1957 Porsche 356A
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale an absolutely stunning 1957 Porsche 356 A 1600.
There is confirmation on file from Porsche that this car was delivered new into Germany. The car was fitted with the rare and desirable factory sunroof and it was finished in aquamarine blue (paint code 5707) with a beige interior. The car retains its original ‘matching numbers’ engine.
The story of this Porsche 356 starts in Germany. The car was delivered new to an American officer who was stationed in Germany through dealership Travag Porsche in Lubeck. Following the completion of his post, he decided to bring the car back home to the United States. The car remained in the United States until 2002 when it was acquired by an Australian who subsequently imported it into Australia.
Shortly after arriving in Australia the car was sold to an enthusiast in Victoria. The car was in need of some serious TLC and a plan was drawn up to bring the car back to its former glory. Lots of parts and new sheet metal were ordered from the US but it very quickly became obvious that this was not going to be an easy project.
In December 2010 the car was sold by its then owner to a good friend and fellow Porsche enthusiast from Port Macquarie in NSW. His initial plan for the car was to restore it to a certain level based on a budget, however, it very quickly became obvious that that plan was not going to work! The car’s owner discovered that some previous repair work had not been done to the standard he wanted, so he decided to start from scratch.
The 356 was completely stripped and then the work began. The initial body work was done by 356 specialist Stark Automotive. It took close to 9 months to finish the body. The finish and paint was completed by Supalook Smash Repairs in Port Macquarie. Perhaps the most important decision was choosing the paint colour. Fortunately, the owner decided to paint the car in its original colour of aquamarine blue. Apart from being the original colour, it is a rare colour and quite frankly stunning!
The car was then sent to Porsche specialist Hardt Classics in Somerville, Victoria. They took care of all the mechanicals and assembly of the car. The interior was completely retrimmed by Blackmans Leather in Mount Martha, Victoria.
The car is fitted with a Type 741 gearbox from a later model 356 which is dated July 1962.
In December 2014 the car was finally completed just in time for the Porsche Cars Australia – Porsche 356 event in Victoria where it won the Concours and the Master Class.
In 2015 the car was entered in the Porsche Club of NSW Concours d’Elegance where it came second.
After a few improvements the car was entered in the 2016 Porsche Club of NSW Concours d’Elegance 2016. This time it took the clean sweep, wining Best in Show, People’s Choice and also Best Restoration.
The car was acquired by the current owner in February 2021. Since the car was restored it has been sparingly used.
Today the odometer reads 72,271 miles, though the odometer is not currently working.
Based on time, this car is now an older restoration. Based on presentation, it looks like it was restored yesterday!
The paint is in beautiful condition presenting with a strong depth of colour and excellent gloss throughout. The panel gaps are also excellent and everything fits properly. You have to look closely to find any imperfections. The chrome work on the car, including the more delicate items such as the headlight covers, the spotlights and the reversing light are all in excellent condition. The strip on the bonnet with the Porsche badge is most likely original and is still in good condition showing some light wear. All the glass on the car is in excellent condition with no scratches or chips.
The wheels are shod with period correct Firestone 5.60 – 15 white wall tyres which are date stamped 4512 (week 45, 2012). The tyres confirm the car has hardly been used since its restoration as they are still in excellent condition. The chrome hub caps complete the look and they are also in excellent condition.
Everything under the bonnet still presents like new. There is an unused spare wheel, jack and tool kit. As they say the devil is in the detail and it is often the small details that tell you how well a restoration was done. By way of example, on this car we love the original style battery cover underneath the spare wheel which is held in place by the original style clips.
The engine bay is also beautifully presented.
Open the door and you can’t help but admire the interior. When the car was restored a decision was made to retrim the interior in red. Shortly after that decision was made the then owner discovered the original trim colour was beige. He decided to make a compromise and retrimmed the seats in red leather, but all the carpets under the dashboard and the rear of the rear seat in beige. We personally think this colour combination is perfect for the car. It contrasts the exterior colour superbly.
