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Big Island Find: Porsche 356 C Coupe

If you’ve been following the Toyko Games this year, you may have noticed the remarkable performance of Florian Wellbrock, a young German who secured a gold swimming the 10-km open water race. However, Germans have long been a force to be reckoned with in long-distance swimming; for example, consider this Porsche 356 C. Although listed here on craigslist in San Francisco, the car appears to be located in Hilo, on the Big Island of Hawaii. If you’re thinking of purchasing this beautiful vehicle, you needn’t get there the hard way: after all, if you can part with the car’s $78,000 asking price, airfare shouldn’t be a problem.

The 356 C was the last (and some say, the best) iteration of Porsche’s original sports car. The first version of the 356 appeared in the late ’40s and was gradually refined through successive A and B generations. Although the seller does not supply the year model of this example, it could only be a 1964 or 1965 — though production stretched from 1963 through March of 1966. Overlapping with the first year model of the 911, the most obvious improvement over its predecessor, the 356 B, was the use of disc brakes on all four wheels.

Another improvement was the optional 95hp SC engine, the most powerful pushrod engine Porsche had offered up to that point. Although we don’t get a look at it here, the owner states that the car currently has a “period-correct 64C engine.” This might indicate that the “SC” on the rear is for show, or that it was originally an SC car and the current engine isn’t original. Without further information, I’d wager on the 55 kW (approx. 74 hp) Type 616/15 engine.

Everything we do see seems to be brand new, from carpet to seats to the rubber around glass. All appearances would indicate that this is a running and driving, ready-to-enjoy classic, and where better to enjoy it than the Aloha state? The beautiful scenic roads would appear to be custom-made for a car that lives for the corners, though it seems several of these often narrow to one lane and many have a reputation for being poorly maintained. Still, how many test drives have you taken that featured a volcano?


  1. Seth Johns

    Impeccable Porsche if you ask me. Dramatic color combinations inside and out. Too bad about the engine swap. But I’m sure trying to figure out how and where to fund the purchase. Run Ethereum run!

  2. Ed Casala

    Hawaii’s air is notoriously hard on cars there. Worse than salt roads in the north. Hope this one was babied and kept in a climate controlled area there. Great looking car.

    Like 1
  3. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    He does mention the year – 1965 – in the description column on the right.

  4. Mike Saucier

    Speaking of Hawaii salt air, in 1964 my Dad retired from the Army there and brought our pristine ’57 Chevy Bel Air Dr Hdtp to New Orleans. Within a very fews years it was a virtual rust bucket.

  5. Euromoto Member

    The paint on that dash looks lumpy and weird and no way are those seat covers and door panels factory. It is, however, a nice Porsche. There was a time when no one cared about this. Those days are long gone.

    Like 1
  6. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

    The leather on the seats and door panels is of dubious quality, the color consistency is poor across the surfaces. This is easy to see on the door panels. I don’t believe automotive grade leather was used, they used furniture grade upholstery. As someone who did both automotive and high-level furniture restoration for 30+ years, I know the difference, even in photos.

    Sadly, this suggests a budget restoration, so anyone interested in the car should have a professional evaluation done before purchase.

    Like 1

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