Enthusiast Eddie Assad’s passion for Porsche – particularly the 356 – is all-encompassing. We spent a glorious morning ogling his collection.
As Eddie Assad opens the door to his collection, I first spot three 911s before the extent of his love for the entire brand – and particularly the 356 – becomes evident.
Eddie’s adoration for all things Porsche started with a magenta 1974 2,7-litre (MFI) 911 Carrera he bought in the UK; it was the Earl’s Court Motor Show car. “At the time, I test drove all the Italian exotics but a friend suggested I drive a Porsche 911. I wasn’t really interested in them; however, once I did, I realised this is my type of car. I couldn’t believe how it could go.”
During his time in London, Eddie and his friends drove their cars all over the UK and throughout Europe. It was not all about performance, though; Eddie purchased a “banger” when he arrived in London. “I bought an old Ford Cortina for £20. You could drive it anywhere, climb pavements and I loaned it to every South African who visited us.” But upon his return to South Africa, his focus turned to the rounded lines of the petite 356.
“My first 356 was a red 1963 B Cabriolet which I bought in 1986. Over the years, I grew to like them more and more. I started tinkering with them and learning their ways.”
Eddie has completed several restorations with the help of specialists. “I have a guy who does the body, another who tackles the interior and then a final builder who overhauls the engine and gearbox. I put it all back together and do the easy jobs.”
He has restored three 356s to date. There’s another, a rare 1952 bent-window pre-A model, awaiting a full restoration. It looks as though it stood outside for decades and the front part of the car is unattached. Eddie eagerly showcases the parts he has already acquired for this project. It is hard to imagine that in a couple of years, this derelict 356 will once again be on the road.
First, though, there is a 1958 356 A in the body shop currently being painted for its restoration. Despite being a purist, this is one car Eddie wants to put his mark on. “With this 1958 356, I want to add a few semi-outlaw elements. It doesn’t feature any bumpers and I added a metallic tint to its original aquamarine colour.”
Most of Eddie’s cars have been fully restored or have received a serious amount of work. There is even a 1973 911 Targa Sportomatic. Although it’s not yet collectable, this model required a lot of attention to get it to its current state.
Eddie explained he finds his vehicles through fellow enthusiasts who share information about where they’ve spotted a car. Often it is about the timing; being in the right place at the right time. Thanks to these fellow enthusiasts and the club, Eddie is able to source parts and information to help him and the specialists to restore these cars.
In his garage is a small workshop with basic tools and memorabilia, including period photos of his time in the UK, cars he previously owned and several trophies from concours and autocross events.
Taking into consideration the cars in the collection, it’s curious that Eddie’s daily drive is a current-generation Ford Mustang. Asked to pick just one vehicle in the collection he’d pilot every day, it doesn’t come as a surprise Eddie chooses the 2,7 MFI Carrera: “Purely because it was my first Porsche. It is unbelievably reliable and it goes beautifully.”
In the Seventies, orthodontist Eddie Assad (70) worked in the UK for three and a half years, where he was able to visit numerous track events and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Eddie always makes time to attend to his cars despite a busy schedule.