1958 Porsche 356 A 1600 Coupe with Sunroof
s/n 101972 engine no. 67304 (included), 87072 (fitted)
Burgundy with Tan Leather Interior
Porsche began the venerable 356 series as their first foray into sports car production. With much of their success in racing, the world could see that Porsche was a force to be reckoned with. By 1958 the 356 could be purchased with the potent Super engine, initially as a 1500, and later in 1600 form. The 356A became one of the most sought after early Porsches, exhibiting the finest craftsmanship and engineering, particularly in these early cars.
This particular example is a nicely restored and beautifully presented car with the rare 1600 engine, which now features a sunroof. It was restored in a very striking color combination several years ago, and has nicely aged via a dedicated 356 collector who enthusiastically used the car prior to selling it in 2011 to Tom Papadopoulos of Autosport Designs, Inc. through Fantasy Junction. Papadopoulos spent an additional amount of time and money refining the car even further over the course of several months (receipts of this work included with the car). While a previous owner believed this to have always been a sunroof equipped car, it appears to have most probably been added as the Cardex does not include this option.
According to the Porsche Certificate of authenticity, the car was delivered October 17th, 1957, painted the highly desirable Aquamarine Blue with Red Leatherette interior. It further records the following options: Sealed Beam Headlights, USA Bumpers, and Speedometer in Miles. During the restoration, the car was stripped and repainted and once again found to have been quite original. The interior was retrimmed in leather using correct carpeting and proper interior detailing. The mechanical systems were all tended to including brakes, tires, shock absorbers, steering damper, and a comprehensive transmission rebuild at that time. While under restoration it was decided that the original engine (Porsche CoA *67304*) be safely set aside and an engine from a 1959 Super would be rebuilt using a big bore kit to add just a bit more delight to the performance. The original, rebuildable long block engine is included with the car.
As part of the restoration, the instruments were removed and rebuilt by Palo Alto Speedometer. The car is nicely equipped with clock, full leather interior, Blaupunkt AM-FM shortwave radio, bumper nudge bars, and Speedster type side trim.
The body and paint finish have been very nicely preserved overall since the restoration. Consistently straight panels display excellent gaps and fit. The paintwork was done to high standards and remains very nice, although there are a few small scratches, chips and cracks from normal use. None of this detracts from the otherwise fine driver level presentation. The majority of the chrome on the car was redone and remains in excellent condition, including the wheels, hubcaps, light trims, window trim, and door handles. The glass and lights are excellent throughout, and the headlamp lenses display correct Hella markings. The car shows great attention to detail, including European amber tail light lenses, and transparent red antenna tip.
The interior is handsomely finished, now showing just the right amount of proper patina for a well-sorted car. The full leather upholstery is in very good to excellent condition as is the headliner. The square weave carpeting and molded rubber floor mats are the correct type and remain in excellent shape. The dashboard features nicely restored instruments, including the clock, which all function as expected. The Blaupunkt radio also works, with all switches and controls functional and in excellent visual condition. Competition type lap belts have been fitted, but the interior is otherwise very much as it would have been new.
The engine compartment is very clean, nicely detailed, and correct throughout. The car has the correct engine decals, proper brown distributor cap, and various vintage details that are now showing a bit of age. The trunk is nicely restored and well-detailed, consistent with the rest of the car. The fuel tank was reconditioned and a new rubber mat, washer bag, restored spare (with Michelin XZX tire), and correct leather strap are all properly retained with the car. The underside of the car appears in very good condition at this time, in keeping with the restoration quality of the car overall. It is very likely that the floor pans were replaced as is common practice for unibody cars of this era.
The car runs and drives well. Power comes on strong given the increased bore, with easy starts even when cold. The capable idle falls in nicely after cold starts, indicating it is in proper tune. The transmission exhibits excellent shifting, via smooth syncromesh and just the right “feel” to the shift linkage. The brakes are typical of the drum type of this era, offering compliance but responds in a way one grows accustomed to with cars of this vintage. Road manners are decidedly smooth and buoyant over bumps and gentle sweeping curves, with the best moments occurring in second to the third gear up and downshift exchanges, right in the sweet spot of the powerband. The car is well balanced and brings a great deal of delight when behind the wheel. Overall, the car is a pleasure to drive and should be considered an ideal event car for long road tours. The sunroof opens easily offering the wonderful open-air motoring sensations one might expect from a capable, well-sorted 356 engaging a mountain road or stretched out highway. The car comes with the Porsche CoA, records of more recent repairs and service, a reproduction owner’s manual, and the original engine.
This is an outstanding opportunity to acquire a high quality, desirably equipped 356A. The sunroof on this well-optioned 1600 adds considerable value and appeal to an already exciting car. Strikingly finished in an elegant but sporty color combination, this 356A is a capable car that can be readily enjoyed without hesitation. As a 1958 model (with 1957 production), this car should be conveniently eligible for most prestigious events, surely being a joy to drive and show with confidence.
Fantasy Junction +1 510 653 7555 Emeryville, California 94608 USA
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