1964 Porsche 356 C
The first owner of this 356 coupe was Gerhard K Cotts of Arlington, VA. He originally bought the car in October of 1964. The next owner would purchase the 356 on March 3rd 1967 from Joe Heishman’s Porsche for the sale price of $3162.50. John G. Sullivan of Pacific Pallisades, CA bought the 29,633-mile coupe while attending the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. Sullivan originally wanted a 912, but he was about $1000 short of the purchase price, as he was about to graduate from the Academy. In military fashion he kept exacting, hand written records of every fill up, service, etc during his decades long ownership.
After 17 years of dutiful service Sullivan would retire the car to his Los Angeles garage, where he would keep it stored, driving it infrequently until 2003. Following a brief resurrection in the mid 2000s, and until selling it in 2014 he would cover only another 1000 miles.
In 2014, Dr. Anand Rajani of Fresno, CA would purchase the amazingly original 356C, looking to do a full restoration. At this point the car had only one repaint, and still retained its original interior, engine and transmission. It was rust and accident free; an excellent starting point to build an amazing 356.
Beginning almost immediately the car was taken down to a bare metal tub, and a full nut and bolt restoration was performed. Every system, including the brakes, suspension, fuel, steering, engine, and transmission were restored to stock, original condition. The interior was fully redone in beautiful red leather.
After the restoration was complete Rajani wanted more performance from his stock 356. He approached renown 356 experts, Willhoit Auto Restoration, for assistance in the upgrades. Putting the restored original engine aside, Willhoit built a completely new power plant for the little car. Starting with a late 356 block they built up a 2132cc engine with JE forged pistons, Carillo rods, 91mm pistons, custom Scat crankshaft, and propriety heads with stainless valves and hardened seats. The result is a potent motor with 145 hp at 6000rpm, 140 ft/lbs of torque, and 10:1 compression.
In order to handle the 50% increase of power over stock the suspension was upgraded and improved. Willhoit increased the torsion bars size front and rear, added Koni shocks, WR 17.5mm front swaybar, stiffer rubber bushings on the suspension, all of which remarkably improved the handling the of the car. To finish off the sporting experience a WR short shift kit was installed.
The car has seen very few miles since its restoration and improvements. Since arriving at Canepa the 356 has been fully concourse detailed and tuned. Staying consistent with this car’s Outlaw aspirations we made a few changes of our own: The car was lowered one inch, and shod with new 185/70R15 tires on chrome 5½ inch rims. The bumper overriders were removed and Carrera trim was installed. Hella driving lights were installed with a proper period switch. An original period GT emblem was sourced and installed on the rear. The front grills were removed. The exhaust tips were extended.
For an excellent intro to this exceptional 356 you can watch its featured appearance on Jay Leno’s Garage: https://youtu.be/VFeSTvohf94