Japan’s Porsche 356 Club Gathers To Celebrate In Kyoto
Dedication to their vintage Porsches brings friends together for the 356 Holiday Kyoto.
The original series production model, wonderfully nimble, punch-above-its-weight-class, rear engine aircooled, Ur-Porsche, the famous 356, attracts adoration from nearly everyone who comes into contact with one. As vintage cars go, the simplicity and quirky good-looks of this car have built a worldwide cult following. We've met original owners who have had their 356s since new, we've met young kids that helped a parent restore the car they still drive, and we've met people who are new to the hobby but no less enthralled in the history of their car and the now famous brand that built it.
It would seem that 356 fans are similarly emphatic about their vintage rides in Japan as they are in Europe or North America. This year the annual Porsche 356 Holiday event was held in Kyoto, and it attracted hundreds of vintage aircooled fans from all over the country. As the CEO of Porsche Japan, Toshiyuki Shimegi, says in this video, "I can clearly see that with owning a Porsche, the car is not just a means of transportation. There is a joy beyond just owning one, as it becomes a part of your life." His words could not be more true. Owning a 356 isn't just owning an old car, it's a way to meet new friends, it's a way to learn new skills (like carburetor tuning), and it's a shared experience with other 356 owners.
Here is an interesting forum thread from the Porsche 356 Registry's bulletin board that gives you an idea of what it was like to attend a normal cruise day with the Tokyo area's 356 club. That event was less a countrywide meetup and more a morning cruise-in with some friends in the countryside, like a cars & coffee, we suppose. Given the enthusiasm for these old cars, even though very few of them were built in right-hand drive configuration, is stellar. Keep it up Japan.