Live Auctions

Pre A: 1953 Porsche 356


At first glance it may be difficult to understand why the seller of this Porsche 356 would believe that it’s even worth saving, but being a pre-A 356 means that this is one rare Porsche. There were less than 8k built between 1948 to 1955 and values for these early cars have skyrocketed in the past few months, with nice examples touching $200k. If you are willing and able to tackle this rusty project, it can be found here on eBay.


This one is going to need everything rebuilt or replaced, except the original radio. Ironically, it is still in pristine condition because it was removed and stored separately from the car. It’s hard to understand how one lets an iconic sports car deteriorate to this condition, but sadly we see it all the time. Perhaps the owner didn’t realize what they had or sentiment kept them from letting it go to someone who could actually afford to fix it.


This 356 was parked in the mid-70’s… Outside. There it sat until someone moved it into a garage in 2000. The damage had already been done though as all 356s are prone to rust. Other cars would be scrapped at this point, but we have no doubt that a Porsche enthusiast will swoop in and save it. So, the question here is, is it really worth fifty grand?


  1. Kris_01

    Holy rust, Batman! That looks like one of the bathtubs on the Titanic. I think that ’57 Plymouth in Tulsa looked better than this.

    You’re right, someone WILL save it, but it’s not worth fifty grand in its present condition. It isn’t worth 5 grand. Someone clearly has dollar signs dancing in his head.

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      Too bad they didn’t store the car wherever they put the radio…

      • Joe Howell

        Jesse that radio storage crack is the funniest thing anyone has posted.

    • Horace Omowale

      To all your comments, he sold it got a good price, buyer was happy,and would anyone now would have to pay a lot more than € 50K to buy it now
      Owner please post we want to see its progress

  2. Dave Barber

    Maybe 50 hand written K’s

  3. Keith

    Hey and just a little dent… like other than that it’s in good condition? No bids yet.

  4. Pat Calhoun

    I would need to know the exact location of the gold bars…

  5. Dave

    Quick, someone call Wayne Carini.

    I’m sure he’ll jump right on this one!

  6. Fool Hardy

    $50k opening bid for that rusted out shell? Stupid.

  7. Josh

    How could you even save this? It’s a unibody. What would be left after you media blasted it?

    • Horse Radish

      I would say acid dip ‘This’ and IF there is anything left, THEN start the bidding.
      Another seller who doesn’t even take 2 minutes to proof read his listing, he still could correct it since .THERE ARE NO BIDS.
      The roof is what IS keeping it from breaking apart.
      NOW here is the discussion:
      WHEN DOES IT STOP being # p31331 ?
      When you replace 50% , 80% or ALL of the panels ?

  8. Mark Haltom

    He should have taken the offer

  9. Alan

    So what’s the point of a no reserve auction when the starting price is more than anyone wants to pay?

  10. paul

    Well by now you all know my response to this, these, well it will be snatched up & who ever get’s it better have a large vat of acid & by that I mean not to take rather to dip this Titanic in, but at least you know after the dip in the pool you could buy everything you need as long as your pockets are thick enough. Good —— luck.

    • paul

      The steering wheel cracks me up.

      • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

        Yeah, what is going on there? Ghost wheel.

      • Horse Radish

        What is the first that most people look at when they look IN the car ?
        My guess is the dashboard.
        Two steering wheels and NO photo of the dashboard.
        Instruments broken, or gone or rusted to dust ???

  11. celline


  12. Bruce

    Very sad!!! I can’t figure out why people let their vehicles turn into dust and then expect telephone number prices in return. You’d be upside down by the time this was completed and entering a nursing facility. $50k would make a nice down payment on a finished turn key vehicle.

  13. 88R107

    I am sure when this process started this was just an Porsche with probably a blown engine. It was parked and forgotten about.
    The P-car boom comes along, this guy grabs it and thinks he has $50,000 car.
    Sorry dude, it doesnt work that way.
    Too bad a Porsche person didnt buy this years ago and save/restore it. Not for the possible upside down the road but for the enjoyment right then,

  14. David

    Have no fear guys, the seller is a Porsche expert, so he must know that $50K is a very reasonable price for holey rust in the shape of a 356. I wonder how he paid for it? He has to know its beyond hope, otherwise, why isn’t he keeping it in house and restoring it himself? Bad Porsche, go rust over there!

  15. CBryant

    Dip it in a vat of acid and report it stolen.

  16. bowtiecarguy

    Just think, That Guy could’ve gotten 50 924s and 50 944s for what This Guy wants as a starting bid. That’d be a 100 to 1 long shot!
    (Confused? See post from earlier in the week)

  17. tom999p

    Well the exciting part of this car story is that it shows that there are still super valuable cars out there rusting in fields and garages. For a few years there I thought they were all found. Now I’m going to keep looking…

    • Horse Radish

      yes, but
      unfortunately the worst ones are still out there,
      some of which you hardly recognize….

  18. Matt

    Hagerty valuates a #4 (i.e. ‘fair’ condition, daily driver) 356 non-A 1500 at $50k (lose $10k if it’s a 1200). This car is several magnitudes below that. This guy is dreaming for $50k on this one. It’s gone.

