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Open Roads, March | Lot 251

1953 Porsche 356 Coupe by Reutter

$88,000 USD | Sold

United States | Auburn, Indiana

17 - 25 March 2021


Chassis No.
Documents
50245
US Title
  • Barn find “bent-window” pre-A 356
  • Stored for the last 30 years
  • Originally finished in Palm Green over green
  • Accompanied by copy of Kardex

Simple, clean, elegant, and understated: that would describe the aerodynamic little Porsche 356 coupe of the early to mid-1950s. While still utilizing some parts and design concepts originally created for the humble Volkswagen Beetle, by 1953 the 356 was showing clear signs of the steady development and evolution demanded by Porsche’s designers and engineers. The new model was undergoing almost constant improvement as the factory strove to simplify the manufacturing process for these largely hand-built automobiles.

The basic body shape remained fairly constant – indeed, the basic profile would not change until the series ended production in 1964 – but a myriad of details changed over the years. From a two-piece windshield and bumpers that were fitted directly to the nose and tail panels, one now saw a single-piece windshield with a mild vee, and bumpers that were now separated from the body. The interior trim was upgraded with new hardware.

Porsche’s engines were evolving, as well; in 1953, the air-cooled opposed-four-cylinder was offered in 1,100-, 1,300-, and 1,500-cc displacement, with output ranging from 40 hp to 55 in “Normal” form, and a higher-performance 1500 “Super” version producing 70 horses. The 1953 series benefitted from a new, fully synchronized gearbox.

According to the Kardex that accompanies the car, this 1953 Porsche 356 Coupe by Reutter left the factory in April 1953, finished in the attractive shade of Palm Green over green vinyl upholstery. It was fitted with the desirable 70-hp 1500S motor and delivered to noted dealer Max Hoffman in New York.

The 356 has been in barn storage for the last 30 years. Upon inspection of the Porsche it appears it has been repainted once, possibly twice, over the course of its life. In the door jams there is evidence of the original Palm Green paint. The exterior is equipped with a driver mirror and Hella headlight lenses. The interior retains one bucket seat in addition to the rear seats, they appear to be trimmed in green along with the door cards. In addition to the gauges, the green-painted dash houses a Telefunken radio. While the car does retain a gearbox, the 1500S motor is no longer with the car and was out of the car prior to purchase by current ownership many years ago.

Having been originally finished in the attractive original colors of Palm Green over green, and originally fitted with a 1500S motor, this “bent-window” pre-A 356 would make an ideal candidate for a concours restoration.

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