Half Century Slumber: 1963 Porsche 356B Super

Not every barn find ends up staying in a barn find condition for long. Take this 1963 Porsche 356B, owned by the same person for fifty years, it has just arisen from its long slumber and is now ready to roam twisty backroads again in typical Porsche style. Located in Los Angeles, California, this Porsche is available, here on eBay for a classified ad price of $56,500. There is a make an offer option too.

The model 356 spelled the end of an era for Porsche as it was slowly ushered out by the 1964 introduction of the 911, its intended replacement. The 356 saw continued production into 1965 but clearly, the 911 was Porsche’s new standard as well as its future. The 356B, like this example, was offered from 1959 until 1963 and about 30K found new owners.

This Porsche has undergone a bit of a metamorphosis since returning from hibernation, something most barn finds can’t do immediately. Actually, it appears that all this car needed was a good cleaning so its place of rest in dry storage has preserved it well. The white finish is a bit flat and there are a few nicks here and there but overall, this Porsche presents quite well. There is a passenger-side dent in the rocker panel, perhaps jack induced, but that is the only body error noted. All of the stainless trim looks to be present and the chrome still has some sheen. It is a driver-quality car and should be able to be enjoyed as is.

In the boot is a 94 HP, 1.6 liter “Super”, boxer-style, dual carbureted, four-cylinder engine connected to a four-speed manual transaxle. The image shows the air cleaner removed, the assumption is the seller has it and pulled it for photography purposes. Unfortunately, there is no reference to this Porsche’s operating aptitude so inquiries will have to be made. There are included images of the underside and both the motor and transaxle appear to be leak-free. The muffler looks like some sort of a zoom-zoom, aftermarket add-on.

The interior is as one would expect to find in this vintage Porsche, a bit spartan but all about functionality. While it is in very nice condition, it’s curious that the seat bottoms up front are upholstered in cloth while the torture-chamber rear arrangement is vinyl. It would seem that the front seat bottoms have probably been recovered. The contrasting terra-cotta colored dash pad and door cards are a nice touch and work well with the black upholstery and white finished exposed steel instrument panel. It all seems to be in good nick. And yes, points are scored for having the original radio.

Considering this Porche’s condition, equipment and mileage (63K if that recorded number is accurate) the price seems in-line. The seller, Beverly Hills Car Club, is known by Barn Finds and of course, by many of our readers too, so you can decide for yourself if you think this is reasonable. Primitive though it may be, this 356B looks to be a car that can be driven and enjoyed, just as it is with no inordinate attention needed, and that certainly has to be one positive attribute don’t you think?

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Comments

  1. alphasud Member

    Really cool to see what treasures are still coming out of Cali. When I was working in Santa Barbara I had to stop at a customers house. In their garage they had a 73 911 Sportomatic with the engine in pieces. The owner said it was sitting for over 20 years. 13 years ago when I saw it there was no big interest for that model. Today would be a different story.

    Like 5
    • paul

      In Ponte Vedra Fla, visiting a friend golfer, and accross the street in a cul-da-sac, inside his garage were 2 authentic Gull Wing 1950’s Mercedes! Unbelievable feelings!

      Like 6
      • John

        I was driving along Bishop road in Mandarin and spotted a beautiful silver Gull Wing behind the gates of a riverside estate. IIRC there was 2 four car garages facing each other with the Gull Wing sparkling in the sun between them. I was so intrigued thinking what might be in the other stalls – and I was glimmering green with envy thinking ‘Oh yeah, that’s how you do it!’

        Like 2
  2. RayT Member

    My money — not $56K, BTW — is on this 356 NOT running. In fact, I’d be more concerned that the engine cleaning was done with the air cleaner(s) off, which makes a total engine stripdown essential, not just advisable.

    Oh, and the brakes probably need a lot of attention, as do tires and probably every other consumable on the car.

    Have to wonder how much “BHCC” paid the detailer. Pretty sure that and what they paid for the car leave a VERY nice profit margin! Regardless, that big check the next owner will write is surely only the first of many.

    Like 8
  3. Euromoto

    Anyone who follows classic car ads in the SoCal region instantly recognizes the concrete floor (with a crack) and the white drape of Beverly Hills Car Club (located, in fact, in East L.A.). Alex Manos, the owner is a very savvy guy and I admire him. I sold him a Porsche 912 soft-window a few years ago for $25k. He trailered it out in the morning and it was on that concrete floor the same afternoon listed for $45k. I don’t know what it sold for, but it was probably a lot more than he paid. Got to love America.

    Like 6
    • Mr.BZ

      You have a great attitude about your past auto dealings, Euromoto!

      Like 3
      • Euromoto

        Car had problems that I missed when I bought it. Manos didn’t ask questions, just made an offer based on pictures and I didn’t lose on the deal which was done in a day. It was a win-win. He gets a lot of grief on the enthusiast sites, but he provides a service for sure.

