Lot Number

1961 Porsche 356 B 1600 Super Cabriolet by Reutter

Sold For $140,250

Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.

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

Chassis No.
Engine No.
Gearbox No.
  • Matching-numbers example finished in rare Aetna Blue over Light Grey
  • Rotisserie restoration by Bill Hamilton of Martindale, Texas
  • Includes Porsche Certificate of Authenticity

84 hp, 1,750 cc air-cooled horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine with twin Solex 32 NDIX carburetors, parallel trailing-arm front suspension with laminated torsion bars, rear swing axles with transverse torsion bars, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 82.7 in.

The American fascination with Porsches took off when importer Max Hoffman brought 15 Special Roadsters to the U.S. in 1954. The spartan construction of the Speedsters meant that the introductory price was only $2,841, and 4,144 of them were sold in the U.S. between 1954 and 1958. The accompanying Cabriolet offered creature comforts to 3,367 more practical buyers.

The Porsche 356 Roadster, Cabriolet, and Speedster debate is never-ending. While the Speedster has the dashing profile, the Roadster and Cabriolet are far more usable. For those more practical, or those who live outside of the Sun Belt, a real top and roll-up windows make more sense. If you want a truly weather-proof convertible, the insulated Cabriolet is the best choice. Likewise, it can extend your driving pleasure into the colder months.

Erwin Komenda’s T5 body style arrived in 1960 and was designated the 356 B. Both the Convertible and Coupe were equipped with 15-inch wheels, heavier and taller bumpers, a revised slope to the hood, and a larger chrome-plated hood handle. The steering wheel and knobs were black plastic, with a “mushroom” knob for the shifter. The headlights were moved to the top of the fenders, with amber parking lights below them and brake vents below the bumper. There were four stages of engine tune, including the 75 horsepower 1600 Super that this example features.

The car on offer is a 1600 Super Cabriolet in its original, handsome color of Aetna Blue, with a Light Grey leather and corduroy interior. It’s known to have been in regular use as late as 2003, in the Washington, DC, area, before being placed in storage. The vendor bought the Porsche in 2010 from Robert Blair, who had inherited it from his father. At the time, it indicated 77,600 miles, which are believed to be original.

The Cabriolet was sent to Porsche 356 expert Bill Hamilton, of Martindale, Texas, who commenced an extensive $50,000 body-off, rotisserie restoration, which was recently completed this November. The high-point restoration was photo-documented and supervised by two national PCA judges. Additionally, the engine was rebuilt and bored from 82 millimeters to 86 millimeters, and larger pistons were installed. The owner states that the displacement has been increased to 1,750 millimeters and the horsepower was raised to an estimated 84 brake horsepower. The car has only been driven test miles since the work was completed.

This Porsche is matching numbers, with original colors, paint, and interior. According to its Certificate of Authenticity, it was equipped from new with an exterior mirror, a Cabriolet cover, and Michelin tires. Both the paint and bodywork are exceptional, the chrome is excellent, and the lights and badges are immaculate. The interior is refinished in the original Light Grey leather with corduroy inserts, and it has the correct square-weave carpet. Also included are correct date-coded wheels, a fitted top, a tool roll, and an owner’s manual.

The engine compartment features correct equipment and decals. The original motor and transmission have been rebuilt, the engine has a big bore kit, and the electrics have been converted to 12 volts, with a new wiring harness. The owner says everything works, and this Porsche is ready to be driven anywhere.

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