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1963 Porsche 356C Coupe
Chassis Number – 215261
Exterior Color – Red
Interior Color – Black
Engine Type – 1.6 Liter Flat-Four
Gearbox – 4-Speed Manual Transaxle
Current Mileage – 70,008 (TMU)
Marque and Model History
After more than 70 years since the legendary Porsche 356 was created, they remain today as premier icons of sports car design. With its unique profile and race-inspired lineage, the 356 became the first Porsche to proudly bear the family name of Ferdinand Porsche. Introduced in 1948, the 356 continually evolved with design and mechanical refinements until 1965, when production yielded to the 911. Culminating those years of development, the most impressive advancements came with the 356 C. Offered with standard Dunlop four-wheel disc brakes, higher lift camshaft in the 1600 C engine, and deeper bucket seats, the most advanced 356 set a new standard for the model line.
History of this Car
According to a copy of the Kardex accompanying this Porsche, #215261 was manufactured September 2, 1963, fitted with engine *710358* and transmission 70950-741, both of which remain in the car today. Originally finished in Champagne Gelb (Yellow) with black leather interior, the delivery destination is noted on the Kardex as Competition Motors, Culver City, CA. Interestingly, this car appears to have been outfitted with SC equipment and details including reference in the Porsche Family Tree which lists this chassis number in the Karman SC range. Further, the car has original SC carburetors, SC deck lid badging, and a Carrera GS 8,000 RPM tachometer.
The first owner retained the car until 1966 with his last service recorded November 21, 1966, then indicating 36,083 miles. The car was sold to the second owner in December 1966. The second owner serviced the car regularly (receipts included with the car) at Vasek Polak Porsche in Hermosa Beach, CA. In January 1972 the car was sold to the third owner, a friend of the second owner and resident of Palos Verdes, CA. Although the third owner would retain the car for only a year, in December 1973 he would sell it to the fourth owner who would remain the custodian for the next 50 years. During his ownership the engine was rebuilt in 1978. At that time, the odometer indicated 55,732 miles as recorded on the service documentation.
In 1980, the fourth owner relocated to Escondido, CA, and in 1984 had the car repainted red. In 1989 the long-term owner performed the last full service on the car including brakes and rotors, clutch, flywheel, pressure plate, and other details. The car remained stored in his garage for the ensuing 34 years until purchased by the current owner. At some point in prior ownership a pair of Weber carburetors were fitted (Solex units are retained and offered with the car) and more recently the front seats have been reupholstered. Other than these two items, the car remains a satisfying combination of originality, preservation, and known ownership since new. Capturing the attention of enthusiast Jay Leno, this 356 Porsche is scheduled to be featured on the highly popular Youtube channel “Jay Leno’s Garage”, premiering in September 2023.
Today with 70,008 miles indicated, this 356C Coupe presents as a refined driver level Porsche reflective of a preserved original car with known ownership since delivered new. Having been repainted in 1984, the Signal Red paint is glossy throughout showing typical use and wear marks mostly confined to front facing surfaces. The trim is in very good condition overall with aging evident on various plated parts including selected areas of pitting on the front bumper overriders and windshield frames. The glass bears Sekurit and Durvit branding, while the Karmann body and paint plate, VIN plate, and factory stamped numbers all correspond to the Kardex. The lenses, lighting, and various trim and script are all in generally good condition contributing to the overall gracefully preserved visual presentation of this car. At some point in the history of the car, an SC emblem was added to the engine lid, though the original engine is consistent with C specifications. The panel gaps are reflective of factory fit; however, the driver’s side door sits slightly proud when closed. All panels open and shut properly. Outfitted with chrome plated wheels and wheel covers, the stance and driving appeal is quite nice riding on a set of contemporary radial tires.
The black interior presents as a preserved example combining recently reupholstered front seats, original black door panels and rear seats, and original headliner. The dashboard features original instrumentation. Including a rare Carrera GS 8,000 RPM tachometer, and the original working radio, contrasted by matching red paint, black dash padding, and a black rim steering wheel with excellent aluminum spokes and a glossy Porsche center emblem. A set of seat belts are installed for the front seats and a protective black rubber floor mat covers the front floor section.
Under the engine lid, the engine bay delivers a thoughtful and generally correct presentation using Porsche parts, hoses, and hardware. The engine, likely freshened in the 1980s before long-term storage appears to have been treated to proper coatings, correct hardware, and factory type fasteners consistent with traditional 356 components. A pair of Weber carburetors have been installed with modern air filters. The front storage compartment stores a full-size spare tire, a battery dated 7/22, and correct original features. The undercarriage is representative of a generally preserved car with factory floor pans, factory battery box, and correct suspension components for this series Porsche. Typical of unrestored original cars, the battery box floor has voids where corrosion has occurred. There is no immediate visual evidence of structural compromise. Importantly, the matching number transmission and engine are in place and function properly.
The car starts easily under cold or warm start conditions with consistent idle and good throttle response. The gearbox engages properly along with a good clutch and tall brake pedal. Road manners are smooth, and power is effective. The engine delivers progressive acceleration to highway speeds due in part to the upgraded Weber Carburetors. Handling is delightful and consistent with this model further inspired by the disc brakes and other final series improvements to the 356 model line.
Included with this Car
This 356C Porsche comes with a copy of the Kardex, numerous original service invoices, former California registration documents and other reference information dating back to the 1960s. Also included with the car is a pair of Solex carburetors, a spare Weber carburetor, a jack and tire changing tools, a Porsche tool roll, tools, and Porsche towel, the original owner’s manual and plastic protective case, and two service booklets with remaining coupon service stubs.