General description :
1960 Porsche 356B T-5 Cabriolet
s/n 153405, Engine no. *740580*
Aetna Blue with Light Grey Leather Interior
Introduced in 1959 to replace the 356A, the 356B brought further refinement and additional performance to Porsche's increasingly popular and by then iconic sports car. As with previous models, the 356B incorporated the traditional Porsche values of thoughtful and functional design elements, high quality, value, reliability, and mechanical robustness. Like other variants of the 356, the B was available in coupe, roadster, or cabriolet forms, with the cabriolet being the most expensive thanks to its combination of open-air motoring and good weather protection. Today new generations of collectors continue to be captivated by the timeless 356 design and delightful driving manners offered in these capable and stylish sports cars.
This particular cabriolet is an early production T-5 356, featuring the early type 356B body which retains the smaller trunk opening, single engine grille, and trunk-mounted fuel filler. According to its Certificate of Authenticity, this 1600 Reutter Cabriolet was completed April 12, 1960 and sold to Major James Leach who purchased the car April 21, 1960. The car was originally finished in ivory with black leatherette interior with corduroy inserts and was optioned with headrests and antenna.
Most recently, this Porsche 356 was treated to a year-long comprehensive restoration, completed to an exceptional standard. Copiously documented with both before and after photographs, the restoration is both thorough and exemplary, and the car has performed well when it has been shown. The restoration was completed in January of 2017 covering all cosmetic and mechanical aspects of the car. Extraordinary attention was to detail and authenticity. Prior to restoration, the car presented as a very sound and complete example, which had been largely preserved during twenty years of dry indoor storage. The previous owner had intended to restore the car but never managed to do so, instead carefully storing the car intact, which allowed the restoration team to start with nearly all the original components.
The car was disassembled to the body shell and media blasted, addressing only minimal areas needing repair or correction. Immediately after, epoxy primer was applied to the body in order to safely preserve the fresh metal. During this time, all suspension and brake components were media blasted and prepared for paint and finishing, wrapped and stored awaiting assembly. Every component from the steering box, suspension parts, brakes, window regulators, bumper supports, etc were all carefully finished and reassembled. At this time, the engine was addressed with the owner deciding to favor a higher horsepower output than the factory 60hp unit. A 912 engine was selected but restored to the visual appearance of the original motor, cleverly concealing the approximately 120hp output the new motor is capable of delivering. Coupled to the matching numbers transmission, the motor was done to a very exacting standard including Harry Bieker heads, new pistons, valves, and correct performance components. All interior, electrical (including a new wire loom), trim and various components were all addressed throughout the year-long restoration.
Correct black oxide and cadmium plating was used in appropriate areas. New insulation was installed in the interior, and the light grey leather interior was prepared for final fitting. The body shell was then sprayed a beautiful original Porsche color Aetna Blue, a handsome hue against the grey leather. Chrome was renewed by Jose at Christiansen Plating.
North Hollywood Speedometer restored all the instruments, which were installed with the freshly finished interior trim, beautifully matched to the body colored dash. A new late style pedal box was installed along with new pedals and linkages. A new windshield and glass were also installed with all new rubber gaskets and finishing trim. An extensive list of professional vendors contributing to this award winning restoration include East Auto Body – Paint, Steve Hogue Enterprises – Metalwork, K&H European Auto Upholstery – Interior, RM Oxide and Van Nuys Plating – Plating, Koch’s – Steering Wheel Restoration, Dick Aubele – Transmission Rebuild, Leonard Turnbeaugh – Pistons, Cylinders, and Camshaft, to name just a few of the extensive companies and specialists contributing to this superbly restored example. Final assembly was performed by Larry Markham, Jim Nelson, and Mike Benson.
During the restoration, the entire process was photographed and posted on the Porsche 356 registry forum to share with the Porsche community and gain insights into the larger community of knowledge and expertise as the project developed.
