16-17 January 2014

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Lot 32

1961 Porsche 356 B 1600 Super Cabriolet by Reutter

  • Chassis no. 154048
  • Engine no. 87401
  • Gearbox no. 40024

Sold for $140,250

84 hp, 1,750 cc air-cooled horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine with twin Solex 32 NDIX carburetors, parallel trailing-arm front suspension with laminated torsion bars, rear swing axles with transverse torsion bars, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 82.7 in.

  • Matching-numbers example finished in rare Aetna Blue over Light Grey
  • Rotisserie restoration by Bill Hamilton of Martindale, Texas
  • Includes Porsche Certificate of Authenticity

The American fascination with Porsches took off when importer Max Hoffman brought 15 Special Roadsters to the U.S. in 1954. The spartan construction of the Speedsters meant that the introductory price was only $2,841, and 4,144 of them were sold in the U.S. between 1954 and 1958. The accompanying Cabriolet offered creature comforts to 3,367 more practical buyers.

The Porsche 356 Roadster, Cabriolet, and Speedster debate is never-ending. While the Speedster has the dashing profile, the Roadster and Cabriolet are far more usable. For those more practical, or those who live outside of the Sun Belt, a real top and roll-up windows make more sense. If you want a truly weather-proof convertible, the insulated Cabriolet is the best choice. Likewise, it can extend your driving pleasure into the colder months.

Erwin Komenda’s T5 body style arrived in 1960 and was designated the 356 B. Both the Convertible and Coupe were equipped with 15-inch wheels, heavier and taller bumpers, a revised slope to the hood, and a larger chrome-plated hood handle. The steering wheel and knobs were black plastic, with a “mushroom” knob for the shifter. The headlights were moved to the top of the fenders, with amber parking lights below them and brake vents below the bumper. There were four stages of engine tune, including the 75 horsepower 1600 Super that this example features.

The car on offer is a 1600 Super Cabriolet in its original, handsome color of Aetna Blue, with a Light Grey leather and corduroy interior. It’s known to have been in regular use as late as 2003, in the Washington, DC, area, before being placed in storage. The vendor bought the Porsche in 2010 from Robert Blair, who had inherited it from his father. At the time, it indicated 77,600 miles, which are believed to be original.

The Cabriolet was sent to Porsche 356 expert Bill Hamilton, of Martindale, Texas, who commenced an extensive $50,000 body-off, rotisserie restoration, which was recently completed this November. The high-point restoration was photo-documented and supervised by two national PCA judges. Additionally, the engine was rebuilt and bored from 82 millimeters to 86 millimeters, and larger pistons were installed. The owner states that the displacement has been increased to 1,750 millimeters and the horsepower was raised to an estimated 84 brake horsepower. The car has only been driven test miles since the work was completed.

This Porsche is matching numbers, with original colors, paint, and interior. According to its Certificate of Authenticity, it was equipped from new with an exterior mirror, a Cabriolet cover, and Michelin tires. Both the paint and bodywork are exceptional, the chrome is excellent, and the lights and badges are immaculate. The interior is refinished in the original Light Grey leather with corduroy inserts, and it has the correct square-weave carpet. Also included are correct date-coded wheels, a fitted top, a tool roll, and an owner’s manual.

The engine compartment features correct equipment and decals. The original motor and transmission have been rebuilt, the engine has a big bore kit, and the electrics have been converted to 12 volts, with a new wiring harness. The owner says everything works, and this Porsche is ready to be driven anywhere.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more