1952 Porsche 356 'Pre-A' 1600 Coupé  Chassis no. 11976
Lot 251
1952 Porsche 356 'Pre-A' 1600 Coupé
Sold for £ 144,860 (US$ 188,768) inc. premium

Lot Details
1952 Porsche 356 'Pre-A' 1600 Coupé  Chassis no. 11976 1952 Porsche 356 'Pre-A' 1600 Coupé  Chassis no. 11976 1952 Porsche 356 'Pre-A' 1600 Coupé  Chassis no. 11976 1952 Porsche 356 'Pre-A' 1600 Coupé  Chassis no. 11976 1952 Porsche 356 'Pre-A' 1600 Coupé  Chassis no. 11976 1952 Porsche 356 'Pre-A' 1600 Coupé  Chassis no. 11976 1952 Porsche 356 'Pre-A' 1600 Coupé  Chassis no. 11976 1952 Porsche 356 'Pre-A' 1600 Coupé  Chassis no. 11976 1952 Porsche 356 'Pre-A' 1600 Coupé  Chassis no. 11976 1952 Porsche 356 'Pre-A' 1600 Coupé  Chassis no. 11976 1952 Porsche 356 'Pre-A' 1600 Coupé  Chassis no. 11976 1952 Porsche 356 'Pre-A' 1600 Coupé  Chassis no. 11976 1952 Porsche 356 'Pre-A' 1600 Coupé  Chassis no. 11976 1952 Porsche 356 'Pre-A' 1600 Coupé  Chassis no. 11976 1952 Porsche 356 'Pre-A' 1600 Coupé  Chassis no. 11976 1952 Porsche 356 'Pre-A' 1600 Coupé  Chassis no. 11976 1952 Porsche 356 'Pre-A' 1600 Coupé  Chassis no. 11976 1952 Porsche 356 'Pre-A' 1600 Coupé  Chassis no. 11976 1952 Porsche 356 'Pre-A' 1600 Coupé  Chassis no. 11976 1952 Porsche 356 'Pre-A' 1600 Coupé  Chassis no. 11976 1952 Porsche 356 'Pre-A' 1600 Coupé  Chassis no. 11976 1952 Porsche 356 'Pre-A' 1600 Coupé  Chassis no. 11976 1952 Porsche 356 'Pre-A' 1600 Coupé  Chassis no. 11976 1952 Porsche 356 'Pre-A' 1600 Coupé  Chassis no. 11976 1952 Porsche 356 'Pre-A' 1600 Coupé  Chassis no. 11976 1952 Porsche 356 'Pre-A' 1600 Coupé  Chassis no. 11976 1952 Porsche 356 'Pre-A' 1600 Coupé  Chassis no. 11976
1952 Porsche 356 'Pre-A' 1600 Coupé
Registration no. 873 UYF
Chassis no. 11976
*Imported from California, USA
*Left-hand drive
*Extensively restored
*Fully sorted and ready to enjoy

Footnotes

  • Although Ferdinand Porsche had established his 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. Having commenced manufacture with a short run of aluminium-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. The work of Ferry Porsche, the 356 was based on the Volkswagen designed by his father. Like the immortal 'Beetle', the 356 employed a platform-type chassis with rear-mounted air-cooled engine and torsion bar all-independent suspension, yet somehow contrived to offer level of performance that belied the basic layout's humble origins.

    In 1951 an aluminium-bodied works car finished first in the 1,100cc class at the Le Mans 24-Hour Race and 20th overall, thus beginning the marque's long and illustrious association with La Sarthe. Constant development saw the 356's engine progressively enlarged, with 1.3-litre and 1.5-litre units first becoming available in 1951. In 1952 the original split windscreen was replaced by a one-piece screen and a Porsche synchromesh gearbox adopted. 1955 marked the arrival of the revised 356A, the newcomer being readily distinguished by its curved windscreen and 15" - down from 16" - wheels.

    Built in December 1952, this 'Pre-A' coupe with the earlier one-piece windscreen with distinctive profile was first registered on 1st January 1953. In 2014, the Porsche was imported into the UK from California and registered here on 1st May of that year. Before the car left California the following work was undertaken: a full body restoration and repaint; a full interior re-trim; a full re-chrome of bright-work; installing new lights and fittings; and rebuilding the engine. It should be noted that the latter is a '1600' unit not original to this car.

    Following acquisition in the UK in September 2014, Porsche specialists Gantspeed Engineering have undertaken the following work: a full suspension overhaul with all new bushes, bearings and shock absorbers, a complete brake refurbishment with all new hydraulic cylinders and hoses; a comprehensive rebuild of the (original) transmission with new bearings, synchros and shifting sleeves as required; a full pedal box restoration; a full overhaul of all control systems passing through the centre tunnel; a steering box rebuild and new steering joints; and fitting a new battery, tyres, and starter motor. Gantspeed have covered circa 500 miles in the car and have dealt with any issues that cropped up. Whilst prior to the photography for the catalogue, one of our team has recently been a passenger in this car and enjoyed the experience immensely.

    Really early 'Pre-A' examples of the Porsche 356 are becoming increasingly difficult to find, especially in such good condition as this one. Indeed, no Porsche Collection can be truly complete without one of the models that started the story. Finished in Azure Blue with beige leather interior, this is a truly excellent example of the Porsche 356 in its earliest and purest form - fully sorted, MoT'd and ready to enjoy.
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  1. Sholto Gilbertson
    Specialist - Motor Cars
    Bonhams
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