Lot 285 - 1952 Porsche 356 Pre A Coupé
|Odometer reading||74,630 miles|
|Estimate||£105,000 - £115,000|
|Result||Sold - £117,600|
Although few would have realised it at the time, the 1948 launch of the Porsche 356 was a significant milestone in automotive history. It marked the commercial birth of what has become one of the world's greatest car manufacturers; a company that has many times won Le Mans on Sunday and inspired the rich of the road on Monday. Its achievements are unique. The 356 was a collaboration between `Ferry' Porsche, the son of the company's founder, and its chief body engineer Erwin Komenda. The first examples of the 356 were handcrafted from aluminium in Gmund, Austria. And, with parts in short supply following the war, the model initially employed the engine, transmission and suspension from the Volkswagen Beetle (the car famously designed by Porsche Senior). However, within two years the car had been considerably re-engineered and was less reliant on stock Volkswagen parts, while production had moved to Zuffenhausen in Germany with bodies now made of steel. Thanks to efficient aerodynamics, sporting handling and fine build quality, the 356 quickly established itself as a worthy competition car and it achieved success in such top events as Le Mans, the Mille Miglia, Targa Florio and the Carrera Panamericana as well as countless other races and rallies around the world.
This early Pre-A left the factory in December 1952 to be supplied to the first owner by Hoffman of New York and was optioned as a 1500cc US-specification car. Recently imported to the UK from San Diego, California where it had been the subject to a full photographic restoration, it was carried out in such a way as to keep the car as original as possible. The body-shell was taken back to bare metal and any area that needed attention was repaired locally as to not replace the whole panel. This means that the body is one of the most original to have survived and leaves the car with its original floors and real character. The interior is almost the opposite of the body and was obviously in need of complete replacement. The quality of workmanship is outstanding and the driver's seat is a very pleasant place to be. The engine is newly rebuilt 1955 unit on Zenith carburettors and, along with the original gearbox, just adds to the whole cars character but also makes the whole car usable to just get in and drive. The rest of the cars running gear has been gone through and checked front to back. For added peace of mind, the car has also been recently MoT tested. Everything is in perfect working order and the whole car is an absolute pleasure to drive. Finished in Azure Blue with beige leather interior this 356 is supplied with a V5C registration document, details of the restoration and retains all its original features including the much sort after 16 inch wheels. It is increasingly difficult to find extremely early examples of the first Porsche and even more difficult to find one that is in this condition.
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