Lot 124

1956 Porsche 356 A 1600 Cabriolet 'Project'

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€149,500 EUR | Sold

Monaco | Monte Carlo, Monaco

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Chassis No.
61428
Documents
Historic Danish Registreringsattest
  • Matching-numbers chassis with original engine supplied as a spare
  • One of only 429 Porsche 356 A 1600 Reutter-built Cabriolets from the 1956 model year
  • Newly released from of over 50 years of storage in a Danish barn
  • Sold new through Skandinavisk Motor Company of Denmark
  • Accompanied by its Porsche Certificate of Authenticity
  • Potential for restoration, or continued display in its current state
language

Driven into a Danish barn in the early-1970s by its second owner, this 356 A 1600 Cabriolet would remain hidden from view for more than half a century, edging closer with each passing year to its current state. Finally exhumed in 2021, this remarkable example of Porsche’s seminal first sports car is now poised for a new lease of life.

As Porsche’s first production model, the 356 quickly established the company as a builder of highly respected sports cars. Produced from 1948 to 1965, the 356 progressed through four major series changes, several body revisions, and a considerable array of engines. The first major update, designated 356 A and featuring a new single piece, curved, panoramic windscreen, was introduced at the 1955 Frankfurt Motor Show. The more aristocratic sibling of the legendary Porsche 356 Speedster, the 356 Cabriolet was a true luxury sports car in its day. Despite its diminutive stature and modest power output of just 60 brake horsepower, the Cabriolet could comfortably cruise highways close to its 160 km/h top speed, while its comfortable seats, thickly padded convertible top and roll-up door windows provided passengers with a civilised driving experience.

Built in November 1956 and sold new through Skandinavisk Motor Company of Denmark, this Porsche 356 A 1600 Cabriolet was first titled on 30 March 1957. In February 1958, the car’s original transmission was replaced under factory warranty as detailed in the Porsche Certificate of Authenticity that accompanies the car. On 11 June 1959, the car was acquired by Esben A. Ubbesen, who would retain ownership until 2021. Purchased as a gift for his wife, Mr Ubbesen and his family enjoyed the Cabriolet throughout the 1960s and into the early 1970s. During this time, the original 1.6-litre Porsche motor—which accompanies the car as a spare—was removed due to a leaking oil pan, replaced by a more user-friendly Volkswagen engine with which the car is still equipped.

In the early 1970s, Mr Ubbesen put the Porsche into storage, where he is said to have regularly sprayed the car with oil as a means of preserving body panels and mechanical components. In 2021, at the age of 88, the long-term owner finally parted ways with his 1600 Cabriolet, in the condition you see it presented here—remarkably, retaining its matching-numbers chassis and engine (not fitted). Offered in as-found condition, having remained untouched for more than half a century, this blank-canvas 356 A presents a rare opportunity to commission a ground-up restoration to original specification, bolstered by the wide availability of new-old-stock or used Porsche parts. The new owner may even want to preserve this piece of history as it stands, though with an unbroken ownership chain since 1956, coupled with a captivating back story, either option will prove hugely tempting.