With pathos and patina

More than 10 thousand kilometres on a sea have visibly influenced a prosaic engine. Salt has crept in by a movement fins on a engine cover and has staid on a manifest parts. The initial signs of burning are flourishing. And during some indicate unequivocally soon, a regulator on a alternator will fail. But Matt Hummel is not going to let these problems mount in his way. The American has devised a roadmap and intends to hang to each fact of a thespian composition. Hummel had a authentically recorded Porsche 356 SC shipped over from San Francisco and meets it dual weeks after during a French pier of Le Havre. Ultimately, a devise is to expostulate around Le Mans to Zuffenhausen – a place that means all to him: a birth place of his 356 passion.

The 42-year-old from a Californian city of Sacramento has acquired many fans and supporters with his unobtrusive approach of pushing Porsche vehicles accurately as he finds them in barns or disproportionate gardens. Whether he’s holding them on murky slopes or dry hills, Hummel subjects his 356 models to roughly any turf and a amicable media stage celebrates him for it. “I wish to enthuse people to go on adventures with their Porsche. For me, visible soundness is not what matters – it’s a pushing knowledge itself. You’re not automatically cold usually since we have a Porsche. It’s about what we knowledge with your Porsche. Like we have with a SC here…”, a Porsche fan muses.


Matt Hummel, Porsche 356 SC, 2018, Porsche AG

The American has brought a 356 SC from 1964 to Europe for a customer, a devise being to boat a automobile on to a new owners in Japan after his expedition. Hummel left his most some-more obvious vehicle, a grey 356 A Coupé built in 1956 with a unequivocally wise series image of “DON 176”, behind in a United States. “Doing this outing with Don would have totally blown my bill and broken my schedule. He’s simply improved off staying during home. Maybe we will come to Germany with him subsequent year”, Hummel winks. “I found this china SC in a state of Tennessee for a Japanese customer.” According to Hummel, a automobile once belonged to Mike Wolfe, one of a categorical presenters on a famous uncover “American Pickers”. “Before that, a automobile was owned by a song writer from Graceland in Memphis. Jazz fable Quincy Jones mostly rode in a newcomer seat; isn’t that cool?” Matt says.

After picking adult a vehicle, Hummel starts a tour in his Coupé sports automobile with a outing from Le Havre to Paris. Based in a city, his crony Rémi Dargegen invited a patina freak, and his Porsche, to a Le Mans Classic try famous as a “Original Flat4 Drivers Club” as shortly as he listened about Hummel’s transport plans. Alongside singular Volkswagen Beetles and Bullis, several Porsche 356 models accumulate in Le Mans, not distant from a famous Dunlop curve. Even a “vor A” indication built in 1952 parks adult on a green. A tiny later, a attainment of a Porsche 904 indication is a high indicate for a tiny organisation collected during a 24 Hours circuit.


Matt Hummel, Porsche 356 SC, 2018, Porsche AG

The uninformed mussels and handcrafted Calvados being offering turn by a members of a accessible organisation are shortly accompanied by a monotone worker of a Le Mans racing cars. “There’s a unequivocally singular atmosphere here! It’s my initial time in Le Mans. But positively not a last”, a American concludes. When Hummel eventually hears about a Porsche Classic Race Le Mans he can hardly enclose his excitement. To symbol a Porsche 70th anniversary, usually ancestral Zuffenhausen models are enclosed in a starting choice – 81 of them in fact. Super sports cars temperament a numbers 910, 550, 908 and 904 all line adult alongside several air-cooled 911 models. Even a 901 can be initial connecting with a icons. To Matt Hummel’s surprise, a obvious figure from a USA leads a pack: Porsche gourmet and racing motorist Cameron Healy is behind a circle of a 911 RS 3.0 built in 1974. A tiny later, a 356 “No. 1” Roadster sets out forward of super sports cars like a 917 and 908 to finish a path of honour on a circuit and denote a tighten tie between Porsche and a 24-hour race.

Despite a spectacle, Matt Hummel is penetrating to contend his goodbyes before a final path of a Le Mans Classic – he is fervent to get to Germany around Freiburg and afterwards on to Stuttgart.

In Freiburg, we uncover Matt a mythological towering stand where Porsche was winning in 1957 with a 718 RSK: It’s famous as a Schauinslandstrasse. Hummel winds his 356 adult a pass with implausible skill; a Porsche Cayenne S with a some-more absolute engine keeps gait usually interjection to a Sport Plus mode. At a top, Hummel enjoys a transparent perspective over a French Vosges towering operation and tastes his initial ever Black Forest gateau. We stop off during a inner hotel called “The Halde” and settle down in a farmhouse salon during a ancestral table, in that several racing drivers have also forged their names, so securing their immortality. That said, we hunt for Edgar Barth in vain. Hummel runs his hands over a roughly 100-year-old ash tabletop a integrate of times, enthusing: “I adore Germany already. The landscape here above Freiburg is awesome. And what about this ancestral partial of a hotel? And my rapid tiny sports automobile on this extraordinary towering range…”


Matt Hummel, Porsche 356 SC, 2018, Porsche AG

The subsequent day we are behind in Stuttgart though before a Porsche Museum has a possibility to open a repository generally for Matt, a Porsche owner’s bar famous as “Freunde Luftgekühlter Boxermotoren” (friends of a air-cooled engine) gets in touch. This bar is a unequivocally essence of spreading unrestrained for a Porsche brand. Chairmen Oliver Berg and Bernd Stadler have sent turn an inner email, announcing that a somewhat surprising Porsche owners is in a area. The email includes a couple to 9:11 Magazine, a video repository published by Porsche. The video essay on Matt Hummel lures in Porsche designers Anthony Hatter and Grant Larson as good as Herbert Linge.

The 90-year-old is an titular member of a bar – not that this prevents him from being usually as active as a other members. On a contrary.

Hours later, we see Matt’s eyes resplendent as he gazes adult during a potion masquerade of a Porsche Museum. Frank Jung, Head of a Historic Archive, rouses a American from what is honestly a dream come true, mouth-watering him into a museum.


Matt Hummel, Porsche 356 SC, 2018, Porsche AG

The best room heat in a repository is 18 degrees Celsius, that helps to cold a American off slightly. Frank Jung shows him aged racing posters, ancestral documents, personal letters and automobile papers from sports cars reputed prolonged lost. He afterwards opens a cupboard full of index cards. “This is a Kardex directory. It contains a information for each Porsche ever delivered”, Jung explains. 

“At home in America we have another 356 built in 1952 in Radium Green. It’s series 15004. Do we have a Kardex label for it?” Hummel asks immediately. “Of course”, says Jung. “One second – here it is.” Hummel is awestruck and manages usually 3 difference to report this knowledge that he will be holding behind to America with him: “Thank you, Porsche.”


Matt Hummel, Porsche 356 SC, 2018, Porsche AG

Text: Bastian Fuhrmann // Photos: Alexander Babic