Behind the Ivy: 1959 Porsche 356

That phrase, “They’re still out there” – yes, that applies here. Like Tom Cotter’s amazing discovery in a North Carolina neighborhood, the moment a Porsche 356 emerges from an ivy-covered garage is a sight to behold. This 1959 356 was a restoration project that stalled and has been hidden from public view for several decades after being stripped, media blasted and primered. Now, it’s here on eBay with one bid to open it at $40K with no reserve. 

The seller notes that the foundation here is pretty solid, with the previous owners stripping the body to bare metal, installing a new front clip, patching rust holes and installing replacement pans. Surface rust has crept in in the meantime, but that’s also what gives it this wicked appearance. The seller notes the COA states this was originally a silver over red car with optional chrome wheels and appears to be a U.S. model purchased through a European delivery program.

The original engine was replaced with a unit from a newer model, while the transmission remains numbers matching. The engine will turn over but is missing a muffler; however, a period Ansa replacement unit is included. The seller re-assembled the car after discovery, attaching doors, windows, and bumpers, and notes that everything works fairly well – even the manual window winders that still roll up and down with ease. I’m shocked, but the body shut lines do look pretty good.

Inside, the original red leather is a distant memory and a non-factory steering wheel looks very out of place. The door panels are also missing along with the carpet. If it were me, I’d preserve the exterior but re-chrome the wheels and restore the interior back to new. Seeing that red upholstery pop against the faded exterior would be a knock-out and its value wouldn’t suffer at all. This is a survivor-grade car that is nearly rust-free and would make a great foundation for any number of builds.


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  1. Classic Steel

    Darn I maxed my credit 💳 on the ac cobra 🐍

    I got the ferari too✅

    Oh well I have my pets digging in the backyard to find one for me 🤣💰💰💰

    • Adam T45 Staff

      Mate, I just followed that link and I’m drooling like a baby! Looking at what is in that shed, I’d love to get my hands on the TR6 (which is probably the only one that I’d come even close to being able to afford!). I’ve always had a soft spot for them.

  2. Mark S.

    There is some serious patina. At least it isn’t another palletized Porsche. This one looks like it can be saved.

  3. Beatnik Bedouin

    Gee, these things keep coming out of the woodwork (literally, in some cases!), Jeff. It seems to be the season of old Porsches. At least this one has replacement floor pans.

    The engine looks like a bottom-of-the-range ‘N’…

    I’m amazed at what 356s are going for, these days/daze. I have been away from home a long time..!

  4. Fred H

    They never say what they pay for them.

    • Michael L

      Sooo true!

      Discovering one…. is the only way I can afford one. Sadly

      • james sterrey

        And this is what they sell!!

        I wonder if the finder has quietly kept other vintage exotic(s) and is using proceeds from the 356 sale to fund their refurbishment.


  5. Adam T45 Staff

    To me this car just screams “full resoration”. Media blasting it and starting from scratch would be the best way to ensure that the new owner had a totally rust-free Porsche that had the potential to stay rust-free. Having said that, I still can’t believe the price that these are commanding.

  6. glen

    I’m not sure how this can be a “survivor-grade” car, after all that has been done to it. Awesome find, none-the-less.

  7. Madmatt

    Yes…,There are decent Porsche projects out there…,
    I was really starting to doubt it…! lol..This looks 110%
    better than all of them on here in the last 2months..,
    It still seems like crazy money for a “project”
    I really like it,although I was never a big fan of Porsche’s or VW’s,
    I would love to restore this one….very cool.

    Like 1
    • Beatnik Bedouin

      I have, Madmatt, but the theft-recovery, wrecked 356 Roadster D we scored cost my brother and me the towing charge – $15.

      You can imagine that that was a long time ago – a very long time ago…

      It was a nice car when we were through with it, which my brother traded for a Taxi Beige W-Klasse Mercedes.

  8. Jack Quantrill

    $40,000, is sheer madness, but he might get it!

  9. Rex Rice

    The only folks that would pay that are the ones who never had one as a daily driver. At that price, store it in the garage. Sad…

  10. Jim

    40k is crazy. I have just done a 64 and 53 coupe. Finding and paying for those small parts and great bodywork/paint would put this one over 100k. Coupes are not going for that today and market is going soft. Good luck, maybe in Europe

  11. olerascal

    Deja vu…same specs, colors, chrome wheels, no overriders, & story as a ’59 356A I owned from mid-70s to mid-80s. Even had same slightly newer date engine & OE tranny. Paid $1800 for runner/driver with new floors from Stoddard already installed. Finished body work, sold it in epoxy primer for $3600. Only difference is I had OE steering wheel. Thought I did OK at the time.

    Funny sidebar…when telling stories with buds about “the one that got away”, my story is usually one of the more dramatic.

  12. Pete

    Wow a Porche that is still enough of something left to work with and not a pile of rust flakes held together with dirt. Who’d a thunk it.


    Blow it apart media blast it paint the whole thing in black epoxy as the primer that is on there now is not sealing it and it would deteriorate very fast. Reassemble red rims and a few other items in blood red and chrome. Rebuild the motor and trani. Red leather interior and you now have a hot rod porche that will look cool and not be like everyone else!

  14. David Barros

    Guess I should not have sold my perfect black on black 65 sc coupe for $2400 back in 75.

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