I’ve not met a car enthusiast who is yet to hear of what is perhaps one of the most iconic sports cars ever produced; the Porsche 911. Revered for its agility and performance; the 911 is also renown for being one of the oldest sports coupes still in production (as of May 2017, over one million have been manufactured). However, even the 911 has a predecessor. In fact; significantly less car enthusiasts can recall the name of Porsche’s first ever production car – the 356. When we were thinking about a feature car to showcase, we came across a car which, without any modification, was absolutely stunning inside and out. We introduce to you our October feature; Geof’s 1962 Porsche 356 B.
Produced between 1948 and 1965; the 356 set the standard for Porsche and solidified its place alongside other European sports car manufacturers. They were rear-engined, lightweight, nimble performance vehicles which saw 76,000 examples roll from the Zuffenhausen factory floor up until 1965 (two years following the debut of the faster, more comfortable 911). Of the 76,000 produced, however, approximately only half still survive today; making the 356 an ideal investment for collectors and automotive connoisseurs. One of the lucky owners of such a rarity happens to be Geof Tartoosie – located right here in Adelaide.
Geof has owned his 356 since 2004, and won’t be parting with it anytime soon. His love for the 356 began in 1997 whilst in Gmund, Germany (the township renown for being the first ever home of Porsche’s manufacturing facilities in 1948) for a wedding. The wedding involved 50 (yes, fifty) 356 Porsches escorting the bride and groom to the church. I’m hardly surprised that after seeing fifty of these cars together, that Geof wanted one that he could call his own. His time came several years later in 2004 when he was lucky enough to seize the opportunity to purchase his US-imported and right-hand drive converted 1962 model from a financially struggling Melbourne owner. Thirteen years onward, and the car runs just about as it did new. Impeccably preserved; Geof’s 356 B graced the Waite Arboretum with our team for a sunny afternoon shoot.
The 356 isn’t Geof’s only love. Many cars have spent nights in his garage over the years including Aussie muscle cars such as Monaros, Toranas and Commodores; and JDM icons including two R32 GT-Rs, three Evos (4, 6 and 8), and a Mitsubishi 3000GT just to name a few. After taking Ferrari’s 458 out for a hot lap around the Clipsal 500 track, Geof has hopes of owning one someday because it look great, performs exceptionally and could drive it every day. However, the 356 holds a special place in Geof’s garage because, well, it’s a Porsche. It’s a classic, and it’s appreciated considerably since its purchase in 2004. As an experienced owner and buyer of classic cars; he offers some advice to anybody potentially wanting to enter the classic car market. “Buy now, because they aren’t getting any cheaper. Buy something you actually like, because if the market actually changes, you actually own a car that you like.” He predicts that the Mitsubishi Starion and 3000GT models are on the fast-track to classic status, and could be a great investment for those on a ~$10K budget. Remember when you could buy an R32 GT-R for $13K? Pepperidge farm remembers…
Perhaps we’ll get to see some more of Geof’s 356 out on the car scene soon. The car is expected to undergo some paint restoration and minor mechanical work in the near future, so if you catch it at the lights; bear in mind that this is one of the few remaining examples of what was the first Porsche production car. Perhaps you might even catch it at this year’s Adelaide Auto Expo, which Geof has spent endless hours organising for the past eleven years! As the sun sets on a gorgeous spring day; we’re left wondering several things. How many 356 Porsches will remain in another thirteen years? Should we be buying 3000GTs? Will Geof purchase a Ferrari 458? Who knows. At least we have some kickass pictures for you to drool over.
ABOUT THE MODEL
Ramona Green hails us from Adelaide’s burlesque scene. With only two and a half years’ experience; the 22 year-old pinup performer was the ideal model to accompany our first vintage car. Ramona fell in love with burlesque after seeing a show at the Adelaide Fringe and has never looked back since. After many performances as part of burlesque student showcases; she made her debut non-student solo performance with “The Just Ass League” in a DC Comics themed show at the 2017 Adelaide Fringe, and has since performed at many shows alongside numerous wonderful performers. Ramona speaks with nothing but positivity when asked what she loves about burlesque. “It’s liberating, encourages body positivity, and we have an amazing community of the most supportive, talented and charismatic people”. A community where you can make lifelong friends revolving around a mutual passion is something we can certainly relate to, hey?
