London

6 September 2017

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Lot 143

1953 Porsche 356 Coupé by Reutter

  • Chassis no. 50136
  • Engine no. 32794

£200,000 - £250,000

Documents: German Fahrzeugbrief


  • The 35th of only 230 Reutter coupés built in 1953
  • Equipped with a 1954-series 1.5 engine
  • Finished in seldom-seen Pascha Red, its original colour
  • Full restoration by marque specialist in 2012


This lovely old Porsche coupé has recently emerged from a comprehensive mechanical and cosmetic restoration, wearing the unusually attractive colour of Pascha Red (Code 523) over a Tobacco interior. Rarely seen today, Pascha Red was among nine ‘Special Coupé’ coachwork colours offered in 1952–1953.

Nineteen fifty-three models were built at the Reutter plant in Zuffenhausen from October 1952 through March of 1954. Originally equipped with a 1.3-litre Type 506 engine of a mere 44 hp (not far removed from its Volkswagen origins), this very desirable automobile is now fitted with Porsche’s Type 546 opposed 1.5-litre four-cylinder, and interim design that was offered between November and December of 1954. This newer engine produces a still-modest 55 bhp at 4,400 rpm, but better performance over its predecessors.

Following its departure from Zuffenhausen, the car was delivered new to the United States in February of 1953. Not much about the car’s history is known, but it was discovered as a barn find in the U.S. and subsequently brought home to Germany, where it was fully restored in 2012 by a marque specialist. The car was returned to its original Pascha Red and fitted with a beige interior.

This coupé shows impressive attention to detail; the painted ventilated steel wheels remain the correct 16-inch diameter, the instrument panel includes correct ‘eyebrows’ to block reflections from the major gauges and there is a large clock installed in the centre panel where a radio would otherwise be installed. The steering wheel and control knobs appear to have been properly refinished, and the odometer reads 243 km, the distance travelled since the restoration.

After its restoration, the Porsche remained part of a collection in Germany before being sold to its current German owner. Today, the car is accompanied by a small book chronicling the restoration, a copy of its Kardex, as well as a FIVA Identity Card, dated 2013.

Relatively few of these early 356s survive; this example would make a fine addition to any Porsche collection.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+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

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+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

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+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

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+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

drose@rmsothebys.com

+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

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+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

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+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

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+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

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+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

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+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

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+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

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+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

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+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

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+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

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+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

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+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

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+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