Belgian Twin-Grille: 1962 Porsche 356 D’leteren Roadster

Though I’m an American car guy, there are certain foreign cars that catch my fancy. One of those cars is the Porsche 356; I remember reading an article on a black 356 Speedster in Car and Driver titled “Ode to a Bathtub”, and after reading the article I was smitten on Porsche 356s and pre-1973 911s. This 356 is not only a roadster, it’s also a rare D’leteren Roadster. Find it here on eBay in Chesterton, Indiana with reserve not met.

I really don’t know a whole lot about Porsches, but I do know that the 356 bodies were steel, so it does not surprise me that the doors are rusted. Hopefully they can be repaired, as the rest of the car appears to be in good condition. What intrigues me is that the car was built in Belgium, and is one of 249 roadsters built in 1962. Tucked away in a barn since 1986, the car is also a twin-grille roadster, featuring two tiny grilles flanking its turn signal lights. The Porsche is painted Oslo Blue, and with a black convertible top looks pretty cool. I’m guessing that this roadster originally came with hubcaps, but the wheels look cooler without them, so I would personally leave them off.

The engine and the engine compartment look fairly clean, but the seller makes no mention of its displacement. Most likely it’s a 1.6L four cylinder, but there were so many versions of that motor, so if you happen to know, let me know in the comments section. The seller does mention that the engine currently does not run, but since it and the transaxle are original, and considering its visual condition and low mileage, should be fairly easy to get running again. Since this is a rare car, I would leave the engine fairly stock.

Can someone identify that large object straddling the seats? I have no idea what it is. Inside, the interior looks pretty decent, but I would remove everything on the seats and inspect their condition. The black seats with the blue dash complement each other very well, and if everything is solid should clean up nicely. I love the gauges and big black steering wheel this car has. Overall, this car is going to need some attention, but I would address the rust, get the drivetrain up to snuff, and clean up this car, leaving the rest of the cosmetics alone. Yes, the price is high (and the picture quality could be way better, but I digress), but this is a true barn-find 356, and this car adds a whole new level of excitement due to its rarity. What would you do with this rare Porsche 356 Roadster?

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Comments

  1. Gabriel bach

    the thing on the seats is the frontbumper! 🙂

    2+

  2. Tony Catania

    It’s The Front Bumper Inside The Car
    Hey You Really Haven’t A Clue About What U Are Showing Here.This Car Needs A Lot Of Restoration To Get It Road Worthy.Hopfully The Body Isn’t As Bad As The Rust At The Top Of The Door.I Owned A Rusty 1961 Super 90 Cabriolet.You Had To Keep The Top Up Or The Front Cowl Shook Over Every Bump In The Road

    4+

    • grant

      Ow…

      2+

    • glen

      Interesting Comment You Have Written, Very Informative.

      6+

  3. Dave Wright

    Doesn’t look right to me…….Convertible ‘”D’s” were only built in 1959 while the Zuffenhausen factory was closed for modernization. The twin grill deck lid is associated with a T6 body that wasn’t built until the early 60’s. I have a friend that is an expert with 2 D’s. I will have to ask him…….a D is considered as close to a Speedster you can get without being one.

    3+

  4. Wendell Wilkey Short

    I have always loved cars so when see car’s like the ones you post . I dream as young man in high school I had a 68 Chevelle that my grandmother owed . Then my mother then too me .if only I new what I know today I would still have it . The cars that you shown has a story too tell .I enjoy BARN 🚘FINDS and love Chevelle’s keep doing what you’re doing .

    3+

  5. Maurice Mentens

    They are not offering a D (Drauz) Convertible D here – this is a Belgian D’ieteren issue. Just saying, don’t confuse these.

    1+

    • Dave Wright

      You may be right…….I am checking with the expert.

      0

      • Maurice Mentens

        Trust me on that; just Google my name – it’s my job 😎 Another thing is that I grew up there, my dad is Belgian and we had a lot to do with D’ieteren – may it be at a later date. Either model is very sought after and depending on the price this seller will accept it might be worth it. Prices are somewhat suppressed compared to 1-2 years ago and at 200K I would not get into this one but that’s personal.

        4+

    • Alan Brase

      WRT the attraction of 356 Porsches. Did you ever see pics of old SCCA races? Almost all Porsche Speedsters. Why? Because they had chassis that worked pretty well. (very well- up to a point.) And little pushrod engines that were good enough. You don’t get it? Fine. Buy a big American V-8. I understand. I like em both. But you might just as well save your breath. Quite a few people do get it.
      Pretty sure the 1960 and 1961 Roadsters were built by D’Ieteren as well. I think the total of T-6 Roadsters was 247.
      My personal preference is the earlier cars. All styling went downhill since the America Roadsters. Convertible D’s were actually Roadsters and quite the same as a Speedster except the roll up windows.
      This fixation with value is so sad. What a car is worth is continually variable. It cannot be counted on as an investment. If you need to convince yourself or someone else of its value as an investment, just don’t do it.
      Just buy because of passion. If you sell at a gain, you probably sold too soon. Unless you need the money or just don’t like the car.
      Your mileage may vary.

      1+

      • Dolphin Dolphin Staff

        Alan, not only did I see pictures of old SCCA races, I saw actual old SCCA races in real time, and there was usually a 356 leading or at least contesting for the lead, usually a Speedster. That’s enough to build a legend on and lead people to want a 356 and pay big for the privilege.

        My problem is that I never bought one way back when they were affordable, and kept it for decades, and then cashed in on the wave so I could buy a bunch of other, cheaper cars that I liked as much or more, especially when you added them all up.

