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Factory electric sunroof, original leather seating
Very original and preserved 356, with 28,713 original miles
Matching numbers engine and transmission
Comprehensive engine, suspension and brake system rebuild in 2016
Matching body panel numbers
Has Kardex, owner’s manual, original shipping tag and promotional documents
Often times the visual that comes to people’s minds when “early Porsches” are mentioned is the classic and iconic Porsche 356. With its timeless styling that evolved over the course of its 10+ year production run, increasingly gaining power and handling improvements during that time, it became a well-known and well-liked sports car. With space for two front passengers and 2 slightly smaller passengers in the back, it became a sports car that could be argued as “practical.” No doubt helping with its popularity, the 356 would cement itself as one of the all-time greats of early sports car design and still reflects that today with its enthusiast base and strong values.
This matching numbers Porsche 356B 1600 “Super” was finished by the Porsche factory on June 10th, 1963. According to the Kardex, the car was optioned with Ivory paint over red leather. Some of the additional options included the rare electric sunroof, chrome plated wheels, and its decorative molding. Its first owner was Colonel Walter W. Long of Chicago, IL. It is believed that Long took European delivery of the car and enjoyed the 356 for a little while before shipping the car home. This is due to the finish and delivery date on the Kardex being the same date, as well as the first maintenance service of 400km being completed by Rossel, Wiesbaden on June 26th, 1963. Once the car arrived on U.S. soil, it received its second service at Hoffman Motors on November 3rd, 1963 with 1,981 miles on the odometer. On March 6th, 1971 Walt took the car to Wilgner Tire, Inc in Albuquerque, New Mexico for new Michelin tires and tubes with an indicated 19,592 miles on the car.
The ivory 356 would go through various caretakers over the years, before emerging in Colorado around 2011. Ernst Benzien was a major collector on the east coast with a stunning collection of original Porsches. He purchased the car between 2011 and 2012 to be a part of his growing car collection, most of which were Porsches. The car had been repainted in its correct Ivory paintwork, but the rest of the car remained original and true to how it left the Porsche factory. He kept the car until 2016 when he passed away, and his entire collection was sold to new owners. This particular original 356 found its home in Los Angeles as part of the owner’s small-but-growing Porsche collection. Before the car was shipped to Southern California, the car was thoroughly gone through by Automobile Associates of Canton, Inc. of Canton, Connecticut for an intensive and thorough servicing. The 356 was treated to a full engine rebuild and tuning, with major suspension components replaced including shocks, tie rod ends, and sway bar bushings. The front wheel bearings were disassembled, cleaned and then repacked. The entire brake system was gone through and addressed, replacing all brake shoes, springs, wheel cylinders and hoses along with the brake master cylinder. The carburetors were rebuilt, gearbox resealed, with the steering damper and steering coupler also replaced. Once the service and maintenance were completed, the 356 had amassed a bill of $18,581.12, thoroughly ensuring that all of the mechanical items were addressed and had been taken care of. Once the car arrived in Los Angeles, he kept the car inside of a storage facility in order to preserve the car. After enjoying the 356 for almost 3 years, the car arrived at Canepa’s facility.
One of the first things Bruce Canepa takes part in when a new arrival comes to Canepa is looking over the details, both large and small. Keen on even the smallest details, it was clear that this car was an excellent preservation example and checked the right boxes for many of the right people. With the clear phrase “It’s only original once”, the original red leather seats carry the charm from the factory. The engine bay, trunk and underside all reflect the same, with many of the finishes and details still like how the factory sent the car out with. The “Canepa Difference” process was assigned to this excellent 356, with the emphasis on preserving and servicing all items that needed attending to. What followed was a comprehensive mechanical service to the sports car to ensure all systems were working correctly, including a brake service, servicing the factory electric sunroof, and fixing an oil leak. The car was then treated to a full concours-level detailing regimen, going through each conceivable space to ensure it was spotless. The Ivory paint finish was given a foam pad polish using only light compound as to preserve the paint. The original interior was meticulously cleaned by hand both methodically and carefully as to ensure to keep the finishes the way they were. Once completed, this preservation Porsche 356 was ready for the showroom.
Being able to find and enjoy a preserved automobile is one of the easiest ways to be transported back to another time period. Knowing that the car you’re driving, where you’re sitting and what you’re seeing is how the original builders from that time put the car together. Especially with cars that are 50+ years old, finding an example such as thing is even more rare and makes them even that more special. Being very original despite the test of time of more than 55 years, this 1963 Porsche 356B 1600 “Super” is a true diamond in the rough. Completely serviced, concours-level detailed, and powered by its original engine and transmission that it left with from the factory, the next caretaker will enjoy the miles just as its first owner did 55 years ago.