SOLD 05/24

1961 Porsche
356B Sunroof Coupe

California car from new, single ownership for nearly 50 years. Factory Sunroof example presented in original colors and accompanied by matching-numbers engine case.

  • VIN13753
  • Exterior ColorSilver
  • Interior ColorRed
  • Mileage62428 Miles (TMU)
  • Engine1600cc flat 4 cylinder
  • Engine no.P*604172 (included), P*1282230* (fitted)
  • Transmission741 series 4-speed transaxle (matching)
  • StatusSold
  • StockFJ2873


1961 Porsche 356B Sunroof Coupe

Chassis No. – 13753
Engine No. – P*604172 (Included)
Engine No. – P*1282230 (Fitted 912)
Exterior Color – Silver (matching CoA)
Interior Color – Red (matching CoA)
Engine – 1600 Air cooled 4-cylinder
Transmission – 741 4-speed manual transaxle (matching CoA)
Current Miles – 62,449 (TMU)
Current Owner – 2nd owner purchased in mid 1970s
Miles under current ownership – 62,000

Highlights for this car

Two-owner Porsche with current long-term California ownership
Delivered new to first California owner where it has remained since
Original engine case (matching CoA) included with spares
Driver quality example with thoughtful improvements
Matching numbers transaxle per Porsche CoA

General Overview

The legendary Porsche 356 remains today one of the most sought-after vintage sports cars. With its unique profile, comfortable driving manners, and race-inspired lineage, the first Porsche to proudly bear the family name of Ferdinand Porsche set the standard of engineering excellence upheld decade after decade in each new offering. Introduced in 1948, the 356 benefited from continual refinements until 1965, when production yielded to the 911. During this time, engine horsepower increased from a noble 40hp to just under 100hp. And while many of the technical and engineering advances developed in the 356 would continue into production for the 911, the purity and simplicity of the 356 still remains an enduring and charming reminder of what a sports car should be.

Current Condition and Ownership

This example was delivered new to the first owner in California where it has remained under two owners, the current one having retained it for at least the past 45 years. According to the Porsche Certificate of Authenticity, this 356B was finished in Silver Metallic, trimmed with red leatherette interior, and outfitted from the factory with an optional Sunroof, Blaupunkt Radio “Bremen”, 2 loudspeakers, antenna, and Koni shock absorbers. The first owner enjoyed the car for approximately thirteen years before selling it to the current owner in the mid 1970s as a driver, but in need of future restoration. The California “pink slip” accompanying the car indicates current ownership on the title issued November 13, 1979.

The current owner restored the car from 1979-1982 and upon completion accumulated approximately 62k miles enjoying it as his regular driver. Documented with receipts dating back to 1988, including work performed by known local NorCal companies such as Lukes & Shorman, Inc., Valhalla Automotive, and A. Bauer as miles accrued from 18,000 in the late 1980s to 35,000 by 1994, 44,000 by 1998, 46,000 by 2002, 46,000 by 2005 (front end rebuild by Deutsche Motor Sport), 50,000 by 2011, along with regular fluid services and improvements to the car are noted through the decade. In 2014, a Porsche 912 engine was installed by Tom Martenot of Deutsche Motor Sport, Concord, CA, mated to the original matching-numbers 4-speed transmission which was also rebuilt at this time. During this same period the Koni shocks were revalved, a new tach cable installed, brake wheel cylinders and hoses replaced, a new muffler installed, and other details tended to. Importantly, the original matching-numbers engine case halves and third member have been retained and are offered as spares with the car.

Other notable services include 2016 – new generator, 2019 – general service, new brake shoes and valve adjustment, 2020 – new Koni steering damper installed, new Michelin XWX P185/70 VR15 radial tires installed, 2021 – new T6 shift rod and base installed, 2023 – Oil and filter change, lighting fuses installed, new ignition points, throttle adjusted.

