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

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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

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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

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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

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