Very Early Production 356SC Cabriolet Presented in Its Original Colors. Matching-Numbers Car that Runs and Drives Great.
1963 Porsche 356 SC Cabriolet
s/n 159043, Engine No. 820011
Light Ivory with Black Leather Interior
The final iteration of Porsche’s first production car, the 356 C was the most developed variant of the model that defined Porsche’s early years, both on the track and off. During over 15 years of production, the 356 developed from 40hp to nearly 100hp, with accompanying improvements in roadholding and braking as well. Incorporating the revisions from the T6 body introduced halfway through 356 B production, the C model was further differentiated by the addition of disc brakes, more powerful base engines, and minor interior revisions. The highest spec version of the 356C was the SC, replacing the Super 90. The SC had 20hp more than the C thanks to its higher compression ratio, reworked cylinder heads, larger valves (sodium-filled on the exhaust side), alloy cylinders, and Solex rather than Zenith carburetors. Available in both the Coupe and Cabriolet body styles, the SC Cabriolet was the top of the non-racing model range, and like all other C variants, it benefitted from the continuous development that occurred between the model’s 1948 introduction and the production of the C, which lasted just two model years.
According to a copy of the Porsche Certificate of Authenticity and a copy of the Kardex, this numbers-matching SC Reutter Cabriolet was produced July 26, 1963, making it an extremely early C model 356. It was originally finished in color code 6404 “Light Ivory” with Black Leather interior. Engine number 820011 reveals that this car is one of the first SC models delivered as production began. Delivered from the factory with ventilated chrome wheels, chrome signal ring (horn ring), antenna, and Dunlop tires, this 356 SC retains its original options (save for the Dunlops) as well as its original engine and transmission, also verified by the Porsche CoA. The car was under long-term ownership for some time before it was sold to a previous owner who performed a thorough restoration. Included in this work was a bare metal repaint, completely renewed interior, and full mechanical rebuild, including engine, gearbox, suspension, and brakes. The car has covered fewer than 5,000 miles since being restored.
The current owner purchased the car after the restoration was completed and has since performed service and maintenance while adding very few miles to the 85,706 miles indicated today. In 2015, with 85,001 miles, new front and rear Koni shock absorbers were installed, the front brake calipers were rebuilt, sway bar end-links were replaced, and a new set of Classic radial 165/80/15 tires were mounted, balanced, and four wheel alignment performed. In 2014, with 84,783 miles showing, the car was extensively serviced including a new starter, tune up, carburetor adjustment, throttle linkage repair, a new hand brake handle installed, brake fluid flush, and clutch adjustment.
Today, this handsome 356SC Cabriolet displays nice driver level finish with good gloss and attractive presentation. The paint has a few road chips, and minor imperfections, but otherwise offers a very clean look. The doors and hood shut tightly with good overall fit to the body, while the engine lid displays very good fit, complete with the twin grille and chrome plated luggage rack. The quality of the chrome, trim, and emblems is very good overall with some parts lightly aging and the gold SC lettering showing honest patina. Other than some pits and stars on the windshield, the glass and lenses are in good shape, showing generally good fit with properly fitting rubber gaskets and some aging to selected rubber and weather stripping. The headlights have been replaced with the more effective European market units with fluted glass. The ventilated chrome wheels have been widened to 5 ½” and rechromed. The purposeful stance, convertible body, black plates, and luggage rack complete the classic look, inviting visions of long distance touring and carefree weekend getaways.
One of the best aspects of this car’s presentation is its interior, which has been beautifully and correctly finished and makes a strong impression. The top has been redone using correct German canvas with proper headliner, both of which are in very good condition. The black leather seats are in excellent condition, having been correctly restored, using just the right amount of seat bolstering to give an authentic look while offering a comfortable driving position. Beautiful headliner, rear seats, square weave carpeting, rubber mats, and door panels present very cohesively, showing excellent fit and detailing. The dashboard is beautifully finished in matching ivory paint with black trim. The instruments are exceptionally clear and colorful with high contrast in the dial faces and clear glass. Along with the working VDO clock and factory short wave Blaupunkt radio, the switches, knobs, and handles all function smoothly and maintain a very high level of finish. A polished aluminum and glossy black factory steering wheel, with gold Porsche crested center emblem nestled in a chrome plated horn ring, quintessentially completes this sporting interior.
Under the hood, the engine compartment and numbers matching engine have been restored with attention to detail, deviating mildly from factory standards including non-original air cleaners atop Weber carburetors. Greatly favored by enthusiasts for their performance value, this desirable improvement delivers just a bit more sporting acceleration, for those who enjoy spirited driving on open roads. Proper factory decals, hoses, and correct engine fittings contribute to the visual appearance of the engine compartment. Under the front lid, the storage area shows some evidence of previous repairs. At some point in the history of the car, a portion of the driver’s side front fender, hood, and lower valance was damaged and subsequently repaired. A slight variation in the front valance and driver’s side front vent is visible under close inspection. The hood was replaced during this repair and there is some evidence of inner body repair evident in the metalwork. Chassis corrosion being common to most of these cars, the floor panels, battery box, and rocker panels having been replaced during restoration or were previously replaced at some point during the life of the car. The underside is tidy, generally sound, and dry, showing clean engine and transmission castings, proper exhaust, and recently serviced suspension.
The car starts easily with a snappy rasp and quick idle as the Weber carburetors ready the engine for use. Once warmed up and underway, the excellent steering and cornering capabilities offered with disc brake 356 SCs make a great impression. The Weber carburetors come on strong when summoned, delivering all the wonderful sounds Porsche enthusiasts have come to revere in these air-cooled sports cars. The gearbox delivers smooth shifting through all gears and on the highway, 4th gear is quiet, unlike many other cars where typically this gear can sing a bit too much. The shifter bushings appear to be in good condition, with well-defined gates and nice positive shift action. The suspension is firm and compliant when cornering, due to the newer Koni shocks, slightly wider wheels, and newer tires. Road manners on the highway are smooth and solid as one might expect from a car having benefited from the thoughtful mechanical attention and careful sorting this Porsche has enjoyed in recent years.
A reproduction owner’s manual, two jacks, and very nice tool kit with case, Messko tire pressure gauge, copy of the Porsche Certificate of Authenticity, recent records of service, and a copy of the Kardex are included with the car.
This handsome 356 SC Cabriolet is the ideal example to drive and enjoy. A very early production matching-numbers example of the flagship of the Porsche line presented in its original colors, this car runs and drives very well, exemplifying the all joys of vintage Porsches in an open-air package. Thoughtfully equipped and mechanically sorted, this example is ready for casual shows, tours, or enjoyable country driving.
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.
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