Facebook Steal: 1963 Porsche 356

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A few weeks ago, a dusty Porsche 356 in the back of a depalidated garage shelter appeared on a Facebook page I frequent. It seemed too good to be true: the seller was helping someone else clear space, and he (the seller) knew very little about P-cars. I believe the asking price was somewhere south of $10,000 and the car was snatched up quickly. This 1963 model here on eBay looks to be the same car, albeit now running and for a much higher price. 

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The seller I spotted interacting with the public didn’t seem too concerned about getting a better price for the car – he had been tasked with removing the vehicles as quickly as possible, and that’s what he was focused on. Some commenters did say there was more money to be made, but I suspect he took the first price that matched his number and then disappeared. Hard to believe what a deal this seller got with a running and numbers-matching example.

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To some extent, I get it. You’re looking at a car thinking what a huge project it will be, and simply want to get something for it and get it out of the way. However, I’m surprised he didn’t at least spend a few minutes Googling to see what old Porsches were bringing price-wise. This one isn’t a total loss, despite the grim-looking interior and roughed-up paint. It’s far from the worst we’ve seen. Most of us were dying to know what else was in the garage with the 356.

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If you visit the eBay listing, you can see and hear the motor running cheerfully. The seller must have been doing cartwheels when he brought this home and was able to tune it up with ease. The bids are currently up to $18,000 with the reserve unmet, but I have no doubt it will go higher. The seller says you can leave it as-is and just drive it, or you can use it as the basis for a ground-up restoration. Which one would you choose?

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Comments

  1. Barzini

    I’ve wondered what I’d do if I found myself in a similar situation where a seller unknowingly underpriced a car by a significant amount. I’d like to think that I’d offer a fair price and not take advantage of him or her. But I don’t know because it’s never happened.

    • Marty Member

      That is tough to do sometimes. My general inclination is to get the deal done. I’ve found that no good deed goes unpunished, so to speak, and informing the seller that his car is significantly under priced, is almost always a deal-killer.

      You try to do the right thing by offering what you think is fair, and the seller says “Really? Wow! Wait a minute, I better do some research on this,” and before you know it, in the blink of an eye, the car is sold to somebody else….and often for not a lot more money.

  2. David Miraglia

    A bargain for a bathtub Porsche. A little clean up and restoration and it could be a good classic daily driver.

    • Chas

      A little clean up and restoration? Ummmm, this is a nice starting point but this little clean up and restoration is going to cost several tens of thousands of dollars.

  3. stevee

    I have used the question “What is the least price in cash on-the-spot that you will take for the car? Followed by ‘I will not offer anything less. I will say Yes and pay you, or say No Thanks– and we part friends’. My current car is a one family owner 1977 Mercedes 230 sedan. I did as above– the seller sold it to me for much less than I expected, and both of us were pleased. Its a business deal, and the buyer paid what was asked.

  4. BMW Racer

    Nice floors. Did they come out of a Morgan?

    • BradL

      No. I believe they came out of a Home Depot.

      • Jeffro

        Yeah…the plywood option should raise the price up. Makes the car even more “rare”

    • Bill McCoskey

      Nah, they are for the MG “A” floor panels. [see photo]

      Only joking!

  5. Mark

    Last year I was offered a 1978 Ferrari 308 for $15K from the daughter of the owner (who had since passed away). To me, it was an incredible deal (although needing mechanical work), but to her, it was just something taking up a much-needed parking space in her garage. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the cash, and she sold it to the Ferrari dealer who did. She said she knew the dealer was going to “make plenty of money on it”, but she didn’t mind. Moral of the story: buy from rich folks- they can afford to give you a good deal and not lose sleep over it.

    • Mike Burnett

      Rich people often got rich by being hard nosed. I live next to one and he is very difficult to deal with-very friendly but with his wallet welded shut.

  6. Danger Dan

    If you read the write up its states the seller didn’t give a hoot what it went for, he was clearing the property. If you have a million dollar house coming for sale what’s a few old cars worth when that are holding up the sale? I like that, It’s dealin time.

