Comprehensively Restored, Show Winning Pre-A Continental.
1955 Porsche 356 Continental
VIN – 54173
Exterior Color – Dark Blue
Interior Color – Saddle leather
Engine – 1956 1600cc engine P*62440* (estimated at 90-95hp)
Gearbox – 4 speed manual stamped 6964 (matching Porsche CoA)
Coachwork - Reutter
Current Miles – 95,158 TMU
Very rare bent-windscreen Pre-A Continental
Exceptionally high-quality restoration by top Porsche specialists
Beautiful Charlie Potts paint recently applied under current ownership
One of 1,215 1955 coupes built during 1955 production
Over 50 pages of restoration documentation
For more than seven decades, Porsche has earned legions of dedicated worldwide enthusiasts driven by their passion for design and performance. Porsche’s legendary engineering prowess was instrumental in building their brand into an uncompromised motorsports and production car leader. By the early 1950’s Porsche cars were making their mark in America when distributor Max Hoffman convinced Porsche to develop cars specifically for the North American market. Typical of the period, American manufacturers were applying stylish names to their products, so Hoffman encouraged the use of the name “Continental” for the introduction of the 1955 model. Quickly thwarted by Ford Motor Company, poised to release their Continental Mark II, Ford instructed Porsche to remove the script and name from their cars. As a result, the gold Continental fender scripts appeared only on 1955 models and today continue to identify these unique cars for their pioneering placement in North American markets.
Current Condition and Ownership
According to the Porsche Certificate of Authenticity accompanying this car, this Porsche was completed September 26, 1955 finished in Turkish Red with Yellow Leatherette interior. The car was optioned with Sealed beam headlights, Speedometer in Miles, and a set of aluminum wheels. Copies of service records on file with the car date back to 1992 with ample evidence of care and service by previous owners. The current owner purchased the car in 2009 from the previous owner shortly after the car won its class at the Palo Alto Concours. The previous owner had spent significant resources preparing the car to a very high standard including bare metal body restoration work down to the original documented factory body panels, engine removal, and selected floor pan work including a new battery box. The current owner then commissioned the restoration services of Raffi Najarian, The Pit Stop, Brisbane, CA, to refine an already exceptional car with further improvements on the exemplary restoration. Being a very particular collector with both the taste and means to achieve the very best, the current owner engaged Charlie Potts to strip and repaint the car to an exceptional level resulting in a stunning presentation of the exterior features, beautiful interior fit and finish, and confident mechanical performance.
Restoration and key service work performed
Although the accompanying records extensively detail the many items replaced or refurbished during the restoration, notable items include the following:
Five 185/65 x 16 AvonTires
Five 4.5” x 16” wheels and alignment
Four Bilstein shock absorbers
Front and rear wheel cylinders and brake master cylinder
New front brake shoes and brake hose kit
Front sway bar kit
901 Throw out bearing conversion kit
A set of correct sealed beam headlights and bulbs
Lexan sun visors fabricated
Starter and bushing replaced
Seatbelts with snap-hook installed
Custom set of five 16 x 4.5 wheels and spinners fabricated (included with the car)
Carburetors rebuilt and new muffler installed
Steering box rebuilt
Front and rear brakes overhauled
Shifter mechanism overhauled
Heater boxes and heating system overhauled
Bare metal body glass out restoration
Floor and Battery Box restoration
Zinc plating for selected engine parts
During the current owner’s restoration efforts, a comprehensive engine rebuild was performed with modifications to enhance performance output while retaining the original carburetors, exhaust, and original engine appearance. The internal block halves were surfaced and align honed to standard bore surfaces, machined true, stud threads helicoiled, and the engine block relieved to allow for the fully counterweighted crank. Pistons were coated with heat dispersant and skirt lube film. A full valve job was performed with modified intake and exhaust ports, bronze valve seats, new springs, ported and polished intake manifolds, enlarged carburetor throttle bores (32mm to 34mm), rejetting of the carburetors, and the distributor modified (advance curve). All engine tins were powder coated and detailed upon full reassembly. Major engine parts included in the rebuild:
