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Rear-Engine Barn Find: 1961 Porsche 356B

With a clear Colorado title, this Porsche 356B  barn find was certainly not a stranger to winter weather in its past. Despite the rust that nearly all unrestored 356’s suffer from, this project isn’t as bad as most. Looking over this Porsche, it is clear that the car was well appreciated, and has been off of the road for a significant amount of time. This sleek project can be yours to the tune of $30,000. Take a look at it here on craigslist out of Palisade, Colorado. Thanks to Ikey Heyman for this rear-engine Barn Find!

While most of the remnants of the engine are present, sadly this Porsche is not a numbers matching project. Still, this is a good start, assuming that most, if not all, of the drivetrain is accounted for and included. Examining the photos shows that the heads, heater boxes, manifolds, cooling fan, carb linkage, and many other engine items are present. I would say it is probable that most of the engine is complete minus some smaller hardware.

The interior is a breath of fresh (dusty) air on this project. It presents decently well for its age and use, and could likely be cleaned and suitable to a driver grade machine. I would say that this Porsche is a restoration candidate, so at the least, the interior is nice enough to build off of for a restoration. The seats, door panels, and dash have aged quite gracefully.

While the exterior at a quick glance doesn’t appear too shabby, the longer you look, the more becomes apparent. There is rust bubbling along the upper area of both front fenders. Also, you will see some bubbling along the rockers, although the rockers appear to be fairly minor. There are two much larger concerns with the body of this Porsche, the passenger rear quarter, and the underbody. The passenger rear quarter appears to have been crushed and pushed back out. I would guess a tree or a branch fell on the car causing the damage. While an expert body man is handling that, the underbody looks a bit concerning, as it isn’t easy to see how significant the rust is. What can be seen, is quite crispy and thin. I think there is certainly a possibility that the body needs more than floor pans. While this isn’t a numbers matching car, this Porsche is still a worthwhile project for the Porsche enthusiast at heart. Would you make the commitment to reviving this 356?


  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Sorry folks but you are talking complete longitudinals, heater tubes, trunk floor, possibly rear torsion bar mounts, floor pan or parts of one, a right rear quarter panel and an engine rebuild. That alone is going to cost more than the asking price by a ton. Asking too much for nothing.

    Like 7
  2. Nate

    How can a car that looks that good on top, look that BAD underneath? Yuck.

    Like 2
  3. Randy

    The only way you could recoup restoration costs here would be if this was a Speedster!

    Like 2
    • stu

      This car needs four zeros removed to make it worth thinking about…..

      Like 0
  4. Steve Member

    As an 18 year old in 1978 I picked up a twin pair of 356b’s in about this shape for $1,500 and thought that was a lot of doe for beaters. I was able to make one car from the two. My how times have changed.

    Like 1
  5. Allen Anderson

    ?Why didn’t I buy two in ’61 when I bought one for $3100 in Luxemburg??

    Like 2
  6. William

    Never really understood the lure of these. In the early sixties for a heck of a lot less money you could buy a new Corvette that handled better, more comfortable, and way more power, not to mention easier to have serviced pretty much anywhere in the country. Imagine poor Biff and Buffy having a breakdown in Podunk USA. All they have to get them back on the road is Goober and Gomer at Wally’s Service Station, think they could fix it in a timely fashion?

    Like 4
    • Ikeyheyman

      “Handled better” is debatable.

      Like 9
      • William

        Sure, if your idea of handling is going backwards into a ditch as you race around a corner. Sometimes you need to open your eyes and take a good look around, no matter what you like to look at truly pleases you. Lots of recent examples of that, for sure.

        Like 2
      • Haig L Haleblian

        Agreed. I own both and I’ll take a 356 for handling and build quality over any C1.

        Like 4
  7. Stan Marks


    Like 1
  8. Michael Post

    I have owned a few 356’s, A’s and B’s. Once you start chasing the rust in these cars it never ends!!! $30,000.00 is way way way too much for this car in this shape. Motor, body, paint, parts, you are in deep real quick.. better have some deep pockets!!!

    Like 2
    • William

      Yes, and I bet replacement parts are substantially more for this then say, a Charger. Of course, those are ridiculously priced also, but add in that P Name and the suppliers know they have a live one on the line and they are going to reel you in good. I guess that is what happens when part of the thrill is in the prestige. I say this because way back a long time ago, I knew a fellow who souped up a VW Bug that really flew. I would have no doubts that he embarrassed many of these. People knew that he worked flipping burgers, but it mattered not, because out on the street in the small four cylinder rear engine air cooled world, he was the king.

      Like 3
  9. Marc

    I had this exact year and color but rust free. Cute and boring. I enjoyed the nostalgia for 3 months before selling it. The money I received paid for a 308 Ferrari which made the right noise and handled great albeit down on HP.
    Paid 10k in 2008. Sold for 19k 3 months later. Bought the Ferrari for 18k. None of which is possible anymore!!! Things have really appreciated since then!

    Like 0

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