        Like 6
  4. bobhess bobhess Member

    Could be wrong but “S” engines had the dual throat Solex carbs on them. These look like the Zeniths on the “normal” engines.

    Like 3
    • Sean

      You are incorrect. The S or Super engines had Zeniths. Only the Super 90’s and SC’s had Solex carbs.

      Like 1
  5. Dickie F.

    I love that steering wheel, to me, a work of art.

    Like 4
  6. Bernie H

    bobhess, your right on the carbs. This car is a 356C,not a “B”. All “B” cars had a single rear grill on the motor hood. This looks like a B engine with Zenith carbs, same as a 1961 356B 1600 SUPER model, of which I had several while living in Germany in the sixty’s. They were rated at 75HP then, not terribly quick vehicles, but very good road holding manners.

    Like 2
    • Jim ODonnell Jim ODonnell Staff

      Bernie:

      If it is a “C” wouldn’t that mean it is a ’64 or a ’65 instead of the advertised ’63?

      JO

      Like 2
    • Randy Carlson

      Its a B, not a C. I own one identical to this. The twin grilles on the back were a part of the redesign that included the front hood that is a bit more squared off. If it were a C, it would be a disc brake car with the flat hubcaps.

      Like 4
  7. bobhess bobhess Member

    Porsche had a history of using up all the parts in stock regardless of the model. The wide hood could very well have been put on a B chassis if they ran out of the narrow hoods. One of our ’59 convertible Ds had a ’60 roadster rear bodywork complete with the backup light bulge under the rear bumper in the rear. No telling what’s going on with this car.

    Like 3
  8. Maestro1 Member

    Euromoto has it right about Alex Manos (Beverly Hills Car Club). I want to remind Barnfinders that dealers in California are closely regulated, and not
    a lot of nonsense will be tolerated before the dealer license is pulled and whoever had it needs another way to make a living. Alex also has a right to run a profitable business. If you don’t like dealers, buy from private parties and see
    how lucky you get. Not.
    Porsches: I’ve had a few and I think the prices now are ridiculous.

    Like 6
  9. Jerry

    Never understood the appeal of these early model Porches.
    They looked like a squished VW Beetle and were slow!

    Like 1
  10. Michael Jabczynski

    Glorified V.W.’s for sure.

    Like 3
  11. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

    That sure is one helluva oil spot under the car in the “as found” photo! Hopefully more than a cursory cleaning in the engine bay has taken place. Judging by the turnaround from purchase to resale mentioned above, I wonder if there is any oil in the crankcase making this just a static display at the moment! SMH

  12. Diane Mierz

    Hi Bernie H,
    Porsche made both T5 and T6 bodies for 356Bs. The T6 body was continued to the C model and in addition to other features included two grills on the back. If this were a C it would be a 95hp SC and not a 90 hp S. Serial number 12587 indicates this indeed is a 1963 Reutter bodied coupe.

    Like 3
    • Sean

      Well the S/N on this one looks to be 213445. I don’t care what the auction listing says. I took the photo of the trunk and enhanced the image so the VIN tag was readable. The S/N listed in the auction doesn’t return a result in the 356 Registry VIN database so not sure where you get the info this is a ’63 Reutter. In fact, it’s a ’63 Karmann.

      The S or Super engine was 75HP. 90HP was available from the Super 90 engine also available in this year. The 1600 Normal was 60HP.

      Like 1
  13. Jaker76

    Been nice for someone to find and list before BHCC got ahold of it!!! And not sure who said it, yeah some dealers i got a big problem with! sold em parts for too many years to know their game!

  14. Jerry

    Talk about nice stuff…..when I lived in So Cal I toured JAY LENOs car collection. I used to ride street bikes and one of the guys I rode with knew one of Jays mechanics, he set up a private tour.
    Jay has 3 hangers at the Burbank airport full of cars, I loved all the 60s and 70s muscle cars he had!

    Like 2
  15. Paul

    I don’t see the tinware around the engine, I assume like a 912 or even a Beetle the lower to upper airflow is restricted by engine tinware. I’m not so familiar with this model but that’s my 2 cents

  16. C Marchesi

    It’s a late B, if it was a C it would have disc brakes, 12 volt and flat hub caps and black grab panic handle.

  17. Louis Q Chen

    If I lived closer and had the money, I’d take a look and may be get a loan to buy this Porsche! If it doesn’t have major rust issues, it’d be a good buy. Rebuilding the engine is basically the same as the Beetle engine. I’d probably put in one of those late Mexican Beetle engines with S.S. ignition, F.I. and hydraulic valve lifter to eliminate the hassle of valve adjustments as well as points & condenser and carb. rebuild & adjustments. With fresh OEM color and re-do interior, it’d be a crowd pleaser-weekend cruiser & drive in (Sonics) car show!

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