Porsche 356 1600cc air cooled flat 4-cylinder 1959
Allgemeine Beschreibung :
1959 Porsche 356A Sunroof CoupeChassis Number – 108792
Engine Number – 1281358 (installed)
Original Engine – P*75574* (case included)
Exterior Color – Black
Interior Color – Red leathrette
Engine Type – 912 series air-cooled 4-cylinder
Gearbox – Upgraded 741 4-Speed manual transaxle
Current Mileage –43,826 (TMU)
Marque and Model History
With its iconic shape and race-bred performance, the lightweight and agile 356 Porsche has been continuously sought after by enthusiasts and collectors for their timeless beauty, elegant engineering, and versatile performance. The “A” version of the 356 came to market during Porsche’s rapid growth as a production car company and a formidable motorsports competitor. Ongoing development of the 356 included the 1600 series engine, named for the 1,582cc engine, which was perfectly matched for the rapidly growing US market. The 356A remains today one of the most desirable vintage Porsches, exemplifying all the traits of the original design with vastly improved craftsmanship, performance, and build engineering – features which continue to be hallmarks of contemporary Porsche offerings.
History of this Car
This factory sunroof coupe was delivered from the factory originally finished in silver with red interior. Purchased in the 1990s by Tim Thatcher of Euro Autowerks, Michigan, Thatcher drove the car for several years, maintaining it at his shop, before selling it in 2007 to Daniel Bird, a customer of Euro Autowerks. Bird commissioned a comprehensive bare metal restoration with Euro Autowerks that would conclude in 2008. In 2009 this 356 was shown at the 54th Annual Porsche Parade Concours d’Elegance, Keystone, CO, and awarded 1st Place. Bird retired to Florida where the car was stored and occasionally used at Porsche Florida Owner’s Group gatherings and weekend drives accumulating approximately 4,000 post-restoration miles. In 2021, the current owner purchased the car from Bird’s estate.
During the restoration, tasteful upgrades were performed including the addition of an electric fuel pump, short shift kit, Speedster side trim, and Speedster headlight grilles. Plexiglass vent windows were installed, 12 volt auxiliary plugs were installed under the dashboard, and a later series engine installed (original case retained and included with the car). The body was stripped to bare metal and finished in black using Glasurit paint. The interior was reupholstered by Autos International with red headliner and a specially manufactured dashboard cover.
While located in Florida, Bird engaged Michaelian Restorations Inc. to perform regular services as needed. Copies of invoices spanning 2012-2019 include mechanical work, repainting and blending of the hood, nose, and front bumper due to road chips. In 2015 new tie rod ends were installed and in 2012 a ZF steering box installed. In 2018 the carburetors were rebuilt, fuel tank removed and refinished, axle boots replaced, all four brake wheel cylinders replaced, brake fluid flushed, and valve cover gaskets replaced.
Today this 356A presents beautifully with a cohesive restoration reflective of the time and dedication afforded by the commissioning owner and participating restoration experts. The excellent Glasurit paint shows uniform gloss and smooth coverage, nicely accented by Speedster side trim. The doors, hood, and trunk open and shut smoothly, exhibiting exceptionally good fit and solid finish. The sunroof operates smoothly and adds a nice open air feel to the driving experience. The engine lid retains the matching 792 number stamp as does the hood hinge. The doors, very likely original, exhibit exceptionally nice fit. The bumpers and various trim around the car are all in fine condition including a nice set of headlight grilles, distinctive rear deck single grille, and Porsche script. The emblems and various plastic lenses are clear and beautifully detailed. The chrome plated wheels are finished with polished domed wheel covers, retaining the factory look and shod with Michelin XZX tires.
The interior features expertly detailed components, displaying continuity of materials and finishes in every area. The red interior perfectly conveys the sporting intent of the car. The seats and door panels are beautifully tailored with correct seat and door pattern design accented by delicate chrome trim touches. The painted and covered dashboard features precisely restored instruments showing vivid color, clarity, and crisp numeric indication. A warm ivory steering wheel features banjo wire spokes and St. Christopher center emblem. The carpeting, red headliner, and side panels are all perfectly matched in color and material. Overall, the interior has exceptional continuity, color, and finish. The front storage area is correctly presented showing the factory serial number and correct hood hinge number matching the last three digits of the VIN.
Under the hood, the later series 912 engine and engine bay deliver a thoughtful and correct presentation using correctly sourced vintage Porsche parts and appropriate details. The later series Porsche engine offers extra power and has been restored using correct finishes, proper coatings, hardware, and fasteners to deliver an engine compartment consistent with Porsche cars of this period. The undercarriage is representative of a well-cared for, dry climate example with preserved floor pans and correctly restored suspension components.
The car starts reliably and settles into a smooth and resonant air-cooled idle. The upgraded 741 gearbox operates wonderfully through all gears with smooth synchros, warm or cold. The clutch takes up nicely, throttle response is great, and the brakes bring the car down evenly from highway speeds. Overall, this 356 Sunroof Coupe delivers a very pleasant driving experience.
Included with this Car
This Porsche comes with selected restoration and service records under prior ownership, the original engine case P*75574*, jack, and an original owner’s manual with reproduction case.