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Not Too Rusty: 1964 Porsche 356C

1964 Porsche 356

I’m honestly amazed that this Porsche 356 isn’t already bid up even higher than $17k! We’ve featured rusty P-Cars in the past that went for considerably more than $17k. Perhaps the bubble has popped or maybe this car just isn’t as desirable as the others we’ve featured? It is a 356C after all, plus the brown primer really makes the car look more rusty than it really is. It obviously needs a lot of work, but it doesn’t appear to have any serious rust and is numbers matching! So do you think bidding for this Porsche is going to sky rocket or hold where it’s at? You can keep an eye on it here on eBay in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

1964 Porsche 356 Interior

As you can see, this Porsche has been gutted out already, but the seller still has all the parts that were removed. The floors clearly rust, but I don’t see any big holes or any sunlight, of course it’s hard to say what could be hiding under the floor mats. I always hate to see rubber mats on untreated metal, as it creates the perfect environment for rust. With any luck, the floors only have the one hole the seller mentions in their ad.

1964 Porsche 356 Engine

Like the interior, the engine has already been removed from the car. The seller claims to have already gone through it and that it has good compression and oil pressure. Given the similarities to the VW Beetle engine, this one should be easy to get running again! Supposedly, the transmission shifts in and out of gears nicely, so with any luck you will be able to drop the engine in and go.

1964 Porsche 356 Project

I would love to see this 356 once it’s been given a good bath. I have a feeling the paint wouldn’t look to bad, other than the primer spots that is. Personally, I would be tempted to fix the rust in the passenger side floor, reinstall the interior, go through the engine to make sure it is ready to run, install the engine, then I’d put all the glass back in and start driving it looking ratty and ugly. There is just something about rough and ugly 356s that I find amusing! How about you though? Do you think this one deserves a proper restoration?


  1. Avatar photo Rancho Bella

    They are cute, corner well and are fun to drive……..but they ain’t that fun for the money.

    Been down that road a few to many times.

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  2. Avatar photo Cassidy

    The P-car bidders must suspect a trick since there’s paint on the body. Must be a re-paint which is worse than rust holes!

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    • Avatar photo Glen

      Sincere question; why is a repaint worse than rust holes? The car will need to be painted again anyway.

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      • Avatar photo James Byron Dean Phelps

        Often attempting to hide even worse conditions – jbdp

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  3. Avatar photo Jason Houston

    If the ready supply of turn-key Pooches is exhausted, then the prices we’re seeing here for junk are going to reflect a truer market.

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  4. Avatar photo Dolphin Member

    Over $21K now, and rising with 4 days to go, so it likely won’t go cheap. Just not as high as the early cars, which for some reason people value more than the 356C even though the C is the better car.

    The only way that makes sense is that it’s just a fact that guys with money will pay more for early than for later cars, and has nothing much to do with the cars as things to drive.

    This isn’t news, but what we’re looking at is early Porsches mainly as commodities. I hope the people involved understand that commodities usually act just like commodities—their values can go up and down for all kinds of reasons.

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    • Avatar photo Bgyglfr

      I don’t think it is a true statement that later cars are always better just because the performance is better. Many current model sports cars will outperform a million dollar 60s Ferrari but it’s not always about performance or comfort. It’s about how the car drives. The feedback you get from it. The pleasure you receive while driving. That is what has driven the early Porsche market (both 356 and 911). You can’t get that experience from a new one.

      Yes, there are speculators out there but they exist because people who seek the experience are willing to pay for it. The speculators see the demand and the potential to make money. I am not a fan of car flippers but they are not the true reason for the increase in the market. The demand is. Air cooled Porsches have been grossly undervalued for a long time. If there’s any correction to the market to speak of, it’s the correction that has already occurred.

      I personally find it a good and a bad thing at the same time. The market has allowed many of these rusty cars to find new life because someone can put time and money into them and not be upside down. That said, there was a time when a regular guy could get into these cars as a hobby and buy and sell parts and cars at a reasonable level. There are old timers out there who did this for the love of the cars. Unfortunately, those guys are getting out of the game and the money is moving in.