  7. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Guess you can call me a flipper that works for his money. Bought a 1965 Lemans convert – it had the famous 6 with a stick in the floor – at one time. It was at a body shop that had kicked it out. Missing the bumpers – seats and drive train….but man what a body. Still original paint – nice floors – went thru my stash of GM keys and found a trunk key – had a really nice floor ! Looked – like all over for the bumpers – no where to be found – the last week before the swap meet – County Line Classics gets a 4 door. No he won’t sell me the bumpers. I take it anyway to the swap meet – $2500 is my target price – it’s really rust free for a convert – buyers are all over it. The guys out of Belton,Tx Texas Classics I think – were all over it – sending all their different guys back at me – I knew them all. Finally sold it to them for $1800…..he took it to his spot – put $4500 on the window. Saw it on a trailer heading east with Tennessee plates when we left on Sunday on the highway. It showed up on Ebay once…..I paid $500 for it so it was a good day…..except I looked all over Texas for some bumpers !

  8. Black Cat

    Everyone dreams of finding an unbelievable deal, but it’s nice to sleep at night, and also not recoil when looking in the mirror, the next morning. I’m always pleased when, in an episode of “American Pickers”, after a seller has stated a badly under-priced ask, the guys tell them their price is too low and offer a counter that is still good for themselves, but not avaricious.

    Sure, I’ve been “rotary helix fastened” by some unscrupulous sellers, but with the last car I bought (a Jag), I paid a little more than the price at which I could have closed the deal based on both my appraisal and the seller’s need to sell, but paying a little more was the right thing to do. The difference wasn’t enough to put me underwater, the seller felt good about letting her Mom’s car go to me, and I can always go back and ask her questions about their family’s ownership without feeling like I’d taken advantage of her.

    Keep the car gods on your side. Be knowledgeable about the cars you like, patient and persistent in searching them out, and you won’t need to “fasten” a less knowledgeable seller to get a great deal.

  9. Kevin Member

    It’s over $23K now, reserve not met. If I had stumbled upon a barn find like this I’d be hard pressed to pay even a grand for it. Underside rusted to death, expensive parts missing and not running. I’ll just stick with classic Japanese and European motorcycles.

  10. Kenny

    Not everyone lives and breaths by the almighty dollar. I’ve given away classic motorcycles just because I didn’t want to store them any more. Sure, I could have made a few thousand dollars on them, but I also wanted them gone and didn’t want to mess around with several different buyers not showing up, haggling the price etc.

    I’ve also bought (very under-priced) and were given classic motorcycles. Every time the sellers knew what they had, but wanted them gone for one reason or another. Maybe motorcycle people and car people are different.

  11. Marty Member

    The other side of the coin too, is to consider how often most of us have bought cars that turned out to be not nearly as good of a deal as they seemed. There are usually surprises when buying a car, and more often than not, they’re not good surprises.

    There is nothing wrong with getting a “good” deal every now and then, and as others have said, many sellers are perfectly comfortable and with full knowledge they’re giving a good deal to the buyer.

    I’ve had the pleasure and misfortune of being on either side of that equation from one deal to another.

  12. Pete

    I think the biggest thing ya’ll have over looked is the emotional attachment a person has to a car. If I have had a car a while and busted knuckles on it and thrown hundreds if not thousands at it to keep or get it going I am going to be really resistant to low ball offers or sales. Yet a person who just walks up to a car and is charged with removing it is going to figure out what it is and come up with what they think a fair price is and drop that 20% to get it down the road. As long as the current owner has no attachment to it that usually works out well for everyone. This tends to be especially so with people who inherit stuff. They just want to cash out. Just because Grandpa loved his antique whatever and was all about it and probably would have sold it for less than full market value plus 25% does not mean Grand Ma or the grand daughter even cares what it is and what makes it such a special thing to us and valuable because of some rarity or condition. They want the money to buy a new hot tub or a Nissan Leaf. That or clean up the property it is sitting on so they can sell that for silly money.

    • Dave Wright

      Emotional attachment works both ways. If it is a car you really love frequently you will let it go cheeper to a person that you feel will keep, care for and enjoy it than to a dealer that will just mark it up and send it on its way.

  13. Rex Kahrs Member

    On one hand, I gotta think that “buyer beware” should work the other way around…that is, seller should be educated as to what he’s selling, so that he maximizes his profit.

    If the seller is lazy or ignorant of the price trends, well, that ain’t my problem, is it?

  14. patina

    Jeff, I am the seller of the above mentioned car. I am curious where exactly you saw the car listed previously as it was purchased as part of a decent-sized lot (purchased for much more than $10k) which has been under negotiation for quite some time. It is my understanding that this lot had never been advertised anywhere for sale.

    Please respond.

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