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Historic Race Car: 1960 Porsche 356B Roadster

Old-school race cars are hit or miss when it comes to their overall desirability, but like most anything air-cooled these days, it’s hard to go wrong with a classic Porsche. The car shown here reminds us how different the car hobby used to be, with this 1960 Porsche 356B Roadster being chopped up and modified heavily for track day use. While sports cars have always been an expensive plaything, there was a time when a four-wheeled contreyvance wasn’t looked upon as a mobile mutual fund. This 356 is listed here on craigslist for $125,000.

According to the seller, the roadster was converted to race car use when it was new, so it’s been a track rat for its entire life. The period racing graphics are very cool, as are the flared wheel arches and thick roll bar. The other photos in the listing show that many of the old-school decals and graphics have survived, including old SCCA stickers and those of aftermarket parts vendors. If you’re looking for old-school patina, this as-raced 356 is pretty tough to beat. The seller notes that “….this car was campaigned by the well known Porsche racer and restorer Weldon Scrogham,” which is a neat anecdote in the history file.

Even more impressive is the clean, seemingly rust-free condition on display. The 356 is listed for sale on the Chesterfield, Michigan craigslist page, so it’s not as if this car has been hiding out in the California desert. Though disassembled, it will come with numerous spares, including a “…1960 1600 Super engine, top, windshield frame, and seats,” and the listing photos also show what look like spare body panels and other various trim pieces and hardware. Most importantly, this 356 roadster will also come with two log books from 1971, which may fill in some additional blanks about its interesting history.

The 1600 Super engine is seriously nice to have, and I’m impressed that whomever the steward has been has managed to keep so many desirable spares with the car. There is a 1964 356C transmission currently installed, along with disc brakes. However, the seller makes a good point: given the value at which cars like this are trading when found in preserved form, doesn’t it make more sense to restore this period racer back to stock condition? With original bits like drum brakes, bumpers, and fenders included in the sale, it’s entirely possible for this 356 roadster to be returned to factory condition. Would you continue to campaign it or bring it back to showroom condition? Thanks to Barn Finds reader T.J. for the find.

Comments

  1. Avatar photo bobhess Member

    My past is catching up with me with this car. I sold a fully restored ’60 Roadster race car to Weldon in 1989 that had been raced since 1965. It had the same modifications as this car with the 356C brakes and everything else that makes a race car. As for this car I think I’d like to have the race wheels and tires and continue it as a vintage race car. Converting back to a stock street machine is not easy. Go to Classicmotorsports.com and bring up the conversion back to stock Bugeye Sprite and you will see what I mean. Also, the 356C transmission is not good for racing. There were factory close ratio transmissions, which we used in our racing Porsches, but I’d bet you can’t find one of those now. Aftermarket gear sets are available. Car looks solid but the price is a bit high for the time and money it will take to restore to the track or the road.

    Like 22
  2. Avatar photo JP Wolf

    I would use it as my daily!

    Like 1
  3. Avatar photo Lance

    Nein danke.

    Like 2
  4. Avatar photo Slimm

    Fun fact: the word “contreyvance” only exists in Google search universe in 2 spots. This webpage and one other. :-)

    Like 4
  5. Avatar photo Steve RN

    As much as I like stock (or modified but easliy returned to stock) Porsches,
    I’d keep this one a track rat. It could be so much fun. And while a period correct build would be nice, I’d update some things just to make it even more fun.

    Like 1
  6. Avatar photo Terry J

    Circa mid 80s I was transferred to a factory in Winchester Virginia and found a rental in nearby Berryville. Trying to sleep in that first Sunday morning, I kept hearing a far away buzzing tone that came and went. I eventually discovered that up in the hills above the town was Summit Point Raceway. It was part of the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association curcuit plus SCCA and more like getting to see Paul Newman race in his factory turbo Toyota race car. The vintage cars had to have a documented racing pedigree and there were a few Porche 356s. I had always thought those little bathtub cars were cute, but I did not realize that they were also FAST. Terry J

    Like 7
    • Avatar photo Rallye Member

      SVRA ain’t what it used to be. ( Sportscar Vintage Racing Association)

      Sunday, I watched the live stream from Atlanta.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPveNX1bMWc

      Group 6 and 8 are 2 of my favorite groups. I saw a split start race with Ginetta spec cars followed by groups 6,8 and 12 combined. I don’t think there were 10 cars among the 3 groups.

      10 or 12 Ginettas and the announcer mentioned having 12 more race cars available for sale.

      Like 0
    • Avatar photo Uncapau

      Paul Newman raced Datsuns/Nissan for Bob Sharp. Very talented driver.

      Like 4
      • Avatar photo Terry J

        Yes, a Turbo Nissan. It was a big race and he needed to win the points. There was a black (Porsche I think) that was his nemesis. I was down at the bottom of a hill in the main grandstands, but the cars started up by the pits unseen by us. The announcer announced the start and we could hear them tearing down the hill, with Newman in the lead, but back up at the top he got flagged for a jump start, so down they came again slowly jockeying for the restart. That happened 3 times. Paul had to spool up his turbo because he was racing against non turbo cars mostly, but in so doing he jumped the start 3 times. The last time he was black flagged and had to pull into the pits until all the other cars went by, then they let hm out, way behind. Down the pack came pushing hard with the black car in front. After they all swept by we could hear one lone car banging gears and screaming down the hill. It was Newman all by himself. He raced like a mad man, but he couldn’t catch the Porsche. He came in second. :-) Terry J

        Like 3
  7. Avatar photo Derek Phillips

    I would totally continue it’s racing heritage. Anything less would be a travesty!

    Like 8
  8. Avatar photo Frank Barrett Member

    The seller is a well-known Porsche 356 restorer, so why doesn’t he restore it himself?

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo Slimm

      @Fran Barrett Maybe he does not have the time to do it, and is hoping that he can sell it to someone who will pay for his time and get the configuration they would want instead of what he thinks that a buyer would want.

      Like 1
  9. Avatar photo Rallye Member

    I don’t think the roll bar would have passed tech in 1980.

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Slimm

      Yet, as the seller states, it was driven in the 1980 SCCA runoffs.

      Like 2
  10. Avatar photo Michelle Rand Staff

    The log books can lend value to this car, particularly if a driver had some sort of notoriety, or the car won interesting races. Photos in-period might be available. The car deserves to be raced, and restored as such. It could make its way to Pebble Beach if done nicely.

    Like 4
  11. Avatar photo Slimm

    @Michelle Rand Here is a video of the 1980 SCCA runoffs for E Production, showing the car being raced. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CI9M3uLXHOQ

    Like 1

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