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1960 Porsche 356 B Roadster

Matching Numbers Original Slate Grey B Roadster. Never Rusted, One Owner for 54 Years.

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VIN 88001
Exterior Color Slate Grey
Interior Color Red
Mileage 88680 Miles
Engine 1600 cc flat-4 no. 602816
Transmission 4-speed manual
Status Sold
Stock FJ2172


1960 Porsche 356 B Roadster
s/n 88001, engine no. P602816
Slate Grey with Red Interior

Porsche performance and engineering has earned decades of respect and accolades from enthusiasts all over the world, not just for their great cars, but also for their continued innovation and ongoing improvements throughout their production. Their humble and cost-conscious beginnings were instrumental to their success as a motorsports brand. Built to race and raced to win, by the early 1950s Porsche cars were making their mark on America roads when Porsche distributor Max Hoffman asked for a car that could compete with low priced Triumphs and MGs. Porsche set out to build a pared down sports car with a basic equipment level, but coupled with the robustness and reliability that has always make Porsches such excellent endurance racers. Called the Speedster, this model sold well thanks to its sub-$3,000 base price ($2,995), which Hoffman had insisted on in order to make it competitive with British sports cars.

Eventually, the side curtains were replaced by wind up windows and the convertible top made less rudimentary, creating the Convertible D, which retained most of the rakish looks of the Speedster but added some practicality. When the 356B appeared, the model was retained and renamed the Roadster, and were built by Drauz, a dedicated coachbuilder due to Reutter’s (the builder of most other Porsche bodies) capacity constraints.

Enthusiasts who enjoy driving their cars will be particularly drawn to the B series 356 Roadster in part for the low profile and sporting mechanical updates, but also for their roll up windows and more civilized convertible top. With the updated and desirable T5 body, raised bumpers, refined interior, improved ZF gearbox, and more powerful brakes, the B Roadster represents the sweet spot between the Spartan Speedster and the more formal Cabriolet.

This particular 356 B Roadster boasts a unique California history of singular 54-year ownership, original engine and transmission, and professional restoration by noted marque expert Bob King. Finished in slate grey, this Porsche was completed on 27 May 1960 and delivered new to the Ralph Cutright Co. dealership in Santa Monica, California. Cutright sold the car on July 21, 1960 to the original owner, a resident of Los Angeles and later Manhattan Beach, California. She retained the car for decades, taking it off the road in 1979, but continuing to register the car through the 1980s and 90s. In 2013, the family decided to get the car running again, and ultimately decided that it should be restored in its entirety and therefore sold it to 356 expert Bob King, who comprehensively restored it to his famously high standards.

The restoration was painstakingly performed to a high standard with the original engine and gearbox rebuilt to correct Porsche specifications. The car has since been very well sorted throughout and driven a few miles to make necessary adjustments and refinements as needed. Currently showing 88,660 miles, the original owner’s family states these to be original to the car and all indications observed during restoration support this statement.

During the restoration the engine was removed and completely disassembled revealing a near perfect engine case. New balanced AA 86mm pistons and cylinders were installed, a perfect 103 Normal Cam was finished and installed, and a new aluminum oil cooler fit to the engine. The original standard crank and rods (both magnafluxed OK) were balanced and new bearings were prepped and installed. Expert engine builder Arthur Connor was enlisted to rebuild the original heads. The original carburetors were rebuilt, a rebuilt fuel pump was installed, and the engine reassembled and tested revealing excellent compression in all cylinders. Both the original starter and generator were checked, cleaned, and reinstalled on the car. A new Sachs clutch disc and cover were also installed and the original transaxle rebuilt by German Transaxle of America, Bend, Oregon.

Once the body restoration was underway, it was revealed that the right door and a portion of the right front fender had been repaired due to a light accident at some point in the history of the car. The period correct workmanship for repairs was expertly performed and are reported to be undetectable even to experts. With no body rust and the original bodywork properly prepped for paint, the restoration proceeded smoothly. The original date stamped wheels were removed and restored using correct finishes while new Vredestein Sprint Classic 175-70-15 Tires were installed. New Koni Classic shocks, new king and link pins, a new master cylinder and all new wheel cylinders were also installed. During the disassembly the chassis and structure of the car was reviewed revealing the original unmolested floors, longitudinals, and battery box all in wonderfully preserved condition.

