Cool Daily Driver: 1959 Porsche 356

Owning a classic car that could be used as a daily driver is always an interesting option, and that is a real possibility with this 1959 Porsche 356. It is a solid and clean car that should offer its next owner reliable daily transport with a touch of prestige. If this sounds like a great idea to you, then you will find the Porsche located in Memphis, Tennessee, and listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has pushed up to $36,400, but the reserve hasn’t been met.

The owner provides plenty of photos of most aspects of the 356, and it looks to be a really sound and solid car. There is some minor rust present in a couple of spots, but it doesn’t look to be too bad. One spot is under the battery box, which is pretty common and usually a fairly easy fix. The other spot is in the lower edge of the driver’s door, but once again, it doesn’t appear to be severe. The Silver Metallic paint does show a few minor scratches, and once again, the worst one appears to be on the same door as the previously mentioned rust. The finish on the wheels is also looking a bit tired, and they could stand to be refreshed. Otherwise, items like the exterior trim, chrome, and the glass, all appear to be really good.

If you ordered a new 356 Coupe finished in Silver, interior trim choices were between Green, or as is the case with this car, Red. The interior is original, with items such as the factory radio still in situ. The upholstered surfaces all look to be in really nice condition, as does the headliner. The carpeted surfaces are looking a bit tired, and it would be interesting to see how they would respond to a professional clean. It isn’t clear what the enormous black mat on the front floor is hiding, but I would probably be preparing myself for the worst there. Having said that, it didn’t take much searching to verify that complete carpet sets are readily available, and even sets of the highest quality are pretty easy to find for less than $500.

One of the few areas of the Porsche that we don’t get any photos of is the engine, but we do know that what resides under the hood is a 1,582cc flat-four engine, which produces 60hp, and the standard 4-speed manual transaxle. The owner has recently had the carburetors rebuilt, while the fuel tank has also been cleaned and reconditioned. The brakes have come in for some attention, with new shoes and all new brake lines having been fitted. The owner states that the car runs and drives really nicely.

I will admit that a Porsche 356 would make an unusual daily driver, but given the car’s inherent economy and reliability, it would also be quite viable. If you compare it with a modern alternative that you might buy for the same purpose, it stacks up quite well in that regard. Provided that it is properly maintained, it would undoubtedly be worth more in 10-years than that modern vehicle. It is certainly worth thinking about.


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  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Again… Never saw a ’59 356A with a 356B nose and bumpers. Mine didn’t look like that.

    Like 8
  2. Geoff

    This is a T5 body 356B, not an A. In 1959, Porsche T5 bodied B’s had the small rear window and single rear grill like the previous 356A, but the rest of the body was similar to the later cars through the 356C’s

    Like 6
    • Haig Haleblian

      This car has to be a frankenstein. S/N is for a 59, A Dash and steering wheel. B body. Love an engine shot and s/n. Calling Adam Wright!

  3. art

    Daily Driver? Nice to think about but who wouldn’t worry the entire day if the car was safe? If one had reserved underground or secure private parking, perhaps but otherwise parking this puppy outside and hoping it was still there at the end of the work day would be the equivalent of a Hitchcock movie. Total fear.

    Like 3
    • Alan Brase

      Who would steal it? Nobody in my state would. Collision is always a concern now that half the drivers are texting as they drive.
      My original paint, low mile Vanagon now has an 18″ deep dent in the drivers’ side sill due to a texting driver.
      But you’re probably right. OCCASIONAL daily driver, might be a better plan.

      Like 3
    • Robert May

      It’s a manual transmission. An anti-theft device by default.

      Like 5
  4. bobhess bobhess Member

    Geoff… None of our Bs had the A steering wheel. One of them was a late ’60 that we built our ’59 Convertible D race car out of. Now I do know that the factory was great at using up any body panels they had on hand as our ’59D had the B Roadster rear clip with the bump under the center of the bumper for a back up light. Bump wasn’t cut for the light. Lot of transition stuff going on here.

  5. Alan Brase

    I guess a certificate of origin might tell a little as to date or build. The transmission case will have a cast in week/ year that might give a build date approximation if it is an original trans.
    But every schoolboy in Germany could tell you this was a B, not an A.

  6. bobhess bobhess Member

    Still trying here. My 356B factory shop manual shows the B’s with a black rimmed, recessed steering wheel on a different steering shaft than the A’s. Owned two ’59s, one coupe, one Convertible D. Owned two B’s, a ’60 coupe and a ’60 Roadster. Owned two C coupes, one ’64 and one ’65. Totally different steering wheels and columns between the A’s and B’s and my three references that have text and pictures do not show any B’s with A steering wheels. So do we have a B nose on an A chassis? Over.

  7. Alan Brase

    They made changes continuously. The steering wheel does not determine what year the car was built, the VIN does. The Kardex or birth certificate will usually give you a pretty good idea the day it was built. Gearbox date code might be one easy way to get it within a month or two.
    And your factory service manual could easily be printed in 1962 or later and only use T6 illustrations.

    Like 1
  8. Adam Wright

    This car is an A that was “updated” to look like a B. But the VIN is an A.

    Like 4
  9. bobhess bobhess Member

    Alan… My B manual was printed in ’59. Adam’s got it right. Interesting….

    Like 2
  10. bobhess bobhess Member

    P.S. Never thought the B/C nose, raised for headlight laws, was the greatest looking thing Porsche ever made, but putting one on an A is really past my understanding. Dumb. The A nose was a nice looking piece.

    Like 1
  11. Alan Brase

    hahaha! Good to know. That explains everything. So, this is a $20k car. Just enjoy it for what it is.
    I imagine a good shop would charge $5k-10k to make EACH end right. Plus a bit for paint. Might be kinda hard to blend that silver!
    I wonder if the original metal got smashed and this was the easy way to fix it?
    Yes, Bobhess, I agree completely that the A was nicer looking. Probably a bit better Cx also.
    Erwin Kommenda got it right the first time, in 1948!
    You were 100% right about the steering wheel. Out here in the hinterlands, I don’t look at T5 and T6’s very often. Just my A Cab and Speedster. And that was a few decades ago.

    Like 1
  12. Dougie Member

    Hodge podge lodge. Or the other joker on here that considers all 356’s Volkswagens beetles. bahahaha. Who knows what the story Is here.

    Like 1
  13. Coventrycat

    Daily driver, that’s funny. The person that pays Porsche prices probably works from home – or drives to the office with something that has everything that coddles a spoiled human’s needs. Like cup holders, sat nav, AC, satellite radio, 100 way adjustable seats, and a warranty.

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