Cheap But Rusty: 1965 Porsche 356

This 1965 Porsche 356 is listed as a cheap project with significant rust issues, but some great factory colors may sway an air-cooled enthusiast to take it on. The 356 is listed by well known Porsche specialist Unobtanium Inc., with a Buy-It-Now of $12,000. The 356 was originally an Irish Green over black example and is listed here on eBay with an engine in pieces and significant rust.

We typically see Irish Green on the later 911, but the color was offered on the earlier cars as well. It looks like the rear section of the 356 still has some original paint left, but it’s losing a battle with time and surface rust. The 356 retains its chrome bumpers and hub caps, and all lighting elements are still present. The engine lid grills look serviceable as well.

Rust underneath is extensive, with little to none of the original floor left. The dash has been hacked up in places and original fixtures and knobs are long gone. Other eBay photos show the rust extending into the rear quarter panels, with daylight visible at about the height of your hips if you were stuck in the rear seats. The 356 does come with a clear title, surprisingly.

No word on why the engine is in pieces or how complete it remains. The seller simply states that what you see is what you get. The way the listing is written leaves it open for interpretation as to whether this is the matching engine or a spare engine that’s being included for the offer price. Either way, this is absolutely a cheap way into 356 ownership, but not in any way indicative of an affordable restoration.


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    Like 2
  2. Classic Steel

    I would be Leary if a well known Porsche person sold it as if he passed then this rust bucket is toast

    Good luck to new owner and start applying for a 60k line of credit to start ..,

    Like 6
    • Adam Wright

      That’s what we do, sell cars, we don’t restore them.

      Adam Wright

      Like 11
  3. sir mike

    Can’t believe somebody paid $12000. for this…Porsche owners scare me.

    Like 6
  4. bobhess bobhess Member

    Didn’t see where the dash was “hacked up” but I think the dash is the only good thing on the body. Most of the car has “left the room”.

    Like 5
  5. CapNemo CapNemo


    Like 5
  6. Dougie Member

    Whoever is responsible for destroying this car, there’s a special place in hell for you. 👹

    Like 1
  7. Keith

    Wow! You mean they didn’t get 40k for it???? I thought all Porsches including this rust bucket brought in the big bucks? Maybe the Porsche bubble is popping?

    Like 1
  8. Benjy58

    Gives new meaning to rust bucket. Tetanus shots to anyone who cmes within 10 feet. The Flintstones would like the interior.

    Like 1
  9. Kurt

    I remember a time (fifty years ago or thereabouts) when a car like this would be the ideal project for an auto shop class to take on, with many fund raisers needed to buy parts!

    Like 2
  10. Hemidavey

    Having 12K to spend on a Porsche doesn’t make ya smart. The bubble will burst and how, it will be really bad. Not all – but most guys buying these are under-capitalized and dreaming of it all finished, 90% be holding the “bag” when it pops

  11. Djjerme

    I just don’t get the fascination with these. They are just a fancy VW Beetle in my eyes. Slow, ugly, sound like they are going to fall apart at any moment.

    I’ll never understand the 356 appeal..

    Like 2
  12. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

    We hear the same comments on every Porsche we feature so let’s clear up a few things:

    • No, the bubble isn’t bursting.
    • These are not just fancy Beetles.
    • People who buy them are not dumb. In fact, they must be pretty smart to have made enough money to afford one.
    • Finally, these have never been cheap shop class projects.

    Just like other high-end cars, Porsches were expensive when new and they are expensive today. We may not like it (because we secretly want one), but that’s just how it is. There has to be a ladder in the car world or there wouldn’t be anything to aspire to. If there wasn’t, we would all be driving Ladas…

    Like 11
    • Nate

      Well Jesse, you’re wrong on at least one of your bullet points. My shop class in 1983 had a 1963 porsche 356 that we restored ON THE CHEAP. We made multiple weekend field trips to local (and many not-so-local) salvage yards to gather the necessary parts. Had many of our finds donated to us when our shop teacher was able to convince the yard owner that we planned to sell the car for charity at the end of the project. So, YES, some of these cars (at least one) were a CHEAP shop class project.

      Like 1
      • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

        That’s awesome Nate! You must have lived in sports car country if there were Porsches in the junkyards. Total 356 production (76k between’48-’65) was less than what Chevrolet cranked out in a month! You were lucky as most kids were wrenching on much more common machinery. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Doug B Member

    Thanks for attempting to educate the ignorant folks and the typical Haters. I doubt that they’ll ever get it, and I’m guessing 99% of them have never been inside one, much less driven one.

    Ok, there’s a lot of fat wallet types that want to hop on the bandwagon. And over restore a car that literally drove off of the assembly line perfect. I don’t care for them, either. But the people that know and love these cars, are quite aware that most people just won’t get it!

    Btw, while there is really no comparison car wise,vintage Volkswagens are incredible in their own right.

    Peace out.

  14. Jack Quantrill

    Is that $12,000US, or 12,000 Pesos? Pesos, would be good!

  15. MGSteve

    One thing which is entirely dependable: the same list of Porsche haters responding to every Porsche listed. We get it. What I don’t get is: Why bother? Why waste your time? I look at the BF listings every day, and I see this mass of other cars, 99% of which seem like over-sized tanks to me. However, I don’t have the time nor the inclination to make it my life’s work to bash all these other cars. Folks: get a life!

    Like 6
    • Steve R

      A few haven’t chimed in yet. They all seem to hate Porsche’s, Mopars and people that are successful enough money to buy what they want, even if it seems overpriced to many.

      Steve R

      Like 1
  16. Martin Horrocks

    In the old car world $12000 is not a lot of money, so there´s not a lot to lose intrinsically. You are buying a titled 356. Once you get into restoration, of course the game changes.

    On the other hand, is a $30000 car guaranteed to be less expensive to restore? Completeness is important in a full restoration project, but for a hotrod build, this should look like good value to someone.

    Some people take really good driving cars and build them to concours at horrendous expense. Destroying the drivability at huge expense can also be a choice, even if it makes little sense to most of us.

    Like 1
  17. Kurt

    There is a new listing on unobtainium’s site for what appears to be a much more complete 356, for less! I wish I had 9000.!

  18. bobhess bobhess Member

    Jesse… We lived in Nevada for a few years in the ’70s. Our basic transportation was a ’65 356C. Our toy was a ’57 Cabriolet. While out running in the desert one weekend we found the entire front end off a ’56 coupe. Rust free, totally complete except for the missing rear half of the car. Took as many pieces off of it as we could including the dashboard instruments and switches. Never touched the instruments and into the ’80s we used them on several show cars. Those days are gone but we found a lot of 356s and got them for almost nothing. Fun stuff!

    Like 1
    • bog

      bobhess – Weren’t those the days. I was a teen passenger when my folks moved us to SoCal in ’60. We traveled from here (Chicago) all the way to San Bardoo, and I saw many cars along the way that were abandoned either near 66 or further out in the field/desert. Obviously, Dad wasn’t stopping for any such “nonsense”. He was a car guy (which is where I got the bug), and we went to many a junk yard in my youth. Great memories !

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