Santa Monica | Lot 176

1964 Porsche 356 C 1600 C



$128,700 USD | Sold

United States | Santa Monica, California

24 June 2017

Identification No.
  • Purchased by current owner in 1980 in California
  • Painstakingly restored by 356 registry member
  • Original Bali Blue example; factory electric sunroof
  • Retains its original drivetrain
  • Includes COA, tool kit, owner’s manual, jack, and spare

Having desired a 1964 Porsche 356 C Sunroof Coupe for some time, the owner of this beautifully presented example first acquired the car in September 1980 when a dealer operating out his home listed it in a local Woodland Hills, California free ad paper. It was one of a selection parked at the house and the one he took home to begin a detailed, researched and devotedly applied restoration over a 21-year period.

It was drivable, but had a partial and incomplete restoration that had begun two years earlier. The car had been partially disassembled and noticing certain items missing, he was able to delve into the dealer’s large 356 parts inventory. Whatever wasn’t there in the desired condition was searched out and acquired over the next several years. The unearthed parts had to be in like-new, original condition.

Although running, one of the first things that occurred in the restoration process was the removal of the engine and commencing a properly conducted rebuild that was assisted by well-known area professionals and utilized all genuine Porsche OEM parts from Stoddard of Willoughby, Ohio. All essential mechanical components were machined and resurfaced by a respected local machine shop. All sheet metal was stripped and powder coated in the correct colors. The same exacting detail was applied with the fuel lines and applicable engine parts with the correct Cadmium finish. The internal parts have since been protected by only Valvoline 20-50 weight Racing Oil with the correct zinc content to avoid premature wear to the precisely built unit.

The engine was factory fitted with the European Heater system, as this car was originally sold to Raffay & Co., the Porsche dealer in Hamburg, Germany. However, the California Department of Motor Vehicle vehicle title states that this car was registered in California as a new car. The owner was told that the 356 C was likely involved in a dealer to dealer transfer from Raffay & Co to a Porsche dealer in California.

At the time of his purchase, the Porsche had an incorrect T-6 “B” hood, the proper “C” hood is now fitted and other than this piece, the left and right doors, plus the engine cover have the last three VIN digits (361) stamped and confirm originality.

The interior was acquired from a Santa Clarita, California restoration shop that had a complete C coupe interior kit by CB&E Interiors of Atlanta, Georgia. It was in the desired color of Fawn and included the fully upholstered seat backs and bottoms, door panels, rear side and back panels, proper headliner with the sunroof zipper kit, complete carpet kit, plus extra vinyl for door caps, dash, and rear side rails.

The 1980 color presentation was Silver, and by that time, gray primer was covering the majority of the exterior. Time saw a change of taste in the desired final color; Signal Red had been the first instinct, but that changed when the owner saw a Bali Blue C coupe at one of the Casablanca Car Concours that the Southern California Porsche 356 Club promoted in the 1990s. This special order color, combined with the Fawn interior, fashions a tremendous presentation. The Bali Blue is in the correct Glasurit paint color.

Additional research by the caring owner reveals that this is one of the last cars to have a Reutter coach builder plate on the driver's door sill. He reports that “on or around May 1st, 1964, the 356 cars built by Porsche had a “Porsche” door sill plate going forward. Also, this engine has a cable-driven tachometer, one of the last to have this. The first known electric tachometer car in a web-based database is only 30 or so VIN numbers away.”

Powered by the respected 1,582 cc flat four-cylinder engine and paired with a four-speed manual transmission, this Porsche should provide enjoyable miles of driving and pleasure of ownership. Along with the quite uncommon factory electrically-powered sunroof, other notable features include a rear luggage rack, complete tool kit with Messko gauge and Golde sunroof tool, restored C-style jack, Nardi wood-rimmed steering wheel, period correct Blaupunkt AM/FM.SW radio, period luggage (without tennis rackets), and owner’s manual.

Renowned period writer, the late Ken Purdy, proclaimed the Porsche 356 “may be the most fun to drive of anything in the world.” This is the perfect example to explore your own responses to his assertion; let the driving begin.

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