My Car Quest

July 19, 2024

Reminiscing on Old Skool Car Clubs

Text and photos by Wallace Wyss –

You can imagine, being a historian, I am always searching for a car event I can go to. But the second that I think like a fine artist I have to pick one where there will likely be a car I wish to paint an oil portrait of.

So I find a listing that the Porsche 356 Club of SoCal is invited to a Xmas party at Jack Staggs’ shop in San Clemente. I am glad I went. Dec. 16th and it’s over 71 deg. Many people brought food they cooked themselves, and a live band entertained.

Porsche 356 Club of SoCal

Now some didn’t bring their Porsches because every one of their 356’s is over 50 years old and too valuable to drive (one price for pre-A was rumored to be $150,000) But what I saw was the greeting of old friends who I gather sometimes only see each other once a year at this event. This is a club where some folks been in it for, 10, 20, 30 years or more. They got a lot of adventures to reminisce about because the club has rallies and tours all the time, to the mountains, the sea, you name it.

This year there weren’t any old parts for sale though they allow it. I had art but maybe them turtle car folk got every 356 picture you’ve ever seen? A lady had t-shirts with Porsche themes and Staggs himself had a shirt he sells with a scary skull on it.

But I could see that this kind of club–centered on an old model that hasn’t been around for 50 plus years –is a different kind of club. Nobody will be arriving with a 2024 356 model (unless Porsche brings back the name of an old model which they’ve done before…) I have attended those clubs where somebody with the latest model suddenly is the superstar.

I could see a lot of long lasting friendships had evolved, so it’s not a car club centered so much on what-did-you-do-to-add-more-horsepower but a club of old friends and the 356 ownership holds them together.

I see all sorts of clubs but I find this kind–based on a long ago car that’s still fun to drive–comfortable, unless of course 356s get too valuable to drive or too costly to insure (that happened in another club I was in where they would have a party but no one would bring the car that inspired them to join the club).

And there will always have to be mechanics to work on them. When I had a 300SL Gullwing my mechanic was 150 miles away so it was a chore. Fortunately Jack Stagg and crew are alive and well so I think the present day SoCal owners can relax–hey Jack’s got your back.

Porsche 356 Club of SoCal

I have been to one of their mountain lunch runs to some quaint town near Big Bear that boasts a half dozen outdoor restaurants so for a moment there everywhere you looked there was a Porsche 356.

Now I can’t afford a $150,000 Porsche 356–I sold my 356 D cab for a few thousand decades ago. But I am thinking whatever car I buy next as a fun car–I hope there’s a club like that built around whatever I choose…I might go to a club meeting first to see if I like the people that like the car and if I like what they do with the car–activities-wise and customizing. There’s a few models I got an eye on and I must find anything on the net that shows owners are enthusiastic about it. That could decide if I buy it or not…

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss art

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss comments on cars in his weekly show, Autotalk, broadcast from KUCR FM Riverside.


Porsche 356 Club of SoCal

Reminiscing on Old Skool Car Clubs
Article Name
Reminiscing on Old Skool Car Clubs
I see all sorts of clubs but I find this kind--based on a long ago car that's still fun to drive--comfortable, unless of course Porsche 356s get too valuable to drive or too costly to insure .

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