Lot 184

The Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction

1951 Porsche 356 1300 'Split-Window' Cabriolet by Reutter


$650,000 - $800,000 USD | Not Sold

United States Flag | Atlanta, Georgia



Chassis No.
Engine No.
  • Delivered new to Argentina
  • Fitted with a correct-type 1300 engine
  • Finished in its original combination of Pascha Red over Beige
  • Includes a copy of its factory Kardex
Addendum: Please note that this car is fitted with a period-correct type 506 engine. It has been restamped with this car's original engine number.

Furthermore, an import duty of 2.5% of the purchase price is payable on this lot if the buyer is a resident of the United States.

Please also note that the title is in transit.

Of the roughly 78,000 356s that were built during Porsche’s 15-year production run of the iconic model from 1950–1965, those that are considered the most pure and sought after are definitely the earliest cars that were built, as they remain purest to the marque’s original design. When assessing that production run, it is clear that 1951 was a big year for both Porsche and the 356.

On 21 March Porsche produced its 500th vehicle, quite an accomplishment for a relatively small manufacturer at the time. Even more impressive, however, was that by the end of the year it would double that figure, with 1,103 vehicles built in total wearing the Porsche badge. It was clear that the 356 had made a positive impact on its customers and that the brand was beginning to cement its reputation worldwide.

One of the notable, new features introduced in 1951 was the new 1.3-liter pushrod engine. This boasted a two-piece Volkswagen crankcase with a forged steel crankshaft and light alloy cylinder barrels. When compared to its 1.1-liter predecessor with cast-iron cylinders, this saved a tremendous amount of weight, 12 lbs. to be precise, and offered 44 bhp compared to 35 bhp. This was implemented into production in March 1951 and would be followed once more by another slightly larger engine, the 1.5-liter four-cylinder, which was introduced in October of that year. For 1951, all models boasted leading shoe front brakes with finned drums. Notably, this would be the last year for the now-iconic ‘split-window’ windscreen and the more streamlined bumpers.

Completed by Porsche on 8 September 1951, this early 1300 split-window cabriolet is finished in its lovely original color combination of Pascha Red over Beige Leather. Interestingly, according to its factory Kardex, it was delivered new to a company in Buenos Aires, Argentina. There it stayed for over 30 years and was then shipped to the U.S. when it was purchased by a Mr. Hartmann of Witten, Germany. Under his ownership, the car was restored shortly after it arrived in Germany, with completion in 1990 and included a full mechanical overhaul, repaint, and retrimming. The 356 remained there until 2007 when it was purchased by the current consignor who more recently restored it in its correct and original color combination.

Beautifully presented throughout, an early 356 is on every collector’s bucket list, and cabriolets are few and far between. Fitted with a correct-type 1300 engine and finished in its beautiful original color combination, this ‘Split-Window’ Cabriolet is certainly worthy of consideration.