Before I begin let me start off by saying, yes, this is another story of a “barn find”, much like every other dilapidated and dust covered car that has spilled out of some decrepit hiding hole as of recently.
But this story is different; this story focuses on something a little less tangible. It requires one to think a little deeper and look past the pomp and hype that is thrown around with the term “barn find”. I am speaking on the soul of the car and the feelings associated with it. The way it can seemingly weave a story to you with just a simple glance. There are people out there who don’t believe a car can have a soul. It is, however, my personal belief that the soul of a car is largely made up of the experiences that car shares with its owner and the memories that are created together. Soul, as well as character, comes down to the chipped paint, worn seats and that one broken off piece of under-engineered plastic trim. It is the imperfections and foibles that tell a story and provide that lifeless form of man made materials with boundless levels of soul and character that cannot be imparted into other
A random introduction is all it takes sometimes. Then, as you delve deeper into conversation, facts are revealed that make you lean a little closer and listen with a little more intent. This is much how it happened when I first discovered the existence of this particular 1967 Porsche 911S. In this case, a chance conversation of automotive tastes revealed a rare 911, stashed away in a barn, buried deep under hopes of one day resuscitating the vehicle back to its former glory and once again forming long lasting memories as owner and car once had done so many years ago. Other cars were mentioned that were of interest but the conversation seemed clouded as I incessantly envisioned that first year S. My mind drifted longingly to it sitting there in some dark corner, covered in dust and grime, so out of its natural element but perfectly placed at the same time.
After a week had passed, arrangements were made to see one of the owners other cars that was worthwhile but after stalling as long I possibly could I worked up the courage and asked if it was possible to see the S. The owner agreed and we headed towards the bright red barn that stood at the back of his property. The short journey of only a couple hundred feet seemed to take ages as my anticipation heightened. Countless thoughts fluttered through my head and my hands began to slightly perspire as my nervousness got the best of me. Its not every day that you get to see a first year 911S that has been entombed in darkness for over 20 years and the brevity of the situation was quickly catching up to me.
As the squeaky and tired sliding doors were pulled back to reveal the resting spot of the aged 911, the light from outside spilled over it, revealing its timeless shape and classic lines. My eyes danced over the car, covering every inch and taking in all the details and patina that my corneas could possibly process. 201A2083One glance was all that was needed to tell that this particular 911 was never a polished ornament sitting covered in a climate controlled, sterilized garage with a box of cloth booties sitting next to the door to cover your shoes before you got in.
This car was a remnant of the days when you could actually use and thoroughly enjoy something like this without having to worry if driving it might dislodge a bolt a quarter of a turn and therefore devaluing it by six and third percent. We often forget in this modern day of classic car evaluation indexes and ever increasing auction results that at one time these were just cars. They were intended to be used and abused and as I looked over the car, this stark reality was never more apparent to me. Cars like this were school shuttles, grocery getters and memory makers. They were a delight to drive and delighted in being driven.