Auburn Fall | Lot 6048A
1956 Porsche 356 A 1600 Cabriolet by Reutter
$236,500 USD | Sold
| Auburn, Indiana
4 September 2021
- A true, two-owner Midwest “barn find”
- Retains numbers-matching engine
- Uncommon colors; Aquamarine Blue Metallic over a red leather interior
- Very complete and undamaged condition; a wonderful basis for a full restoration
- Accompanied by Kardex copy, tools, jack and spare, and driver’s and workshop manuals
The term “barn find” has been vastly abused in the collector car market, but here is a rara avis: one of only 429 Porsche 356 A 1600 Reutter-built Cabriolets from the 1956 model year, which was literally pulled out of an old barn near Salem, Ohio. Adding to its attraction, this matching-number engine convertible, showing fewer than 46,000 miles—which are believed to be original and correct—was delivered in the rarely-seen color combination of 607 Aquamarine Blue Metallic with a red leather interior. Completing the cabin are tan German square-weave carpeting and black rubber floor mats, and a pair of OEM optional green plastic sunvisors is attached to the windshield header.
The coachwork appears to be complete and undamaged, as well as the exterior trim including the bumpers and their U.S.-specification over-riders. The paint is believed to be original. The badges and other exterior trim show the expected wear of almost 65 years. Although the original canvas top has deteriorated over time, the folding mechanism is intact, and the interior leather is in remarkable condition. The front seats with adjustable backrests show in decent condition, while the rear seating area is almost pristine. There is a Telefunken AM/FM radio in the well-instrumented dashboard, while a Telefunken tube amplifier lives in the front trunk compartment, sharing space with the car’s original and complete tool kit. The radio and amplifier appear to have been installed after delivery, as factory-installed power units are fitted beneath the passenger seat. There is also an original jack and spare wheel. The single outside rear-view mirror appears to be of British origin. The engine has been fitted with a Bursch-style exhaust.
Released by the factory on 4 December 1956 for shipment to Hoffman Motors in New York City, this Cabriolet was first registered on 28 January 1957 to Mrs. Helen Spatholt of Leetonia, Ohio. It remained with her until 1989 when title was transferred to Mr. Donald Watkin of Washingtonville, Ohio. In 1993, the car—reportedly seldom-driven under Mr. Watkin’s ownership—was placed in a rural barn. There it would remain until recently, when his widow decided to sell it.
This Cabriolet would be the perfect starting point for a comprehensive restoration. It should be expected that a desirable open 356 of this age will have suffered from rust in the usual locations, but there is a hugely supportive early Porsche restoration network, and virtually every factory part that cannot be properly restored is available. It is supplied with its original driver’s manual, Kardex copy, registration documents dating to 1957, a factory maintenance manual, and an early Stoddard parts catalog, as well as tools and a spare.