The May Sale 2017

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1961 Porsche 356B Cabriolet

Lot No.: 309

Registration: LZC 72
Chassis Number: 155510
Engine Number: 606358
Number of cylinders: 4
CC: 1600
Year of Manufacture: 1961
Estimate (£): 100,000 - 120,000
(+buyer’s premium of 15% including VAT @ 20%)

The 356 is acknowledged as Porsche's first venture into production and was a lightweight and nimble rear engined, rear-wheel-drive, two-door sporting car available in hardtop coupé and open configurations. Engineering and design innovations continued during the years of manufacture, contributing to its motorsports success and its popularity as a road car.

The model was created by Ferdinand "Ferry" Porsche (son of Dr. Ing. Ferdinand Porsche, founder of the company), based on an original design by Porsche employee Erwin Komenda, and initially its mechanicals (including engine, suspension, and chassis) were derived from the basic Volkswagen Beetle, a product of his Father's fertile imagination.

Porsche continued to develop and refine the 356 with a focus on performance, and by the late 1950s fewer parts were shared with its pedestrian cousin, and increasing success in competition and its availability worldwide resulted in the distinctive little car, in all its iterations, finding over 76,000 homes between 1948 and 1966. Today, the Porsche 356 is a highly regarded collector's car.

Having never been publically offered in its 56 years, we are delighted to be able to bring to market for the first time ever, this original right-hand drive 1961 Porsche 356B T5 Cabriolet. According to the Porsche Certificate of Authenticity that accompanies the file, Chassis #155510 was ordered through Porsche Schultz, Dusseldorf and was finished in Light Ivory with a red leather interior. This car was ordered by, and first registered to, a G. A. Sinsteden on 3rd August 1961 as shown in the original German vehicle registration document - the 'Kraftfahrzeugbrief', which is included in the sale.

Soon after taking delivery of chassis #155510, Mr Sinsteden wanted to move to Ireland and reside in Dublin, and so his friend, a Mr Joseph Kiernan, a well-respected solicitor in his own right, was called upon to help facilitate the move. Between them, the pair agreed that if a suitable residence was found, that this Porsche would be taken as payment to Mr Kiernan for taking care of his friend's legal affairs. A residence in the affluent area of Killiney, Dublin in was finally bought and so the keys to this 356B cabriolet were handed over to Mr Kiernan in 1965, although a letter in the file from 1974 shows the sale officially being completed in the August of that year.

Mr Kiernan was to keep the car until his untimely passing, after which time ownership transferred to his wife who appears in the 'buff' log book in August 1986. A move to the Canary Islands in Spain in 1988 for Mrs Kiernan meant that the car would go on to spend the next 12 years of its life in a very dry climate with minimal use, partially explaining its current condition.

In 2000 our vendor, the son of Mr Joseph Kiernan, purchased the car from his mother and it was brought back to its spiritual home in Dublin in December of that year. A dealer principal at a BMW main dealership at that time, our vendor was able to recommission the car using his workshop team and many parts ordered from Porsche specialist Roger Bray, for which there are numerous invoices in the file. Later that year it was decided that the car would benefit from a respray, so the glass and brightwork were taken off the car, but crucially it was never fully dismantled. At the same time, the outer roof mohair covering was carefully replaced, ensuring that the original inner lining could be used once again.

In the current ownership, the car has been maintained by our vendor himself, who has changed the oil annually regardless of mileage along with any other jobs that have been required. Chassis #155510 has been dry stored in an inflatable car cover inside a dry garage to continue the preservation of what is a lovely example. Sitting in the cockpit, one gets a true sense of originality, as the red leather seats show super patina, and the steering wheel and dashboard instruments all look to be in great condition. This car is supplied with its original book pack containing driver's manuals in German & English, an operating manual and a hardtop/cabriolet manual. Along with the history file are also 3 Porsche catalogues of spares parts. This car will arrive at the auction with a NOVA reference number, but will need an MoT before applying for a UK V5c.

Rarely do cars with such provenance come to market, especially ones that have been with the same family for the last 52 years. We are proud to offer this beautiful 356B cabriolet which is now ready to start the next chapter of its life.