A highlight from Past Gas #163 - How the 924 & 944 Saved Porsche

Past Gas


Out. Because it's not the same experience if you're not freezing. Right. So I got my long Johns on. But in the back. The little hatch. You're waddling. It's 7 in the morning. Yeah. Carrying a candle in a little holder thing. And I put it all in a hole and I burn it. There you go. Kerosene on it, burn it. So my great grandma's from Sicily, and we grew up speaking like random Italian words. And then at least my whole life, we thought that bacau zu was bathroom in Italian or at least like the Sicilian dialect. And it wasn't until maybe 15 years ago that we found out she was just mispronouncing back house. That's great. Stuff into text. And you can choose the accent. Take the exit last year. Yeah, it's like almost problematic when they say supple Vida. Yeah, that's classic. These are all Los Angeles specific Google Maps. This is the only talk about traffic and how to get around around here. It's true. It's true. Welcome back to past gas everybody exciting day here at the donut office. We're recording this on November 10th, which is when the donut media story on Forza horizon 5 went live. I am overwhelmed. Dude, it's so surreal. I got a little emotional twice. Like yesterday the day before. Like Nolan and I are in a video game. Our faces and versions of our bodies are in we were given the or I was and I spoke on the guy's behalf. We were given the choice between the quote normal body or the chubby body and I chose the normal one because they were like some of the clothes won't fit the chubby one. I was already gonna pick the normal one. So we are a little skinnier than we are in real life. Don't be surprised if you meet us in person and we're a little beef here, but we know. I don't regret my decision. I'd rather shrink into my fours herself instead of growing my real life so. It didn't really hit me until this morning when people were kind of tagging us in Instagram stories and it's just overwhelming. I can't. I don't know. I have a hard time with stuff like this. Because we are so focused on moving forward with stuff, it is sort of hard to be proud of yourself, but I think we should take time, Nolan. Totally. And Joe. And I want to be proud of ourselves, but also thank all you guys for supporting us. Absolutely. It's cool that this is our job and I can't believe we have such an amazing audience that allows us to do. Truly mind-blowing things that I never thought would be possible. So thank you guys for all your support and cool just keep trying to do. New and awesome stuff for you. And it's cool for me because I am in the video game as well, but I had to make my own character. So we can hang out. Yeah. But the good news is I'm the main character. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You're the cool friend. So we're out of town or something. Over Christmas break. You're home. And you're like, man, I really miss Nolan and James. You, as Joe. Can go do a mission? Just like he doesn't work. That's what I call tasks. It makes it more fun around the office. Hey man, I got a mission for you. Can you write a script on? Well, James gave me three gold stars in my script this week. Awesome. Well, speaking of scripts, let's get into this. Let's do it. Let's talk about Porsche. Oh, I'm James pumphrey. Also, the other voice you hear is Joe Weber and the guy from the intro is Nolan's sight. Yes, thank you very much. Big thank you to our returning listeners. And if this is your first time, welcome to the show. Yeah, welcome to the show. Welcome. We're in a video game. Take your shoes off. Yeah. Get cozy, or drive to work. Whatever you're doing, do it. All right. As we all know, the mid 1960s were a wild time. The Vietnam War was in full swing. The Beatles were making music history. And consumer advocate, Ralph Nader released his book unsafe at any speed. Okay, so maybe you haven't heard of Nader's book. If you've listened to anything or watched anything on our channel, you probably heard of it, yeah. But when it came to the auto industry in 1965, this book was a very big deal. Most of unsafe at any speed focused on issues ranging from miserable crash protection to the alarming number of drivers being impaled by steering wheels. But the book also took an especially harsh view of the rear engine sports car. Why attack these cute little speedsters you ask? Well, simply put the Chevrolet corvair had essentially become an unguided missile on the road. Crashing and killing Americans in the early 1960s at a startling rate. Nader's research pointed to the corvair's rear engine design as the primary reason for the carnage, which led executives across the auto industry to fear that the layout could be altogether banned in the coming years. That's something we don't really think about often is like an engine layout being banned. Yeah, but we talked about this before. We've had episodes of Wheelhouse or whatever. It wasn't necessarily just the placement of the engine. It was the suspension, the rear suspension. That made it kind of Wiley. Yeah, so what the engineers did because the rear suspension geometry itself was not super stable. I think it was particularly under, if you let off the gas, like a Porsche in a turn, the rear end had a tendency to step out and spin out and kill you. But what they did to compensate for that was let air out of the tires. And that would make an adjustment to rebound and what have you. But if you didn't know that and didn't stick to your owner's manual and just pumped up to the tires to like whatever thought fit. What would ever