        Another problem is that 356s sound too much like the ’62 VW beetle I had for 8 years of school in The North. That car did me well and I have no complaints, but I did sell it as soon as I could and decided I would never have another. Too much snow and road salt will do that.

        I guess when I hear them now, 356s sound too much like that old VW to me. And in the meantime I grew to like the noise-deadening effect of big thick blocks & heads that are filled with coolant, all the better to hear the exhaust note.

        As you said, chase your passion in cars, whatever it happens to be, whether air- or water-cooled.

        0

  6. Peter R

    199k BIN price seems like a lot given this ones needs but then who can really comprehend Porsche prices

    1+

  7. Had Two

    I remember reading an article on a black 356 Speedster in Car and Driver titled “Ode to a Bathtub”

    I am glad to know I’m not the only one that remembers that Car & Driver article.
    I saved it for years, dunno now what ever happened to it, but it went away.

    The Speedster? It went away too. Purchased when they were affordable.
    Lots of great memories.

    2+

  8. neil t

    it is a very desirable car a twin grille, probably worth $350 to $400 restored, i have appraised a couple over the years.

    1+

  9. Dan

    Fancy VW…..dont understand all the money on these things….

    5+

    • fhuket

      Agree to that comment. You need a certain shaped head on your shoulders to even think about buying one of those. Luke off Beverly Hills 90210 put me off these for life.

      1+

  10. Bob Hess

    The D was an A body ’59. The single grill B body of the same chassis with different nose came in ’60. History of plant closing mentioned above correct. Rare cars, tons of parts available for restoration. Engines were the 1.6 in either “normal”form or in the “S” form. The S had larger carbs and a slightly different cam. Sorry Don, they were completely different from the VW…..

    2+

  11. Bob

    Straddling the seats = One item is the front bumper, the other looks like one of the wooden floor boards found under the rubber mat that goes across the front of the passenger compartment.

    1+

  12. Peter

    Frankly,i do not find the hysteria for this unit nor the value of it either.i always thought a VW carmen ghia convertible rode the same.When they called a bathtub,thats what is was.

    1+

  13. Alan Brase

    Well, sorry, the bubble has burst. This is probably hard to sell at 1/3 of the asking price. $69,999 would be a good price to start real bidding. A twin grill roadster is rare, but no more desirable than a Speedster. Yes, it has better trans, roll up windows, slightly better brakes, outside gas fill. Who cares? A sweet car, but not at 6 figures. The market is adjusting.

    2+

  14. lawrence

    What Alan said…..

    0

  15. Keith

    I don’t get it?

    0

  16. PAW

    @lawrence and @Keith above “Sold for:US $199,000.00”

    The market has spoken.

    For the record I would never pay even a quarter of the sales price

    1+

    • Alan Brase

      Pretty sure if the seller accepted a best offer of any amount, the listing would say the same thing. This type of listing shows no bid history.

      0

  17. Clay Byant

    Although the car has sold and doesn’t really make a difference, when the odometer numbers don’t line up, old-timers will tell you that it has been turned back at one time. Maybe Porsche speedo heads were a little sloppier…………..

    0

  18. Dave Wright

    I heard back from my expert……..he said there is one like this that is nearly concourse on the market for 250,000 making this one overpriced by 2 or 3X…..and it is a correct car.

    0

  19. Dt 1

    Paw you’re right I wouldn’t even give him $199 for that car

    0

  20. Doug Bohm

    Well, well. Where would one start. Not a lot of knowledge floating around on these responses. Of course I’ve been into the cars for forty six years. Obviously the guys that think VW’s and Karman Ghias are comparable are pretty much clueless. Alan does a fairly good job but I do disagree with him in regards to desirability. That is in the eye of the beholder. I myself would prefer a twin grill Roadster to a Speedster. And of course they are more valuable than a Speedster, unless we’re talking about a Speedster Carrera! But the astronomical climb is due to the Gucci crowd You know, the ones that have fat checkbooks (and stomachs as well lol) but have never held a wrench in their hands. And they destroy these cars by drastically over restoring them. Restoring to me means making them look exactly as they did when they left the factory. My two cents.

    0

    • Alan Brase

      Well, maybe I have a few years on you, if you count time for sitting in one when I was 16 and worked for the guy that owned it. 1951 Coupe, 11101. (Easy to remember, it was for sale 16 years later and I shoulda… )That would have been 1966 and 1982. And by then I had sold my ’57 Cabrio and bought a ’58 Speedster. That was the second Speedster. The first was a wrecked Ruby Red ’57 that the seller began to deliver, left in short term storage, and it vanished. But I still have the engine and tranny, hoping the car will turn up 49 years later!
      But I still stick by my premise- older is better. Not very often an open Pre-A comes for sale.

      0

      • Maurice Mentens

        I just sold this one (August 1955) after I restored it (that’s my job too) and from it I learned especially Europeans now love the Pre-A cars. It actually went back to Germany and it was the great California climate that saved this car’s sheet metal/life. They do have a similar feel to the Karmann Ghia which is also a well built car – considering the era these are from. Because Porsches have a more sporty heritage than Volkswagens the prices of Ghia Convertibles did not go crazy like the 356. I owned a few low fender Karmann Ghias and if you don’t expect blistering performance they will give you a much better fun/finances ratio.

        1+

    • Alan Brase

      Where it runs into a fence as a Speedster and emerges as a T5 Roadster. And the poor Doc thinks it’s a 56.

      0

  21. Mark-A

    Am I the only person concerned about the Mud & Snow style rear tyres (tires), if it needed those then there’s a good possibility that it was Ridden HARD & Put Away Wet? Doesn’t matter if its really Rare if I’m going to lose the cost of a Home in the restoration process. I wouldn’t bother even if I had the cash.

    0

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