Like the rest of the car the interior is still in excellent condition. The seats are firm and the leather is like new. All the instruments are in really good condition including the chrome surrounds. They are all in good working order, except as noted above the odometer is not working. The car is also fitted with an original radio. The finishing touch to presentation of this car is the suitcase that fits perfectly behind the seats. This was sourced by the previous owner’s wife on a trip to Paris!
After having admired the interior, we make ourselves comfortable behind the steering wheel and prepare ourselves for a test drive. It is hard to fault the presentation of this car and it is with great anticipation that we get this car out on the road.
There are a few things you need to do before you can start the car. Firstly, there is the fuel tap underneath the dashboard which you need to turn to open. Secondly, there is a battery isolator discreetly hidden underneath the dashboard and thirdly, there another switch discreetly hidden underneath the dashboard to turn on the modern fuel pump.
Once you have taken care of those three things you can start the car. The car is still fitted with the original 6 volt electrical system, but despite that it starts easily. You then use the accelerator to gently warm the engine up and after a few seconds you are ready to take the car out for a drive. The car sounds fabulous from the get-go!
Out on the road this car is a real pleasure to drive. Not surprisingly, it drives every bit as good as it looks. The car feels very solid on the road which is a testament to the quality of the restoration. The engine revs freely and it has plenty of power on tap. The gearbox is smooth and easy to use. You really could drive this car from Brisbane to Sydney tomorrow. We are confident the car would have no issue doing that trip.
In addition to the items listed previously under the front bonnet, there is a thick history file which includes restoration receipts and photos.
The car is featured in Issue 5 of Duck & Whale magazine, a copy of which is in the history file.
- European delivered car.
- Matching numbers chassis and engine.
- Rare and desirable factory sunroof.
- Exceptionally well restored example.
- Great colour combination.
- Ready to show, use and enjoy
The Porsche story is a fascinating one and its roots go back to the 1930’s when Professor Ferdinand Porsche was instrumental in the design of the first Volkswagen and also Auto Union race cars. By 1939 he had built three Porsche cars to compete in the 800-mile race from Berlin to Rome. Unfortunately, the race was cancelled due to the war and Porsche was forced to focus on supporting the German war effort, however, he had always wanted to build his own cars. In 1944 Porsche was forced to leave Stuttgart and he set up a small operation in Gmünd, Austria. Soon after the Porsche family and many of their engineers were captured and sent to jail. Ferdinand Porsche’s son. Ferdinand junior, or ‘Ferry’ as he was known, was released six months later and he returned to Gmünd to rebuild the family company. Things moved quickly and Porsche was involved with cars again and in mid-1948 the first Porsche 356 was built. It is understood Porsche built some 50 aluminium bodied cars by hand in their small factory at Gmünd before relocating back to Stuttgart, Germany in 1949.
Instead of building the body of the car himself Porsche decided to collaborate with an old partner, the body manufacturing company Reutter who had both the expertise and infrastructure to mass produce the bodies for the 356 coupe and cabriolet.
Nowadays, the first series of the 356, built from 1948 till 1955 are known as the 356 Pre-A.
In 1955 the 356 A was introduced. The internal factory designation for this model was ‘Type 1’ which was quickly adapted by enthusiasts who referred to the 356 A as the T1. The 356 A was available as a Coupe, Cabriolet and a Speedster. Buyers had the choice between a 1,300cc and a 1,600cc engine and later the ‘Super’ version.
A second revision of the 356 A was introduced early in 1957. It became known as the ‘Type 2’ (or T2). In late 1958 the Speedster was replaced by the Convertible D which was now build by coachbuilder Drauz. Late 1959 the 356 A was replaced by the 356 B.
The 356 remained in production through until 1965, when it was replaced by what was to become another Porsche legend – the 911.
- Porsche 356A
- Two Door Coupe
- 72,271 miles