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Grocery Store Sighting: 1955 Porsche 356A


From Sid Cannon – Stopped at a grocery store in a certain lake town in Idaho and this was in the parking lot! It’s a 1955 Porsche 356A and it has been the owner’s “resort car” for the past 20 years. Pine needles on the hood, lots of dust on the dash = barn find without the barn. I told the owner about an upcoming Oktoberfast event and then said, “Don’t wash it or dust off the dash”. He just scratched his head and said OK…


Not a bad car next to it either.


Now, that’s a sight you don’t see at grocery store everyday. Ironically, I spotted a Lotus Elan in similar condition at the same store in the same town about a year ago. Perhaps there are a lot of these “resort cars” still running around up there? Sounds like you may have found some new hunting grounds Sid! Thanks for sending this in and please let us know if you spot anything else of interest!


  1. Avatar photo Rick

    I bet it’s at Priest Lake which is about a 2 hour drive NE of Spokane

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  2. Avatar photo Redman

    My cousin has a place up in a similar sounding area in Idaho and he and his wife both have “resort cars.” His is a 50’s MGA Coupe and her’s is a Triumph Herald convertible… As a child I always wondered why they had these cool old cars that never got cleaned but always ran perfectly. FYI theyes are already promised to me when they decide it’s time to give up driving so no use trying to go find them. LOL

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  3. Avatar photo Rick

    I like the big Healey kit car parked next to it, too.

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  4. Avatar photo Dolphin Member

    Nice to see a 356 with pine needles and dust being used as a grocery getter by someone who probably wouldn’t get it antiseptically clean for a trip to Oktoberfest.

    I think the people who designed and built it had something like that in mind for it, at least for a large part of the time. My guess is that Garage Queen came way down on their list, if at all.

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  5. Avatar photo Graham Line

    There is also more than one Nuova 500 up in that neck of the woods. Perfect for casual drives and trips to the store.

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  6. Avatar photo Brian

    Closest I’ve come to finding something like this in a grocery store parking lot was finding a super nice Karman Ghia coupe a few years back at Publix. Sid wins!

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  7. Avatar photo jim s

    a 356 being used as a daily driver makes my day. i would love to see/hear one driving by, as it has been a very long time. great find. i too love the orange car.

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  8. Avatar photo Rev. Rory

    Well, the prettiest lake in Idaho is North of Coeur d’Alene…all kinds of cool stuff circulating around an a sunny summer day. Lots of old stuff being used as the designers and builders intended. Gratifying…

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  9. Avatar photo rusty

    great story until………..he was asked to take it to some car show….blahhh

    the death knell of a car used for what it was meant to be used for !

    here we have a car being used and someone wants to introduce him to the backwardly mobile show scene…shame….hee hee i say this with a wink and a nod but I remember the 80’s where classic cars were still being used for everyday transport until the classic car show thing hit with a vengence [here in Aussie]..next thing you know very few classic cars were seen being used as transport…the show scene helped put an end to that…

    “ohh mate you cant drive that everyday..its too difficult and its a classic worth too much to scratch it, why dont you restore it so you can spend your sunday sitting behind it on a folding chair while lookers are too scared to get too close to your car less you bite.”..hee hee

    leave this “resort car ” wonderland as it is…perhaps the last known land where cars can be cars..perhaps a David Attenborough documentry will save these from extinction..

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    • Avatar photo Sid Member

      Although I happen to be one of those guys who sit by his restored car and watches people look at it at an afternoon car show I agree with you. It used to be that looking at a bunch of classics at a show & shine was an oddity but now seeing an unrestored 356A at a grocery store is the oddity. I wish we all could see a lot more of the latter. So, I will have to withhold my blahhh for later.

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    • Avatar photo Brian

      Back in the 1980’s, at least in the area of the US were I was living, traffic moved along at a much lower speed that it does today. Driving destractions then didn’t involve cell phones or texting and people were better able to focus on driving. Small econo-box like Chevy Chevettes were common sights on the roads, with their comfortable driving speed topped out around 65-70 mph unlike today where even the smallest commuter car is capable of maintaining 80-90 mph all day long. Alot of non muscle antique cars can’t compete with todays style of driving and their owners just don’t want to risk cars that they have spent thousands to buy or restore, so unfortunately these cars only come out for special occasions, like car shows. Daily driving a car from the 40s-60s was alot less stressful back then. People were alittle more patient while driving and would be more entertained by getting behind a slow rolling antique car than annoyed, as many are today. It was a golden time for driving antique cars, that’s for sure, but I’m one of the guilty that you speak about that don’t daily drive their old cars much anymore. No, I don’t prefer it this way but neither I nor my old car can risk the collision damage!

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      • Avatar photo rusty

        Brian I dont disagree with any of what you bring up, infact you probably summed up the hobby now..,although i stand by my discussion above it has been said tongue in cheek as I respect restored cars as much as everydayers having restored and rejuvinated many myself]

        …but my [insert wink / nod smiley face here ] gripe is why do we have to coerce others into doing it ..those that seem happy to motor on …let the guys be that are able to happily use their old car in a modern time not be shown the other side [do we always have to better other peoples lives hee hee]..sure say “hi nice car” and “i have a restored one at home” but do we always have to ask them to join the mob…i guess its a little of that “reli gious like fervour” that humans are tainted with..we really are tribal we think everyone must join “my / our” club..whether its a bowling club, sports club, way of life, beliefs, carclub/show scene, etc etc. hee hee we are so tribal in everything

        both can co exist but like most lost tribes do we have to convert everone to the light…hee hee yes said tongue in cheek with a laugh.

