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Vehicle to be offered for Auction sale June 5th – 7th, 2015 at Russo and Steele’s 3rd Annual Newport Beach California Auction. Please contact us for more information.
Following Porsche’s relocation from Gmünd in Austria to Stuttgart, Germany during 1950, the 356 Cabriolet entered production at the Gläser and Reutter coachworks. Cabriolet production numbers steadily increased with these luxurious, well-appointed, and relatively expensive models enjoying growing demand as an ideal choice for spirited cross-country drives. Marking the first major update to the 356 series, the 356 A, known internally as “Type 1” or “T1,” debuted for 1956 with myriad detail, mechanical, and visual refinements. While it was more popular than ever before, the top-of-the-line 356 A Cabriolet was truly a limited production model. Just 3,367 356 A Cabriolets were built in all through the end of the 1959 model year.
Numbered 61560, this Reutter-built Porsche 356 A Cabriolet is the 50th of just 392 produced for 1957. As an early-production 356 A, it is equipped with “beehive” taillights, “shine down” license plate lighting, and the early single rear bumper over-rider, which was soon after required by regulators to be split for improved rear license-plate visibility soon after this vehicle was produced, beginning approximately at VIN 61700.
As confirmed by the original California registration document, this 356A Cabriolet was delivered new in La Crescenta, California to Robert and Eva Pautz, who opted to re-register it as a “Black Plate” car in 1963. They retained the Porsche until the early 1970s when it was acquired by Alan Grant of Riverside, California. Mr. Grant retained the Cabriolet over the next four decades until the Consignor acquired it in 2014. According to the copious records accompanying the car, it received some collision repairs performed by Wells Body Shop of Glendale California during May 1965, with the work order totaling $260.38. The expert Consignor, a Porsche marque specialist, advises that no evidence of any other body work was found and all metal is believed to be original.
During Alan Grant’s tenure, the Cabriolet’s body was totally restored. Photographs on file confirm the Porsche remained totally rust-free prior to having been repainted during the early 2000s, physically confirming the car’s inland Californian ownership from new. Acquired by the Consignor in 2014, the Cabriolet then received a full cosmetic and mechanical restoration at Costa Mesa’s Liberty Motorsports. Highlights include rebuilding of the complete brake system, replacement of all rubber bushings, installation of correct new shock absorbers, and replacement of any incorrect items. Additionally, the undercarriage was fully cleaned, all running gear was correctly repainted to factory specifications, and factory-specification “Schutz” undercoating was applied as when the Cabriolet was delivered new.
Visually striking in red and tan livery with excellent panel gaps and fitment clearly in evidence, this California “black plate” 356 A Cabriolet includes proper square-weave carpeting, a correct top boot and split tonneau, plus a toolkit, jack, and owners’ manual. A comprehensive document file contains original and continuous registration documents from May 24, 1957 through 1967 and from 1979 though 1994, plus numerous service records dating back to the early 1960s from well-known Southern Californian shops. Importantly, the Cabriolet retains the matching numbers body panels, engine, and transaxle, plus a complete set of five date-matched wheels. A well cared-for, restored, detailed, and presented California car from new, this 1957 Porsche 356 A Cabriolet simply “ticks all the boxes” for an outstanding classic Porsche buy!