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On the way to my interview with Andrew Gunn, I experience for the first time what a heaven on earth Andrew has made for himself here. We are driving up a steep mountain road, between lush, green grass and apple blossom. It is the first spring day in South Africa. In the valley below, the sun is getting stronger, warming the land. But on the road leading us upwards, we are driving straight into the low-hanging clouds which hide the mountain above. As we pass the large, cast-iron gates of the Iona vineyard in thick fog, you could almost imagine we were in the Scottish Highlands.
Andrew Gunn is a winemaker, art collector and #porsche lover. I am meeting him in the middle of what he loves – surrounded by his family, a farm that touches the sky, and beautiful works of art in simple surroundings. As I get to know Andrew better, I gain an insight into the valuable experiences of his life, shaped by hard work, staying power and the rewards of a daring balancing act. The tasting room of the Iona Wine Farm where we are sitting is a beautiful place full of cheerful calm, with terracotta tiles and daylight filling the room. On one side, we can see the vineyards disappearing down the mountainside. My gaze falls as if through a frame on the proud sculpture of a one-man band. Pieces from Andrew’s collection of contemporary art decorate the walls of the tasting room. And at the end of the room, in weak sunlight, stands Andrew’s first love: a 1958 #porsche #356a in Silver Metallic (paint code 5606) with the number plate CEO 356.
Andrew’s love affair with the #356a began in 1969
The car has been beautifully restored, but the mud in the wheel housings indicates that we are not dealing with a museum piece here. This car is driven. Andrew’s love affair with the #356a began in 1969. When he was studying civil engineering at university, Andrew fell in love with the beautiful lines of the 356. Although there were only a handful of Porsches in South Africa at that time, Andrew was able to raise the purchase price for a used #356a through his holiday job. The sum of 675 South African rand (340 British pounds at the time) sufficed to switch the ownership and the nineteen-year-old civil engineering student was the proud owner of one of the most beautiful German cars of all time. But the naysayers predicted that Andrew would not complete his studies – young men, #porsche and the responsibilities of a university degree, they didn’t fit together. And they were right. Andrew broke off his studies; he felt he would be better supported in a job than at the university. But five years later he returned and completed his degree. Despite #porsche.
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