Finishing off the restoration, the interior and top was completed using original spec. materials by Autos International. A new Sigla windshield, correct wiper arms and blades were installed. All instruments were carefully removed and restored by North Hollywood Speedometer. The restoration work is supported by extensive doucumentation indicating all the work which was performed.

The finished car certainly speaks for itself in condition and provenance. The paint is beautifully done in the original factory color with uniform gloss and fresh finish throughout the car. The doors, hood, and trunk open and shut smoothly and display outstanding fit and gaps. The panels and strike surfaces exhibit excellent fit and proper finish along the jambs and underside surfaces. The bumpers and various exterior trim fit beautifully along with excellent surrounding rubber trim. All lighting and emblems are superbly fit in like-new condition, particularly the coachwork emblem, Porsche script lettering and distinctive 1600 engine emblem. During the restoration, every effort was made to capture correct finishes while maintaining original specifications. Overall the visual exterior presentation is among the nicest you will find on a car that can be driven and enjoyed as well as confidently shown.

The interior has been restored accurately with correct components, stunning instruments displayed across the body colored dashboard, accented by red interior trim. The contrasting interior is authentically finished with correct high quality materials, restored in red rather than the original light grey color as indicated on the CoA. The correctly finished bucket seats have been purposefully “cupped” on the bottom bolsters to allow better comfort and grip when driving. The seating comfort due to these subtle changes greatly enhances the driving experience without compromising originality. The grey square weave carpet is of high quality and correct style, showing in as-new condition. The black canvas top is in similarly fresh condition and has a tight fit to the windshield header and a very nice clear plastic rear window. The mechanical top armature moves freely and nests smoothly into the rear compartment, creating an elegant profile compared to the taller, bustled cabriolet roof. The instruments function properly and are in beautiful condition, revealing excellent color and clear lenses. Adding to the beauty of the presentation the original steering wheel is restored with correct finishes including the original center emblem – still gleaming despite being over 50 years old.

The trunk is exceptionally well presented with correctly strapped date stamped spare tire, correct ribbed rubber mat, correctly finished fuel tank, and a proper tool roll with tools, including Messko tire pressure gauge with pouch. The engine compartment is very well detailed and correctly restored using nearly all of the original engine parts as noted during the restoration. Care and attention is further given to a high level of detail including the use of proper fasteners, correct decals, and correct wiring. Both the engine and trunk are mercifully free of over-restoration, with the correct semi-gloss finish to the factory Knecht air cleaner housings and fuel tanks, both of which are prone to being excessively shiny on lesser restorations.

Underside inspection reveals a beautifully restored car reflective of the same attention given to the upper surfaces of the car. The floor pan reveals no structural compromises, excellent rebuilt and properly finished suspension, and authentic brakes and lines. The suspension, various components, and original gearbox are all in excellent condition showing essentially only test mile evidence of use since the restoration was completed.

The car starts reliably and idles smoothly with a nice healthy tone ready for action. The original gearbox (no. 37593 noted on the CoA) has been properly rebuilt and operates wonderfully up and down with smooth synchros, warm or cold and excellent clutch take-up. The car drives nicely along smooth roadways with no chatter when encountering bumps in the road. The driving experience confidently ranks among the finest restored original 356s we have ever driven – as only an unmolested platform can deliver. Acceleration is brisk as the engine winds up into the higher RPMs without hesitation or misfire. Despite what is nominally a “normal” specification, performance is brisk and does not leave the driver wanting. Braking is very good overall as is cornering and handling. The car comes with a file that includes original documentation such as the purchase order and one of the most complete 356 book sets we have ever encountered, including original Porsche paint chart, accessory catalog, Porsche factory Owner’s manual, maintenance booklet (specific to this car with the original owner’s name filled in) and support paperwork, Porsche Certificate of Authenticity, original registrations, and several unused California license tabs from the period during which the car was not driven.

This is a truly exceptional Porsche 356B Roadster. Not only does it enjoy known history back to new, which included single family California ownership for 54 years, it is comprehensively matching, exceptionally complete, has never been rusted, and is finished in its desirable and stunning original color. The integrity of the car is outstanding and the quality of the restoration is equally remarkable. It is a truly top-drawer example of one of Porsche’s most desirable models, and is the ideal car for the collector or enthusiast seeking the very best.


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Fantasy Junction +1 510 653 7555 Emeryville, California 94608 USA

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