Featured Listing – 1959 Porsche 356A Cabriolet

1959 Porsche 356A Cabriolet

Update, November 17, 2014: The 356A Cabriolet has been sold. Hope you enjoy it!

Collectors are obsessive about the first and the last of any generational piece, and nowhere is this practice more prevalent than in the vintage car world. With any evolutionary piece, the creators and manufacturers worked out weaknesses over time, sometimes at the expense of the diluting the original recipe, purists will have you believe. In the case of Porsche’s 356 model, this wasn’t always the case.

Bearing roots from one of Ferdinand Porsche’s earlier designs for a very young Volkswagen, the similarities in the 356 and the ‘Beetle’ were uncanny. While using original bodywork that was clearly designed to satisfy its sporting characteristics, the mechanicals were all very similar to the ‘KdF-Wagen’. Once Porsche finally came to his senses, and put the engine and transaxle in its customary configuration, with the 356/2 prototype, the 356 would survive all the way up to its demise in 1964.

There would be several changes along the way, all in the name of improving the drivability and making the 356 a more robust, rapid automobile. The manufacturing process would evolve from its earliest, all-aluminum construction at the Gmünd, Austria facility, to more cost-effective steel bodywork from the Reutter coachbuilder. From this point, the normal series production began for the 356 and the growth and demand for the Porsche’s sports car would explode worldwide.

Porsche’s 356 models would be split into four generations:

  • 356 (Pre-A): 1948-1955
  • 356A: 1955-1959
  • 356B: 1959-1963
  • 356C: 1963-1965

The example on offer here is a wonderfully prepared 1959 Porsche 356A Cabriolet. This 356 offers many of the simple design characteristics of the early ‘Pre-A’ models, but with several updates that make these later cars more enjoyable to drive. Chassis 151512 has recently undergone a thorough, three-year, bare-metal restoration, carefully removing any rust and replacing with high quality replacement panels from Stoddard Porsche. Marque specialist Chuck Olenyk was chosen to carry out all body repair and paint work. During the repair, it was noted that none of the panels had suffered damage during the course of its life. A rarity amongst 356s.

Following the body repair this 356A was gifted a replacement engine from a 1967 912 model, built by the late Bill Hallack, a long-time 356 Registry member and noted 356 expert. The 1967 912 engine was chosen as it was the most robust of the pushrod four cylinders, before Porsche started incorporating pollution control equipment in 1968. The engine build consisted of a 1967 912 engine case using a Magnafluxed and unturned, counter-balanced 912 crankshaft, Original Big-Bore 1,720cc kit, Zenith carburetors and finished off with a billet aluminum sump plate. The result is a worry-free, pushrod engine estimated to produce 100hp.

The rest of the car has been treated with the same expert attention and care, with the undercarriage, engine and luggage compartment nicely detailed with appropriate finishes. Chassis 151512 retains its original 6V electrical system, but with every last inch of its wiring harness replaced with new wiring. Wearing its original color per the Porsche Certificate of Authenticity, the (608) Silver Metallic paint is complimented nicely by a restored, Black soft top finished in the correct, German ‘Hartz’ cloth and the desirable, Green Leather on Oatmeal square-weave carpeting. The interior upholstery carried out through another marque expert, Autos International.

The restoration is highly documented with pictures and receipts and the car is explained to drive straight and true, running cool at 70-75 mph all day in warm conditions. This example would be a fantastic candidate for long distance touring and Concours, while still practical enough to grab groceries. The Porsche 356 has long since been one of the most useful vintage automobiles that just about anyone can operate.

1959 356A 1600 Super Cabriolet
Chassis: 151512
53,200 miles

Accompanying the sale of this 356 is the highly desirable ‘Reutter Verdeck’ steel hard top that the car was delivered with when new.

The year 1959 spelled the end of the 356A, and near the end of that same year a very different 356 entered the market with new proportions that steered the styling direction of Porsche’s sporting car farther from Ferdinand’s original design. The 356A represents a pivotal point in Porsche’s history, and offers enthusiasts a car that not only carries enough of the early 356 design qualities, but with less of the crude nature of the very early cars.

This 1959 Porsche 356A 1600 Super Cabriolet has been sold. The 356 is available for immediate inspection at its Michigan home. Pre-purchase inspections are encouraged. Click Here If Interested.

1959 Porsche 356A 1600 Super Cabriolet For Sale – Photo Gallery (click image for larger picture)

Comments

  1. Stunning, they don’t get much better, very well done!!!

  2. Thank you for all the lovely photos. I do Porsche replica miniatures, and these make wonderful reference shots!!

  3. Karen Tisher says:

    Is the Super Speedster 1956 Porsche 356 A For Sale? Price and who owns it. What state and date was this porsche purchased?
    Enjoyed all the Photo’s and yes they do not get any better. Nothing like driving a porsche with the top down.

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