Speedster Alternative: 1959 Porsche 356A Convertible D

This is not a car you see every day, particularly for sale on a random classifieds page in Canada.  The Porsche 356 Convertible D – otherwise known for being a limited-production alternative to the classic Porsche Speedster – is a rare find in any condition, and the total production allocation was so small that you’d be forgiven for assuming there was no Convertible D’s left to restore. This one is said to be offered by just the second owner from new, and he is described as “…selling his treasure.” Find the Convertible D here on kijiji.com for $298,000.

While that price is eye-watering, it’s not a surprise to see a six-figure ask for a car like this. The Convertible D was a one-year-only model with total production ending up at a mere 1,330. The idea behind the model was to attract new buyers after the “thrill” around the Speedster began to subside. Like so many things in life, the original formula behind the Speedster became a bit too honest, meaning drivers wanted more comfort in their open-top sports cars. They wanted seats with better cushioning, and doors and windows that did a better job of buffeting against the wind. The bottom line? Consumers wanted a softer Speedster.

That is not to say this was a disappointing sports car by any means. The Convertible D was still an incredibly special automobile, and according to most Porsche experts, it is the rarest of the production-spec models that actually saw a full year of production on a Porsche assembly line. Other models like the twin-grille roadster and the Carreras don’t count, as the former only saw six months of actual production run and the latter was special-order only. We have only limited photos to go on, but this one is encouraging despite being a simple photo: there is no evidence of sloppy overspray on the number plate, which almost always reveals when a prior respray has been performed.

The Certificate of Authenticity shows that this was indeed a Ruby Red car from the factory, and while I am not a Porsche color wheel expert, the Convertible D appears to still wear that same color today. The seller knows they have a rare car that will invite inquiries without having to prepare an over-the-top listing, but checking out some recent sales (and no sales) makes me wonder if this Convertible D will get its asking price. There’s even a car for sale right now here on EuropeanCollectibles.com that is lightly restored and has an asking price of $180,000. Still, collectors will pay a premium for original, undisturbed cars, and this two-owner Convertible D could indeed be such a specimen. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Timothy K. for the find.

Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    1st pic, insurance scam? Dude, the Union Pacific stopped coming through 25 years ago. Of all the scenic vistas, why would you display your outrageously inflated classic, insured for that amount, in these rough, for some, times, car on RR tracks? Impressive option list,,”optional equipment”, sealed beam headlights, USA bumpers, nice, yeah that kind of day. These, I read, cost $3795 new, ironically, about the same price as a Corvette. I don’t know about you, but pretty tough to compete with every red blooded Americans dream, a ’59 Vette. And clean the gol dang gauges,,oooo, one of my pet peeves. Those “sealed beam” headlights, must have been standard issue then, Aside from here, and VW, I saw’r a 50s AutoUnion 3=6, with the same headlights. Somebody watching the scripted auction foolishness.

    Like 10
    • bobhess bobhess Member

      You are right about the headlights. They were used on several, unknown to us in the US, German made cars in the early 50s. Our early ’57 Cabriolet still had bulb lights. We owned two Convertible Ds, one a wrecked shell that had the left front spindle pushed back so far that you couldn’t get the door open (telephone pole did not move), and one the same color as this one that matched the huge amount of rust on the chassis. Top bows the only thing keeping the car from folding up. Paid $85 for it sitting on a trailer headed for the dump. Turned it into one of the best race cars we’ve ever had. The ’60 through ’62 Roadsters were the same car but with the newly introduced “B” body. Our car actually had a “B” rear clip on it as they ran out of the “A” series parts making the transition from “A” to “B” bodies. Had to be one of the very few that had the bump below the rear bumper for a back up light. Bought and restored a “60 Roadster race car a few years later.

      Like 14
      • bobhess bobhess Member

        Convertible D.

        Like 25
    • Grant

      Howard, right as usual. A Vetter has always made so much more sense over any Porsche except if you are trying to pick up gold digging girls for some natural stress relief.

      Like 4
      • James

        or if you want a car that actually handles like a sports car. C1 and C2 corvettes offer some fantastic classic car value but they are what they are. My C2 weighs 100lbs more than my ’66 Chevy C10 Pickup.

        Like 7
  2. Tony Primo

    The car looks like it stalled out on the railroad tracks. Kijiji is as full of scammers and false promises as Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.

