Second Chances: 1963 Porsche 356

1963 Porsche 356

In a world of skyrocketing Porsche prices, it’s refreshing to see one for sale that makes owning such a classic attainable. That feeling only grows stronger when you realize it’s a very original car coming out of long-time family ownership, complete with the numbers-matching 1600 Super engine included in the sale. Believe it or not, someone passed on the opportunity to buy what appears to be a very respectable ‘63 Porsche 356, which has been re-listed here on craigslist in Chicago for $35,000.

Porsche 356 Interior

I hate to feel like I’m doing the work for the seller, but if everything he says is true, this seems like an excellent candidate for simply refurbishing and driving. It’s a California car with minimal rust, and while the original engine has a cracked lifter housing, it’s been stored and is included in the sale. The interior isn’t original but shouldn’t be too difficult to set back to spec, and some rust repair has already been performed in the typical hot spots for Porsches of this era (the floor and battery tray). And if the mileage of approximately 60,000 is to be believed, this car hasn’t traveled all that far.

Porsche 356 Odometer

So, let’s take a look at the negatives: I suppose there could be too many questions. The car currently doesn’t run, so the extent of any mechanical repairs may be difficult to gauge. For any car that hasn’t been driven since the 1980s, however, it’s fair to say potential buyers should be prepared to invest some time replacing fuel lines, cleaning out the gas tank and doing whatever else is needed to get it to start and stop. I can’t see in the photos how bad the damage is from the tire blow-out the seller mentions, but from what is visible, it doesn’t look like a deal-breaker.

Porsche 356 Super

Why didn’t this sell the first time? I’m not sure. Upon doing some research, the price is decent, not a steal, but fair. These are not the most desirable of the 356 lineup, so the prices are lower overall than the earlier models. It may also be that anyone considering one of these projects has a few potentials to choose from as 356s are the car that everyone wants to discover in their barn at the moment. In some ways, the photos almost look staged – just a little bit too perfect of a barn find photo shoot, but that could be my pessimism kicking in. What do you think? Would you kick the tires or cut a check today for this original 356?

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Comments

  1. DT

    Whenever I store my 356,I make sure there is a big pile of straw next to it,to help attract rodents

    • Josh Staff

      DT, I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one. As a matter of fact, I like to pile some underneath the car. I want to make sure they have a straight shot for the wiring and interior.

      Joking aside, I’m a bit confused about the pictures. In one shot the car is clearly in a barn next to a pile of straw and then in another it is in a garage (with a very patriotic manikin at the wheel!). Perhaps they photographed it in the barn and than moved it to the garage to work on it and get it away from the rodents? I don’t know, but it would be nice if the seller would have provided a few more details for a car they are asking $35k for.

      • Jeff Lavery Staff

        I’m glad I’m not the only one who is seriously confused by whatever is in the driver’s seat.

  2. Dolphin Member

    The good:
    – the ‘C’s were the most developed as drivers
    – price seems fair in the world of crazy old P-car prices
    – condition not as bad as many
    – has an extra engine—the original, plus some extra parts
    – pretty clear description, sounds honest
    – has some history and a COA

    The bad:
    – was stored for years in a barn next to piles of hay….by a guy who likes these cars. Go figure.
    – original engine has serious problem, and I don’t think a half case will work
    – needs total resto

    The just plain odd:
    – Who lists a desirable car only on CL and actually says “LOCAL SALE ONLY” in all caps?

  3. RockabillyJay

    “– Who lists a desirable car only on CL and actually says “LOCAL SALE ONLY” in all caps?”

    Someone who was probably attacked by flippers and overseas scammers the first time it was listed. I’m looking for a 911 or 912 project for myself right now..it’s a madhouse in P-car land right now!

    • Dolphin Member

      Solutions to the typical problems that crop up:
      The delete-text function
      The delete-CL reply function
      The delete-message function on the phone
      No in-person transaction, no car
      No $$$ paid my way, no car

      I can think of venues that cast a way wider net than a CL local-sale-only listing, but it’s his car, so good luck and I hope he gets a good sale that makes both parties happy.

      And best of luck with your own search.

  4. jim s

    this car should be listed for sale at a highline auction, ebay or BF. not on CL. seller is creating problems for themselves. as far as P car pricing goes this seams like a good deal. great find.

  5. Rancho Bella

    I just happen to like B coupes and a ’63 S is a good car. Don’t listen to people that bad mouth the big brake drums. If tuned in, those cars stop on a dime.

    There is no matching numbers to 356’s. There is a range of numbers that go with months manufactured in a certain year (please correct me if I am wrong). I’ve owned just a few early P cars and am glad to be out of the insanity. Add up what this little guy needs after purchase to make it correct (yes, I’m of the those guys) and you will need to be on life support.
    I am a recent convert to the 912 (’69 and older)………….but, that ship has also sailed, leaving me as nothing more than an observer.

  6. DT

    on the bright side $35,000 also includes the styrofoam straw hat

  7. Alan (Michigan)

    First time in a long while that I have thought the ask amount to be actually somewhere near reasonable. Makes this listing rare by itself!

    • Kevin

      Car sold to first buyer that took the time to look at it. Asking price.
      And thank you for the advice on how to store cars, and maximize sales price.
      have a nice day.

      • Dolphin Member

        Kevin, I can see that you know the market for older Porsches in your area far better than I do, so I would like to take back my comments about your approach to the sale. I can only wish that my sales were as smooth as this one was.

