Joined: 03 May 2007
Location: Olympia, Washington
|Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 8:32 pm Post subject: Michael's P3 Taunus 17M
|Michael's 1961 P3 Taunus 17M 1500
Back in about 1979 I was waiting at the crosswalk of First & Pine in downtown Seattle (Pike Place Market) and my jaw dropped when I saw this P3 (1961-64) Taunus 17 driving through the intersection. I knew what it was, because I had lived in Vienna, Austria in 1970/71 and these cars were still common there at that time. In my few seconds of observation I noted that that the car was driven by a gray haired lady and that it had Falcon hubcaps. I never forgot that sighting and many years later, when I joined NAEFR, I remember wondering if this car still existed and if perhaps I could find it.
Fast forward to 2002 and on the day we returned home from the birth of my first daughter. I received a phone call from NAEFR member Andre Samson telling me about this really strange looking Taunus that he had seen in the parking lot of a VW repair shop in West Seattle. I made contact with the owner and told him about the club etc. Two years later I received a call asking if I wanted to buy the car. Of course I said yes, and it was delivered the same week that I bought my 2002 Focus (an event worthy of a photo session). Between 2002 and 2004 I had also purchased a black 4-door P3 from the annual LeMay Auction. The 4-dr (which had be in service in Tacoma, WA until about 1978) was only good for parts, but I thought that whoever ended up with the 2-dr car could use it.
Apparently the woman I saw driving the car back in 1979 was named Helga and she and her husband had brought the Taunus with them when they emigrated here from Germany in 1967. The car was already six years old at that time, so they must have really liked it! I don’t know much about the original owner but I theorize that she may have been a school teacher as there is a West Seattle High School logo in the back window (the German teacher perhaps?).
Considering that the P3 was never sold in the USA, I think it is interesting that the 2-dr and the 4-dr were operated within 25 miles of each other (West Seattle and Tacoma) for fifteen or twenty years – I wonder if they ever passed in traffic?
The car ran (just barely) when I bought it and I have not tried to start it in a couple of years, but I hope to be able to mess around with it this winter (2008). It needs every thing and unfortunately there is rot in the floor and the rear quarter panels. I’m uncertain about a full restoration – for now I would be happy if I could just get it serviceable.