1963 Porsche 356 B 1600 Super Coupe by Karmann

Sold For $129,250

Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.

RM | Sotheby's - ARIZONA 16 - 17 JANUARY 2014

Chassis No.
Engine No.
Gearbox No.
  • Documented by its Porsche build sheet
  • Retains the original 75-horsepower engine
  • Freshly and expertly restored in factory colors

75 bhp, 1,852 cc air-cooled “S” flat four, twin Zenith NDIX carburetors, four-speed transaxle, independent front suspension with trailing arms and torsion bars, rear swing arms and torsion bars, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 82.7 in.

The 356B is iconic today, but in 1959, it made a distinct stylistic break from its predecessor, and it took time for universal acceptance. Many of the changes were practical: body engineering chief Erwin Komenda raised the front and rear bumpers about four inches, to a more useful level. He raised the headlamps as well, which dramatically increased the throw of light in night driving. These alterations also allowed for improved cooling of the highly improved water-sealed aluminum brakes, which were widely considered to be the best in the world. The basic platform was otherwise unchanged, including the carryover 1,582-cubic centimeter, flat-four engine. That, however, was soon enhanced with the Super engines, which provided more horsepower, primarily at high rpms.

The 356Bs underwent continual change during their short run from 1960 to 1963, including the introduction of a Karmann-built hard top as a 1961 model. A substantial revision in 1962 gave the 356 a new internal designation, the T6, and a Karmann-built coupe replaced the hardtop and was joined by a coupe built by Reutter. Thanks to its large glass area, this four-season edition offered the best visibility of any model with a roof; it has spacious accommodations and is the 356 of choice when rain or cold is a possibility.

The unit-body Porsche 356 is difficult to restore, but chassis number 211738 has had a bare-metal restoration that is up to the standards that Classic Showcase of California expects. Porsche’s factory build sheet shows that it retains its original factory Type 616/12 1600 Super engine, which produces 75 horsepower with 8.5:1 compression and is suited to be used with modern pump gasoline. The build sheet also shows the chassis and engine numbers, which confirm that construction was completed in the fall of 1962, for a 1963 sale date. It is also indicated that this 356 was delivered with a Smryna Green exterior over brown upholstery, and these were the colors in which it was restored. Inside, the seats, carpet, door panels, and headliner have been reupholstered in the proper Porsche materials. In addition, the instruments and associated electrical components have been serviced and attended to.

Under the hood, the mechanicals, including the engine, transmission, and associated components, have been gone through, and the vehicle is setup and ready for driving, showing, and collecting. This final T6 iteration of the Karmann Coupe benefits from the continual improvement of the model, and with less than 1,000 miles on a comprehensive restoration, this 356B Coupe is ready for your enjoyment.

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