Berkeley | Boxster

flash.gif The Porsche Flash
What's the story behind the Save the Flash?

Kat from California wrote me to ask about Save the Flash. She's a new Porsche owner and wanted to know what a "flash" was and wondered why it needed saving.

The meaning behind "Save the Flash" is simple, and the icon tells the short story. There's a tradition of acknowledging other Porsches by flashing your lights at each other.

Long ago... starting in the sixties I guess... Porsche drivers would say "hello" to one another by flashing their lights. I remember my dad teaching me the custom when we were driving together. He still drives that same '71 911T today. Technically, according to him, it's the cars saying hello to one another, not the drivers. He says the drivers are supposed to ignore one another. I usually wave to the driver anyway.

I love the custom, and--since I'm naturally on the lookout for Porsches anyway--I try to flash others. However, some people think it's a confusing gesture. Drivers, not just Porsche owners, flash to warn oncoming traffic of a speed trap. It's also a signal for the person in front of you to get out of the way. (BTW, that doesn't work in California anymore. Well... it works, but instead of "Please move over so that I can pass," it  means "I hate you. Shoot me with your gun.") I'm usually mindful of these different meanings, and flash if I don't think I'm sending a mixed message.

Sadly, most Porsche drivers will not flash back... very few remember the custom. But some do, and it's a great way to say hello to other Porsche drivers, especially the ones I see regularly.

Berkeley | Boxster