When the work was completed in January 2017, the car was detailed completely and shown at the Huntington Beach Concours where it scored a phenomenal total score of 297.6 out of 300 in a sequence of six areas:
Upon return from the show, the team addressed the 2.4 total points loss, correcting many of the deductions, which involved mostly hardware and minor issues. Since the completed restoration, this beautifully finished Porsche has only traveled 204 miles, essentially exhibiting all the hallmarks of a fresh and authentic restoration, yet with the well-resolved driving behavior of a competently restored and properly sorted car.
Today the car presents beautifully with a fresh high-quality restoration. The paint is smooth and glossy, delivering an exceptional finish throughout. The fit and finish of all opening features is excellent, with the doors shutting properly and tightly, showing excellent panel gaps. The bumpers and various exterior trim fit beautifully with no major flaws of note, brilliant chrome plating, exhibiting correct finishes to the emblems and script. All lighting is in excellent condition with no marks on the glass surfaces or chips in the lenses. During the restoration, all exterior pieces and gaskets were carefully fit to the car before final application. This attention to detail shows in the gaps and fitting of all pieces. Overall, the visual exterior presentation is among the nicest you will find.
The interior continues the theme of excellence, restored accurately with precision and attention to detail to all finishes and components. The stunning fully restored instruments are beautifully displayed across the body colored dashboard, accented by the professionally finished steering wheel. The interior is trimmed in leather, which is not only properly stitched but also correctly pleated with just the right amount of seat foam and perfectly positioned edge piping. The correctly finished bucket seats also include headrests on both seats, as optioned when new. The seats are accompanied by a very nice set of matching grey seatbelts with handsome vintage buckles, properly anchored to the chassis. The correct square weave carpet is of high quality, showing no wear. The canvas top is in excellent condition, appearing as new with tight fit to the windshield header and crystal-clear plastic rear window. The mechanical top frame moves freely and nests smoothly into the rear compartment, which can be covered using the cabriolet top boot.
The doors, hood, and trunk open and shut smoothly; exhibiting excellent fit and proper finish along the jambs and inner surfaces. The trunk area is well presented with correctly finished details, and proper tool roll, complete with a Messko tire pressure gauge. The engine compartment is very well detailed and correctly restored using largely original parts and finishes in the 912 higher horsepower output motor. Care and attention have been given to proper fasteners and hardware, decals and colors. The 912 engine is mated to the original matching numbers transmission. Detailed photos of the restoration indicate a complete disassembly, rebuild, and proper finishing to the engine and engine compartment.
Underside inspection reveals the exceptional restoration that has been properly performed and since maintained showing a very nicely finished floor pan, freshly painted suspension and brake components as well as tidy fluid lines and fittings, all of which are in excellent condition showing virtually no evidence of use since the restoration was completed.
The car starts reliably and idles smoothly with a nice raspy tone ready for action. The original gearbox (no. 36685 noted on the CoA) has been properly rebuilt and operates wonderfully up and down with smooth synchros, warm or cold. Smooth, even clutch movement and confident shifting are easily at hand. Acceleration is brisk as the engine winds up into the higher RPM range without hesitation or misfire. The added horsepower is a revelation to anyone who has driven a stock 356, making the driving experience all the more memorable and delightful. Braking is very good overall as is cornering and handling.
This wonderful Porsche 356 comes with a binder of photographs which depict the thoroughness and quality of the restoration. Also included is the Porsche Certificate of Authenticity and the judging sheets from when the car was shown. A high-quality reproduction tool roll, tools, and jack, accompany the car as well as a convertible top cover in new condition. The original and exceptionally complete owner’s manual packet is included with the sale, which includes the pouch, driver’s manual, maintenance instructions for Porsche bodies, and original service booklet.
Exceptional color combination, dynamic open cabriolet configuration, and a beautiful award winning restoration combine to make this Porsche 356B T-5 Cabriolet the perfect car for the enthusiast who will enjoy showing and driving this iconic Porsche for years to come. Already proven as a competitive show car on its first outing, this car is ideal for the enthusiast looking to show a competitive car without enduring a painstaking restoration.