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An Italian Family’s Love Affair with a Porsche 356 Speedster

by Sam Jemielity

We had an all-Italian women’s final at the U.S. Open, so why not celebrate la dolce vita with this video from Petrolicious featuring a female Italian gearhead and her family’s beloved Porsche 356 Speedster. The narrator, Rosita Corato, is a fourth-generation Italian coachbuilder. Her father Alonso opened a body shop in 1971, repairing race cars and ultimately working on Ferraris. He would pick up Rosati from school in a different Ferrari every week – talk about being the coolest kid in class.

But her father’s true automotive love was Porsche: “their reliability, their minimalism, their elegance,” Rosita says. Fifteen years ago, Rosita’s father purchased the family’s very first Porsche, a “heap of metal” that needed heavy restoration. Installing an aluminum hood and aluminum doors to lighten the Speedster, the Corato family worked to boost horsepower to 110, shortened the gear ratios for more torque and more uphill push.

Rosita’s father pushed her to test drive the Speedster, and she’s been using it as a daily driver and racing in tours and rallies ever since. “Many people think that a classic car is meant to be preserved as a memento, but I enjoy using it and experiencing it as much as possible,” Rosita says. “Even if this means coming home with a scrape or a dent here and there.”

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