expresses an intimate part of its owner's personality. The fact that Stefan's is red is a clear reflection of his thirst for blood. Our cars are so often those bits of symbolism and meaning to our own lives that we can place outside for the world to see.

Porsche enthusiasts are some of the most keen hobbyists in the world. Even Achim Andscheidt, the head designer at Bugatti, is a loyalist. But like the Salvatores, the Porsche family has a dark side.

The similarities between early Porsches and early Volkswagens is no coincidence. Ferry Porsche built the first 356 as a way to continue the family business while also distancing himself from his father's legacy. Ferdinand Porsche was the creator of the original Volkswagen Beetle in the 1930s, a vehicle that was commissioned by the German government and ultimately repurposed for the German army during World War II. The 356 rose from the ashes of the war to become the pinnacle of European automobiles.

So how did such an historic machine find its way into the hands of an American teenage vampire heartthrob? I suppose I'll have to keep watching - as if I had a choice - and find out. Though somehow I suspect that the writers didn't put as much thought into the car as I have.

I only hope that he has a fine set of CocoMats in place, because I have honestly never seen Elena wipe her feet before getting in.

-Trey Fennell



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