16-17 January 2014

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Lot 24

1963 Porsche 356 B 1600 Super Coupe by Karmann

  • Chassis no. 211738
  • Engine no. 703988
  • Gearbox no. 58693-741/2A

Sold for $129,250

75 bhp, 1,852 cc air-cooled “S” flat four, twin Zenith NDIX carburetors, four-speed transaxle, independent front suspension with trailing arms and torsion bars, rear swing arms and torsion bars, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 82.7 in.

  • Documented by its Porsche build sheet
  • Retains the original 75-horsepower engine
  • Freshly and expertly restored in factory colors

The 356B is iconic today, but in 1959, it made a distinct stylistic break from its predecessor, and it took time for universal acceptance. Many of the changes were practical: body engineering chief Erwin Komenda raised the front and rear bumpers about four inches, to a more useful level. He raised the headlamps as well, which dramatically increased the throw of light in night driving. These alterations also allowed for improved cooling of the highly improved water-sealed aluminum brakes, which were widely considered to be the best in the world. The basic platform was otherwise unchanged, including the carryover 1,582-cubic centimeter, flat-four engine. That, however, was soon enhanced with the Super engines, which provided more horsepower, primarily at high rpms.

The 356Bs underwent continual change during their short run from 1960 to 1963, including the introduction of a Karmann-built hard top as a 1961 model. A substantial revision in 1962 gave the 356 a new internal designation, the T6, and a Karmann-built coupe replaced the hardtop and was joined by a coupe built by Reutter. Thanks to its large glass area, this four-season edition offered the best visibility of any model with a roof; it has spacious accommodations and is the 356 of choice when rain or cold is a possibility.

The unit-body Porsche 356 is difficult to restore, but chassis number 211738 has had a bare-metal restoration that is up to the standards that Classic Showcase of California expects. Porsche’s factory build sheet shows that it retains its original factory Type 616/12 1600 Super engine, which produces 75 horsepower with 8.5:1 compression and is suited to be used with modern pump gasoline. The build sheet also shows the chassis and engine numbers, which confirm that construction was completed in the fall of 1962, for a 1963 sale date. It is also indicated that this 356 was delivered with a Smryna Green exterior over brown upholstery, and these were the colors in which it was restored. Inside, the seats, carpet, door panels, and headliner have been reupholstered in the proper Porsche materials. In addition, the instruments and associated electrical components have been serviced and attended to.

Under the hood, the mechanicals, including the engine, transmission, and associated components, have been gone through, and the vehicle is setup and ready for driving, showing, and collecting. This final T6 iteration of the Karmann Coupe benefits from the continual improvement of the model, and with less than 1,000 miles on a comprehensive restoration, this 356B Coupe is ready for your enjoyment.

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