Reutter Coupe Survivor: 1952 Porsche 356

When it comes to vintage Porsches, you’d be forgiven if you’re tired of seeing every horrific 356 B coupe dragged out of the weeds and hoisted up for sale. However, this car – an early production, bent windshield “Reutter” coupe – is a different story altogether. This is a car you’ll gladly take in almost any condition to restore; fortunately, this one remains in very decent shape and is worthy of the six-figure restoration it’s likely to receive. Find the 1952 356 here on eBay with a $115,000 Buy-It-Now and the option to submit a best offer. 

The seller notes a few significant details of the 356, not the least of which is that less than 500 cars were produced that year. This one is made rarer still for originally being delivered in black over a tan corduroy interior. It was later repainted its current color with the interior dyed to red. Sadly, the original motor was with the car when it was shipped to the longtime second owner in New York, but disappeared while in transit; it was uninstalled at the time of purchase. Rust is said to be minor, limited to the floorpan getting soft under the driver’s seat and some corners of the pan. The seller confirms the windshield has been replaced at some point.

All other glass remains original, and the hard-to-find switchgear is all said to remain in place. While quite tired and in need of full restoration, the interior does not appear to be a lost cause and will look fantastic when restored in the original materials and colors. The longtime second owner – the caretaker for the last 53 years – clearly loved this car, even if it’s fallen into neglect to its current state of repair. I’m most impressed by how solid the body remains despite being an East Coast car, along with the obvious lack of alterations aside from the color change (and, by the way, the paint still has an incredible sheen to it!)

The engine, as mentioned, is not original, nor is the installed transmission. When the original motor went missing, the previous owner attempted to find the closest date-coded unit he could source, which ended up being a replacement 1500 mill from a mid-year 1953 model. The original transmission is included, but the one currently installed is from a VW Transporter. The motor does still turn freely, but how wonderful it would be to track down the matching unit. Does anyone think the next owner will try to find it for a car as important as a Reutter coupe?

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Comments

  1. RoughDiamond Member

    That is obviously a rare Porsche and an awesome project for someone with deep pockets some day. IMO the second Buyer/Owner was too trusting. It’s doubtful anyone would have gone to the trouble and risked removing the engine during transit. However, shipping he car “and” the engine with the same shipper at least in my mind was an egregious mistake and easy pickings for sure.

  2. Bob in Bexley Member

    Per the vin that was a 1100cc with VW trans ?

  3. Sandy Claws

    These were nice enough I guess, but never really understood the allure. VW in fancy clothes. Must have something to do about prestige, never under estimate the price of a stroked ego. Maybe growing up with a father who didn’t like pretty much anything German, it wore off, though who could blame him or his generation?

    • Abe Froman

      Like every other free market situation, simple supply versus demand leading to a market price. You may view this as a “VW in fancy clothes”, but many, including me, obviously disagree with you, and that is okay. I have no interest in several types of collector cars, but I don’t mock the buyers of those cars. Just not my thing, as obviously vintage Porsches are not your thing. It is not about “stroked egos” or standing out at the Country Club as others here like to say. It is about a passion for something that you can afford. I would love to be able to afford this car, but am happy with my 912 that most definitely is not a “VW in fancy clothes”.

  4. Keith

    Straight up VW, nothing more…….

    • MikeL

      Please give details! Would love to hear your expert opinion.

      • Chris

        MikeL, “Kieth” frequents these pages. And is infamous for sharing dimwitted comments, usually about the Mopar finds that are posted. In doing so, Kieth has revealed nothing more than moronic attempts at humor and wildly misinformed backward ideas about those who are in the market to purchase certain marques. It appears that he’s now taking a stab at vintage Porsches as he’s been exposed on other listings on this site. I’d speculate that Kieth is the proud owner of a “clapped out Chevy s-10” that’s currently in his soon to be ex girlfriend’s name. You’ll be waiting a long time to get any sort of expert opinions from Kieth.

    • Abe Froman

      The market says otherwise…

      • Sandy Claws

        The Market is full of foolish people who are going to be left holding the bag when the bubble bursts. I just hope those people are financially secure enough to take the loss, and it will be a big loss. Of course there are well healed enthusiasts, but I just bet there is a large percentage of buyers people trying to make a buck. That in itself is okay, it is pure Capitalism, but the wise get in and out early in anything like this. I knew a guy who made a small killing on Beanie Babies, but one day he liquidated everything. He just smiled and said,” it is time to move onto something else.” I think the people making money are the middle men, people that do quick flips or some farmer that finds these rotting away in the back forty. The people who charge a hundred dollars an hour to restore them, they are doing okay, so are the refurbished parts suppliers, they all are smiling. I also bet those are the people encouraging others to take the ownership plunge, for them, it is low risk and high rewards.

  5. Sid Cannon Sid Member

    The first 1948 Porsche 356 utilized a complete VW drivetrain plus a lot of other VW parts most likely.
    Over the next few years the 356 mechanical components became more Porsche and less VW.
    There is a 356Registry story that lists every single VW part that was common in a 1956 356A. The list not that large. Many parts appear the same but are better engineered and more robust on the Porsche.
    This is why people that don’t know any better believe an old Porsche is a VW in fancy clothes.
    Either way VWs great cars and I don’t have a problem when someone compares my old Porsche to a VW.

  6. Jack Quantrill

    Whilst in Hawaii, in the 60’s, a friend had an Irish Green ‘55 356 Continental . Had the bent windshield. Wonder where it is now?

  7. Wrong Way Member

    Another fantasy price by the seller. I paid just under 60g for the one that is waiting for paint. It’s a B model cabriolet. Worth way more than this one. I have to laugh at this ignorant seller who is delusional thinking he has the proverbial pot of gold. L.O.L, not so!

  8. MGSteve

    for those constantly harping about Porsches being a VW in fancy clothes, etc., I’ll say this: I’ve had a lifetime of VWs, currently with two 57s (bug and vert) and “finally” a 356B coupe. I am neither wealthy, nor a member of a country club, and do not drive with my nose in the air. Much of what looks like VW parts, upon further investigation, are not upon closer inspection. “Better to keep your mouth shut and thought a fool, than to open it, and remove all doubt.”

  9. Sandy Claws

    My “VW in fancy clothes” hit a nerve, sorry guys. Friends,
    if you love these, be proud and hold your head up high. There is a lot of room in this hobby for everyone.

    • Sid

      Sandy
      Stirring the pot is what makes this website fun.
      Without a “dig”every now and then everyone would be saying the same thing….. boring…

      • Sandy Claws

        Thanks Sidney, you seem like a smart fellow. Heres to both of us having many more happy years behind the wheel, and hopefully even more for me, never having to end up on your table because of my driving. But if I do have to see a saw bones, you sound like one of the good ones. I have enjoyed all your posts that I have read, but where have you been lately?

  10. graham line

    Kind of wonder how that 356 will run with the short van gearing. Nice to have the name of the shipper who “lost” the engine.

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