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1958 Porsche 356A

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Make Porsche
Model 356A/1600S Reutter Coupé
Model Year 1958
Production Year 1957
Production Date October 17th, 1957
Chassis No *101972*
Engine No P*87072*
Engine Type 616/2
Engine Production No 41207
Engine Case Now 134 / 134 /134
Gearbox No 16653
Gearbox Ratios B B B C
Gearbox Date Code October 1957
Exterior Color Burgundy
Interior Color Tan
Mileage 9,991 Miles (Since Restoration)

Options USA Sealed Beam Headlights
Bumpers with Over-Riders
Instruments in English with English Calibrations
Blaupunk AM/FM/SW Radio Amplifier / Loudspeaker
Hirshman Antenna
Golde “Weathershields” Sunroof

Although Ferdinand Porsche had established his independent automotive design consultancy in the early 1930s, his name would not appear on a car until 1949. When it did, it graced one of the all-time greatest sports cars; the Porsche 356. The work of Ferry Porsche, the Type 356 was based on the Volkswagen designed by his father, Ferdinand, and like the immortal "Beetle” it employed a platform-type chassis with rear-mounted air-cooled engine and all-independent torsion bar suspension.

Having commenced manufacture with a short run of aluminum-bodied cars built at Gmünd, Porsche began volume production of the steel-bodied 356 coupé at its old base in Stuttgart, at first in premises shared with coachbuilders Reutter and then (from 1955) in its original factory at Zuffenhausen. In 1951 a works car finished first in the 1,100cc class at the Le Mans 24 Hours, thus beginning the marque's long and illustrious association with racing.

The first phase of development saw the 356's engine grow to 1.3 and then to 1.5 liters; the original split windscreen replaced by a one-piece; and a Porsche synchromesh gearbox adopted. 1955 marked the arrival of the restyled 356A, the newcomer being readily distinguished by its rounded windscreen and 15" - down from 16" - wheels. At the same time, a 1,600cc engine replaced the old 1.5-liter unit and would be standardized on the successor 356B model. In production until 1965, the 356 is where the Porsche legend began and good examples have long been prized by collectors.

Chassis No *101972*
This particular 356A 1600 “Normal” Reutter Coupé started out life in the Fall of 1957 when Max Hoffman's Hoffman Motors of New York, NY placed an order for it. The request specified a normal production Coupé with USA bumpers and gauges and asked that it be completed with Aquamarine Blue exterior and a Red Leatherette interior. No other details are known about the initial order but a copy of the original Porsche assembly record (KARDEX) survives and confirms the above details. It further indicates that the vehicle was completed on Thursday, October 17th, 1957. The assembly records further show that the original engine was No P*67304* which while no longer fitted today, still remains with the vehicle. The gearbox was identified as No 16653 which remains and is still fitted to this Porsche 60 years after having been completed.

After completion and shipping to the States, this Porsche was sold new in San Francisco, California. 356 Registry information confirms it was still there in the late 1960s and a city of Burlingame parking sticker on the window confirms it was still in the Bay Area in 1977 and it remained on the West Coast all of its life a move north in 1999 and then later, a short stay in 2012 when it was purchased by AutoSport Designs of Huntington Station, New York and later a collector in Michigan before once again returning to California in 2015.

356 Registry records confirm the car had moved from California and by 1999 was with Jim Shue in Seattle, Washington. It was inspected and described as a solid driver retaining the original engine and gearbox but in need of sympathetic work. In 2001, this Porsche was purchased by 30 plus year 356 enthusiast, Garry Haussler of San Mateo, California. From 2002 to 2003, Garry gave the car a complete and total restoration as well as sourcing a complete original Golde “Weathershields” mechanical sliding sunroof and surrounding sheetmetal and drain tubes. During the restoration, Garry Haussler decided to preserve the original 1600cc Normal engine and sourced a correct Typ. 616/2 1600cc Super Engine. The engine was completely rebuilt and a “big bore” 1,701cc set of barrels, pistons and liners were installed bringing bhp up from the stock 60 to 95bhp.

The body was completely stripped and no signs of body filler or accident damage was evident other than a small amount of inner fender damage in the front right. There was typical minor rust issues with the battery box, floor pans and outer longitudinals as well as the door bottoms. All of this was carefully attended to and addressed and the vehicle completely metal finished to an extremely high standard. The original color blue with red leatherette interior gave way to an all new scheme of dark burgundy with tan leather for seat material. A complete Autos International interior with correct “square-weave” carpeting was installed and all of the instruments were rebuild and restored by Palo Alto Speedometer. Engine compartment and front trunk