Posted by: porschebahn | March 30, 2011

2 Beautiful Porsche 356′s for sale at The Houston Classic Auction by Worldwide Auctioneers April 30th 2011

1952 Porsche 356 ‘Pre-A’ Split Window 1500 Coupe

CHASSIS NO: 11201  
Engine No: 30139 Coachwork by Reutter
1488cc air-cooled flat four-cylinder engine, single camshaft, twin Solex 40 PBIC carburetors, 60 bhp @5000 rpm, Porsche four-speed manual synchromesh gearbox, independent front suspension with parallel trailing arms, independent rear swing axle, front and rear transverse torsion bars and telescopic shock absorbers, hydraulic drum brakes all around, bolt on steel disc road wheels; wheelbase: 82.68”The history of Porsche had humble beginnings in 1947 as a production company in Gmund, Austria, with a primary business of technical design and consultation. A failed project with Cisitalia in Italy prompted them to start construction of their own sports car which was Volkswagen based with the code name 356/2. It was a slow start, and by the spring of 1951, Porsche had sold just 51 cars, 43 coupes, and eight cabriolets. Members of the Porsche family had wanted to move the operation back to Stuttgart, and this was achieved in 1950 with the rental of 5,000 sq ft. of space in Reutter’s body plant where final assembly was done. The first German built 356 left the factory on April 6, 1950, and, based on potential dealers and private customers, Porsche management believed they could sell 500 cars of this design but were not at all sure how long it would take. By mid-1950, the original sales projections had accelerated beyond Porsche’s wildest dreams, and by the end of the year they had sold nearly 300 cars and the order books were full. The early 356/2 was a bare-bones Spartan car with a modified VW 1131cc engine that took a Porsche engineer 25 hours to build. Everything was beautifully engineered but built down to a price using wherever possible proprietary VW stock. 1951 brought a 1286cc and later that year the more powerful 1488cc unit was added for more power and performance. There was no stopping Porsche, they were literally capable of winning at every level of competition, and they quickly built a formidable clientele prepared to pay good money and bent on exploring performance motoring whether on track or normal roads.It would take several books to attempt to dissect the anatomy of these early cars but what is sure is that they are all rare and valuable and are worthy of any serious collector’s attention. Porsche of course became and is one of the most successful sports and race car builders on the planet with an enviable record in just about every field of their endeavor. It is interesting to note that after all these years, the Peich and Porsche families, together and apart, hold a major share of German car production.This very rare and historic Porsche represents one of the earliest production cars being a model 51 which were constructed from mid-March 1951 to February 1952. The Reutter body comes from the second series of 500 bodies commissioned by Porsche which offers the split-window windscreen with rounded corners. It is important to recognize that all Porsche cars of this early production period were hand-built without any of the benefits of modern machinery or techniques. It is almost impossible to trace the lineage and or correct sequence of events as no records exist in the Porsche archives; such information that is available is invariably derived from the relatively few surviving cars or from top class restoration shops that have had the privilege of handling them.This particular car can be traced through Ed Koller in New Mexico to the Huffman Collection in Louisville, Kentucky. Huffman was a well-known Porsche dealer of long standing and had built a collection of Porsche road and race cars that spanned from 1949 to 1966. It is thought that this car was restored to a very high standard in 1980 under his auspices and was one of the rarest cars in his collection. The car was purchased with others from the Huffman estate by Ohio collector Vic Jacobs who unfortunately also passed away the following year.Auto Collectors Garage of Houston, Texas, was given the task of repair and restoration by the Jacobs Estate. The car was in superb condition but the paint was weak and it was deemed necessary to properly strip all relevant parts in order to take the car to bare metal and refinish it. In this process it was discovered that the original color was ivory and not white as it had been received, and therefore the correct original paint codes were sourced. Only a few very minor repairs were required on disassembly and the bare metal shell was found to be in remarkable condition. Now completed and in superb show-ready condition, this matching numbers historic car with its rare 1500 type 547, 60 bhp engine, Porsche Heritage Certificate, beautiful interior with wood door capping and trim, and superb instrumentation, is as correct and accurate as is known and represents a superb opportunity for any serious Porsche collector to acquire one of the earliest examples available in the Americas.

