Lot 254 - 1959 Porsche 356A Cabriolet
|Odometer reading||615 miles|
|Estimate||£165,000 - £190,000|
The Porsche 356 was the company's first production model. It was a lightweight and nimble handling rear-engined, rear-wheel drive, two-door sports car available in hardtop and convertible configurations. Design innovations continued during the years of manufacture contributing to its motorsports success and popularity. Production started in 1948 at Gmünd, Austria where approximately 50 cars were built. In 1950, the factory relocated to Zuffenhausen, Germany and general production of the 356 continued until April 1965, well after the replacement model 911 made its autumn 1963 debut. The 356 was created by Ferdinand 'Ferry' Porsche (son of Dr. Ing. Ferdinand Porsche, founder of the company). It was common for owners to race the car as well as drive it on the street. Increasing success with its racing and road cars brought Porsche orders for over 10,000 cars in 1964 and, by the time 356 production ended in 1965, approximately 76,000 had been produced.
This 1959 lefthand drive, matching numbers Porsche 356A was found in an unmolested condition after being stored for a number of years in California. It was subsequently purchased and imported into the UK in 2006 by Porsche specialists PR Services, based in Essex and sold to its current owner in barn find condition. After some deliberation it was decided that PRS would undertake a total and sympathetic restoration. The process began in 2008 when the body was stripped to assess its integrity, working in tandem with Sportwagen who have a worldwide reputation for carrying out perfect body and paintwork to concours condition. Every seam, weld and panel was treated to their meticulous examination to produce a 'no expense spared' perfect body shell. It was then beautifully painted in black and beautifully re-trimmed using brilliant red leather with matching carpets. Mechanically the car was treated to a complete rebuild, using new parts where necessary and restoring every other part, again to a concours condition. Bespoke suspension tweaks and a PRS sports exhaust were also added making this a car a hoot to drive. A multi functional tonneau cover was designed allowing for full weather protection when the black roof is down and adding driver protection whilst driving as well. The missing factory Becker Mexico radio was sourced; a heroic £1,670 of cost for the sake of originality. The super rare original hardtop was also restored by PRS and Sportwagen and is included in the sale. The restoration is photographically documented on file along with comprehensive invoicing detailing the £120,000 restoration cost. A restoration lasting over two years, the standard of craftsmanship and finish here is outstanding and described by PRS as probably the best 356A cabriolet in the world. UK registered; this Porsche 356A has covered only 620 miles since the restoration and is supplied with a V5C registration document.