General Condition

Today this handsome 356B 1600 Reutter sunroof coupe benefits from dry California climate and indoor storage, retaining the original floor pans in very good condition and the original battery box exhibiting only minor corrosion. The car is finished with an older driver quality restoration which has aged over time but still presents as an honest driver level 356. Though the finish is glossy and smooth overall there is paint crazing, typical paint chips, various scuff marks, and key scratch marks on the rear fender which are evident from a modest viewing distance. The doors, hood, and VIN matched engine lid shut tightly. A non-matching but correct hood was fitted to the car during restoration. The quality of the chrome, trim, and emblems is very nice overall, though some chrome pieces and a few of the rubber smaller gaskets show signs of age. The glass, windshield, lenses, and other minor trim are in generally good condition. The owner-added wider ventilated chrome wheels are beautifully finished including the matching chrome wheel covers.

The interior was restored some time ago, though the front seats were more recently finished in correct red leatherette matching the Porsche CoA with owner-added headrests for improved driving comfort and safety. The rear seats were reupholstered in red leather which was done prior to receiving the Porsche CoA and the material remains in very good condition despite having been redone more than 30 years ago. The rare Golde sunroof is easily opened via the rotating hand lever and slides smoothly back to the parked position. The headliner is complete and not sagging, though signs of age and use are evident. The interior has a rewarding blend of enthusiast ownership albeit in need of carpet, though honestly reflecting decades of enjoyable ownership much like a favorite set of shoes or well-worn baseball glove might convey. The dashboard is finished in matching silver paint with a black dash top. The instruments have excellent overall cosmetics with contrasting dial faces, clear numeric indication, and clean glass. The correct radio remains installed per the Porsche CoA. The switches, knobs, and handles all retain a very unified feeling of quality and finish. An excellent touch to the sporting interior, a set of wide competition style seat belts and fire extinguisher are installed. Overall, the look and feel of the interior is one of purposeful integrity, naturally settled over the current near 50 years of ownership.

Under the hood, the engine compartment and 912 engine remain in very good visual condition, presenting confidently with attention to detail and correct Porsche specifications. Though not the original engine, the 90-horsepower offered in the stock 912 improves the overall driving experience in stoplight acceleration, highway use, and passing power. Although some time has passed since the restoration and recent engine installation was completed, the engine compartment presents as an honest representation of a well-developed road car, in keeping with the overall condition of the car.

The front storage area is finished in a combination of original materials and restored components, housing a correct spare wheel and tire with leather retaining strap and fitted with an Optima red top battery, retaining the 6V configuration. The underside reveals sound original floors and solid attachment points with care given to the underside engine components during rebuild. The gearbox casing number is consistent with the Certificate of Authenticity.

Driving this Porsche is a delight in every respect. The engine starts easily and retains a smooth idle, great throttle response, and revs very well through all gears. The stock suspension and improved horsepower delivered in the 912 engine combines quite well, resulting in a wonderful driving experience. Brakes are excellent with a tall pedal and even tracking coming down from highway speeds. As older 356 restorations can often be fussy, loose, or poorly constructed, particularly when driven with a more spirited mindset, this Porsche 356B has excellent driving manners, almost as though it is ‘thanking you’ for having been properly prepared and enjoyably used for so many dedicated years.

A long-term 356 Porsche with California history, upgraded with a 912 engine and retaining the original case halves, this enjoyable driven sunroof coupe is ready to offer many more enjoyable miles, yet ready to serve as an excellent candidate for a future restoration.

Included with this car

This Porsche is accompanied by the original matching-numbers engine case halves and third member (stamped 604172), a spare crankshaft, various spare parts, the original driver’s manual, assorted vintage electron valve radio components in boxes, the Porsche CoA, and various Porsche 356 reference books, and copies of service invoices dating back to 1988.

The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.

Inquire About This Car

Fantasy Junction  •  510-653-7555  •  1145 Park Ave, Emeryville, CA 94608