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Roadsters, Cudas and 356s


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My dad told me an interesting story when I was home over Xmas. It was 1971, Torrance CA, back when my dad had his '66 Datsun 1600 Roadster.


His co-worker buddy Mr. Foster had a lime green Hemi 'Cuda and had some meetings go to down south in Orange County. Mr. Foster was having trouble getting his registration renewed on his 'Cuda (advent of CA smog inspections- he was a street racer and his car was not exactly street legal), so my dad loaned him his Roadster for the trip. Not sure why my dad agreed to drive the 'Cuda with expired tags except that it was only a few miles to work. My dad had recently been transferred to CA from WA and we (mom, bro and sis) still lived in WA at the time. The company had been putting him up at a nice hotel in the area (Plush Horse Inn, now the Palos Verdes Inn). Anyway, he went down to the hotel parking lot to drive the 'Cuda to work that day. The beast fired off and when it was warmed up he engaged 1st gear, goosed the throttle a bit and let out the he-man clutch. The car lurched forward, he got it going and made it to work. That evening he came back to his usual parking spot at the hotel and found about 40' of patch marks where he had left for work that morning! Mr. Foster soon sold the 'Cuda and bought a very cherry Porsche 356SC. My dad soon followed suit and sold his Roadster for a 356 Super 90. Then one day Mr. Foster showed up at our house in a shiny Porsche 911S. Unbeknowst to my dad he had traded his ultra cherry 356 for payment on the 911 at Vasek Polak's in Hermosa Beach. My dad was dumbfounded as he would have offered the trade-in price and more for Mr. Foster's pristine 356 and sold his less then stellar example! To wrap up, a few years ago I purchased the old 356 from my dad and we are embarking on a full restoration. Progress to date can be seen here:


I wish I knew what happened to the Roadster after he sold it to his boss. He had a port hole hardtop for it and he told me it leaked like a seive when it rained. I remember riding on the rear parcel shelf with my sister up PCH to Leo Carillo beach, my mother holding onto my little brother in the front seat. Good times.

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