1954 Porsche 356 Cabriolet to mark the anniversary weekend

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The Porsche 356 is said to be completely restored and 'show ready'
The Porsche 356 is said to be completely restored and 'show ready'

This is a big weekend for Porsche fans as the company honors the 70th anniversary of its very first sports car, the original rear-engine Porsche 356 roadster, being registered on June 8, 1948.  

So naturally, the Pick of the Day is an early convertible, a 1954 Porsche 356 1500 Super Cabriolet, an example of what is now referred to as a Pre-A, wearing the “bent” windshield that was itself an update from the earliest two-piece front-glass models. 

A new convertible top has been fitted to the Porsche 356
A new convertible top has been fitted to the Porsche 356

Built from 1948 to the end of the 356 line in 1965 with the emergence of the 911, the 365 first established Porsche as a maker of nimble and durable sports cars that were also “giant killers” on the race track. 

This Cabriolet has been totally restored and is “100% show ready,” according to the Denver dealer advertising the car on ClassicCars.com

“This vehicle recently underwent a full nut-and-bolt restoration using the correct parts,” the dealer says in the ad. “Over $40,000 (receipts included) was spent rebuilding the engine alone … You will not find a better example of such a rare car anywhere in the world.”

The leather is new and the gauges have been refurbished (oil-temp gauge was reinstalled later) 

Starting with a rust-free body in black, the restoration made it “perfect and as close to factory correct as possible,” the dealer says, with a new Hartz top, redone gauges and an interior refinished in correct tan leather. 

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The Porsche is powered by a period-correct replacement engine that has been completely rebuilt and updated with an improved modern crankshaft, with and all internal parts replaced or rebuilt within the two-piece engine case, the dealer says, adding that the original roller-bearing crank is included in the sale.  

Early Porsche 356 Cabriolets in original or restored condition have held steady with high values, and this one is priced at a strong $274,900.  Porsche Speedster models from the same era have been selling for around 50 percent more, and Cabriolets are expected to rise as well if the trends hold steady.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

4 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t get the appeal of the 356 as compared to Alfa Romeos of the era, not at the prices they command. $40,000 to rebuild such a primitive engine is absurd.

  2. One needs to know that Porsche never made a "pre-A" model. The model was originally designated a 356, from the design number. When enough total changes were made the newer model was designated a 356A. The B and C models followed. About 40 years ago a certain seller of Porsche 356 parts decided to categorize everything that fit only the 1955 and earlier cars, rather than the more common A, B, and C models as "pre-A." This was a bad idea then, since there are so many different models over the 1948 through 1955 range, and it is still a bad idea today. The term has no real meaning since there is little commonality. For instance, 1948-1955 cars had two piece, flat glass windshields, two piece windshields with bent ends, and one piece windshields bent in the center and on both ends. Will the real "pre-A" please stand up, as the list is long.

    I have campaigned against this non-model designation for decades, to no avail since ignorant journalists continue to jump in with both eyes closed. But you could make a difference!
    Ron Roland

  3. Around 1980 a buddy and I discovered a very early Porsche coupe in a Limestone, Maine junkyard belonging to a long time garage owner, John Ward.
    We had gone to that town hoping to visit the famous Calvin West yard with its 5000 or so vehicles but cranky old Calvin wouldn’t let us in that day. At lunch on Main Street we noticed a big garage nearby. The owner, John Ward was a really friendly older guy who said his now closed shop had been there since the ’40s. When we told him about Calvin’s attitude he replied that HE had a junkyard, too, and gave us directions. Lo and behold, it was all fenced in and we were greeted by a 1960? Falcon Ranchero parked outside.
    Anyway, the Porsche was intact with its engine laying inside. It had those four bullet taillights, too. Price? Would you believe $300! And, as I have done so many times with other great finds, I left it there!
    Yes, I have really big boot prints on my ass.

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