1957 Porsche 356A 1600S “Super” Speedster

CHASSIS NO: 83898  
Kardex Certificate
1600 cc four-cylinder air-cooled engine, four-speed manual transmission, four-speed manual transaxle, four-wheel independent suspension and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 82.7”In developing the 356, Dr. Porsche created the cornerstone of the iconic company that would bear his name; though leaving the business in the hands of son “Ferry,” he remained the patriarch of a race-winning model lineage until his death. Production of the firm’s first automobile began in the late 1940s, with the first 50 cars having been built almost entirely by hand and initially relying heavily on Volkswagen components. Ferry’s 356 had an integral body and chassis that utilized unitary construction techniques rather than placing the body on a frame. From the start, Porsche sales outstripped even Dr. Porsche’s most optimistic sales forecasts, and with increased sales came opportunities to build more and more of the 356 in-house (as opposed to having them built by Reutter Coachworks), as well as the chance to expand the model range.The possibilities that the 356 offered were limitless. Despite the fact that most of the early Porsches were essentially Volkswagens, it was clear that these little sports cars had an untapped competition potential within them. With a beautiful bathtub body designed by Erwin Komenda and an initial 25 horsepower power plant, the 356 offered Americans a design philosophy that they had yet to comprehend. But while the “pre-A” 356 did well enough by itself, enthusiasts began to demand something else. The first “sales-driven” new model came in 1954 as the Speedster. Introduced to the United States in September of that year, the new sporty roadster found a curiously receptive audience. It was curious only in that when constructing the new Speedsters, it appeared too many potential buyers as though designers had mistakenly left out many components and accessories standard on the previous year’s Cabriolet models. Obviously this was not the case though, as the Porsche importer Max Hoffman attempted to get the cost of the 356 Speedster as low as possible.By 1956, the 356 in both its forms had been continually developed into one of the world’s most respected sports cars. This feat was quite remarkable considering that Porsche as a company was only celebrating its eighth anniversary. The evolution of the Porsche 356 was swift and further impelled not only by Porsche’s drive for technical improvement but also by the realities of commercial success.The Speedster’s origins are well-known – built at the insistence of the legendary Max Hoffman, Porsche’s U.S. importer, but bears a brief recounting. Hoffman was responsible for recognizing the special needs of the U.S. market and encouraging, if not coercing, his European partners into building specific models to meet them. The Speedster was one of the most famous and successful fruits of Hoffman’s effort. Conceived to meet a specific price point, it was a Spartan purpose-built sporting machine with minimal equipment and no needless accoutrements. Priced at “just” $2,995 to East Coast ports of entry, the seats were skimpy, the mostly-useless top tiny, and the car dispensed with the luxury of roll-up windows in favor of roadster-esque side curtains, by then used only on similarly stripped-down British sports cars.As compared to the 356, the new Speedsters included a revised windshield that significantly lowered the look of the car. A chrome strip down the side of the car was also added and gone were unnecessary items such as an effective top (the new Speedster tops were not known for their air tight or waterproof fit). Instrumentation had been reworked to have only three dials: speedometer, oil temperature, and optional tachometer. Seating was also changed with the addition of bucket seats with little mobility. Nevertheless, these cars looked great and were even more exciting and fun to drive. With the reduced weight from the elimination of many trim items, the experience of driving a speedster was remarkably different from the standard Cabriolet.According to the Kardex, this was in fact a true “Super Speedster;” the car offered here has been garaged and covered in a climate controlled environment since a full and comprehensive restoration in 2002. This car was originally picked up in Germany and delivered to the States to its first American owner. The pan-up overhaul preceded a return to a Concours-correct and beautiful original exterior and interior color combination. With fewer than 2,000 careful break-in miles on the new Shasta-built C engine since restoration, no mechanical aspect of the car was overlooked. In addition to being a Super, this Speedster featured quite a few unusual options, including comfortable leather coupe seats, tonneau cover, and one outside mirror on the driver’s side among others.Please do not miss the opportunity to own truly a great classic that is not only fit for the show field but was also built to be driven.

To see these cars and the rest of the inventory visit: The Houston Classic Auction 2011


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