1955 Porsche Speedster Barn Find

'55 356 barn

Robert RothbardBy Robert Rothbard

Remember that Porsche 356 1500 that reader Dale I discovered back in 2014? Well after being towed out of the barn, more history and information has been dug up and now it’s up for grabs! This one will surely be a Big Bucks Barn find or BBBF! This incredible find is listed here on eBay and is now parked in Sebastopol, California with, at the time of writing, a reserve not met bid of $150,011!

'55 356 barn pulled

When Dale discovered this car, he didn’t know much about it. He wasn’t even sure what model it was, but with help from you guys, we were able to provide him with more information about his find. We never heard what happened to the car after that, but clearly someone got it out of the barn and into safer storage. The seller was able to find out why this Speedster was put into this barn in the first place. Apparently the 2nd owners purchased this car in Berkeley, California in September of 1968 and drove the car until 1974. The car was parked in ’74 when it developed “ugly noises”.

'55 356 barn tag

It was just verified as a true Speedster and the California DMV will issue a current title on chassis #80413 which is stamped in front of the gas tank and on the tag attached to the left door post. The original engine isn’t in the car. There is a 1960 S-90 engine, number 800409, that was supposedly overhauled but never installed in the car that is included in this auction. The transmission included is number 866118.

'55 356 barn engine

This is one rusty project. The stuff is literally everywhere, from the body to the overhauled engine. Given just how desirable these cars are right now, there is no doubt in our minds that someone with very deep pockets will save this car.

'55 356 barn front left

While this car will surely look fantastic after a complete restoration, we would actually like to see it as it sits. It would just be so fascinating to look at such a valuable car in such terrible shape, it’s a piece of art at this point!

'55 356 barn int.

It appears that the gauges were pulled. We don’t know if those are included or not. The seller clearly isn’t Dale, but seems to be some type of classic car dealer or specialist. They have a source for many of the missing parts, but they aren’t included. It would be interesting to follow along with the restoration, just to see what all it takes to bring this Porsche back to life.

'55 356 barn more rust

The 1968 California pink slip shows that this really is a 1955 Porsche Speedster, with California black plate # UPY304. So kudos to anyone who guessed it was a Speedster when we first featured it! We know that there is someone somewhere that will pay big money and then spend another boat load to bring this 356 back to a driving and restored state. More power to them and we are glad that there are those that have the wherewith-all, time, resources and the desire to take on this monumental project. And whatever happens with this Porsche, we just hope the next owner will keep us updated on it! We’ve followed it this far, we would love to follow it to its next stage of life too!

Motor-on,
Robert

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Comments

  1. randy

    What is wrong with people? There is no way the person that repairs this car will ever recoup their money. Do I smell a VIN tag swap in this cars future?




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  2. RayT Member

    Is a restored Speedster — without original engine — worth $300-400K? That’s what the new owner will have in this car, after almost all the current parts are cut/thrown away and replaced with repro bits.

    Sorry, much as I like early Porsches, this one doesn’t even draw a flicker of interest. Without moneyed fanatics and wild-eyed flippers in the picture, I doubt anyone would pay much attention to it.




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    • Rob

      I agree. The cost of restoration would be about equal to a newer car with a serious race history. Get some gas and marshmallows.




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  3. Jason Houston

    The plate is URY 304, issued in 1967.




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    • Ross W. Lovell

      Greetings All,

      Huh! A black plate car usually commands more as its a California car that has minimal rust.

      Exactly what is the black plate description adding to this sale?

      Haven’t seen one this bad before and not up to date on Speedsters to know if they can buy this and not get underwater in light of the lack of an original engine.

      Must be a vin swap, but it’s at $150k now and still hasn’t reached reserve.

      Don’t see it, but lots of people out there with more money than grey matter.




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  4. Glen

    It’s amazing how many people ask for a buy-it-now price, after the sellers states he doesn’t want that kind of question.




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  5. Leo

    So I am curious as to whether “Dale” got undermined by his post here initially? Not good posting it with the plate not whited out!! That aspect should NEVER happen on here again.




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    • Josh Mortensen Josh Staff

      Leo, the plate was covered in the original post. All that was revealed was the number 4. I try to always make sure plate numbers are either covered or modified.




