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Porsche 356 1500 Barn Find


Reader Dale I, like many of us dream of finding something rare, unusual, or interesting hiding in an old barn. Up until just a few days ago, he thought it would just be a dream that would never come true. That was until he came across this Porsche 356 1500. A large tree has fallen on the barn and is nearly crushing the car and making it difficult to get to. Dale admits he doesn’t know much about Porsches, so he wasn’t sure what to look for to identify what year this one is and is hoping we can help him.

Porsche 356 1500

We aren’t by any means 356 experts, but we can tell from this one’s tail lights it was built after 1957. Without seeing the rest of the car, that is about the best we can do on guessing the year. We also notice that this appears to be a Cabriolet with a hardtop installed. Those of you that are more knowledgeable about the 356, please share what year you think it is and what features helped you pinpoint the year. Special thanks to Dale for sharing his find!


  1. jim s

    running the tag might help. removing the car from the barn is going to be hard. be interesting to see more pictures of car after it is out. thanks for sharing

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    • Raymond F. Pittam

      A good tree Trimmer who knows what he is doing can have that car out of that barn in two Hours. He would Block the Limbs off Throwing them Over to the Ground. He would block the trunk so it will not fall any farther and work his way into the barn clearing the area of trash so he could pull it out. I have taken Huge Trees off of houses and even cars that were buried under brush with very little damage. The Problem with most people today is the look but have no idea of what they are seeing. I am 74 years old and if I had two good Ground men and One Chain Saw man would have that car out without added damage in two hours. Find a Tree trimmer with a Boom Truck to lift the Log up as it is cut shorter.

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  2. Maurice Mentens

    Congratulations, very good find and I envy you, Dale. These come in many shapes and forms, the only way you can be sure is get into the (front) trunk and read the data plate and stamped serial number. Then, check the engine and casing stampings of the engine and you’ll know exactly how lucky you were! 8-) If it has matching (3-digit) stampings in the lids you might even be luckier!

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  3. CT

    Do you know if he is going to buy it or is it just a curiosity? If he doesn’t want it and it might be available, I would be willing to buy the car. Please let me know or put me in touch with him. Thanks,

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    • Horse Radish

      Wow, it only took the fourth post for a vulture to arrive.
      Funny is the wording “I would be willing to buy the car”, ROFLMAO, I am sure you would, and 99 out of 100 that will follow.
      I would say Dale has first dibs, if this is even for sale.
      Chances are that the owner is elderly and has it stored for ‘rainy days’.
      This is not a car anyone would abandon. To claim ownership in some shady way would only entail legal action and prison time…..

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      • Horse Radish

        with 4 + thumbs down it looks like the BaT flipper crowd has arrived and took offense to my post. Welcome to you, I hope you leave again after this listing…..

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      • paul

        Just to even it up a little.

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  4. Scott R Bosés

    The car either has later tail lights or the 1500 script is wrong.
    By the taillights this car would have to be a 1600 as the 1500 was not longer around after the beehive lights. A picture of the dash would help identify year as well.

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  5. S.S. McDonald

    It is likely a 1956. The 1955 had the dual round tail lights. I don’t think the 1500 was made in 1957; I think the 1600 was out by then.

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  6. Scott R Bosés

    CT I think you and almost every reader would be interested me included. You just don’t see these cars in this condition
    so please add me to the list of interested potential buyers.
    I am in California but would travel.

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  7. paul

    Oh my gosh well I’ll give im 175,000 right now site unseen.

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    • Horse Radish

      hey paul,
      I know you’re just f***ing with people’s minds here.
      I can’t help but get a good grin….
      I am biddin’ $176,000 in a suitcase , unmarked bills…(isn’t that how it goes ?)

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      • paul

        Ha, Ha,yeah, I was thinking of blank sheets of paper.

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      • Horse Radish

        I am cracking up about the people going crazy here, trying to figure out how to swoop in and get that car.
        What greed !, it now has nothing to do with old car enthusiasm anymore.
        It’s all about the money, and that is why I lost interest in any old highly priced car.

