Rare & highly desirable, comprehensive restoration completed in 2010, original colors inside & out, one of very few restored to this level retaining the original 1600 engine & factory 4-speed manual transmission.
1959 Porsche 356A 1600 Convertible D
s/n 86662, Eng. No. 75086
Silver with Red Leatherette Interior
Despite their humble beginnings, by the 1950s Porsche was well on their way to establishing themselves as an uncompromising motorsports leader and sports car manufacturer, a position it retains today. Built to race and raced to win, Porsches of this period were establishing their reputation in America when US Porsche distributor Max Hoffman asked for an elemental sports car that could compete against low priced Triumphs and MGs. The resulting car, the Speedster, was priced under $3,000 and delivered well on its promise, creating a legendary car that has since become highly sought-after by collectors and enthusiasts alike. For 1959, the usability of the Speedster was enhanced by the fitment of a slightly taller windscreen and wind-up windows to replace the curtains. The resulting car, the Convertible D, was produced for only one model year with coachwork performed by Drauz, making it a rare and important variant of the iconic Speedster lineage, particularly those optioned with the 1600 engine.
History of this Porsche Convertible D
According to the Porsche Certificate of Authenticity, further confirmed by a copy of the original factory Kardex accompanying this car, this Porsche was completed July 15, 1959, and outfitted with USA bumpers. Finished in Silver Metallic with Red Leatherette interior, this Convertible D was ordered with the 1600 series engine, departing the factory with engine number 75086 and transmission number 23819, both of which remain in the car today. The Kardex lists Hoffman, New York as the handler for the order. One of 1,331 examples built between August 1958 and September 1959, it is very likely one of a handful restored to this level retaining the original 1600 engine and factory 4-speed manual transmission.
A North American delivery example with long-term California ownership, while under current ownership, this Convertible D 1600 was treated to a professional restoration by Porsche expert Ted Blake of Ted Blake Restoration and Repair, Sacramento, CA. According to receipts accompanying this car, the current owner embarked on the restoration in 2008, concluding in 2010. The car was carefully evaluated by Blake before complete disassembly down to the bare shell. The original engine and transmission, confirmed by the Porsche CoA, were removed from the car, and comprehensively rebuilt using correct internal components and a balanced rotational assembly. Whenever possible as many original components were restored using correct finishes consistent with authentic Porsche factory applications.
While all components were removed, the body and floor were stripped to bare metal and all areas prone to corrosion were tended to. Having been a California car for what appears to be most of its life, rust was limited to typical areas such as the battery box, which was correctly replaced, along with addressing the longitudinals. Correctly stamped floor pans were also properly fit and welded in place following factory specifications. All suspension components were rebuilt including new bushings and hardware, new shock absorbers, new brakes, hard and soft brake lines, all new fuel lines, and a new wiring loom. The car was finished in the correct factory silver metallic using an accurate micro-flake metallic, while the red leatherette interior and correct oatmeal square weave carpet was installed. All instruments were restored as well as the painted steering wheel with matching painted horn ring. A correct black canvas top was fitted over properly finished top bows. Though not specifically identified on the Porsche CoA, the owner chose a set of reproduction chrome wheels with hubcaps and, although a factory Normal engine, a “SUPER” badge was added to the engine lid.
Blake continued to service the car for the current owner who by 2013 had driven the car approximately 2,000 miles when it was serviced for general items at Blake’s shop. In 2019, with 70,200 miles indicated, Avant Works, Truckee, CA replaced the coil, installed new spark plugs, cleaned the carburetors, changed the oil and filter, and performed a brake fluid flush. In 2021, with 70,858 miles indicated, Reno Rennport, Sparks, NV rebuilt both carburetors, replaced a hard fuel line, returning later that same year for new valve cover gaskets and a new battery cover. In preparation for sale, Blake performed a rear brake drum service including turning the drums.
Current Condition and Features
Today this Convertible D presents in excellent condition throughout. The paint is glossy showing only minor signs of age consistent with the show quality finish applied when the restoration was completed 13 years ago. The hood and deck lid have excellent fit, finish, and closure. The doors have excellent fit and snap shut with confident latching even when gently closed. The exterior trim is consistent with the body and paint presentation, being excellent throughout, ready for Porsche club shows or concours events. The glass and lenses are in excellent condition overall with no notable cracks or scratches including a very nice retractable red-tip antenna and beautifully contoured Speedster side trim. Chrome trim is also beautifully finished and the canvas convertible top fits snuggly and manually swings into the rear storage area with ease. A clear rear plastic window and beautifully finished top bows complete the very nice visual condition for the top. A set of Michelin XZX 165 SR 15 radial tires are mounted on chrome wheels with domed wheel covers and center Porsche crests.
The interior has been restored using high quality material with very good fit and proper seam lines. The red upholstery displays correct seat pleating, excellent foam padding, and beautifully finished corners, piping, and a high level of attention to detail in areas often overlooked. The canvas top is essentially new, appearing to have little to no use with a correctly fit headliner. The instruments and dash are superbly restored with clean and clear dial faces, crisp numeric indication and needles, beautiful chrome bezels, and a padded dash top. The correct painted Porsche steering wheel and proper inner horn ring are beautifully finished and feature the Porsche center crest. The oatmeal-colored square weave carpet is a nice contrast to the red interior trimmed with correct piping and excellent fit in the corners displaying proper tailoring in the under-dash floorboard and rear compartment.
Under the engine lid, the numbers matching engine bears the correct 7 series engine number exclusive to the 1600 series engines optioned in these cars. Although this is a non-Super model, a “SUPER” emblem has been added to the engine lid. The engine compartment has been restored with proper finishes and Porsche components with attention to detail consistent with years of concours victories amassed by vintage 356 restoration expert Ted Blake. Various factory decals, linkage, and tidy detailing make an accurate and visually pleasing overall engine compartment not only correct, but a delight to see. Fit and finish are attractive even though light patina has settled over the past 13 years on a few engine components since the restoration was completed. In addition to the matching numbers engine, the manual transmission also matches the Porsche CoA. The underside of the car remains in excellent condition showing no indication of inclement weather driving since the restoration was completed and excellent finishes to the restored components, floor pan, engine, and matching numbers transmission.
Starting easily, the engine runs smoothly at idle and warms up well on the open road. The 1600 engine makes welcome power quite easily with strong pull in all gears. Steering is tight and responsive as are the recently serviced brakes working quite well with the additional horsepower offered in the 1600 series engine. The car shifts, runs, and drives with confidence, delivering agility and composure even over rougher road surfaces. With each mile at the wheel, it’s easy to see why after more than 40 years of Porsche restorations, Ted Blake 356 Porsche restorations continue to be sought after by collectors who enjoy authentic cars that can be driven with confidence. The car comes with a Porsche CoA, car cover, matching black canvas tonneau cover and storage bag, a battery tender, and copies of selected restoration and service invoices.
This rare and highly desirable Porsche 356 Convertible D offers the next enthusiast a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a car that can be shown with pride and driven with confidence to local events or Porsche club gatherings.
The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.
Fantasy Junction • 510-653-7555 • 1145 Park Ave, Emeryville, CA 94608