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No Reserve: 1957 Porsche 356 Coupe

The seller of this basketcase 1957 Porsche 356 is a well-known specialist in hunting down and procuring early Porsches, even those in derelict condition. While this coupe model is quite rusty, it’s also largely stock with a complete interior and a motor that turns freely by hand. Find it here on eBay listed with no reserve by Porsche specialist Unobtanium Inc., a company we’ve featured in the past.

Once a very pretty silver with blue interior, this 356 has fallen quite far from grace. Although it is very rotten along the lower extremities of the body and underneath, it’s also surprisingly complete: good glass, bumpers, some trim, lights and a functional dashboard point to a car that, while neglected, wasn’t hacked up. Bidders seem to agree, with the auction at almost $23K.

The dash pad is obviously a mess but the original steering wheel is still present, along with what looks like the correct AM/FM radio. It’s hard to tell whether the original interior is still there in traces or completely gone, as the carpets appear red and the seats black. My guess is that a blue interior would require color-coordinated carpet scheme, and it also wasn’t uncommon for blues to be tossed in favor of the racier black-with-red combination.

The seller tells us rust is significant, and photos like these tell the story as to why this 356 coupe was listed at no reserve. While certainly fixable with untold quantities of new replacement panels, there’s so much more money yet to be spent on this one even after the initial purchase price is paid – which looks ready to jump to $30K with over a day left in the auction.

Comments

  1. 8banger dave Member

    Egads.

    Like 4
  2. classic Steel

    I bid one gazillion dollars please and
    plan on just spraying a rust inhibitor all under the car and just buffing it out and driving it👍👀💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰👓

    Anyone have one buried underground as I want see it listed to guage the baseline on these rust buckets 🤠

    Like 2
  3. Andy

    I’m curious, of all the cars needing significant restoration that have been sold, how many owners have had the gumption and resources to finish their projects? Probably not a large percentage. This 356 looks promising, but will be a major labor of love.

    Like 1
    • Adam Wright

      I hear this alot from people about my cars. They say,
      “Do any of them ever really get restored?”

      I got sick of hearing it so I devoted a whole month of my column in the 356 Registry magazine about cars I sold that have been restored, some of which were God-Awful rusty. You can read it here:
      https://porsche356-production-paperclip.s3.amazonaws.com/magazines/pdfs/000/000/248/original/40-5_web.pdf?1490716966

      So yes, these cars are rough, but yes they get restored, and it usually takes 3-5 years to fully restore them and guess what, the prices have gone up so rarely is anyone underwater when the car is done.

      Adam Wright
      Unobtanium-Inc

      Like 13
      • Doyler

        Thanks for leaving that comment and the link. I gotta say, it’s like having a celebrity here.

        Like 6
      • Peter

        Well the prices need to go up again to pay for all the work required on these 356 babies

        Like 1
  4. Madmatt

    The people who will fix/attempt to fix
    rust on a vehicle this bad,either have never done it before,
    or will replace 85% of vehicle..,which to me,.. makes it
    worth a lot less,even if beautifully restored.
    These absurd prices for rotted Porsche’s are mindblowing,
    I’ll never understand it..!,although I understand the “love”
    they may have for a particular vehicle/make.
    I guess there are some people who don’t care about the “integrity”
    of their Porsche,..just as long as they can say they own one.

    Like 2
    • Dave Wright

      These are very simple cars and a real craftsman will have no problem restoring this one. It will take more time than money. When properly done, no one will be able to detect any difference. Parts are readily available. The devil is in the small bits that this one has included. People don’t spend 20-30,000on a project car without knowing something about it. Sheet metal (rust) repairs are not difficult with modern technology…….just takes time and a skilled hand. I have owned a dozen or so 356’s (and a restoration shop today) I have bought them wrecked from junk yards and brought them to full restorations…….never did anything but make money with any of them. I usually build them to keep and someone comes along and offers more money than I think they are worth….off they go. I financed an entire truck company with the sale of the 55 Speedster I purchased from a junkyard for 100.00. Naysayers are always proven short sighted and wrong with these cars. At the prices they command today, you can put a lot of labor into them and be fine on the back end if you need to sell it.

      Like 6
    • Peter

      Relax they make up new panels etc or buy body parts from other part cars. I cannot get over how good it looks inside.

      Like 0
  5. Mike B

    “Oxidation lightweight special”; must be worth a premium.

    Like 0
  6. edh

    We’re not going to address that hood ornament?

    Like 1
    • Peter

      It is rather …

      Like 0
  7. TCOPPS Copps Member

    Was the cause of these to rust so badly the quality of metal or the typical midwest winter commutes? Or is it something else…sorry, just always wondered why these seem so much worse than others of this era.

