1960 Porsche 356 Super 90 Roadster

Porsche 356 Super 90

In its day, the Porsche 356 was one of the best sports cars on the road. It wasn’t the most powerful or the fastest, but it handled like a dream and when it was first introduced it could get through a turn faster than just about any car on the street. Even with phenomenal handling, what driver doesn’t want more power? After the success of the Speedster, Porsche learned to listen to its customers, so when owners asked for more power they introduced several higher output options. Any 356 with one of these optional motors is desirable. So when you add in the convertible top, this 1960 Porsche 356 Super 90 Roadster has a lot going for it. Take a closer look at it here on eBay.

Porsche Super 90 motor

When Porsche stopped offering the Carrera four cam engine option in ’59, they knew that some customers would want a comparable replacement, so the following year they introduced the Super 90. As the name suggests, this 1.6 liter boxer four was rated at 90 horsepower. By today’s standards, 90 hp doesn’t sound like much, but considering it was an increase of 30 hp from the base motor it made for a more than noticeable difference in performance.

196 Porsche 356

There weren’t many Roadsters built in ’60 and only a small handful came with the Super 90 option. This could possibly be an even rarer car than the Speedster, granted it will never fetch Speedster kind of money. While parts are readily available, restoring any 356 can get costly and this one is going to need a complete makeover.

Porsche 356 Roadster

While this seller used photos of the car still in the barn, this car was for sale a few months back and hasn’t been in this barn for a while. We aren’t sure if this is the same seller or a different one, but we would definitely want to know what the story behind it is. The seller has all the correct documentation for it and will hopefully be honest and upfront about its recent history. With a little luck, maybe they will even know what happened to the other cars that were in that barn. Our thanks to Jim S for the tip!

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Comments

  1. Dolphin Member

    No surprise at the bidding—opening bid at $50K and now up to $64K with 23 bids in less than 24 hours. Surprising that it’s a no-reserve eBay auction. With the mania for original/ preserved cars I’m surprised the seller didn’t put it in one of the major auctions oriented toward that kind of vehicle since prices have been so crazy even when the cars aren’t 356 Porsches. The history, including original Kardex and matching numbers would help bigtime with that. Maybe it will sell for just as much here, with fewer logistical hassles for the seller since a lot of those auctions are in Europe.

    I can remember when the Super 90 was the hot ticket for ‘regular’ 356s because that extra power really did make a difference both on the road and in bragging rights. The only thing hotter would have been a 4-cam Carrera, but those came with much bigger maintenance/ repair bills. Even back then Super 90s commanded a significant price premium and weren’t easy to find, especially the soft-top ones.

    This car should restore nicely despite the need for some new metal—what unrestored 356 from the rust belt doesn’t need floors and rockers after 50+ years? Then it will just keep on appreciating out of sight.

  2. Mark Wemple

    Having owned 2 356s I can say that they are a bit over rated. Handling isn’t good, just adequate. Low on power and drum brake models are only a little bit better than average. They won races mainly due to reliability. FWIW, I currently own 3 Porsches , and use a 996 as a dd. For a late 50s to early 60s sports car with a small displacement I’d go with a bugeye.

    • Dolphin Member

      Mark,
      Interesting comments, especially from a Porsche guy. I came to the same conclusion and decided against a 356 back when they were close to new because of exactly what you said. That, and the number of times I saw them spin in races at tight corners when the drivers weren’t named Walter Rorhl. So I sprung for a year-old tri-carb Healey at about half the price of a nice used 356 and was very happy.

    • paul

      I’d go with an Alfa & for these $’s -$64 I could find an extremely well sorted one Oh it will never have the value of a P tub but it will drive the wheels off all of them even if it had 10 cams .My 58 Gullietta Spyder with Veloce cams had an 8500 RPM redline & I used to smoke these out & eat them for breakfast.

    • jim s

      i would go for a bugeye also and leave a whole lot of money in the bank.

