Lot 158

London 2015

1953 Porsche 356 Pre-A 1500 Coupé by Reutter


£162,400 GBP | Sold

United Kingdom | London, United Kingdom



Chassis No.
Engine No.
Gearbox No.
Body No.
  • Very rare Pre-A Coupé
  • Single family ownership for 50 years
  • Original German-delivered car presented in its original colour
  • Matching-numbers chassis, engine, and gearbox
  • Includes copies of original sales documentation and factory Kardex

55 bhp, 1,488 cc Type 546 OHV air-cooled horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine with two Solex downdraft carburettors, four-speed manual transmission, independent front and rear suspension, with parallel trailing arms and a transverse laminated torsion bar in the front and swing axles with transverse torsion bars in the rear, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 2,100 mm

In March 1952, Porsche worked in conjunction with Reutter to simplify production of their 356 and make several changes, including a one-piece, bent windscreen and more significant bumpers, which suited the budding American market. During the four-year period leading up to the 356 A, the “Pre-A” was constantly upgraded, including, significantly, a synchromesh gearbox in 1952.

The 1953 Porsche 356 offered here was delivered new to Professor Willi Schmidt, a well-known theatre, TV, and film director in Germany, through Berlin Volkswagen dealer Eduard Winter, on 29 July 1953. Both the factory Kardex and the original purchase invoice, copies of which are included on file, confirm that this car still retains its original engine and gearbox. It is also finished in its original and stunning colour of Adriablau. Based upon the original German Kraftfahrzeugbrief (registration), one can discern that Willi kept the car until his passing, at which point the Porsche was transferred over to his son, Stefan Schmidt, on 16 November 1995. Included with the car is the original completed service book, which notes details of every service through to 1964, at which point the book was full. There is also a mileage and maintenance logbook, which was fastidiously maintained by Prof Schmidt and subsequently his son. The car’s file also includes several wonderful photographs of Willi Schmidt with his beloved Porsche.

Mr Schmidt kept the car for a further 13 years—some 51 years after his father originally bought the Porsche! In 2004, the Coupé was acquired by Matthew Wilson, of Leicester, UK. Shortly after purchasing the car, Mr Wilson set about a thorough restoration. Documenting the restoration are numerous invoices for parts and services spanning several years. Furthermore, the file includes correspondence by Karmann Konnection Ltd. from an inspection in 2006, noting that “the floors have been replaced and so the underside is now totally free of rust and has been proofed to ensure it stays that way. Mechanically, everything is just as you would want to find it, and it shows signs of regular maintenance, which is important for a vehicle of this age”.

Beautifully presented in its original colour combination, and still retaining its original drivetrain, this achingly pretty Pre-A 356 offers unique long-term ownership history from devout enthusiasts. With the purest Porsche aesthetics, this early 356 would be a welcome addition to any collection.