Home Car Culture Commentary There's no generation gap when it comes to Porsche appreciation

There’s no generation gap when it comes to Porsche appreciation


OK, all of you gloom-and-doomers out there in collector car world, meet Eric Taylor and Austin Kerby. In 2015 — and each of them only 20 years of age at the time — each bought a Porsche 911 SC, cars produced around 15 years before either of them were born.

“We grew up with Priuses, and these aren’t boring,” Taylor said Saturday morning while standing next to his car, a 1979 model, at the Porsche Club of America’s fifth annual Werks Reunion, an event that drew hundreds of the German sports cars — and even some SUVs — to what usually serves as the fairways of the Corral de Tierra Country Club just a couple of miles southeast of the Laguna Seca race track.

This Porsche was purchased by a 20-year-old after being parked in the woods for several years

“There’s a huge market for young people in older Porsches,” Taylor added. 

Kerby said his father was a fan of American classics, but that living in Los Gatos, California, right up against the Santa Cruz Mountains, “I really needed something that handled well. I looked at American classics and doing coilover suspension, but…“

But after doing his research, it didn’t take him long to realize that a vintage Porsche provided a better solution, and could be had for less than the price of a new Toyota Prius hybrid.

Meanwhile, up in Lafayette, California, where the roads east of San Francisco Bay are all “windy and hilly,” Taylor grew up listening to his father talk about how he grew up with a 1970 911E Targa.

Eric Taylor’s car remains a work in progress, still needing body work and new paint

“I want to live like that,” Taylor repeated words he’d uttered as a teenager.

And thus his 911 SC, which was discovered after being parked for six years under a Redwood tree.

“So many pine needles in the car,” Taylor recalled, adding that despite his best efforts, there probably always will be some deep down in the car’s crevasses.

While the engine ran in Taylor’s car after he and his father pulled it from its rest, it took a month to make the car drivable. It continues to be a work in progress, still in need of some bodywork and a fresh coat of paint.

And what do the 20-something friends of Taylor and Kerby think about their cars?

“They don’t get it,” Kerby said, “until they experience if from the driver’s seat.”

“After five miles,” Taylor added, “I hear, ‘I get it. It’s raw!’ “

74-year-old Jim Hatfield has owned Porsches for more than half a century, but says this ’86 911 Carrera he’s modified will be last

Hatfield calls his car ‘Black Magic’

Just down the row from Taylor’s car was another person who get’s it, and has for many decades.

Jim Hatfield from Ashland, Oregon, was showing his 1986 911 Carrera, which he said is “my last Porsche. I am 74 years old. In 1968 I bought my first P-car, a 1958 356A ‘Super.’ It’s still the love of my life!”

Hatfield bought the ’86 two years ago.

A retired builder who loves design and architecture, “I modified it to reflect my vision, melding the modern with the classic. This is not a garage queen. I drive it local and far, easy and fast.”

And isn’t that the way Porsches are meant to be driven?

Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


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