    Like 7
  3. Ken Johnson

    Have a CMC 356 Widebody
    (flared wheel) kit rebuilt on a 74 VW shortened “pan”.
    2275 4 carb motor.
    HiPo parts easy attainable.
    Have 20K suspension/quick ratio steering etc. etc. etc.
    Lots of fun, loud & fast.
    Handles like on rails.
    No heat, summer only.
    Highly recommend kit build Your Way !!
    KjToy

    Like 5
  4. TheOldRanger

    I’m not a big fan of Porsche, and especially this body style.
    My first thought was “good place to leave it”

    Like 8
  5. Harry C

    Since Kijiji is a Canadian operation it makes sense that prices are posted in Canadian, not US, $s. The site does not note the denomination of the prices. The Canadian $ is now trading at about 25% below the US equivalent, which means the asking price for this Porsche is about $ US 222,000. That’s not cheap, but it is also not $ 300,000.

    Like 3
  6. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    Parked on the tracks? Just another day in sunny Floriduh.

  7. Connecticut mark

    Jerry Seinfeld will probably buy this for his collection.

    Like 2
  8. angliagt angliagt Member

    Maybe he’s “Wait’n on the Double E”,as Linda once sang.

    Like 2
  9. Big C

    Wolfgang! Achtung! Bring me zee jumper cables!

    Like 2
    • Howard A Member

      Nein, das POSITIVE GROUND, Dumkoff,,

      Like 2
  10. steve

    “Handles like it’s on rails”…..

    Like 7
  11. Gtoforever

    Well, I would leave it on the tracks, but I guess it’s light enough for him to push!

    Like 1
  12. James

    Should point out that price is CAD not US dollars.

    Like 1
    • Jack Barley

      @James
      Your C10 but be very rusted out to be lighter than a C2 corvette.
      My 327 4 speed ‘65 vette weighs 2,970 lbs
      and my original ‘61 six cylinder, 4 speed Apache weighs 3,840 lbs.

      Like 1
      • James

        ’64 roadster. Curb Weight: 3110 lbs. ’66 SWB C10 Curb Weight 3310.
        My bad, was going from memory, but ya’ll get the point. 1968 911S Curb Weight, 2,271 lbs.

        Like 2
  13. David

    In the early 70’s I had a ‘59 356A cab but with the Reuter body. The odd thing about it was the bench front seat.

  14. Troy

    So it has a I don’t want to sell it wife says it has to go price. I honestly don’t know enough about this car to know if its a good buy or not. Good luck to the seller

    Like 1
  15. Mark Mitchell Member

    This has a nice aged “survivor” look that many people love, but many also hate! It isn’t as original as it first appears, though. The wheels (and aluminum brake drums) were painted body color, which makes me believe that this car received a repaint in the past. Many cheaper paint shops also painted wheels to match the body for some unknown reason. The wheels should be silver. There is also a 356B hood handle (not the slimmer 356A type). It also has the coachbuilder (Drauz) badge on the wrong side of the car. I have owned my Convertible D ever since I was 16 – traded a ’64 Datsun pickup for it!

    Like 3
  16. Frank Barrett Member

    This guy has an unusually original car but wants to find another Jerry Seinfeld to pay a fortune for it, as Jerry did for that Speedster. Everything depends on what it’s like underneath. If it’s good, with no rust (in Canada?), you could clean up the car and enjoy it as-is. If it’s rusty, bring money. The 974,000-mile European Collectibles car belonged to a friend here in Colorado.

    Like 1
  17. OldCarGuy

    Scammers do not usually include their telephone number. Kijiji adverts have a feature (see lower RH corner of ad) that lets you look at the advertiser’s other ads; you can do it, I did. He’s the second owner, so maybe the first one painted the wheels. What’s to get all excited about? Who knows, really, what the factory installed on Tuesday, as opposed to Friday? By the way, folks, we Canadians love Railroads. It was only our dumb-ass government that let a lot of the tracks get pulled up, in the ’50s and the ’60s.

    Like 1
  18. Michael Berkemeier

    Did you ever notice that all of the people that constantly scream “This is a SCAM” about every car posted here that is for sale, are also the people that couldn’t buy steam off of a hot dog?

    Like 3
    • Fred

      Thank you. I post a link showing actual sales of 20 cars averaging $250K. If this car is “average” I live in the wrong country to buy cars.

      Like 1
  19. Lilly

    There is too much emphasis on the ‘car on the tracks’.
    I own car 85567 and can fully attest to the reliability of the Convertible D. Wether or not you “approve” of these cars, I made very little modifications to mine. I take joy in the many local and 1000 mile rally drives with my car.
    Worth every miles per smile in its price.

    Like 2
  20. robbert

    I’ll ignore the ‘red neck comments’ this is a gem!

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