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Home Pick of the Day Pick of the Day: 1963 Porsche 356B Carrera 2 GS; 4 cams...

Pick of the Day: 1963 Porsche 356B Carrera 2 GS; 4 cams for 7 figures

The race-bred OHC boxer engine lifts the cabriolet's value to unfathomable height

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Everybody knows that prices for vintage Porsches have soared, but here’s one that – at least for the uninitiated – will make your eyes water and a smoky question mark rise above your head.

What looks at first blush to be an ad for a rather nice 1963 Porsche 356B cabriolet, which normally would have a value of around $175,000, has a nearly unfathomable asking price of just under $1.3 million.

How crazy is that?  Well, apparently, not at all.

porsche

That’s because the Pick of the Day is a rare and massively desirable 1963 Porsche 356B Carrera 2 GS Cabriolet.  What all that means is that this is a special 356 powered by Porsche’s legendary 4-cam 4-cylinder engine, the revolutionary design that powered Porsche 550 Spyders to class wins at the Mille Miglia and Le Mans in the mid-’50s.

As well as being equipped with its original 4-cam, the Porsche has been restored to “spectacular concours level,” according to the Saint Ann, Missouri, dealer advertising the 356 on ClassicCars.com.  “Arguably the best example in the world!”

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Total mileage for this cabriolet is just under 65,000 miles, the dealer says, and the car is in great running condition and ready to romp.  It is fully documented and with complete ownership history, including 30 years with a well-known Carrera collector in Denmark.

In the ad, the seller notes that the OHC competition engine was designed by Ernst Fuhrmann who, under instructions from Ferry Porsche, created it based on the existing 1.5-liter pushrod boxer engine. The 4-cam’s strong, high-revving performance made it a giant killer on race tracks against much bigger machines. 

By 1963, the Carrera 2 engine had grown to 1,966cc. The Porsche is fitted with some other factory upgrades, such as specialized 4-wheel disc brakes and other competition-quality gear, all of which are said to have been restored and renewed. 

“Renowned Carrera 4-cam specialist Armin Baumann was tasked with rebuilding the original numbers matching engine and then underwent a thorough technical inspection by noted German Carrera specialist Karl Hloch in 2017,” the ad says. “Part of the work performed then includes a thorough mechanical restoration by the marque specialists at Hapke Original Restoration in Leverkusen, Germany, so that all of the major components perform as new.”

porsche, Pick of the Day: 1963 Porsche 356B Carrera 2 GS; 4 cams for 7 figures, ClassicCars.com Journal

Naturally, the Porsche looks to be in immaculate condition in the photos with the ad, both on top and underneath.  The underside chassis photos show part of the 4-cam heads of the Carrera engine.

A 4-cam Carrera engine can be fussy to set up and tune, requiring specialized expert ministrations, but once dialed in, they are known to be reliable and durable.   When it does need maintenance, though, it can be an expensive undertaking, that is if you can find someone knowledgeable enough to work on it.

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As for its value, Hagerty’s price guide shows that the asking price of $1,299,900 is totally within reason for a Porsche 356 Carrera 2 GS as nice as the one described.  Prices on these cars have slipped a bit in the past couple of years, as with most Porsches, but this ask apparently would be in line with current values.

This is a rare configuration for a late-model 356, which transforms a fine little sports car into a spectacular one.  Worth the lofty price?  That all depends on what the right buyer is willing to pay.

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

Hagerty
Bob Golfen
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.

9 COMMENTS

  1. I’m reminded of my first trip to Watkins Glen in 1959. One member of our party had a 4-cam Carrera which he must have paid a modest price for — in keeping with his modest station in life. He kept adding Castrol R to it at every stop for gas …
    Another friend of mine lost a Porsche cabriolet Super 90 to his wife as part of the divorce settlement in the mid-60s. Who would have thought that these cars would some day command such breathtaking prices?

  2. Or, you could take the million-three, buy 20 (or more) of the coolest hot-rods (40 Ford Coupe, 32 Roadster, 55 Chevy 2 dr Post, for starters) and have 100 times more fun than in this bath-tub. I really don’t get it.

  3. I agree with Rich. Why pay 1.3M for the car to sit in a warehouse & never be driven. I’ve owned several muscle cars from the 60’s to the early 70’s & driven & enjoyed them all. Never thought about making them trailer queens or putting them in storage.

  4. I’ve owned 911s and 2 928s … a 914 (74’) also raced a perfect 944 turbo …
    I love these cars and see the art and beauty of them ….
    But , asking this kind of money is wrong and it’s just
    Silly ….!
    Wow!!!!

  5. I have a 356 Carrera GS 2000 and I drive it all the time (like yesterday!). Who ever said you can’t drive them?

  6. Thanks Bob,

    I would drive the crap out of that car. Too cool not to use. I hope the new caretaker of this beauty puts on some miles!

  7. Um, would this be one of those early Carrera motors with needle bearing mains? You know, those lil rollers that collapse and destroy the crank and cases if one lugs the motor, or misses a shift?
    Yeah, I’d bet it is.
    Sweet car, but one can build a picture perfect replica, and use the 300+hp drivetrain out of Subaru WRX STI- lotsa wrecked to pick from- and enjoy bulletproof reliability, the ability to run the 1/4 in the low 12’s, a/c, a very Porsche exhaust note… oh, and you’ll have real heat! Did I mention that the top end would be limited by aero and guts, rather than ’40’s tech exotica, and JiffyLube can service all the fluids.
    No reason to have a museum piece unless you have a museum.
    Quite likely the worst “deal” I’ve seen on the site.

    • This being a later 4-cam engine, it has plain bearings rather than roller bearings, so not an issue. I’ve known people who have put many miles on 356 Carreras. A Subaru engine instead? Please. Akin to putting a small-block Chevy in a Jaguar XK-E.

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