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Aaron Ashton uses his Porsche 912 as a family car

01.02.2024 By Tim Kennedy & Richard Lindhorst
Aaron Ashton uses his Porsche 912 as a family car

San Clemente is a beach/surfside city in beautiful Southern California. It is a majestic place with its spanish colonial-style architecture and small town feel. Air-cooled Porsche enthusiast, Aaron Ashton and his family call this area home. As a child, Aaron became enamored with the Porsche 911’s little brother, the four cylinder 912. An Aga Blue 1967 Porsche 912 with just the right amount of patina now sits in his garage. Although it doesn’t sit for long, as “Ole Blue” is driven and enjoyed. Take one look at his Instagram account and you will be immersed in an idyllic, coastal, vintage-Porsche vibe. Despite only creating his Instagram page recently, Aaron has quickly amassed a notable following.

Welcome to the Elferspot Porsche talk, dear Aaron Ashton! Please introduce yourself for our readers.

Thanks for having me! I am married and have a young family. I currently work as VP of Sales and Marketing for a private label clothing company in the Orange County area of Southern California. My family and I moved to San Clemente about four years ago. We love it and hope to stay here for the rest of our lives!

What is your Porsche story? What got you interested in these cars?

I have always loved Porsches, specifically the air-cooled variety since I was a child. My father owned a red 1976 912E when I was born. Regrettably, he had to sell the 912E to purchase something larger and more practical as our family grew in size. During my youth, my father frequently talked about how much he loved that car and how great the Porsche cars of that era were. I was also lucky to grow up in Southern California in that there was always an abundance of Porsches driving around. These two things sparked my interest and I decided some day, I would own one.  

It was the same year and model my dad once owned, which was cool.

Aaron Ashton on his first own Porsche, a 912 E

That day eventually came when I purchased my first Porsche, a brown 1976 912 E. It was the same year and model my dad once owned, which was cool. The 912 E was a great introduction for me into classic Porsche ownership. This car was accepted into, and displayed at the Luftgekühlt 9 event in San Francisco last year. Although I very much enjoyed the ‘76 912 E, I really desired an early 912 (1965-1969) which led me to my next Porsche, the Aga 1967 912 I have today.

Where did you find your current 1967 Porsche 912?

Clay Carr, a friend of mine that works at an independent Porsche restoration and repair specialist in Anaheim, knew I was looking for a short wheelbase 912. One day he called to tell me about the ’67 that was for sale on a local classified ad site. The 912 was in Santa Barbara, a few hours drive from San Clemente. I contacted the owner right away and he indicated that the car had generated a lot of interest in the short time since posting the ad. He suggested that if I was a serious buyer, I should come see it as quickly as possible. I then asked the seller to hold the car for me until the next day when I was able to go view it for myself.   

Driving a Porsche 912 in the Californian sunset is a way to relive childhood memories for Aaron Ashton. © Julian Navarrete

The car was a bit rough but looked solid and had a lot of potential. I provided the seller a deposit and came back later to retrieve it with my father. When we arrived to pick the car up, the seller asked me where my trailer was… The 912 was running but had been sitting for quite some time. It had developed an inconsistent idle, needed suspension work and the seats were completely worn with springs exposed.  

After further assessing the car, I continued with my original plan to drive the car home as my father followed, in case I broke down. The drive from Santa Barbara to San Clemente took twice the amount of time as I took the journey slow but I did eventually make it without issue. It was a very memorable experience to have my father with me during the purchase.

Aaron Ashton's Aga blue Porsche 912 in the californian sunset
© Julian Navarrete

Why are the early 912s appealing to you and what do you primarily use your car for?         

I love that the short wheelbase cars are so small. I sometimes refer to the 912 as my “golf cart”. Street parking is not all that readily available in San Clemente but, because the car is so little it can fit in some tight spaces. I often get compliments and thumbs up from onlookers when driving the car. But I also get a lot of comments about how tiny it is, especially compared to today’s vehicles. 

I strive to experience what it must have been like driving one of these early Porsches around Southern California when they were new.

Aaron Ashton

Despite its size, our 912 suits our family’s lifestyle perfectly. My wife and I love to take it out on date nights. I also strap my board to the luggage rack and take it to go surfing. We use the car for everyday trips like getting groceries, running errands, etc. I strive to experience what it must have been like driving one of these early Porsches around Southern California when they were new. Back then, owners used these cars for daily activities and I want to do that as much as possible. Although not a fast car, it is still very fun to drive.

What do your wife and children think of the 912?

My kids absolutely love it. My nine-year-old daughter can’t wait to go for drives around town and to surf sessions in it. And my son who is nearly two years old is obsessed with everything to do with cars, trucks and motorcycles. He spends hours with me in the garage just hanging out and sitting in the 912. My wife is very supportive of my air-cooled obsession and hobby. It has always been a dream of ours to own these cars, bring them back to life and drive them!

Aaron Ashton's Aga blue Porsche 912
Aaron Ashton’s Porsche 912 serves as a means of transportation for all his family. Hence, it proudly shows its patina. © Julian Navarrete

Can you tell me what work you had completed on the car since buying it?

The suspension was completely gone through and overhauled with all new components. It was then lowered to euro height and now handles great. The drivetrain was also inspected and some minor adjustments were made. I also had new carpet, seats and dash installed.  

Is there any additional work you are planning to do with the car in the future? And are there any other cars you hope to someday own? 

Just drive the heck out of it and enjoy it as it is. I will freshen things up as needed. We have recently fallen in love with the Meyer Manx buggies so I am on the hunt for an original project to restore!

Can you tell the readers about the air-cooled scene in California and a bit about the Fast Saturday event you started?

We are fortunate in California to have a very strong car culture here. Every weekend throughout the year, you can find a cars and coffee event somewhere in the Orange County area. The abundance of air-cooled Porsches with the combination of great weather and awesome driving roads, make it a fun place to live. 

However, prior to owning my first Porsche I found it hard to make connections with other people that were also interested in these cars. I initially started my Instagram page with the intention of meeting and interacting with other like-minded people. I have met a lot of awesome Porsche people through social media. But it is a different experience if you are already a Porsche owner and have that in common. For those that are new to air-cooled Porsches and perhaps don’t even own a car yet, it can be difficult to get involved. 

That is part of the reason why I decided to start Fast Saturday, a bi-annual car show for air-cooled Porsches. We encourage everyone to attend even if you don’t own an air-cooled Porsche. It takes place at Willbo in Laguna Beach. Willbo is a California lifestyle store that offers clothing, coffee, food and a cool place to hang out. Fast Saturday runs for a half-day in both June and November.  

Great chatting with you Aaron and thank you for spending some time with us!

Thank you so much! It was great fun!   

Meet our contributor

Tim Kennedy is a writer that lives in Western Canada. He loves all things Porsche and has owned several models.

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