Displacement: 1,582 cc
Horsepower: 74 bhp @ 5,000 rpm
Engine Torque: 86 ft lb @ 3,700 rpm
Top Speed: 107 mph
0 - 60 mph: 13.5 seconds
click on image to enlarge
First conceived in 1947, the Porsche 356 was so named, as it was the 356th design by Ferdinand Porsche (in actual fact, it was the 349th as Porsche started numbering them from number 7 onwards, so as not to appear a complete neophyte upon presenting his first design). It was shown in Geneva in 1949. It was, like all Porsches, continually refined and developed over the course of its production. Various revisions were made during its early life, but the first significant change came in 1955, with the launch of the 356A, which debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The new model range comprised three distinct models, the coupe, the cabriolet and the Speedster. The Speedster had been created as a result of the American Porsche agent, Max Hoffman's demands, that the factory produce a cheaper, more sporting version of the cabriolet. Though initially not a tremendous success (just 4,854 were built during its four year run), it has become one of the most iconic and desirable classic cars ever. Part of the reason for its lackluster beginning, was its overly Spartan appointments. The top was a very ineffective, do-it-yourself affair and there were no side windows, only small detachable screens, which did little to improve the weatherproofing. Also, the stylish windshield was too low for a person of regular height to drive it comfortably. These issues however, were solved in late 1958, with the introduction of the Convertible D (and the concurrent ending of Speedster production). The 'D' stood for Drauz, the German coachbuilder assigned to build the bodies. This new car addressed the issues of the Speedster by slightly raising the removeable windshield and installing a proper soft top and wind-up windows. Thus, it gave the best of both worlds by combining the look and lightweight performance of the Speedster with the practicality of the cabriolet. Sadly, they were only produced for one year, as Porsche was readying its next generation, 356B, for launch. Ultimately, during their entire production run, from August 1958 to September 1959, only 1,331 were built, thereby making them the rarest Porsche 356 production model ever manufactured for a full year (Carreras being special order cars not made in groups on the assembly line and the T6 "twin grille" Roadster was produced for only a few months). They were offered with a choice of two engines, the 60 horsepower 1600 and the 75 horsepower 1600 Super (there were also two Convertible Ds fitted with the four-cam Carrera engine).
Offered here is (with the possible exception of the aforementioned four-cam cars) the rarest of the rare. A matching-numbers, California delivered, black plate, Convertible D 1600 Super with ONE OWNER FROM NEW! Bought new in 1959 from Norm Anderson Porsche in San Jose for $4,280, it is still finished in its Porsche Certificate of Authenticity confirmed, original colour scheme of Meissen Blue with black leatherette interior, it is in excellent shape throughout. Never wrecked or rusted, it retains all of its original sheetmetal. The factory, number-stamped panels display superb shut-lines and the paintwork shows very well with a couple of minor flaws. The interior is in great shape and largely original with the exception of the seats that have just been reupholstered to concours standards by a marque expert. The chrome and original glass are all similarly good. The date-coded wheels are shod with Michelin tyres and the car runs and drives beautifully.
The Convertible D is one of the most sought after Porsches ever built and therefore, this opportunity to purchase a one owner, matching-numbers, black plate California car with the Super engine, is surely irreplicable.