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Widely acknowledged as Porsche's first venture into motor manufacturing, the 356 was a lightweight and nimble rear-engined, rear-wheel-drive, two-door sporting car available in hardtop coupé and open configurations. Over a 15-year production period, the 356 evolved from an aluminium bodied coupe with an 1,100cc air-cooled flat-four engine to a 2,000cc four-cam Carrera engine producing 130 bhp. The 356 "B" was produced from 1960 to 1963 and saw body changes that included a curved front boot lid, rounded wings compared to that of the 356A and new front and rear sheet metal. To comply with US-federal specifications, the front and rear bumpers were raised and over-riders added. Other key changes were raised headlamps, larger door handles, upgraded brakes and some improvements to the cabin.
Offered here is an original UK-supplied Porsche 356B that comes with the most complete and special history. It contains letters from AFN and Jack Barclay Ltd. tracing the original owner and its subsequent ten owners. Owned by Dennis and Mavis Smith from 1984 to 2017 it won countless classic car and Concours events and is accompanied by three tea chests of trophies. Respected Porsche specialists Gantspeed were responsible for maintaining this exceptional Porsche throughout the entire thirty-two year period in the Smith's ownership.
A letter from Porsche Cars Great Britain in 1979 confirms that 287 EXD was produced as a T6 Super 90 and then converted to a standard engine specification. Early correspondence from Porsche mentions the 1962 June-production S90 Coupe finished in Slate Grey with Red upholstery and a factory engine change to STD P608801. It was supplied via Jack Barclay of Berkeley Square in London to a Mr Marcou of Eaton Square SW1. A letter (4th December 1979) to another owner from him recalls weekend trips to Frinton-on-Sea in Essex and an amusing anecdote explaining the reason he bought the Porsche some seventeen years earlier. He wanted a car that was totally reliable and, as the 356's original designer was responsible for cars used by the Wehrmacht in North Africa in WWII and they performed well in the heat, sand and relentless driving, presumably the new road cars would be equally reliable. We can only guess that the factory change to the 1600cc standard engine was for the same reason.
The history file contains original receipts amounting to over £37,000 expenditure between 1992/1999 for restoration work and an engine rebuild by Robert Gant at Mareham-le-Fen. The car is now finished in a gleaming coat of Signal Red with a very smart black interior. From 1984, in the ownership of Dennis Smith, it went on to win countless Concours events and today has the most beautiful presence, testament to the quality of workmanship over the years.
Very rare today with such a complete timeline and backed by so many interesting original letters of provenance, this charming early sixties Porsche drives exceptionally well and would be a worthy addition to any household or collection. As well as being a competent and sporting Coupé, and a proven Concours-winner this little red 356 is a perfect representation of the late fifties/early sixties period that is absolutely in fashion at the moment, and this desirable example would be welcome at any classic car event /rally/garden party or anywhere really. "Strike while the iron is hot" as they say.
You can now book a one-to-one appointment (up to one hour) to view this lot at our central location Monday to Wednesday between Thursday 29th October - 12th November. Please contact Lionel on 07831 574381 or firstname.lastname@example.org to secure your appointment or to discuss the car in more detail. The health and safety of both our customers and team remain the utmost priority, we are therefore operating to strict COVID-19 guidelines and full instructions for arrival and inspection protocols will be given when making your appointment.