Lot 250 - 1955 13028 356 Pre-A Continental Coupé
|Odometer reading||82,000 km|
|Estimate||£68,000 - £78,000|
Porsche's 356 became a classic the day the first car left the production line and the ensuing years have only enhanced the legend. Continuous updates from the very earliest days of the model and gradual replacement of its early Volkswagen-based components with parts from Porsche manufacture see to this. These detail changes came frequently but major change was only made when necessary and after due consideration of their effect to improve performance, ride, handling and the marque's enviable reputation of being able to produce sporting motor cars with competition-beating reliability. The last of the original 356s were built in 1955, replaced by the heavily revised 356A. Just as the new 1955 models were being developed, influential US importer Max Hoffman came to Porsche with another enticing marketing strategy. Believing that an evocative name would better resonate with the American market, Hoffman suggested that the latest Porsche 356s ought to be referred to as the 'Continental'. As Hoffman only dealt with the high-end 1500 models, the Continental name was carried in script on the front fender of the last and most exclusive Pre-A 356s. Cars delivered elsewhere did not have the script. Unfortunately for Porsche, Ford Motor Company claimed the rights to the 'Continental' name and threatened legal action, so Porsche stopped using that script at the end of the 1955 model year and changed the script to 'European' for the 1956 model year.
Consequently the 1955 Continentals are extremely hard to find.
The car in question today is one such of the one-year-only model
with less than 500 made worldwide. The car is described by the
vendor as in great overall condition; it is very solid and
described as 'a very tight driver'. It was imported a few years ago
from Washington State in the United States where the previous two
owners had retained the car for about 10 years each. Prior to that,
the car was owned by a father and son who had kept the car since
the late '70s. It was partially restored by the previous owner and
then subsequently by the vendor who rebuilt the brakes, fitted
kingpins, steering assembly, lighting systems and rebuilt the
carburettor. It was also re-painted at this time resulting in good
bodywork throughout and a strong engine. Although the engine is not
original to the car, it is the correct early 1600cc unit and starts
first time. New valves have been installed as well as guides and
oil return tubes. The gearbox is original to the car and the wheels
are later 15" items rather than original 16"s. The vendor also had
the transmission removed and inspected by Wolfsburg Motorwerks in
Seattle. They replaced the necessary parts and determined the
transmission was very serviceable. The rear drums have also been
re-lined and re-splined by Porsche specialists, Martin Willis in
Colorado. Brand new Vredesteins adorn the powder coated 356A
wheels. The interior is in fine condition and still presents in the
original blue leatherette with grey corduroy inserts.
A correct carpet set (Autos International), correct threshold set and engine compartment insulation kit (Stoddards) have been fitted. All gauges and lights work and the overall quality of presentation is excellent throughout. With over 76,000 356's built worldwide, the Continental represents 0.65% of total production. Be assured, these do not come up very often.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.