Special Colors: 1961 Porsche 356 B

This 1961 Porsche 356 is a project car that left the factory wearing a rare shade of paint known as Royal Blue. The car has undergone some attempts at restoration, and is being sold by known 356 expert Unobtanium Inc. Unlike some of their other recent offerings, this car isn’t a basketcase of rust, which helps explain the healthy bidding at the moment. Find it here on eBay currently bid to $20K with no reserve.

The seller notes Royal Blue was one of four “Special Colors” Porsche offered that year. The rarity of and interest in unique paint colors is truly a subjective matter, but it does make a difference on a collector car like the 356 if you’re weighing waging a full restoration. This car looks straight up and down the sides, but there is some odd wrinkling in the C-pillar. Despite new floors, there’s plenty of rust to deal with.

The seller doesn’t hide from this, noting that while the floors and battery tray are new, there is more restoration work to be done to the body. The sills in this shot show the original Royal Blue paint peeking through, which really is a pretty color. The interior needs a total refresh, as the dash looks quite tired and there is surface rust throughout. The seller notes the nose also shows sign of previous welding repair.

The engine is not original, coming from a later car. It does still turn over by hand, however. The gallery photos show that a tan interior is included in the sale, but it appears to be limited to seats, and not carpeting. The 356 has had some of the hard work already done, which, when combined with the rare color, is likely helping motivate bidders to take a stab at owning this unfinished project. Would you?


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  1. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    These cars seem to be love em or hate em rigs. I might be the only person here that falls in between. The first one I ever saw, living in a sheltered South Wisconsin was in the movie 48 Hours. That car was cool. The last one I saw was a 912 at a local car show 2 weeks ago. I never knew they made a 912. And that car was cool. I waited to talk to the owner and learn a few things. I never saw the owner and got thirsty so I moved on. I hope to see them again. I know nothing about these cars, but I sure hope some one saves it.

    Like 1
  2. Gaspumpchas

    Interesting. the color on the car looks to me like tinted primer. Floors taken to a level to make the inside look palatable, but also removed the rust. If the car turns over, why didn’t the seller go the extra mile and get it running? With all due respect, this looks like lipstick on a pig. Make no mistake, this ol gal needs tons of work. I realize unobtainium sells unfinished cars. But- up to 20 large already.
    Good luck to the new owner. Good inspection needed!!

    Like 3
  3. RayT Member

    I don’t begrudge the seller trying to get every penny he can for the car — if someone wants to pony up the Big Bucks for this, that’s their business — but it really grates on me that the seller goes on about a “special paint color” as if that adds to the value, when the only place it can now be seen is in little patches hidden away here and there. Let’s face it: you could take ANY 356, paint it “Royal Blue” and claim it was a “special paint color.”

    The only thing that bugs me more is the unending love for “patina.” If I want a car enough to go through the time and expense of making it usable, you can bet it is going to be painted.

    What I see here is a 356 that will cost a lot to buy, and a whole lot more to restore. I like 356s a whole lot, but count me out.

    Like 6
    • Adam Wright

      I mentioned the special color because historically it does add to the value. The first time I came across this was an A Coupe I had that was Auratium Green, two European guys duked it out on that car and it sold for at least 20% more than normal. So in the Porsche world a rare color from the Factory actually does mean more value.
      This car did come from the Factory in Royal Blue, so it isn’t me claiming it, it’s the Factory Original Color.
      Adam Wright

      Like 3
      • Haig Haleblian

        Agree with Adam on sought after and special colors on really any car. I have a 58 356 Coupe in Stone Grey. Folks swoon over the color since so few were done in that color. 356 coupes wear that color very well. Recently paid at least 10% over market for a 308 in Grigio/Red instead of red or black. Color does make a difference. Well at least to me.

        Like 1
  4. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    I think that someone from Unobtanium made a comment here earlier that they don’t do any restoration work, just buy and sell Porsches. mostly 356’s.

    They seemed to have found the sweet spot of flipping fixeruppers and making a few bucks.

    Like 4
    • Gaspumpchas

      PRA4SNW, yep fix them up .enough to make them look less horrible. This one has been painted, check out the rusted out front hood. I’m not criticizing unobtainium as this is done a lot. He says its it original color and doesn’t say that it wasn’t repainted . And they are upfront with shots of the terrible rustouts, black painted under the hood. Anyone buying one of these for the huge money they are bringing should know what he’s buying or get a pro to inspect the car.
      Caveat Emptor. This one looks good on the outside.

      Like 2
    • Haig Haleblian

      And he does it honestly and openly. A rare commodity these days and in this hobby/business.

      Like 5
  5. Jack Quantrill

    In the 60’s, you could submit a color chip to the factory, and special order any color you wanted for about $350 extra.

    • Adam Wright

      I had one like this, it had a paint code that started in 9, as opposed to 7. It was Lachel Havana Brown (paint code 938), a color primarily used by Mercedes and Lambretta. I’ve never seen another one, so my guess is someone wanted it, Porsche said ok, it’s your dime. They would do whatever you wanted as long as you were paying. A friend went to the Factory in 1983, there was a photo shoot in the parking lot happening, a guy was posing with a new 928. When my friend got closer he realized the guy’s suit matched the interior of the car, he wanted it, they did it, that’s Porsche!

      Like 2
  6. TimM

    20k and it doesn’t run!!!
    No not today!!

  7. jimmy the orphan

    I’m with Ray T on this one. I’d get the paint code and paint it what ever. Is that primer on the car now? or are they calling that royal blue ? If it is my idea of royal blues been way off for along time. This patina thing is not for cars YOU HEAR THAT MIKE WOLF !! Oh, and It better run at least………….LATER JIMMY

  8. Keith

    20k for this VW bug I mean Porsche? Wow!

    • Poncho

      Yeah, $20k for what is basically a roller (maybe). Porsche freaks with deep pockets…come-n-get-it! I can think of a lot of jump-in-and-drive-it fun for less than $20k. How much more money and time has to be dumped into this car before it is back to its former glory and then it will be parked in some collection. Nah!

  9. Regg

    That was a great color on old typewriters.

    Like 1
  10. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Ended:Sep 18, 2019 , 1:26PM
    Winning bid:US $22,100.00
    [ 33 bids ]

  11. Gaspumpchas

    Amazing–that is one ruffian. Good luck to the new owner. Leiniedude thanks for the post!!

    Like 1

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