Ramona comes from a family of complete revheads… and she’s the only one who isn’t completely car mad. However, when sitting in the red leather upholstery of Geof’s 356 interior; she felt right at home and, like us, was completely in love with the curves, beauty and class of the Porsche classic. She does, however, have a dream car; a 1958 Plymouth Fury (like the one featured in Stephen King’s ‘Christine’). “Without the murderous tendencies though. Actually – maybe with. You never know if that might come in handy”. If you see Ramona rocking in a ’58 Plymouth – please drive away as fast as you can.
We were actually lucky to pry Ramona away from her studies to shoot with us for a few hours. She’s currently smashing out her honours degree at the moment and her research is top priority. (Note: Porsche 356’s may potentially impact university performance). However, she’s also striving to take her burlesque career to the next level by entering interstate competitions and performing interstate. She’s happy that we dragged her away from her studies, too. “Modeling for Slowlife was so much fun! Everyone made it a really comfortable experience, and I’d love to model with some more classic cars in the future”. We’re flattered, Ramona!
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER
For many who are in on the Adelaide car photography scene; our guest photographer requires no introduction. For those who require one – meet Matt Castle; otherwise known as ‘Explosive Curiosity’.
Matt’s been into photography for as long as he can remember. Growing up as a kid, he frequently found himself captivated by his dad’s 35mm film camera. Always using it; he wanted to learn everything about photography and how to capture amazing photographs, and it’s safe to say that since then, he’s nailed it.
Always having a passion for anything automotive; Matt’s automotive photography is surprisingly only a recent movement in his photography career. He’s travelled the world in his younger years and in the process has captured some incredible landscapes and locations along the way; making landscape and travel photography his initial focus. As soon as we see him in front of a car though – we get excited to see the edited images show up on our news feed because we just know they’re going to be good.
Whilst many photographers frequently use DSLR-type cameras; Matt’s rig of choice is the mirrorless Sony A7R. As for lenses; he’s got the accompanying Sony G-Master 85mm F/1.4 and G-Master 24-70mm F/2.8. The 85mm is the lens of choice, though. “Although it needs a little more thinking and work to shoot with being a prime lens (walking around to compose a shot rather than just zooming in or out), the quality of the image and the way it renders out-of-focus elements is sublime.”
Matt switched from Nikon’s DSLR setup to Sony’s mirrorless gear when the A7R was first released. He was in seek of a more compact camera system to travel with (that’s a no brainer when you’re traveling the world I guess). The sensor and image quality of the camera are incredible, and you’ll see this quality reflected in each and every one of his shots.
There’s just something about automotive photography that’s drawn matt in, though. We aren’t complaining; his photos are absolutely mint. “I love interacting with cars and their owners. I love to hear the stories and passion people have for their builds and projects, why and how they did certain things and what drives them. Being a car lover myself I enjoy being able to spend time with and experience some amazing machines”. If that’s not a reason to love automotive photography, then we honestly don’t know what is.
Matt’s dream car is the stunning (and near impossible to catch in Adelaide) Porsche Carrera GT. “It’s a long-time favourite car of mine, I travelled to Stuttgart Germany to see them when they were first released. I was also lucky enough to see a Carrera GT being delivered to the Porsche museum. Spending some alone time with one of these would be the ultimate dream shoot”. We tried with the 356, Matt. We tried.
Just out of curiosity, we asked Matt what makes the perfect automotive shoot (not trying to steal tips or anything). The recipe is in fact the perfect car and the perfect lighting conditions. Oh, and a cold beer in hand. We can always nail the beer bit, but the rest seems to escape us…
Matt’s having a lot of fun shooting cars at the moment, and it’s something that he wants to keep doing (this is really good news). He recently ticked something off his bucket list; shooting for a magazine. In the coming months, we’re going to see his images in print, which will be a win not only for Matt, but a win for the SA automotive photography scene too. You keep doing what you’re doing, Matt. We’ll be stalking the Explosive Curiosity pages daily.