      • Kevin

        Update 2/26/15: After relisting on chicago cl after the first buyer bailed, I had what I thought was a sincere and knowledgeable buyer agree to a cash deal after personal inspection. He seemed a nice guy actually. He had to clear his garage and get some stuff lined up,so we also agreed he had a month to get this done. It turns out he didn’t have the money to buy this car. Should I have agreed to take anything other than cash? I seem to have been correct in that condition.

        Maybe a discussion about the concept of Barn Finds and what some people expect would serve the greater community. I truly wanted someone to buy this car who would be able to get it back on the road and out there. I do believe in car karma. But there also comes a time in your life where some things are less important than before.
        Maybe in days past you could capitalize on your knowledge of a particular model/brand car and find an old widow or someone who didn’t know what they had. All is fair in love and war, and used cars, I guess… But those days are pretty much gone. I also get a sense that many posters on this fine site think that many owners of old cars are just idiots and don’t consider those owners had the insight to buy the car in question in the first place, and maybe even before some of you were born. This car has been in our family since the early 1970’s..
        It’s time to move on and maybe even sell in to a strong market. But maybe I can’t also be a nice guy and offer it at a fair price to normal people. These cars have moved beyond that I guess.
        I’ll relist the car, for more that last time to figure in some additional items turned up in the month or so while waiting to close this deal. And because I am tired of tire kickers and people calling me and telling me what I do and don’t have.
        So. I don’t want to start some war here, but think it prudent to continue to respect the sellers and to not expect to get the deal of your life time on a well know and marketable item. It’s a legit car and the person who has the funds will get a fair deal.
        Thanks for your site. It helps me get over my own past fantasies of the low cost, concours quality classic I might find.
        Frankly, I’d rather be sailing.

      • Josh Staff

        Hi Kevin,
        I’m sorry to hear about your experience, but I’m glad you’ve stuck with us! I hear all the time about all the dead beat sellers out there, but I think there are just as many dead beat buyers out there too. Sadly that is the way things go sometimes, but please don’t give up on the Barn Finds community or finding a good home for your Porsche. I will be in touch about putting together a new post about your Porsche, so we can find a home for it and you can go sailing!
        Josh

      • Alan (Michigan)

        This is disheartening. I feel your justifiable frustration and irritation, Kevin.

        When Craigslist first became a popular way for people to advertise and find items for private transactions, it seemed to work so well. Now, I am not so sure that it is worth the paper that it is printed on. (and of course it is electronic/paperless)

        My own recent experience selling a vehicle was so much of a hassle, it had me nearly pulling my hair out.
        I eventually pulled all phone numbers from the ad, because people were texting me outrageous “offers” amounting to less than 25% of the asking price. And being rude as well, even downright insulting, to someone they had never met. Many would promise to “come take a look” and then not show, or call back prior to appearing, telling me they would be bringing only a fraction of the money and taking the truck (I told those to not bother making the drive). It was nutty. My wife was pushing me to find another outlet, because to her it was just not worth the PITA.

        A week ago, I finally got another serious prospect (had a few earlier, but they wanted me to take too big a hit on the price), who was forthright and prompt, and appreciated the truck for what it really was. We negotiated. He paid cash. The guys he brought along, and the trailer they used…. YIKES! That part of the story still has me shaking my head!

        Anyway, if I had the money and space, I’d be pulling a trailer on the way to get your car. I hope that the guy who you deal with this time is real, not living in some dreamland.

  8. Kevin

    Oh yea, the hat was not included.

  9. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

    Thanks for update Kevin! Hopefully the next owner will keep us updated on what they do with it.

  10. dantheman

    it was gone right after lunch
    Those Local Flippers!

    • Alan (Michigan)

      Apparently was a local dreamer….

  11. Bill

    Ad Deleted by author

  12. Kevin

    I have found your site quite helpful with the emotional aspects of selling my car. I have seen listed too many car the owners held onto for too long. They may have lost value and maybe more importantly, prevented a car from getting the attention it needed to get back out there and on the road. Don’t we all just get a kick of seeing a classic being driven? I do.
    I have not had any huge problems overall with the sale of my Porsche, just dealing with overly optimistic car guys, and I can look in the mirror every day to see one of those. I am far from a regular at buying and selling classic cars and actually was pleasantly surprised at the potential value for something I had sitting in my barn for many years. My own Barn Find I guess. I did not have the foresight to keep this car over all the others I have owned over the years, and to have it turn out to be a good decision resale wise. I had considered selling it 10 years ago but didn’t have the time to move all the stuff to get it out of my barn. But like many sellers of the cars listed on BF, reality sticks around and keeps chipping away at you till you do something. Fortunately, the car was stored in a pretty protected location. I recently bought a large sailboat that has a wider interest in our family, so I finally am getting off the pot and selling this car. I hope.
    Car relisted on cl Chicago as of last night. I’ll see how that goes while I work on ads for the 356 registry, Samba and a few others I have in mind. I’m as much as a dreamer as the next guy, I just don’t make cash offers on cars when I don’t already have the funding lined up. Well, not often.. And not at this level. .. So I understand what went on, and am not bitter or anything.
    I will be sure to discuss that little point of CASH with the next potential buyer. I don’t want to be more of a jerk than normal, but if you can’t afford it, don’t kick my tires and expect me to accommodate your dreaming without the ability to follow through. And no, I will not hold the title till your personal check clears.. I don’t want rural land in trade… Etc. These car have risen in value to the point that it’s a whole new game for me. I understand the other “buyers” were excited about the potential to own and drive this, and by transference, I was looking forward to the deal and their excitement. So I have learned to remove the emotion from the deal and work to get the maximum price I can without regard to what they plan to do with this.

    The times in which we live I guess.
    Fair winds and following seas to you all.

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