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    • Don Andreina

      I’m taking the bid to $3 million. I don’t have room for 8000 cars anyway.

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  8. Bart Boulder City NV

    Where is the car located?
    My guess it ‘s an early 356 (56-57?) convertible or God know ‘s an original speedster.
    I would LOVE to find out the what ‘s, where ‘s and how much ‘s of this one.
    Keep us updated, VIN# would be interesting to.

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  9. CCC1

    I believe it’s 57 or later with a removable hardtop. Without better pictures it is hard to tell. I know that the solid red tail light means it was a car in the USA. Amber/red lights where used elsewhere. Does not appear to have a bumper, or at least it’s not visible. I would like to see what the green van is in the first picture.

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  10. Dale

    Updating the tail lights to the tear drop style has happened more than once.
    The “shine-up” license plate light that was first offered in 1957.
    There was a 1500 Carrera (as in 4 cam) in 1957, otherwise they were 1600s imported to the US.
    It could be a private import that has a 1500. Porsche didn’t like to let anything go to waste.
    In the second photo a removable hardtop is visible as well as the spear deco strip lined up with the door handle.
    I think it’s a Cabriolet with a removable hardtop, (somewhat rare). If it was a speedster with a removable hardtop that would be veeeeery rare.

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    • Billy

      Dale – hope you made some good money off this interesting find! The recent retrade on eBay at $153k seems unbelievable considering how far this thing is from roadworthy again. But hey, one man’s trash…

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  11. Roy Smalley

    OK, now lets all get excited…..From the curve of the door it is a D, roadster or possibly a speedster, not a cab. I want it so get after it. I will be in CA later this week with trailer. :)

    Folks interchanged engine scripts regularly. Teardrops came in mid 57 and there were no 1500 by then. But a popular gimmick back in the day was to change the bee hives to tear drop tail lights so if that was done it has to be a speedster….

    If I had to bet, it would be a speedster because the front height seems to low to be a D/roadster.

    Gonna be interesting……..

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  12. homemade911

    There’s a hardtop…but it looks aftermarket…which tells me this is either a Speedster or a convertible D…It’s not going to be anything else except MAYBE a notchback – but I’m doubting the notchback theory…let the feeding frenzy begin…go git ’em.

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  13. Bob

    The last 356 with a 1500 date from1955 (PreA)! But taillights almond and lighting under the number plate is after 1957 are therefore T2!
    More Photos and VIN number clarify the situation!
    Amazing discovery bravo!

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  14. rancho bella

    Are these two pictures the same car? Why is one with a rusty rear and the other black?

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  15. Lane

    The height of the top appears to indicate a Speedster, but the reflectors above the tail lights usually indicates a 356B, by which time the Speedster had been replaced with the Convertible D (for Drauz) in the A series. It was renamed the Roadster when the B series came out. This could be a bitsa or something slightly modified by the owner back in the day. My money (well, not really) is on a Speedster.

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  16. Lane

    Almost forgot – The trim strip down the side was most commonly found only on Speedsters and D/Roadsters. I’m still thinkin’ Speedster.

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  17. Doug M. Member

    …At first I thought maybe I would want to buy it…. but, then when I heard it has an “aftermarket” hard top!, …well, that’s a deal breaker!! Count me out… But I do kinda like the patina. :) (actually, this is just the start of what will be a really big event as this story starts to unwind. Will be interesting…Maybe even annoying, as there will be a bunch of people dictating how this all should play out. I do hope the finder doesn’t get screwed in any way, as it sounds like he is not too familiar with these…)

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  18. Chris A.

    A rumor has reached me that someone took a swab of the exhaust pipe residue and have it lab analyzed. The lab’s carbon dating and residue report indicates the car was last running in 1957 with Castrol R racing oil. There is a possibility that Steve McQueen may have owned the car at one time.

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  19. Alan

    Some of the postings here are very revealing. Illustrated is just how edgy things can get when there appears to be a discovery of a very rare/popular/collectible/hot marque car. People with $$$ signs in their eyes will always be waiting, to try and swoop in and snatch a find from out of the grasp of the original person who found it.

