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Beehive Beater: 1956 Porsche 356

1956 Porsche 356

The snow tire wearing 356 from this morning looked like a big project and so does this one, but it does have a few things going for it. The body and underside look relatively solid. The engine is missing though and in its place sits a VW mill. Call me crazy, but if I had one of these, that’s the engine I’d want back there anyway. That’s because I would want to drive my bathtub without spending every last dime keeping it running. If someone can afford to buy a project like this though, they can probably afford to have it professionally restored too. Take a closer look here on eBay where the auction ends tomorrow night.

356 Underside

Here’s a shot of the underside. Things are greasy, but it looks pretty solid under there! So, as long as there are no big holes where the suspension mounts up, this one could probably be driven around as-is.

356 Interior

Besides the crusty carpet, the interior does look too shabby either. As long as there aren’t any nasty smells coming out of those seats, I don’t see any reason they couldn’t be used.

VW Flat Four

Here’s a shot of the engine room. The untrained eye wouldn’t even suspect that something was wrong here because the Porsche and Volkswagen air-cooled engines share DNA. The VW is a lot cheaper to hop up, rebuilt, or even replace though.

Beehive Tail Lights

So there you have it. This Porsche 356 could make a good restoration candidate or a perfect beehive beater! The beehive part comes from the cool taillights and the beater part, well that’s self explanatory. Do you think my plan is crazy or would you do the same exact thing?


  1. Fred

    A $61,000 beater??

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  2. JamestownMike

    Can someone please explain how this car is worth $61+k??……..I don’t get it! I always liked the styling (especially the Speedster) but they look too similiar to the early VW beetles (squashed bug). TO ME, they seem like fancy or deluxe VW bugs!

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    • DrinkinGasoline

      Not a squashed Bug…..but a stretched Bug.

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  3. DrinkinGasoline

    Like I commented on the former 356…..these shared a lot of parts with the VW Type 1 and can be brought back from oblivion for a lot less than most folks think. Bid low, win it and then look up DrinkinGasoline for a how to guide on how to drive a Porsche/VW on a laymen’s budget ! Yes, those are my current Ohio 1966 license plates…

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    • grant

      The problem with your methodology, sir is that the high bid wins; not the low one.

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      • Bobsmyuncle

        LOL oh yeah there IS that!

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  4. Francisco

    For $61,000 I’d buy a not so used Caymen or Boxster, and enjoy the hell out of it.

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    • DrinkinGasoline

      To each his own, but there is no pleasure like the real pleasure.

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    • Michael Yentzen

      You can get a new Boxster for that.

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      • Dave Wright

        The people that buy these already have new Boxters, Carreras and anything else they want……….they are not spending grocery or mortgage money on these…….it is disposable cash.

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  5. DrinkinGasoline

    Ferdinand Porsche won the design competition bid under Adolph Hitler’s request for Der Volkswagen = The People’s Car, hence….
    The Volkswagen. The Type 1 would serve the German Army in many facets throughout the war in many power forms including coal burning engines, wood burning engines and propane powered vehicles when the Allies destroyed the availability of conventional fuel sources through the destruction of German oil refineries.

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  6. Rick

    I’m in the camp with those who want to leave the VW engine in it. Never did get excited about these, and I don’t remember them being cheap (except really rusty ones, and boy do I wish I woulda bought up every single one of those and held on to them) although I like the earlier models, in fact the earlier the better, but the beehive lights or whatever on this one don’t do anything for me, but I like the blue Cal plates. Anyhow, if I was gonna spend $60K+ on a collector car, it wouldn’t be some old clapped out old Porsche, instead I’d find the nicest pre-1968 Corvette I could, preferably a 58-62

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  7. Alan Brase

    Stretched? DUH? They are 12 inches shorter wheelbase than a VW beetle. Lighter, stiffer, they steer better because lighter, 58 up had better steering boxes. Better transmissions (interchangable ratios) and about twice the power in 1956- 60DIN or 75DIN. A car evolved by racing, first raced LeMans, 1950?
    GET over it, that is what stuff is worth. Is a new transportation appliance worth $20k, a pickup $50K? What is not worth anything is the money. Priced any Ferraris recently? $35M for a storied 250GTO. And that’s what the GTO was worth. 2 people thought so.
    I’ve had an early 1956 1600N motor on my shelf for 40 years. I think I missed my opportunity. At least I hung onto a few cars.

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  8. ron tyrrell

    An interesting find this week end in Hillsboro Or pertaining to the 356A models. I was going thru some books this week end at a garage sale and found 356A factory workshop manual in English. I recognized it even before I uncovered from the stack it was in. I once had a 1955 roadster and had been given a factory manual in German so I knew right away it was real. The book has not a blemish, smudge or rips in it, not sure if I will hang on to it since I no
    longer have the car but it was a neat find.

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  9. Bobsmyuncle

    I’m not that big a 356 fan but this is exactly the one I’d buy. Love the roughness, the colour, the roof and the mill.

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  10. Jonny the Boy

    I remember in the 1970s and very early ’80s, people would drive 356s around as if they were VW beaters, and they weren’t that much more expensive than VWs. And I remember thinking, “You know, those are Porsches…”.

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  11. Jack Quintrall

    I had one similar to this. It was a 1500GS Carrera. 4 cam. Bought it in Hawaii for 1100.00 in 1961. Had the same VW engine in it. Found the original 4 cam and put it back in. W as a 21 yr old weasel and didn’t know what I had! Sold it for $1800.00.

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  12. Rebecca

    I bought the car. It’s perfect. Leaving the patina. Been rolling the 40hp vw engine for over a year but looking to upgrade it soon. Very comfortable w the price- the condition is ideal for me.

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