Porsche 356 B T6 1600 S LHD coupe by Karmann 1963
Porsche 356 B T6 1600 S LHD coupe by Karmann 1963
A truly remarkable find.
This 356 has the 3 key features that rarely come together;
At 56 years young we cannot know everything about this 356, but there are enough clues to support our positive view. There is a great story to this car (described in more detail below).
The bodywork is remarkably untouched and the shut lines noticeably factory correct. Doors and lid closure are just right. The floors too, appear to be original. It was repainted circa 2010 on what appears to have been an already exceptional example.
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Part of the story is the mileage. And again, for those familiar with 356, there is good evidence (along with the known history), that the 32,211 miles are original. Door locks have little wear and the transmission is noticeably quiet (and shows no evidence of rebuild). The smallest things make the biggest difference; the tacho and speedo do not ‘wave’ around like you normally see, these rise and fall smoothly.
On the road, it’s hard to believe this is a car from the early 1960’s. It’s really good to drive, engaging, smooth and eager…..
Don’t be mistaken, of course it’s not perfect. This 356 wears many items that are 56 years old; the chrome work and dials have aged and the steering wheel has wear, but that is part of its charm.
It is unusual to find one like this. Most 356 are already worn and ragged prior to being rescued, tired mechanicals, tatty interiors and crumbling, rotted bodies. That is simply not the case with this one.
This 356 is a true survivor of its era, it’s one not to be missed……. Grade 4
This little Porsche comes with a big history folder suggesting that the 32,211 miles could well be original. There is also a copy of the Kardex (early Porsche factory build sheet) showing that the original engine and gearbox are still in place.
First supplied in October 1963 by Competition Motors in Culver City, California to a Mr Robert S Grant. Following an incident where the car left the road and hit a fence, damaging the front end, it seems Mr Grant did not have the insurance in place to get the 356 fixed, so it spent several years just sitting in his front yard.
It was spotted by a local enthusiast Warren Fridley, who already had a couple of Porsche plus some American classics. He approached Mr Grant on several occasions in an attempt to purchase the 356 and finally, after much pestering, he got his wish in 1978.
First things first, it was delivered to a local bodyshop to fix the minor damage to the front wing. Mr Fridley then painted the car himself, deciding on a dark green shade as he had purchased a ‘job-lot’ of mistakenly mixed paint for a bargain price!
The 356 joined the other cars in his small collection, always stored inside and driven only on the rarest of occasions.
When Warren Fridley passed in January 2001, the 356 was passed on to his son Richard. Not only did he inherit the car, but also his father’s love of classic cars having a collection of 8 or so of his own. Again, the 356 spent most of its time snuggled away in a warm and dry garage and was driven only in the summer months.
During the few years of Richard Fridley’s ownership, the 356 was regularly maintained, with the wheel cylinders being replaced, carbs rebuilt and a new battery. At some point it appears to have been given a new white jacket, although there are no details as to when this was done.
In 2004 the 356 left Oakland docks in California and made the epic journey across the Atlantic aboard the vessel ‘Star Grindanger’ to Tilbury docks in Essex where the new owner was waiting to take the car home to Dublin.
As an owner of VW dealership, the new keeper had plans for the 356 and embarked on a refresh of the car. He stripped down and rebuilt the engine himself followed by the bodywork. It was found to be in remarkable condition with solid floors and panels, owing, no doubt to it’s Californian life of sunshine, dry roads and a warm and cosy garage. The shell was repainted in 2010 with the original chrome work (although not perfect) refitted. The door cards are original although a new headlining has been fitted along with replacement seat covers.
|Date of first registration||15th October 1963|
|Model||356 B T6 1600 S LHD|
|Body Style||Coupe by Karmann|
|Engine details||1.6 air cooled 4 cylinder (1,582 cc) making 75 bhp|
|Transmission details||4 speed manual|
|Colour||Silver metallic with black interior|
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