One of the world’s most worshiped Porsche cars is the Model 356. It is immortalized by James Dean, who died while driving a model, and has a huge number of fans around the world.
One such fan is Mauricio Augusto Marx, 41, from São Paulo who since he was young was really passionate about the Porsche brand, when he won a 911 miniature. Grandfather Giulio and Father Flavio Marx collected classic competition cars from the mid-1960s until 1999.
When he turned 18, Marks received from his father the task of selecting one of his classic sports cars and assembling his own restoration project.
“I’ve been kidding with a 1951 Porsche 356 since I was a kid, admiring its orange rear end in a corner of the shed. I had already picked it up, but I was still too old to really appreciate it. It was love at first sight. In 1998, I was going to get in the car For the first time. And the following year, with my father’s passing, I would eventually take charge of his entire car collection, but I wouldn’t lose a great passion for the Porsche 356,” Marks highlights.
The context and father-son relationship with Porsche reminds us of the story of Ferdinand Porsche and his son Ferry. “I was able to buy newspaper and magazine sets from the 1950s and found that my 356 had run at least two races in Brazil.” One was at Interlagos, in 1957, the other at mountain climbing, at Estrada Velha de Santos, and took third place.
The 356’s passion is so great that Marx considers him a great friend. “One day, when I was going to my indoor workshop in São Paulo, I saw a sign with the name ‘Vero Felho do Vieux Zoza,’ and I decided at that moment that this should also be a cool name for my rare Porsche 356.”
Marks says that, like his father, he has always valued the originality of vehicles much more and that is why he tries, whenever possible, to avoid renovations. He says he’s never had to do any restoration work on Véio Zuza. “I like to keep the scars on the car, because that way I can show his whole story, especially if he’s in competitions.”
In 1998, he escorted Véio Zuza to participate in the first meeting at the Porsche Club, when he awakened his fizz at Interlagos.
Since then, he has also performed at other competitions, gatherings, trips, and exhibitions. The last was by plane, in March, the month of its manufacture, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the 356 in its home country of Germany.
As soon as the car landed in Munich, Marx got behind the wheel of the Véio Zuza, covering a total distance of 2,500 kilometres, an epic that ran through Paris, Brussels and Essen.
“We had some unexpected circumstances on the trip, but the universe was conspiring and some friends also helped solve along the way. One of them was a French guy who referred to an excellent mechanic in Paris who worked with Porsche models and gave away some parts as a gift,” says Marks.
From Essen, they went to Gmund, Austria, to visit the Reuter building, where the small garage in which the company made the first cars by hand was located.
When they finally arrived at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, their representatives greeted them with very special attention. There was a space to display the model right at the entrance to the museum throughout the afternoon.
There was no shortage of spectators to photograph the car in its original condition. It had the Brazilian flag on the hood, indicating that the Porsche 356 also won hearts and owners far from their homeland.
Since then, Véio Zuza has been, for six months, at the Motorworld headquarters in Stuttgart, which preserves cars from European collectors.
Marks still plans to take the Véio Zuza “to take part in more races and put as much miles on it as possible, and possibly another 10,000 kilometers in events and trips.” Thus, it is a plan that does not anticipate the short-term retirement of the old friend.
The first Porsche-named car appeared on the streets on June 8, 1948. The 356 Roadster, produced in Gmünd, Austria, was powered by a 1.1-liter air-cooled four-cylinder engine from Volkswagen.
Engine power was increased to 35 horsepower for the 356th model, named after the design project number. Time passed and the name Porsche became synonymous with sports and competition cars, as dreamed up by the company’s founders, Ferdinand Porsche and his son Ferdinand (“Ferry”). 356 were produced through 1965, with total numbers exceeding the 75,000 unit mark.