      As far as the bubble everyone talks about. I don’t see one. These early Porsches weren’t built in very large quantities and they aren’t building any more.

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    • Avatar photo Dolphin Member

      Well I never said that later cars are always better because their performance is better. What I said was that the 356C is the better car relative to the early cars (356 pre-A, A, etc). I said that because people who are familiar with the range of 356 models have said that, and I have not heard anyone contradict that. I’m no expert—I have driven but never owned a 356 and have no plans to buy one—but I think that’s probably because the 356C is more refined and maybe has more features.

      If you disagree with that assessment of the cars because you feel that the early cars provide a better driving experience, then that might be a different point—one about the driving experience, as opposed to the cars themselves. I was talking about the cars, not the driving experience.

      You might disagree with the valuations, but it’s pretty clear from the prices that people pay for them that the early cars generally bring higher prices than 356Cs do. You can see that in auction prices paid, in price guide valuations, and even in what people are willing to pay for rusted out examples.

      I don’t remember ever saying that Porsche valuations are in a bubble, but of course some other people have. What I said was about early Porsches as a commodity. Look at the auction reports in SCM magazine and you can see how often the same cars are purchased at auction and then resold at auction sometimes within months. For those cars and those buyer-sellers, Porsche 356s look like a commodity to me.

      And as with commodities, even collector car valuations can show major pullbacks when economic conditions go sour. There are charts of average selling prices for collector cars that you can find online that show very large pullbacks in price during serious recessions, especially the recession of 1989-90 and to a lesser extent the recession of 2000-2002 and the meltdown of 2008-2009.

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  5. Avatar photo Remy

    The 356 is quiet nice but really overpriced and hyped: a Ferrari/ Alfa/Maserati that old is a classic, Porsche a volume car, the beatle of exclusive cars. Why, do people buy a rusty trashed VIN and spend a fortune to realize that there are so many other 356’s driving around? Try something different

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  6. Avatar photo Bgyglfr

    “Beatle of exclusive cars”.

    I’m ok with that statement. If you are playing in the world of exclusive cars, $50-$100k is chump change. A relative bargain compared to its Italian counterparts. Try to buy a Ferrari of that vintage without several million in your pocket.

    Yes, later air cooled 911s were built in large numbers but the early 911s and 356s are still pretty low volume considering what the American manufacturers were doing.

    It’s unfortunate but any collector car has significantly increased in value (BMW’s, Triumphs, MGA, Alfas, even early VWs). Not just Porsches. People want something unique, fun, and has character and thats not easy to find with new cars.

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  7. Avatar photo Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    Had a 356 decades ago when they were used cars. Sorry, Porsche should have water-cooled years ago. Hard to think of these as anything more than very well built Briggs and Stratton engines. Swing axle made my throttle response better, either that was learned or get used to spinning.

    Still loved the car though. Absolutely fabulous racing heritage and almost as good in their marketing skills to keep people buying an air-cooled design past its prime.

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  8. Avatar photo nsx1991

    Porsche collectors have been selling to each other at inflated prices for many years to set historical precedence for value. It’s really a form of inside trading.. I saw this first hand after attending the 2002 Porsche Parade and luckily received two national first places with a 911 that I restored. The caliber of Porsches of all years and types was really amazing to say the least. Exceptional examples push values higher and tend to pull both ordinary and ready for the crusher examples along with them. Other Marques have followed. Is a Dino worth 300K? Is a bone yard Gullwing worth 150K? I guess the worse you want it the worse you get it. Are we on the bubble ? I have no clue. What I do know is that there are still values out there that’s why I study pricing every morning on your and many other sites. Really nice work guys!

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  9. Avatar photo bcavileer

    32k with 2 days left. ‘Nuf said. Pretty steep way to start a full resto.
    BTW, Happy New Year All !

    Like 0

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