    Remember that the original engine is no longer with this car, and almost nothing (save for the radio that some moron ‘saved’ on a shelf for 40 years) will be salvageable. There really isn’t going to be anything left after you get it home…

  19. Graham Line

    I’m sure one of the patina fanatics here is writing a check as we speak.. Though it has more of a ‘squat’ than a ‘stance.’

    In the early ’70s, a friend of mine was commuting 40 miles back and forth to college, in an Ohio summer. So he traded a ’53 Porsche Cabrio for a ’63 Impala with air conditioning . . .

  20. CBryant

    This Porsche has so many “air conditioning units” installed now that you could hang a clothsline in behind the seat,three trips around the block and your clothes would be dry. (Best advice..Don’t do whites with the colored fabrics or don’t even attempt whites).

  21. Dolphin Member

    “After a few offers at $50,00, we determined the most fair thing to do is….”
    Yep, I’m real sure there were multiple offers of $50K. The seller must have had such a tough time refusing them.

    “This car shows very little damage.”
    Adreed, Very Little Damage!
    I certainly don’t count rust/corrosion as damage either. Who would?

    Must…have…pre-A……..who do I pay the 50 grand to? Quick, need to know……[pant, pant]

  22. Alan

    Perhaps it’s not a typo, and he’s using the European tradition of a comma for the decimal point? That means he had numerous offers of $50. Sounds more likely!

    • jean Lecointe

      Hi Alan,
      Beeing french, it is frequent that I miss the comma for a point. Anyway, I would not give 50€ or 50$ for that derelict.
      It is a shame that people dare to ask money for such a derelict. He sould give it to try to be forgiven to have left it become as it is.

  23. AW240Z

    Interesting to note that the rusted out Caddie a few posts down the list is at $15k with 8 bids. This has no bids. I doubt you could roll it onto a trailer. AW

  24. Dave Barber

    The only thing that’s worth saving is the steering wheel… It’s the best thing on the car….

    • Kris_01

      Clearly this is a case of “jack up the VIN and drive a new car under it”.

  25. Don Andreina

    Hey rusty, this is the sort of thing I’d have in my outdoor museum. Its shape is still there, but its irretrievable. Damn shame, because its a pre A. Someone else can pay the $50,000, though. The current colour combo is psychedelic.

  26. rustore it

    I think there’s enough there for an expert shop to do a truly heroic restoration. Would love to see the reaction of the German restorers at the Porsche factory upon getting this thing!

    • rustore it

      But anyone who has $50K to blow on a car is probably to smart to buy it.

    • paul

      Look built by humans can be restored by humans so after you’ve spent upwards of 200k on the rebuild what have you got, a car that can barely keep up to freeway speed, so then what do you do with it, look at it. Me I’ll take the 200k & buy a GT3 & be done with it.

  27. ConservativesDefeated

    What planet do these people live on? (trick question…we know the answer)

    Ergo the price…..too bad all the people who offered 50 k , one of them didnt at least up it a few hundreds it would be theirs!


  28. Rene

    I like all your funny comments.

  29. TuckerTorpedo

    OMG! A 356! I just gotta have it- they’re rare and hot collectibles right now! Think he’ll take my house as a fair trade? Sarcasm off. ENOUGH. The greed has gone off the charts with these rusty, junky, Porsches.

  30. rancho bella

    I don’t know where to begin………..I’m sure the 356 guys think this is a completely normal ask.
    I used to be one of them……… I know of what I write.
    It is beyond Swiss cheese………more like a cheese grader.

  31. junkman Member

    What is the point of validating this nitwit’s dream by by wasting everyone’s time on something that should have been scraped 15 years ago. I just don’t get it!

  32. junkman Member

    Sorry guys it’s been a rough day.

  33. Joe Howell

    To quote Jed Clampet, “Pitiful Jetro, pitiful”

  34. Horse Radish

    “If other parts are found as the garage is cleaned out we will try to include them.”
    What are these people , stock traders, real-estate moguls or maybe Banksters, that they don’t have the time to clean out the Garage NOW, TO INCLUDE whatever else is in that garage belonging to that car ?
    “After” and “maybe try ” would not work for me on a $50,000 price tag.

  35. Bruce in Italy

    Fifty thousand what?

    • paul

      Dropkuys about .35 in US cents

  36. Chris A.

    Horse Radish, you’re close, private equity or hedge fund guys. Maybe $50K is correct if you also get the garage, house and 5 acres with it. Didn’t Paul Newman crush one of these into a cube and gave to Robert Redford for Christmas?

    • paul

      If Newman really did that I am laughing so hard I am falling out of my chair. & I believe he of all people would have done this.

  37. Jim-Bob

    Perhaps the seller is anticipating a hyperinflation event by the end of the auction and was pricing it in devalued dollars after the dollar takes a 10:1 haircut. Other than that, I can see no reason to pay this much for a rusty Beetle…err Porsche.

  38. Joe Howell

    Didn’t sell. Guess all the 50k offers sobered up.

  39. Chris A.

    Paul, the Newman/Redford practical joke story gets even better. See Paul Newman/Robert Redford Practical Jokes. Redford got him back big time. What Redford owns now is worth more than the present pre ’53 POS.

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