      • Jesse Staff

        I would go with the bugeye too… if only I could fit inside. Actually a buddy gave me some hope. He has a Spridget and is a tall guy. He found some Speedster replica seats and after getting my legs through the door opening, I could actually sit comfortably inside with a hardtop in place! I have seen photos of a buyeye whith some Elan seats and have wondered if they were used for the same purpose. Are there any tall guys who drive LBCs that can chime in?

      • paul

        Tr4’s/ 6’s have large foot wells.

      • Dolphin Member

        My first sportscar was a ’58 Sprite and I am 6 ft 1 inch and fit in it fine. The early Sprite seatbacks have pretty thin padding, so with the seats all the way back they might work for you.

      • jim s

        i know on my midget mk1 i had to push the clutch in when i wanted to use the headlight dimmer switch. i could not get my foot past the clutch pedal.

      • Jim-Bob

        As long as we are going for other cars, I would go for a Mazdaspeed Miata and use the leftover change to go out and buy a small house. You get a reliable turbocharged Japanese 4 cylinder in a small roadster that is fun to drive and available for reasonable money. The weight is about the same, but the handling, power and brakes are far superior to ANY 356-including a 4 cam Carrera.

  3. Bernie H

    I had two of these in Germany back in the 60’s (US Army). I also agree, they were not the best handling nor great on power. One was a 1600 Super and other was a Super 90. The 90 was easier to keep in-tune. I finally sold for a new VOLVO which I really liked on the autobahn, it would cruise all day at 110mph. These are way overpriced now.

  4. Bryan Cohn

    With the current P-car craziness going on in the marketplace, this car being a better than average condition barn type find and the bidding madness I will not be surprised to see this go for over $70-75k.

    An old friend has one just like this in similar condition with the engine out. He says he’ll restore it one day. Stored indoors in a climate controlled environment he might just do it if he ever quits racing…..

  5. rancho bella

    I’m with you guys, that is why I sold my 356 two years ago. An Elan Plus 2 for a fraction of the cost with enough left to by a Europa. The handling issue is……no longer an issue.
    I will say I sure do like the looks of the 356….can’t splain it

  6. Brian

    I find it entertaining that the photos were taken in a barn when the facts are that this car hasn’t been living there for a romantically long period of time. Has the owner just placed the car in the old barn for a photo “op” to try to pick up a bit of the barn find mystique? I can remember a time when it was the garage and basement find that everyone wanted. Barn finds were just gross; nasty cars usually with mice, rats, cats, and chicken living in them and making a mess that NO ONE wanted to clean up! In those days, it better be a one own ’57 Chevy HT, an early Vette or T-bird or nobody was interested. I can remember a 1990 barn find Corvair convertible that was so cover in chicken excrement that I wouldn’t touch it with a bare hand. Today, itwould be considered gold, back then it was junk that nobody wanted. My how times have changed!

    • paul

      I’ll take the Corvair sans the rat’s /mice/ chicken nests thank you very much.

  7. Plasticman

    Seems to be a consensus developing here; 956 over rated. I’m not suprised, though 90bhp should make for reasonable straight line speed-must weight barely 2,000lbs?

  8. Paul B

    I am simply floored (or should that in this case be through the rusty floor?) at 356 prices these days. They are nice little tubs, but really and truly, as others have said above, they were tricky and even dangerous handlers even after years of factory suspension refinements. Fast? No. I personally don’t care about fast anyway, but to my mind there is nothing that justifies the current prices of these rust-prone Volkswagen-descended sportsters. I would love a 356C coupe or convertible. They are gorgeous refined sports touring cars. But at these prices? I also may sound like an antique myself here, but I recall very fondly the days when a 90-horsepower engine was considered hot … and when a 60-horsepower Saab Monte Carlo or Panhard Tigre was something to brag about — and enjoy, for its liveliness — over standard siblings with 44-50 horses. Back then, driving skill actually mattered for something. How could you make the best of those 60 horsepower and front wheel drive? How quickly could you urge that 356 with its modest power over the mountain and through the bends without spinning out? In their way, those were cool times.

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