Matching-Numbers California Car From New Benefiting From Long-term Fastidious Ownership. Desirable Late 356A Series All-Synchromesh Example. All Original Panels. Highly Complete and Nicely Documented.
1959 Porsche 356A/1600 Reutter Cabriolet
s/n 151926, engine no. 73815
Ivory with Red Leather Interior
Founded on a commitment to precision engineering and crafting excellence, the Porsche brand has advanced through decade after decade of technological excellence, introducing new generations of enthusiasts into the world of performance sports cars. With an abundance of leading-edge technology, the humble and beautifully conceived Porsche 356 has become a renewed beacon of mid-century simplicity, growing favor among astute collectors who enjoy the unique driving dynamics of these agile performers. And while many important sports cars have propelled Porsche to new heights, the 356 set the contemporary standard for production excellence as a global brand. With much of their success in racing, the world would soon recognize Porsche as a company to be reckoned with. Upon its release, the 356A became one of the most sought-after Porsches, exhibiting the finest craftsmanship and engineering. Thoughtfully designed and offering a sporty range in their product line, the 356A offered customers high quality, value, reliability, and mechanical robustness that would define the Porsche brand in the coming decades. Today the 356 series cars further entice collectors to seek out these capable and beautiful sports cars for the same reasons so many enthusiasts purchased them when new – a delightful performance car delivered in a distinctive and compelling package.
According to the Porsche Certificate of Authenticity which accompanies the car, this 356A/1600 Reutter Cabriolet was completed April 15,1959 and delivered with US options to its North American destination. The car was finished in Ivory/5704 with Red Leather interior, departing the factory with engine number 73815 outfitted with the following options:
Sealed Beam Headlights
Becker Radio ‘Europa’ (Medium Wave)
2 Pair of Seatbelts
With a North American destination and final delivery to the west coast, the car found its way to the first owner courtesy of the Santa Barbara, CA Porsche Volkswagen dealership “Van Wyk”. Once delivered, the car was titled, registered, and assigned a black and yellow California license plate, surrounded by the dealership trim frame. The car was then put into service by the first owner, frequently commuting to and from work. After months of urging from an insistent coworker, the original owner sold the car to the coworker, also a resident of Santa Barbara. The second owner then gave the car to his son who used the car sparingly before parking it outside his home, also in Santa Barbara. Fortunately for the car, the neighbors were Porsche enthusiasts and after years of asking if it might one day be for sale, they were able to purchase the car.
Over a period of about four years, the third owners, Robert and Annette Muller, methodically restored this Porsche back to factory original colors. Having owned many vintage Porsches, they were mindful of using as many of the original parts that had been retained with the car including the matching engine, gearbox, rare exterior trim pieces, the correct 1959 date coded wheels, and numbers matching hood, doors, and engine lid. Having benefited from the mild California climate, the condition of the body was essentially undamaged and rust free. They elected to have a bare metal glass-out repaint performed by a body shop familiar with Porsches. The floor, battery box, and undercarriage remained rust free and free from any significant structural damage, so the floor pan and underside were left essentially original while all inner body surfaces were properly sealed and primed and painted 5704 Porsche Ivory. The interior was comprehensively restored by a Porsche specialist using correct materials, top quality leather, following the original patterns. The matching numbers engine was rebuilt by Porsche specialist Joe Schneider of Schneider Autohaus, Santa Barbara, CA.
Records with the car indicate the engine was rebuilt at 51,400 miles indicated including a new bearing set, new Crower connecting rods, head resurfacing and valve seat cut, new piston rings, clutch disc and clutch cover, flywheel resurface, valve springs and guides, and engine balancing for rotating assembly. At 55,000 miles, the front brakes were redone with new wheel cylinders and shoes, fluid flush, and adjustments made. In 2014 the current and consigning owner purchased the car. A retired Porsche concours judge, automotive historian, and veteran sports car collector, he detailed the car to a very high standard tending to small but important items including electrical items, all fluids, new front sway bar suspension bushings, new signal relay, and other small but important details to meet his high standards. With just over 55,000 miles, the engine was compression checked, returning 120 psi in all cylinders. In 2015 with 55,392 miles indicated the engine was removed, and the ring gear was replaced along with a new crank seal and gland nut. In 2019 a new Optima 6V battery was installed along with an onboard battery charger.
