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In July 1958, Porsche sent a letter to all its foreign representatives, stating that the four-year-old, bare-bones Speedster, which had been designed specifically for the Western markets of the United States, is coming to the end of production. A new model was forthcoming for 1959, and it would be manufactured by Karosseriewerke Drauz, of Heilbronn.
This would be the Convertible D, which was introduced as an interim step before the arrival of the 356 B Cabriolet in 1960. The new car would offer buyers Speedster-like styling, but it added such amenities as a wind-up door glass in place of side curtains, a taller windshield, a better top, and a more luxurious interior, with the Speedster Sports Seats still available as an option. New and larger teardrop-shaped taillights would replace the earlier “bee-hive” style lamps, and U.S. cars were fitted with front and rear bumper guards and over-riders. Porsche sales literature described the new Convertible D as “a dynamic car of beautiful proportions. Extra light and low in design for competition and pleasure driving.”
Only 1,331 Convertible D were built between August 1958 and September 1959, with nearly all being fitted with the 60-horsepower Type 616/1. With a curb weight of less than 2,000 pounds, the Convertible D could reach 60 mph in a little more than 14 seconds in Normal form, and it was capable of topping 100 mph. With relatively quick steering (2.3 turns lock to lock), handling was very good, and the large four-wheel drum brakes were quite effective.
Offered for sale is a 1959 model. We understand that this Porsche was sold new to Mr C.F. Brown of Portsmouth (Ohio) via Max Hoffman, Porsche importer for the USA. He ordered the car with the desirable Sport Seats. In 1969, we are informed that Mr Brown sold the car to a Mr David Lebonwitz of Austin, Texas. Mr Lebonwitz kept the car for 23 years in the dry climate of the area. In 1992, the car came to Europe, bought and imported by Mr Carlo Luigi Fiambertini of Mincio, Italy. In 2000, Mr Claudio Gianotti acquires the Porsche and registered it under his company name. He kept it until 2006 when Alberto Fontanella purchased it and restored it. A FIVA Card has been issued to this rare Porsche in 2009, to enable it to participate to major classic cars events.
In late 2013, the car was mechanically refreshed and imported into Germany by a prominent Porsche Specialist and went through the TUV successfully. The car is in EU free circulation and a stunning example of the very rare Convertible D / Roadster.
Bespoke financial arrangements are available to assist in the purchase of this car.