    Sending in photos of most vehicles found to a site like Barn Finds is safe, and fun too. But when something like this comes to the light of day…. Frankly, it is a much better idea to document all with photos, secure the car, and then reveal to the rest of the old car lovers and hounds after the fact. To do otherwise is financially and psychologically dangerous. Flippers can be nice and fair, or they can be ruthless.

    I’m afraid that Dale has left himself open to more than he bargained for.

    @ Raymond F. Pittam has the best post, IMO. Although I’m not sure how so much advice could be given based on the sparse information which the two photos provide, it is all help, and no “I want it” about the car…

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  20. Dolphin Member

    California car? Owned by McQueen?!!!

    I knew it. This is worth at least $178K as it sits, probably more. Then once you add another $167-$234K to bring it up to #1 condition just like it was when Steve bought it, well, it’ll be worth over $1 mil at the next high-end auction, then $1.8-$2.2 mil at the one after that, then….

    Or you could just get a chain saw and a few good men who know what the’re doing on extricating collector vehicles out from under collapsed barn / forest environments, then just do the minumim to get it running and roadworthy and you’ve got a preservation McQueen P-car that’s sure to fetch the big money without the hassle and expense of doing a full resto on it.

    Legal disclaimer: No part of these comments are to be construed as an offer to purchase. Not that I wouldn’t wish to own a preservation McQueen collector vehicle, but we all know that cash is tight right now and, well, I’m just not able to scrape up the long green it would take to buy this. Not that I wouldn’t like to, but you know how it is.

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    • Dolphin Member

      Chris A:
      Thanks for relaying that carbon dating info from the lab analysis on this car’s tail pipe scrapings. You got my heart going pitty-pat for a time there, even if I can’t come up with the ca$h to buy this baby.

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    • paul

      Always the wise guy, out bidding me already

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  21. JohnD

    Okay I can’t stand to read anymore without putting this out there: please guys don’t post a pic with the plates clearly visible. An industrious sort may track her down, and that defeats the purpose doesn’t it?

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  22. Don Andreina

    Dear Flippers,

    Please keep your offers to buy off the comments page. This site is super-delicious without the BS encountered on other sites. We recently had trouble with the owner of some superb barnfinds because they saw some of the comments posted here. Jesse and Josh and their great team of spotters make this an absolute pleasure, and it makes it double-hard to for these spotters to convince owners to give them access for pics.

    By all means communicate with BF privately if you’re interested in purchasing, but without a site like this you would never have seen ‘opportunities’ like this in the first place. And if you do manage to flip, 50% of your profit should go back to BF.

    Don’t take this as an FU comment. We need all the traffic we can get, so please come back again and again.

    But please also: respect.


    Don Andreina

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    • Josh Staff

      Thank you Don, very well spoken! Had we known that this could be more than your run of the mill base model 356, we would have covered the license plate to protect the owners privacy, as a matter of fact the photo is being edited as I type this. We love to have every reader involved in the conversation, but we don’t want this site to turn into a hostile environment. We want our spotters, contributors, and commenters to feel safe in sharing with this community, so that we can all enjoy the excitement of the uncovering of these rare finds!

      Obviously we all dream of coming across a find like this, but we can’t all find things like this parked in our neighborhood, not that we aren’t going to stop looking though! We don’t want to tarnish the image of this site, so please be respectful. This site is about more than just buying barn finds, it is about saving history and documenting finds like this. If you have questions about a car and whether it is for sale, please feel free to send us an email at mail@barnfinds.com, either myself or Jesse would be more than willing to discuss it with you. I just want to personally thank Dale for taking a risk and sharing his find with us and I hope he will continue to do so in the future! I’d also like to thank everyone that has commented and I hope everyone will continue to do so!
      Now let’s get this discussion back on topic! What year is this 356 and is it a Speedster?


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  23. Chris A.

    I wish Dale the best of luck with his find, no question he should have the first purchase option. For a little incentive, take a look at the Speedster post over on “Bring A Tra—er”.

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  24. Rody

    Any updates on this car?

    Like 0

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