was on the tire that stiffened the rear end and thus made it Twitch year and more likely to kill you. We did go kart in yesterday and they actually let the air out of the tires a little bit. Really not hear that? No. Oh, someone asked it as a joke, like what's the PSI in the tires and the guy was like, well, actually 34 and 32 or whatever. And he was saying that people were getting much better times by letting out four or 5 psi. Of course, yeah. Probably wouldn't have been skittering all over the place and under steering like a madman in those days. Yeah, that was a lot of understeer. Dang, dude, I wish we asked earlier anyway. Yeah, man, let's talk about this for longer. Okay. Anyway, one company that was really sweating after Nader's book was Porsche. They released their flagship model, the 9 11, only a year before, and while their rear engine coupe was an immediate hit at the racetrack and with consumers. If the laws changed in the U.S., their most important market, they would be in dire financial straits. I love Dire Straits. Me too. You guys like that bad? Good band. Yeah. But first, let's roll back the clock and get a quick hit of Porsche history. So we have some context. Portia was founded in Stuttgart, Germany in 1931 by Austrian born mechanical engineers slash friend of Adolf Hitler Ferdinand Porsche. After years of working for other companies such as Daimler Benz, the doctor decided to strike out on his own. Despite being an extremely small operation with limited resources, Ferdinand and his firm quickly garnered a reputation as one of the most innovative automotive designers in the country within only a few years. When Hitler came to power in the mid 30s, one of his priorities beyond fascist world domination was working out the kinks in the soon to be mass produced, Volkswagen. Or the people's car. Ferdinand got a call from Adolf to help out and voila. By 1935, Porsche had designed a version of the iconic Volkswagen beetle and by design he kind of copied it from a Jewish designer from a check company called tatra. Hitler was so impressed with Ferdinand's work that he personally saw to it that Porsche designed a Volkswagen racer for the 1939 auto union Grand Prix. Along with a larger wheelbase and a more aerodynamic design, Porsche tinkered with the idea of expanding engine capacity by using different valves and cylinder heads. He also began to zero in on a revolutionary function called fuel injection. Ferdinand had whipped up three prototypes by early 1939, but then Germany made some shall we say aggressive military moves into Poland that same year. And as a result, the auto union Grand Prix was canceled, and further the development of the Porsche race car was brought to a halt. Throughout World War II, Ferdinand remained in cahoots with Hitler. He wasn't involved in any combat, but he continued work on the consumer focused beetle and lent his know how to the Führer for how to increase production of German military equipment. And because of this, Porsche was arrested and thrown in French prison for 22 months after the war. Not a very long sentence. No, not considering. Well, as his father grinded out his prison sentence, Ferdinand's son, doctor Ferdinand ferry Porsche, junior assumed control of the company and moved the firm back to Austria, where they initially stayed afloat as a general repair and service company. But by late 1946, they had regained their financial footing and were considering how to enter the auto market with their own design. This should have called the Boxster the Porsche junior. Yeah. Right? Porsche junior. What a 100%. The junior knew from Porsche. You don't really see Porsche commercials on TV do. They don't have to. I also can't remember the last time I've watched TV. I love when we travel and have to stay in a hotel because then you get to catch up on what broadcast television is like. And it's dire. Yeah, for anyone complaining about the number of ads and a YouTube video, watch cable. Watch deadliest catch gold rush edition. They have to survive on their own and mine gold. Yeah, yeah. With crabs. Try and follow a narrative 45 seconds at a time with 9 minute breaks to watch cialis commercials. Anyway, don't see any Porsche commercials when watching that. You've been in a Porsche commercial. Yes, yeah. Really? Is that why you brought it up? Well, now that you mentioned, I mean, we did Porsche spot. Very Porsche decided that if they're going to go pro, they would need to start small and appeal to a very specific demographic. People, with money, ferry research demand for handmade, high performance machines, and eventually convinced a group of Swiss investors to back his fledgling project. Based on the bones of a VW bug, the Porsche three 5 6 one roadster hit the streets of Austria in March of 19 48 with an adjusted for inflation price of about 42 grand. More like 60 grand with markup today. They're still on a three 5 6 on a 90 $9000 at this dealership in Ohio. The three 5 6 roadster had a 1.1 liter four cylinder VW rear engine that could speed the curvy little coupe to over 80 mph. This thing goes zero to 80. Praised for its fantastic handling and eye catching design. The model was an immediate hit and true to ferry junior's frugal vision, a small scale production of 5 handmade cars per month was off and running by the end of the year. Is the three 5 6 the car that James Dean drove? I was gonna bring it up, I don't think so. So you got 6 is the upside down looking bathtub one. Yeah, yeah. I saw one of these in pretty bad shape at a

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