Almost all of us as PCA Members have the pleasure of owning a classic German automobile, more specifically a Porsche. I personally have owned a 1977 911S since 1998.
Many fewer of us have had the good fortune of more than one German classic in our life. For me it is my 96-year-old father–Eric Otto Brueggemann, from Madeburg Germany.
This article was written with the great memories of our recent trip (September 2014) to Bad Krotzingen German, a little Spa town just south of Freiburg, fresh in my mind. During and after this trip I was taken aback by the countless complements we got as a travel team, from both Canadians and the Germans alike.
It made me think about what has kept my dad in such good shape, both mentally and physically. Traveling eight hours on a plane and then a 2.5 hour train from Frankfurt to Freiburg followed by a 20-minute local train to Bad Krotzingen is a tough enough haul for the seasoned traveller, let alone an a nonagenarian!
After observing him on this trip and being his son for 51 years, I think I have figured out the secrets to his long life and vitality. What I found to be funny was that the same program can help you, the Classic Porsche owner keep your cars as fresh and ready as my dad. So pull out your pens and iPads and take notes, here are the secrets of lange Lebensdauer as applied to my 911 and my dad!
Colour (Sienna). Car cover 275+ days a year Wax, once a year
|A new suit for the trip from Brown’s “A Short Man’s World, Because it Fits!!” OK, perhaps not everything works for my dad|
Orange Shag – shampoo and vacuum once a year
|Regular haircuts and a simple comb does the job|
2.7L takes Mobile 1 Motor Oil in the summer, 11.5 litres worth. Regular bi-annual check-ups Making sure the hoses are all in good shape and that the spark plugs still spark. Mine has 194,000kms on her with a rebuild at 105,000.
|His heart, based on 72 beats a minute has logged 3,519,417,600 beats and still ticking! That is equal to 203 hours at 3,000 RPM on the Porsche! Good food cooked by my mom for 54 years, some cod liver oil as a child and “X” number of litres of quality German beer over the years. All have added up to living a healthy and happy life.|
Your Porsche needs exercise. Track days or Sunday drives, it appreciates the time that you spend with it. I have raced around the Rockies with her and driven enough Mosport and Watkins Glen DE events to know that she may be old but she has the heart of a teenager!
|Dad participated in “TurnFests” in the 20’s as a youth. Later on in Canada he loved cross-country skiing in the winter and heading to Sauble Beach for a swim in the summer. I like to think that having kids later in life also contributed to his youthfulness. Chasing me in the house as a kid with a wooden spoon must have helped strengthen
Many of the old control arms and door hinges still need regular greasing. Gas shocks for the hood and engine lid often lose pressure and need maintenance or recharging.
|I identified the secret ingredient on this holiday that has lead my Dad to having great joints – “Mit Zahne bitte”— with whip cream, please! From coffee in the morning to soup at lunch and cake at least three times a day, the lubricate of German Konditorei’s was a part of every meal.|
There is a close relationship with your car but more importantly there is a great camaraderie with your fellow UCR members. Friendships based on the love of a car brand have endured for decades and continue with new and younger members creating friendships with members 30, 40 and 50 years older.
|Dad has managed to outlive all of his friends. They say timing is everything, and on this trip we were very lucky. His oldest friend (100 years old) was still alive last September and living on his own in an apartment in Mulhouse. We took the train down to see him. Even the taxi driver from the station knew who Kurt was; he was famous for his long life and vitality.
We had a great hour together and they caught up on a few old
memories. He pulled out a box of cookies, sorry he said that was the
extent of his cooking! Sadly, Kurt died in December.
So here you have the key elements in taking care of your older German Classic. Let me encourage you to take the cover off of your car sooner than later. Listen to that engine and pay attention to what it is telling you on every drive short or long.
The Porsche Brand, like my dad, is steeped in history and has many a story to tell. I have taken my dad out on a few drives in my ’77, and aside from needing a lift to get out of the seat, he enjoys the ride and sounds of the Auspoof (sometimes inside the car as well). Darn Bratwurst!
Dad and I did get an Audi up to 200km/h on this trip (Porsche for the day was a bit pricey) and I have a GoPro moment of him staring dead straight ahead as we hit the 200 km/h mark. Because if he moved his eyes from the road we surely would have crashed!
Spend time in your car this year, but more importantly spend some time with an older person (family/friend) and listen to them tell a few stories. They won’t be around forever but your memories of those moments will last as long as you do. Here’s to you Dad thanks for a great trip and Prosit!!