<b>1955 Porsche 356 1500 Continental Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 54215<br />Engine no. 35730
Lot 92
Matching numbers
Exquisite Restoration by Marque Experts
1955 Porsche 356 Pre-A 1500 Continental
Coachwork by Reutter
Sold for US$ 288,200 inc. premium

Lot Details
<b>1955 Porsche 356 1500 Continental Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 54215<br />Engine no. 35730 <b>1955 Porsche 356 1500 Continental Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 54215<br />Engine no. 35730 <b>1955 Porsche 356 1500 Continental Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 54215<br />Engine no. 35730 <b>1955 Porsche 356 1500 Continental Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 54215<br />Engine no. 35730 <b>1955 Porsche 356 1500 Continental Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 54215<br />Engine no. 35730 <b>1955 Porsche 356 1500 Continental Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 54215<br />Engine no. 35730 <b>1955 Porsche 356 1500 Continental Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 54215<br />Engine no. 35730 <b>1955 Porsche 356 1500 Continental Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 54215<br />Engine no. 35730 <b>1955 Porsche 356 1500 Continental Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 54215<br />Engine no. 35730 <b>1955 Porsche 356 1500 Continental Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 54215<br />Engine no. 35730 <b>1955 Porsche 356 1500 Continental Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 54215<br />Engine no. 35730 <b>1955 Porsche 356 1500 Continental Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 54215<br />Engine no. 35730 <b>1955 Porsche 356 1500 Continental Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 54215<br />Engine no. 35730 <b>1955 Porsche 356 1500 Continental Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 54215<br />Engine no. 35730 <b>1955 Porsche 356 1500 Continental Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 54215<br />Engine no. 35730 <b>1955 Porsche 356 1500 Continental Coupe</b><br />Chassis no. 54215<br />Engine no. 35730
1955 Porsche 356 1500 Continental Coupe
Coachwork by Reutter

Chassis no. 54215
Engine no. 35730

1,488cc OHV Flat 4-Cylinder Engine
Twin Carburetors
55bhp at 5,000rpm
4-Speed Manual Transaxle
4-Wheel Independent Suspension
4-Wheel Drum Brakes

*Beautiful restoration of a matching number, bent-window 356
*Fastidiously documented example with much period paraphernalia
*Documented with Porsche Certificate of Authenticity and copy of the factory Kardex
*Pure and rare Porsche Continental Coupe


THE PORSCHE 356

Although Ferdinand Porsche had established his independent automotive design consultancy in the early 1930s, his name would not appear on a car until 1949. When it did, it graced one of the all-time great sports cars: the Porsche 356. The work of Ferry Porsche, the Type 356 was based on the Volkswagen designed by his father, Ferdinand, and like the immortal 'Beetle' employed a platform-type chassis with rear-mounted air-cooled engine and all-independent torsion bar suspension.

Having commenced manufacture with a short run of aluminum-bodied cars built at Gmünd, Porsche began volume production of the steel-bodied 356 Coupe at its old base in Stuttgart, at first in premises shared with coachbuilders Reutter and then (from 1955) in its original factory at Zuffenhausen. In 1951, a works car finished first in the 1,100cc class at the Le Mans 24 Hours, thus beginning the marque's long and illustrious association with Le Sarthe.

The man responsible for introducing the spartan and sporty Speedster to the USA, New York-based importer Max Hoffman, had begun his series of entry level Porsches with the 1500 America, a 'de-trimmed' 356 powered by the Normal (as opposed to Super) engine. For 1955, the 1500 America was superseded by the better equipped, though still 'Normal' powered, Continental. According to Road & Track: "The Normal produced more torque than the Super below 3,000rpm, and in any given gear, from any given speed, could out-accelerate the more powerful car. In deference to its graciousness, German customers called the 1500 Normal "die Dame - the Lady." The 'Continental' name, however, was dropped after little more than a year after objections from Ford. Today, the refined Continentals are among the rarest and most sought after of early 356s.

THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

This elegant early Porsche 356 – chassis 54215 – was completed on September 28, 1955, as the 7,567th Porsche 356 on the production line and one of the very last Continentals ever built. In 1955, the purchase price of a new Porsche Continental Coupe was $3,445, as affirmed by the accompanying Price Card; by comparison a fully optioned 1955 Cadillac Series 62 Four Door Sedan cost $3,977 – making the Continental a pricey and elitist item.

Clothed by Reutter and presenting in stunning Graphite Silver paint with Garnet Red leather interior, this rare bent-windshield Pre-A model is ultimately desirable and highly collectible. The restoration of the body of this car was executed by restoration expert Skip McCabe of McCabe Automotive Restoration in Mundelein, Illinois. Meanwhile, Werner Schottmuller, who worked in the upholstery atelier in Stuttgart in 1955, was employed to recraft the interior, while working with Skip McCabe in Mundelein. In accordance with this no-expense-spared mantra of the owner, other restoration experts were commissioned to rebuild the car's mechanical aspects.

The car comes with an embarrassment of riches – both in terms of documentation and extras. Included in the sale is a spare set of 15.5-inch tire/wheels, a jack and tool kit, as well as custom crafted leather luggage, made specifically to fit the trunk. The car is riding on original 16-inch wheels, mounted with vintage Dunlop tires. The car's impressive history file includes the Porsche issued Certificate of Authenticity and a copy of the factory Kardex sheet, the original owner's manual, pricing card from Max Hoffman in New York and the marketing brochure with technical specifications. The provenance is extensively documented and supported by various images and correspondence. The restoration process is fully chronicled with invoices, photographs and a DVD. A plethora of invoices and ownership records date back to the 60s and 70s, and detailed records of the 'fine tuning' work completed within the last three years is also included. Both the front and rear deck lids are stamped '215', indicating they are the original ones for the car, and the original matching numbers engine is still in situ, as well as the original transmission.

This classic Porsche is a fabulous standard bearer for 356 1500 Continental. Beautifully restored and fully documented with an abundance of extras, it offers an exclusive opportunity to acquire a matching number engine example of an early bent-window 356.
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