Lot 140

Arizona 2018

1953 Porsche 356 1500 Cabriolet by Reutter


$280,000 USD | Sold

United States | Phoenix, Arizona



Chassis No.
Engine No.
  • One of only 393 Reutter cabriolets from 1953
  • Matching-numbers engine
  • Comprehensive restoration to concours condition
  • Supplied with spare wheel, jack, and tool kit
  • Porsche Certificate of Authenticity

By 1953, the German auto company founded by Dr. Ferdinand Porsche, still in its infancy, had moved from an old sawmill in rustic Gmünd, Austria, to Zuffenhausen, a quiet neighborhood on the outskirts of Stuttgart, and established itself as a serious manufacturer of high-quality automobiles. By then, Porsche had succeeded in cracking what would become its most important export market – the United States – with the help of the entrepreneurial Max Hoffman. Although production numbers remained somewhat miniscule, new Porsches in both coupe and convertible form could be seen occasionally on the streets of Manhattan, Los Angeles, and in between.

Here is a lovely example of an open Erwin Komenda-designed 356 from the 1953 model year. It is one of just 393 cabriolets built for that year; this is the 43rd from the last of that series. Cabriolets were quite luxurious in their content, with comfortable bucket seats and a thickly padded folding top that allowed for quiet cruising.

Described prior to its sale to a new owner a few years ago as being in nearly perfect concours condition, the cabriolet has been fully restored to its original appearance in Pascha Red paint over a light tan leather interior, tan carpeting, black rubber floor mats, and a tan cloth folding top with boot. It was delivered from the factory with the same 55-hp, 1500 Normal engine, and four-speed manual transaxle that remain with the car today.

The Certificate of Authenticity shows it to be U.S. “Deluxe” specification, which usually meant it was equipped with a speedometer calibrated in miles rather than kilometers, along with sealed-beam headlamps and often a radio installation package, in this case for the Telefunken radio that fills the center dashboard, along with a full array of instruments. Retaining its correct 16-in. diameter wheels, this outstanding cabriolet comes with a proper spare wheel, jack, and tool roll.

The serious collector of early Porsches will find no better example available today.