Catherine Sutton’s original plan was to buy a 911—something relatively modern, fast, even comfortable. Just for the heck of it, though, the California resident decided to drive out to Malibu one afternoon and take a look at a Porsche 356 that she had seen listed on eBay. The car came home with her.
That was 2005, and despite the car’s age and lack of creature comforts relative to a 1980s 911, the little white Porsche remains Sutton’s constant companion.
In an age when cars are designed to take our mind away from the driving experience—to cocoon us in a world of climate control, adaptive cruise control, and infotainment—the whole point of driving an old car is that it is a choice, a conscious decision to engage. This Porsche, which Sutton has affectionately nicknamed “the Egg,” embodies that ethos.
“I own it because I love it,” she says. “I choose to drive because I love it. I choose to go for fun adventures because I love it. There is no aspect of this car that is tedious.”
The car not only connects Sutton with the drive, but also with the world around her. No longer shielded behind tinted glass and thick A-pillars, she finds herself immersed in the natural landscape as she follows each bend in the road. Sutton spends a lot of time immersing herself and the Egg in long-distance rallies, weekend canyon runs, and the occasional evening cruise through the hills around Los Angeles.
As a result, the 356 is no concours queen. Its paint is thinning, rock chips mark miles driven across the car’s nose, and Sutton occasionally wonders if she shouldn’t give the car a little more TLC before immediately catching herself.
“I don’t care about that because it adds to the story,” she says. “If she was too clean and too shiny I wouldn’t want to drive her, and at that point it stops being as much fun.”
The Egg is not fast, it isn’t modern, and—on the hottest summer days—Sutton prefers to get out on the road early to beat the heat, but no part of owning or driving this car is a chore.