Care and feeding of your German Classic – Happy Fathers’ Day

IMG_0038Story and photos by Ian Brueggemann, UCR Member (from Provinz June 2015 page 24)

IMG_0244Almost 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!

IMG_20140919_162340After 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!

 

 

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“Mit Zahne, bitte”

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Eric and Ian at the Porsche Museum.

 

Porsche: Dad:
The Paint:
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
The Carpet:
Orange Shag – shampoo and vacuum once a year
Regular haircuts and a simple comb does the job
The Engine:
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.
Exercise:
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
his heart!
Lubrication:
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.
Old Friends:
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.IMG_20140921_170826
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!

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IMG_20140918_151551Dad 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!

 

 

 

 

IMG_20140923_135348IMG_20140925_170632Spend 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!!

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