Digital Exhibition: Matthew Clawson


Name: Matthew Clawson
Vehicle: 1952 Porsche 356 pre-A

Let me tell you a little bit about “Noah” – our 1952 Porsche 356 pre-A. While we are not certain, Noah may be the first Porsche to ever be purchased in California, and it is certainly one of the oldest bought in the US that is still on the road.  It’s as they say, a survivor.

It is also an important part of the family since my father was witness to its racing debut in the US at a racetrack at Pomona, California.  He purchased the car from the original owner in 1956 after the original engine blew and caused a small fire.  It’s been in the family ever since.  I actually was brought home from the hospital in this car, so it is dear to me as well.  Anyway, he loved this car and drove it until the 70s when repair bills gave way to college funds, etc – you know the story.  It sat in his garage for almost 30 years until I trailered it down to get it running again, which I did (without restoring it).  My mechanical Guru was 356 specialist Jack Staggs, who is a local legend in the SoCal vintage Porsche scene.

While I am not a big car show guy, I now drive it on weekends and have done 2 events.  Patrick Long invited me to Luftgekühlt 5 when he saw the photos of the car – it was the oldest car there except the Seinfeld ’48.  I was delighted to meet all the Porsche people – what an amazing and diverse subculture.  They don’t mind that it isn’t restored and love the “patina.”