Available in the UK: John Surtees’ 4-Cam 356

John Surtees owned this car for 20 years, and I’m sure it provided plenty of smiles after his retirement (of sorts) from the track. But it isn’t the first Porsche 356 that has spent time in the Surtees stable. His first was a Super 90. He wrote of it in his Supercars I Have Known:

“My father knew the Aldingtons at AFN, the Porsche agents, so I ended up with a 356 Super 90 that had been used as a demonstrator and had hardly any miles on the clock, It was a marvellous little car, but you had to be very wide awake to drive it, In those days we didn’t have such a variety of tyres, so we couldn’t change the handling characteristics of a car: today, people say cars of that period handle well and are fun after trying them on modern radial-ply tyres. You have to remember that our tyres were much more primitive.”

It seems Surtees changed his opinion of the bathtub Porker in the years between these two experiences. Of course, perhaps the tires have something to do with it. Then again, perhaps there’s also an ocean of difference between a Super 90 and a Carrera 2. I’ve never driven either, but would love to know first-hand… invitations will be accepted 🙂

This car on offer (chassis YKE250A) is 1 of only 437 Carrera 2 variants produced. Which makes it a gem already, with the ownership history of the only Formula 1 AND motorcycle world champion, it’s quite a rare beast indeed. The car was restored in ’98 by Team Surtees themselves, which sweetens the deal in my eyes, with mechanical help from 4-cam maestro Robert Garretson (with parts supplied directly from Porsche).

Some look at the Carrera 2 and see nothing but a plain-jane 356 plus the added headache of 4-cam maintenance. There’s something I find alluring, however, about the non-descript supercar. A bit of a wolf in—well, not a sheep—maybe a wolf in less-intimidating-wolf’s clothing aspect that feels right to me. Capable. Not flashy.

Today the car is available from the Coys showroom sales department. More info on their inventory details page.

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