A Life In Cars

The life story of Dickie Sutherland


Ashley’s 356 coupe

Weekend away, unexpected rides in unexpected cars.

A weekend in 1966 I had without my parent’s knowledge I borrowed their keys to the holiday house a Victor Harbour, for a combined Friday and Saturday night party, and surf weekend for the Group.  There was the usual crowd of ten blokes some with girlfriends.  Ashley one of the lads drove a Porsche 356 coupe, we were not that well informed on how good a car of the future legendary status the 356 was. In South Australia, a 356 was a relative of the VW Beatle and not having been sold on the sport racing capabilities of this emerging Porsche supercar brand we were suitably unimpressed with the 356 coupe.  Oh, there was a Karma Ghia, the name had a better sound and well, Beatles were a cheap small car with an impractical layout of a small boot under the bonnet, the motor in the boot, not very versatile for carrying surfboards and stuff. 

The 356, Ashley flashed his Key fob around letting those in the know, know he had a PORSCHE

Anyways to get back to Ashley, he drove me into town for some reason, to get some beer or such, I don’t remember, as we were turning onto the main road, a quick left-hand turn the car speedo flick up to 60mph momentarily as we rounded the corner.  The Porsche’s speedo was constantly flicking up and down when the car was moving.  Anyways rounding the corner we go the speedo happen to flick up at which Ashley called out “60(MPH), not bad, going around the corner”.  I did not comment on the little Germans Sports Coupe’s ability to do 60mph around a ninety-degree street corner, from about a 25 mph approach speed, however, one word came to mind “wanker” as it was quite evident the speedo cable or speedo head was knackers and the needle was being kicked spasmodically to read a speed well above what it might really be doing.  Hey, I was to get to know Ashley better over the next few years, his tendency to do and utter such crazy things out of a need to impress or keep everyone laughing, yeah, he’s OK. 

As for his Porsche yes, I wish I had known, it wasn’t just a VW Beatle, what was the 356 about, it would have been a good idea to buy it from Ashley when he sold it.

Another event that weekend involved a Singer 9.

I was alone I took a ride…

Where was I, yes, Victor for the weekend staying in my parent’s holiday house.   

What Don and Gus do not know, well till the next time they went down there and the neighbors filled them in on the young ones coming and going all weekend, all hours! 

On with the weekend activities list, Friday night we arrived.  Loon with a girlfriend, Ralstone with a girlfriend, Tony, Darryl, Phill with Jenny and yours truly.  Saturday checked out the surf, and in the evening Darryl and I checked out the local dance.  Walking up to the door of the hall Darryl said he would be back, promptly jumped in his Morris Minor and drove off.  Oh dear, maybe the local dance was not such a good idea, I decided to head back to see where Darryl went and meet him on the way back. 

Well walking along the main road into Victor, I noticed a car approaching I stuck out my thumb the car pulled up.  I was alone, I took a ride I did not know where it would lead me.  A Singer 9 pulled up!  Singer 9, the passenger door, opening the door I was greeted by a blonde hair surfer girl, Cynthia, hop in I’ll take you home, “thanks” I said. 

Well a Singer 9 in great going condition, how good is this? 

The ode to the Singer9
 “I was alone, I took a ride
I didn’t know what I would find there
Another road where maybe I could see another kind
soul in a Singer9″
Yes love was in the air


Darryl meanwhile had been back to the house but could not rally any interest in the local dance and he went back for me.

However true to ‘Zzorn’ logic I had left.  Daryl turned up back at the house before too long.

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