    Like 0
    • Dave Wright

      This car was mostly hand made with all virgin steel. It is over 60 years old…….and these cars were driven, rarely barn queens. When I lived in Germany people used to talk about how Mercedes rusted…….but the rusted Mercedes were the only cars still on the road at there age. A Fiat would rust in 3-4 years, a Mercedes was 20-30 years. The Germans use a tremendous amount of salt on there roads like we do here in various parts of the country. My first 356 was a 1952 model I bought when I was 16 years old. It had spent it’s life in active use in Spokane (where we didn’t use salt) it was close to 20 years old and had been driven year around for all of those years…..there was absolutely no rust anywhere in the car. It was on it’s second engine and had a cheep paint job but I drove it for 3 winters (and summers) I learned all about heater boxes, and eventually rebuilt the engine……was a wonderful car that I should have kept.

      Like 3
      • TCOPPS Copps Member

        Thank you for your response Dave!

        Like 2
      • Peter

        Not sure where the virgin came from but these 356 cars sure have a rust problem

        Like 0
      • Robert W. Lovell

        The worst thing about rust on my Ponton or Fintails were the jute underpadding they used for sound deadening under the carpet. The stuff would absorb the first water that infiltrated past a failing floor.

        It would stay there unnoticed until the problem had manifested into something bigger. You could tell when the adding felt like a sponge and the wet spot appeared after your foot depressed e carpet into the underpadding.

        Both Jaguar and Mercedes both lacked rust prevention in large box areas of their chassis. Of those two, Jaguars seemed to suffer worse rust issues than the Benz.

        Like 0
  8. Denwerks

    This needs lots of work but hopefully the buyer takes the time to do it. Would love to see more of these back on the road!

    Like 0
  9. Old Car Guy

    I will be the founding member of the NARPFS(Not Another Rusty Porsche For Sale) club. Anyone care to join?

    Like 2
  10. Billy 007

    When this bubble pops, it won’t be pretty…much like a juicy pimple, it will leave ugliness and a mess to clean up that will not be pleasant.

    Like 2
    • Dave Wright

      People have been saying that for 40 years…….the only thing that has ever really happened is periods when the appreciation slowed never receded.

      Like 1
      • Billy 007

        Says the man making a living off the bubble (with all due respect) A wise man gets in and out of a bubble early, don’t be caught floating inside of one when it pops, lest you fall a great way down.

        Like 2
  11. Jack Quantrill

    This price is madness! Who’s buying these things? I gots to know!

    Like 2
    • Adam Wright

      Jack, read the above article, all your questions will be answered.

      Like 2
    • Billy 007

      Rich people who think its cool to have expensive things that poorer people can not, foolish people who think they can make a buck, a few smart people who can make a buck off them, and lastly, very few people who actually have a love connection with them for some reason. The last group should have them, but they shouldn’t have to pay this much. I am afraid that the last group is artificially small because of the hype and silly rise in prices. It has become an era when a person can not relive their youth because someone trying to make a quick buck has driven them out of the market. Is that illegal? No, but it sure isn’t right.

      Like 2
  12. Charley

    Adam, your article is a great read. I referred to it the other day. A friend of mine and my film student son are doing a video about the 356 I have owned for48 years and your article was passed around for inspiration. The video link below is an inspiration to what is possible if one just buy these cars to have fun.

    https://expeditionportal.com/exploring-backroads-and-finding-yourself-in-a-porsche-356/

    Mine is not rough, well maintained and has seen great adventures and miss adventures over the last 48 years. I will never part with it. It was my daily driver through high school, college and post college until a life change put it in a garage.

    Whatever the cost, and to whatever end the restorations take place, they’re just cool cars to own and be damned the cost!

    Like 2
  13. Dennis

    Dave Wright is buying these things and making money. Resurfacing a very old boring quote, “they don’t make them anymore”. Drive one of these old things and try to tell me you were bored to death. Only ‘American only’ and muscle cars guys, (nothing wrong with either of those) can legitimately claim they didn’t enjoy it.

    Like 1
    • Adam Wright

      Since we are re-hashing old quotes,
      “I would rather drive a slow car fast, than a fast car slow.”

      Like 2
      • Adam Wright

        See.

        Like 2
  14. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Great artcle and magazine Adam, seeing is believing. Really thrashing some of those rigs. I do have to ask since you and Dave Wright seem to have P-blood flowing through your viens, Brothers? Thanks for the advice and photos, Mike.

    Like 0
    • Adam Wright

      I think Dave is a brother from another mother, my brother Matt and I own Unobtanium.

      Like 2
      • Dave Wright

        We live on opposite coasts. I talked to Adam the first time about Porsche busisness maby 10 years ago. He has become much more of an expert than I will ever be but we do know a lot of people in common from the old California Porsche days.

        Like 2
  15. Tom

    Best rusty 356 thread ever! Thanks for the good reads.

    Like 1
    • Peter

      Dear Mister Fantasy play us a tune
      Something to make us all happy
      Do anything take us out of this gloom
      Sing a song, play guitar, make it snappy
      You are the one who can make us all laugh
      But doing that you break out in tears
      Please don’t be sad if it was a straight mind you had
      We wouldn’t have known you all these years

      Like 1
  16. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Ended: Apr 04, 2018 , 1:17PM
    Winning bid:US $25,700.00
    [ 21 bids ]

    Like 0
  17. Ronnie Dotchak

    ………..a qwick spit.(mostly spit) and polish will easily fix this problem
    ……….no problem!!

    Like 0

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