Friday, October 22, 2010

Porsche Finds Oldest Model Sold in America

1952 Porsche 356 Cabriolet

Porsche Cars North America wanted part of its 60th anniversary celebration to include the discovery of the oldest model sold in America.

Company officials revealed Thursday that vehicle turned out to be a restored 1952 Strawberry Red 356 Cabriolet. The automaker learned the whereabouts of this unit through an initiative launched in late August, the My Porsche Classic Search.

Porsche said it received hundreds of submissions from brand owners across the country. Among them was the rare 1952 356 Cabriolet owned by Dr. Robert Wilson, of Oklahoma City.

Executives shared that Wilson’s vehicle was imported in November 1952 by Austrian Max Hoffman a businessman in New York. Hoffman reportedly brought the first Porsche units to the U.S. beginning in 1950.

Automaker officials indicated the 1.5-liter, 60-horsepower gem was discovered in a salvage yard and meticulously restored by Wilson years after arriving on U.S. soil.

The company explained the My Porsche Classic Search encouraged individuals from coast to coast to submit documentation that his or her Porsche was one of the earliest in its category to be retailed in America. With awards and bragging rights at stake, Porsche said the call for entries yielded an impressive collection.

Beside’s Wilson vehicle, the search also yielded the discovery of another distinguished and even rarer Porsche — a blue 1950 356 Cabriolet owned by Richard Brumme of Annapolis, Md.

The OEM noted this vehicle is one of the very first series production 356s built in Stuttgart, after the company relocated from Gmund, Austria. Impeccably restored with original parts sourced from around the globe, officials pointed out the 1950 356 Cabriolet was also recently honored with the 2010 Best in Show and Best in Class Awards at the 356 Registry's annual gathering in Cleveland.

While Brumme’s vehicle is unique and special, the company reiterated that it was not the oldest Porsche actually retailed in America. That distinction goes to Wilson’s 356 Cabriolet of 1952.

Porsche also encouraged owners of vehicles spanning 12 model ranges to enter for a shot at earning the “oldest” designation for their respective model. Apart from the 356 lineup, entries were submitted for the Porsche 911, 912, 914, 924, 928, 944, 968, Boxster, Cayenne, Carrera GT and Cayman.

The oldest Porsche models in America and their owners are:

—1965 911: Barry August, of Clarksville, Md.

—1965 912: Steve Torkelsen, of Wilton, Conn.

—1970 914: Ralph Stoesser, of Marco Island, Fla.

—1977 924: Jay Hoover, of New Haven, Ind.

—1977 928: Jim Doerr, of Richmond, Va.

—1983 944: John Denning, of Covington, Wash.

—1992 968: Jeffrey Coe, of Trumball, Conn.

—1997 Boxster: David Adrian, of Worcester, Mass.

—2004 Cayenne: Adam Reichard, of Magnolia, Texas

—2005 Carrera GT: Robert Ingram, of Durham, N.C.

—2006 Cayman: Eugenie Thomas, of Martinez, Calif.

The automaker plans to honor the owners of these vehicles with an exclusive badge issued by the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, and by featuring images of the units at the new “Sixty Years of Porsche in America” exhibit, which opened in the museum on Oct. 12.

Additionally, the 1950 356 is set to be displayed at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November where it will join the Porsche’s newest models.

A photo gallery of the oldest Porsches and vehicles details can be viewed at

Porsche also emphasized its anniversary celebration is not yet over.

Brand aficionados have an opportunity to submit a 500-word story that communicates their passion for a specific Porsche vehicle or an experience with the Porsche brand at

The top 20 stories, selected by a special panel of Porsche judges, are to be made available for public judging on Oct. 25 through Halloween. The automaker also is encouraging fans to vote online for their favorite essays from the list of 20 finalists.

The company plans to give the three entries with the most votes an all-expense-paid trip to the Porsche Sport Driving School in Birmingham, Ala.


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