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  6. OhU8one2

    First time I’ve ever seen the hardtop. I’m guessing it’s aftermarket. Thing about speedsters,they adhere the “less is more” theory . And people are willing to drop boatloads to have an original. James Dean traded in one of these on his infamous Spyder. I wonder where that car is? I don’t think this is it,cause his was a ivory color with a dark brown interior. I still like the good quality replicas,only because you can drive without fear. Ever see the movie Doc Hollywood. My point exactly.




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  7. Dolphin Dolphin Member

    Why was this bid to $150K and the reserve not met after only two days?

    Beats me. The only explanation I can think of, other than the fact that there’s too much money concentrated in the hands of the few, is what I saw on Rt. 1 in Malibu (while visiting) this past summer: a tricked out, very modified Speedster buzzing up and down in front of the beach….again, and again…..

    I guess it makes a guy like that driver feel good to be seen in them, even tho they sound like a kid’s tricked up Beetle from 30 years ago. The main difference is that one has a roof and the other costs a few hundred grand more than the one with the roof.




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  8. Rex Kahrs

    So here’s a technical question about a car such as this: once the new owner has possession of the car, is it dipped? Or is it media blasted to see what is left to weld on to?

    I assume that nothing is going to be unbolted off of this car (fenders, door hinges, whatever) because, well, you all know why nothing can be unbolted off a car this rusty and flimsy. SO….I’m just curious as to what the initial protocol is in dealing with a car body in this state. Just asking for my own edification, and I’m sure there are body guys out there who could answer.




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  9. Mark S Member

    I say media blast then sweep up the car end call it done. That won’t be to expensive.




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  10. RoughDiamond Member

    Just be glad bidders like these haven’t permeated all the car markets yet. I’ve got to enroll in “P” school because I just don’t get it.




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    • Rancho Bella

      I was in “P” school for a very long time. I dropped out when people with more money than brains enrolled. It just sucks the fun out it.




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    • Al8apex

      You don’t have to “get it”, it just exists, just like lifted trucks, Harley’s, ricers, “eye talian” cars, etc

      I don’t get them, but “they” seem to enjoy what they do … smh 😎




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  11. Keith

    Ummmmmmmmm am I seeing this asking price right? Reallllllly???? Come on folks, this Porsche fetish is waaaayyyyyy out of control……LOL LOL LOL!!!!




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  12. Keith

    Give me $150.00 and I’ll scrap it for you at the local junk yard………LOL




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  13. Leo

    Is DALE following BF anymore?? Doesn’t anyone else want to know the whole story?




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  14. Gnrdude

    Better Know a Buddy that’s a Welder, as after you stripped this Car There’d be VERY Little Original Metal Work Left to Work With Everything would have to be Replaced. You’d Need a Donor Body.




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  15. randy

    $151K and reserve not met. I think someone is playing mind games. “Hey Burt, I’m gonna put a POS rusted 356 on Ebay with a million dollar reserve, you and your drinking buddies bid it up to 250K, the reserve won’t get met, I’ll relist it with a very low reserve next go round, and we’ll sucker some poor slob in, and he’ll think he got a real bargain!”




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    • Horse Radish

      Just look at history:
      that won’t work.At least 9 of 10 times the car gets LOWER bids every time a round.
      regardless of what the seller says or does…




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  16. Alan (Michigan )

    Even if my pockets were deep enough, I’d not be interested in playing this game.
    Too many spectacular and interesting high performance cars around for equal or less money.




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  17. Bob in Bexley Member

    Flip the rust, that hardtop is unique whether factory stuff or not. Suprised there’s no mention of it.




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  18. Capt Doug
  19. Matt Tritt

    The hardtop was designed and built by my dad, Bill Tritt, of Glasspar. These tops are still made by the people who bought the molds and tooling when Glasspar got out of the automotive field back in the late 50’s.




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    • Kjell Tormod Brekka

      I recently bought a Glaspar hardtop like this, beautiful shape and seems solid even after all these years!
      And, I like patina Porsches….😊 But I dont like the price range P-cars are in now…..even here in Norway. 912 and 356B still could be affordable.




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  20. randy

    This car SOLD for over $152,000.00




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    • Alan (Michigan )

      Madness.




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