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If Marilyn Monroe were a machine

Mark Webber knows his way around Porsche. What about women? Let's just assume that now. We talked to him about his 1954 Porsche 356 convertible. It gets sensual.

Interview: Matthias Mederer & Nadine Hanfstein Photo: Marc and David 15.03.2019 2 min

There he is. Right in the middle of the Porsche Museum workshop. It looks much smaller and more dainty than on photos. But the face looks as familiar as ever. Its age of several decades is not to be seen. Not a trace. Fresh, almost youthful, it shines with a rich complexion.

Deep blue.

Right next to this Porsche 356 is Mark Webber. Former works driver Porsche, former Formula 1 racing driver, globetrotter. But as he stands there, relaxed in sneakers, and as he looks at this Porsche - his Porsche - and smiles contentedly, he looks like a simple boy from Down Under. A boy who's fulfilled a dream.

You have a very special relationship with the 356?

My wife loves this car. I think a lot of women love this car. It is a good car for both men and women and it is a true classic. I've never met a woman who didn't like that car. It simply has a very timeless style.

What makes the style? Is it the design?

Design plays an important role, yes. Just look at it. This body. Wonderful! If I imagined Marilyn Monroe as a machine, she'd look like this 356.

So, Mark Webber, the former racing driver who pushed the functionality of a machine to the limit for as long as he could, is simply thrilled by the shape of a car?

At least to a large extent. Yes. Absolutely. But I also have a fundamental enthusiasm for the era of these beautiful women like Marylin. I just love that timeless feeling of the 1950s.

What do you think is the most attractive part of the 356?

That's definitely the dashboard. These small round instruments, the thin, almost dainty steering wheel. And it's a very simple car, everything very clear, very compact. Three displays: Speed, RPM and temperature. Driver and passenger sit next to each other. A sheet of paper fits in between. But really not more than that.

Now it's a bit fresh to drive a convertible. When does an Australian start freezing?

Usually around the freezing point at zero degrees.

Zero degrees, not before?

No. I grew up in the Australian south, we even had snow there from time to time. If you ask guys from further north, they're more sensitive, but I'm relatively robust.