Today this handsome 356 Cabriolet shows 56,000 miles still retaining the matching numbers engine and gearbox confirmed by the Porsche Certificate of Authenticity. One of only 944 Cabriolets built in 1959, this Porsche is beautifully finished in correct factory colors showing excellent gloss and smooth finish throughout. The doors shut tightly with crisp fit, while the matching numbers hood and engine lid open and shut easily and fit very well to the body. The quality of the chrome, trim, and emblems are excellent overall, showing only modest signs of age since the restoration work was completed approximately seven years ago. The inner door jambs, hood, and engine lid finishes have been restored to a high level as well. Along the driver’s side door jamb, the two body tags reflect the chassis number and factory paint color which match the Porsche CoA. The windshield, side glass, headlights, and lenses are also of high quality, showing excellent fit, properly fitting rubber gaskets, and correct style weather stripping. The ventilated wheels are beautifully finished with correct silver paint and matching chrome wheel covers. Even the valve stems are wired to the wheel slots – a nice period detail. The “tube-over” type bumpers (originally ordered with this US delivery car) feature excellent chrome finish and correct contouring. The black convertible top has been properly reupholstered using correct materials both inside and out and a correctly sewn in clear plastic rear window, all of which are in excellent condition. The convertible top mechanism is in very good condition with the Reutter-Verdeck tag still in place on the folding convertible top bar.
The interior is handsomely prepared using correct, high-quality materials throughout the cabin. The red leather seats have been properly restored, with correct piping, pleats, and just the right amount of seat foam, not overly padded as often done by lesser experienced upholsterers. The driver’s seat bottom cushion is only slightly relaxed, showing hints of use, while the remaining interior finishes are excellent throughout including the rear seating area. Correct square weave carpeting, door panels and correctly sewn door pockets, smooth dash pad, and correct textured vinyl sun visors, all present very cohesively with only modest evidence of use to the textured front floor mat. The dashboard is finished in matching Ivory paint with a tight-fitting red leather dash top. The instruments have excellent overall cosmetic finishes with beautiful contrasting dial faces, correct light green indication, and clear glass. Along with the optional radio, the switches, knobs, and handles all retain a very unified feeling of quality and finish, some with a bit of patina to add to the quality of the interior. An excellent finishing touch is beautifully restored painted steering wheel and horn ring adorned with a stunning black and gold Porsche crest center emblem, putting the final touch on this quintessential 1950s sports car interior.
Under the hood, the engine compartment and engine have mellowed a bit since the restoration, but still present very confidently and worthy of concours exhibit. The engine rebuild is documented with notations on the build, specifications, and parts used during the process. Proper factory decals, hoses, correctly inverted Bosch coil, brown distributor cap, correctly finished engine shroud and air cleaners, and correct silver canister H-Filter oil filter all contribute to the factory appearance of the engine compartment. Light golden hues to the twin Zenith carburetors topped by correct Knecht air filters add a nice touch to the matching numbers 1600 engine. The front storage area is properly finished, quite nicely detailed, and matching in quality to the engine compartment. The spare wheel shows a 1959 stamping, and the original battery box houses an updated 6V Optima battery. The car still bears the correct number stamping and chassis plate, which matches the Porsche CoA. The underside reveals a sound floor and solid body with care given to the underside engine components during restoration and rebuild. The chassis is properly presented confirming the unmolested California ownership history and originality of this 356. Though perhaps not detailed to national show level finish the quality of the original finishes is very satisfying.
The car starts easily and settles into a smooth, familiar air-cooled Porsche idle. Being a late series car and outfitted with the desirable fully synchromesh 716 transmission, the car runs and shifts smoothly. Driving this car, one is immediately reminded of how enjoyable a properly sorted Porsche 356 can be. Prepared to stock engine specifications and delivering all the wonderful sounds Porsche enthusiasts have come to revere in early air-cooled cars, there is simply no replacement for the engagement this car promptly delivers when joyfully driven. The car accelerates progressively, the brakes track evenly, and the suspension is confident when cornering. Road manners on the highway are surprisingly modern owing to the fine restoration and professional mechanical sorting blended so carefully with the sound original chassis.
Included with the sale is a fitted car cover, a specially packaged set of emergency items including fuses, spare lights, various replacement items all contained in a custom-made Porsche insignia bag, two fire extinguishers, a battery tender, a matching slotted spare wheel and tire, a factory jack and factory tool kit with tools and original olive-green tool wrap, and a spare fan belt. A copy of the Porsche Certificate of Authenticity, a copy of the Kardex, records of the engine rebuild, and other assorted receipts also accompany the car.
This handsome numbers matching Porsche 356A Cabriolet presents all the best traits of a professionally sorted 356 one might expect – a delightful driving experience in a beautifully finished car, ready for enjoyable country road adventures, Porsche club concours events, or vintage Porsche tours.
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