        In the late 70’s I was in car clubs and we would go on picnic drives sometimes a hundred miles and more easy in a day [for my morris minors it was normal for me to do that if not interstate ].then the 80’s came and those morry picnic runs would become show runs just 5 miles away… I even had my stints as events director in two clubs running picnic runs [one austin seven club in the 80’s and one microcar club in the 90’s [for my goggomobil that 100 mile trip was massive but not unusual] but as soon as I passed over events the clubs eventually went to the car shows instead.

        The passion died for me when a whole day was spent behind rows of cars…It wasnt long till I became sick of seeing row after row of the same cars…

        I’m just saying lets not get everyone on board the show thing. Really I’m just getting minds thinking as I respect the restored cars too and am happy you continue enjoying your cars at the shows why not..personally I am selling my 35 year collection of cars now because of health I can see I wont have anymore fun with them from a casket but also because the fun has gone out of cars [and the scene, now they being high priced collectable that cant be scratched not usable commodities ]..its time for other custodians for my junk and I can see many will end up restored for these shows and good luck to them..I just picked up a going rareish 11 year old microsportscar that keeps me driving a micro everyday as my health means i cant drive 2 stroke cars anymore..I still have the passion for weird cars but just dont want to be in the scene thing. Something changed in classic motoring since the points you made Brian do hold true and internet increased the value of old cars ..sigh.

        shite wrote too much again.

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  10. Avatar photo Billy

    A few months ago on Rt 50 from the Capital Beltway to Annapolis I tailed a 356 convertible for perhaps 20 miles. Can’t remember if it was a Speedster or not, but I can tell you that it had likely not had anything done to the body since new. The red paint was faded and the chrome was pitted. We passed through intermittent light rain showers, but this car’s lights were not on, the wipers were not in use, but the top was down as God intended. The older driver was happily motoring along at the 65mph speed limit, eyes focused straight ahead, paying no mind to the modern motoring world around him. After passing around clockwise to check out every side of the 356, I fell back to the right and slightly behind it with my window half open just so I could listen the sound of the 50+ year old flat four at speed. As I exited at Rt 450 and he kept going, I wondered if this guy realizes that the car he is driving may be worth more than anything at the Annapolis Porsche dealer he is about to pass.

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    • Avatar photo Dan

      Billy, I live not too far from that area. Now I’ll have something to keep an eye out for. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. The 356 happens to be my favorite car.

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  11. Avatar photo Samie Stowed

    Thats just crazy I saw one at a cafe I go to excpt it was fully restored. Initially I thought ‘that’s a nice VW’until I saw the back. I didnt go over to see what year but regretted it later on wishing I knew how old it was.
    Thanks a mill :)

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  12. Avatar photo Don Andreina

    Way. Cool.

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  13. Avatar photo Sid Member

    You rambled on and on about the negative aspects of car shows, restored cars and clubs.
    Then you made it sound like I was trying to hog tie (a Western cowboy term that an Aussie probably wont understand but means the same as coerce) the owner and make him join a car club and take his car to a restoration shop.
    Maybe you need to go back and read my story again.
    I specifically asked him to leave it just as it is; dirt, crud, pine needles and all.
    The reason I asked him attend Oktoberfast is so visitors (who were not fortunate enough to have seen the car at the grocery store parking lot) could see this magnificent car parked next to and compared to a similar but restored car.
    You missed the whole point of my story.
    Sid in Idaho

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  14. Avatar photo rusty

    Sorry Sid if you thought I was “having a go” at you.

    Just friendly ribbing of car club people in general..which i had hoped i had displayed with a claim of “tongue in cheek” and my written line of “but my [insert wink / nod smiley face here ] gripe is why do we have to coerce others into doing it” note the wink/nod smiley face thing wrilten specially to emphasize the ribbing….

    i guess its just not possible on the web to stand beside someone nudge them in the rib, nod my head and wink about a subject we can laughingly discuss, just like I am sure you do at your club or show..it just doesnt work on web discussion forums so I may have to stop posting on these websites as face to face like discussion is not that easy..maybe emoticons would help. Its just to hard too freindly “rib” on forums.

    anyway mate dont be disturbed it was purely friendly ribbing not directed directly at you..

    hog tied..yeah its a ripper term..[we were bought up on cowboy shows here as a kid] we are more “American like” than most Aussies will admit.

    again Sid my apologies, I am sure standing beside me we would have ribbed each other… maybe me about your world renown potatoes and you about my croc dundeeness..Sorry unlike Aussie stereotypes i dont drink so we cant share a beer as is oft mentioned when threads go bad.hee hee

    cheers Rusty

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    • Avatar photo Sid Member

      No need to apologize.
      I was just having fun with you like you were having fun with me.
      We are both car guys and as long you like old cars you are a mate of mine.
      I have been to Australia many times and have friends in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
      They all give me crap and I give it right back.
      All is square on my end.
      All I am trying to do is stir the pot and get more people interested in this great web site.
      Keep it up.
      Sid in Idaho

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      • Avatar photo rusty

        no worries Sid

        wished I could say i’d been to America as since a kid being a product of the Brady Bunch and the Monkees I have always had a hankering to see it but alas I have never been off these shores. The cars there [local & from all the world] are simply amazing.

        Yes i agree this site is good as it embraces all cars from olde bangers/clunkers to beautiful runners. And yes to me a site like this is only as good as the discussions otherwise its just “show & tell”..and yes this car you spied is a great spot..thankyou.

        cheers Rusty

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    • Avatar photo Don Andreina

      No way you’re stopping posting, Rusty.

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