Complete set of JE pistons, with liners, rings 86.00mm
Fully counterweighted crankshaft
Custom grind Elgin camshaft
Set of pushrods
Titanium Ferrea inlet valves
Titanium exhaust valves
Complete set of valve springs with pedestals and titanium retainers
Bronze intake valve seats
Bronze exhaust valve seats
Set of Clevite main bearings (std)
Set of Clevite rod bearings (std)
Set of new oil pump gears
Camshaft driven gear
Camshaft drive gear
Complete gasket set
Steel 200mm flywheel
Sachs 200mm clutch set
Oil pressure relief valve kit
High efficiency engine oil cooler
High flow engine cooling fan
Today this 356 presents beautifully with a cohesive restoration reflective of the extensive efforts by current and previous owners and the experts involved in the restoration. The superb paint shows uniform and smooth gloss on all exterior surfaces, inner door jambs, and under the engine and trunk lids. The doors, hood, and trunk open and shut smoothly, exhibiting exceptionally good fit and panel gaps. As noted in the restoration photos the number 73 appears on the engine and hood indicating original pieces. The doors, very likely original, exhibit exceptionally nice fit around the entire perimeter openings. The bumpers and various trim are all in fine condition including the correctly restored Continental script emblems, glass, and distinctive double beehive taillight lenses. The wheels are correctly painted featuring chrome plated center caps and turbine fin perimeter trim. Proper stance is retaining with correctly sized and elegant whitewall tires. The exterior delivers a wonderful, purposeful, sporty stance which is enhanced by the improved horsepower. Two particularly handsome vintage touches are the 1967 vintage German Auto Club badge mounted to the single grille engine lid and a pair of yellow lens foglamps mounted to the front bumper.
The interior is also stunning, featuring crisply detailed components, displaying continuity of materials and finishes in every area. The saddle leather material perfectly conveys the sporting refinement of the car echoed in select details, trim, and features unique to this early Pre-A series 356. The seats and door panels are beautifully tailored with correct pleats and stitching, accented by delicate touches of chrome trim. The painted dashboard features precisely restored instruments showing vivid color and clarity along with correct switches and knobs, many of which appear original or have been restored as needed. The correct and rare Telefunken radio appears to be original, and the steering wheel retains the correct painted cast metal horn ring finished off with a stunning Porsche crest. The correct square weave carpeting, soft headliner, beautifully made tinted sun visors, and interior side panels are all perfectly matched in color and material. The rear window is finished with a rare articulated venetian blind. The front storage area is handsomely presented showing a matching spare tire, leather strapping, a green tool roll with tools, and correct factory serial number clearly stamped in the proper location.
The engine and engine bay are beautifully detailed and finished to a very high level. Although the engine is a 1956 1600cc engine uprated to higher horsepower output, the exterior presentation is very accurate with correct air cleaners, correct finishes, proper coatings, with careful attention to factory correct details.
Chassis and undercarriage
The underside of the car was addressed during the restoration including replacement of the battery box and center floor sections as is common practice with unibody cars of the period. Evidence of the work replacing floor panels indicates quality workmanship and attention to stamping details retaining the corrugated strengthening sections in the main floor pan. Suspension components, engine and matching gearbox casings, and various lines are all in excellent visual condition. There is no visual evidence of corrosion or structural compromise to the floor pan or main suspension mounting points.
Included with the car
The car is offered with a spare set of five original 16” wheels (four of which are date code stamped Lemmerz, 1954 and the spare, a Sudrad 1953) with Firestone Deluxe Champion tires, a spare set of four chrome hubcaps and four turbine fin trim rings, a 1955 California license plate (mounted on the car), a third brake light painted matching blue color, and a reproduction Porsche Type 356 owner’s manual. Also included with the car are copies of records documenting the restoration, previous ownership receipts dating back to 1992, a photo book documenting the restoration process, and a program of the 2010 Palo Alto Concours where it was shown in 2009 and emerged victorious in its class.
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