Special Order Paint: 1957 Porsche 356A

This 1957 Porsche 356A coupe is an impressively straight project car, fresh out of long-term ownership that ended with the caretaker sprucing it up prior to the sale. The 356 is a desirable early model with several unique styling details that disappeared on later cars. This 356A also wears a special order paint known as Graphite Metallic. It was last one the road in 1979, and you’ll find the full details here on eBay.

Offered by longtime Porsche specialist Unobtanium Inc., the 356 comes with some desirable features, like the rear decklid cargo rack and polished hubcaps over steel wheels. The paint is tired but largely still there; I think it’d be called Battleship Gray in any other situation. The seller notes the 356 comes with other period details, like the Hella “Shine Up” lights.

The floors are believed to be both sound and original. Despite being off the road since 1979, this 356 still looks quite tidy inside, with un-torn seats and a crack-free dash. The original radio and other switchgear remain present, even the shift knob. The seller notes this model year also retains the “square door handles” only an enthusiast would spot when looking at this photo.

The listing states that the previous owner began reconditioning certain parts of the 356 before selling it to Unobtanium. This work included new brake and fuel lines, among other fixes not disclosed here. The seller notes the 356 does not run, but the engine detailing is impressive and I’d have to believe there’s a better than 50/50 chance the original mill will fire again.


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  1. 8banger Dave Mika Member

    Don’t know a ton about these, except they are cool and pricey. Did all 356s have 4 cylinders? When or who got the six?

    Like 2
    • Sean Smith

      356s always had 4 cylinders, not till the 911 did a Porsche get 6

      Like 4
  2. Rx-7 TurboII

    If this is how the previous owner spruced up his Porsche, remind me never to use him for a mechanic or a detailer! LOL

    Like 2
  3. Keith

    Well let’s see 43k and reserve not met for this VW bug I mean Porsche 356? uhmmmmmmmmm I don’t get it?

    Like 9
  4. Ted

    So they bought it for 20 something K after telling the seller how much work it needed like the fact it doesn’t run, then turn around and offer it for how much after they brag about how original it is.


    Like 5
    • Adam Wright

      Nope, nope, nopity, nope. I paid a LOT more than $20,000 and I told the owner how nice the car was, especially compared to many of the cars I drag home. And it’s Wright, not Right…

      Like 13
  5. 36Packard

    Long term ownership? Yeah, like in an old chicken coop. Where do all the buyers for these come from? In the world I live in, paying tens of thousands for a non working rusty old rattle trap just isn’t happening. Maybe Mr T is correct, maybe the economy is improving, but it sure a’int for me or anyone I know.

    Like 5
  6. Doug B Member

    Yeah us poor working folks don’t have a chance against these flippers. Do little or nothing, write a fancy add, and mark it up 100%. Btw Keith, you’ve obviously never driven a 356. lol

    Like 2
    • Adam Wright

      I don’t run ads, people call me because I’m known for being fair when I buy, which I was here. The owner had a really good idea of what the car was worth, and I paid accordingly. And if you think I do “little or nothing”, come see me at 5AM waiting for Hershey to open, or see me drive cross country to load up a car. Or better yet, watch me spend days to get a car out of the woods. You shouldn’t talk about what you don’t know.
      Adam Wright

      Like 24
      • Armstrongpsyd Doug Armstrong Member

        Hey Adam,
        Don’t take any grief for the work you do. Capitalism is legal here, and so is working to offer a product of value. What the market will bear, is not your fault, even if it is your good fortune. Keep up the fun and good work. Doug

        Like 5
    • Keith

      Yep, never driven one and probably never will. Too rich for my wallet!

  7. sir mike

    It’s an old Porsche so seller will want stupid money…

    Like 1
    • DonS

      It’s an old Porsche, so buyers are willing to bid high and often.

      Cars are only worth what a buyer is willing pay for them, not what a seller is asking for them.

      I can’t drive my air-cooled 911 without someone making an offer I almost can’t refuse. Buyers are everywhere.

      Like 5
  8. tompdx Member

    Super cool. So original. If I bought it, I think I’d just get it running and drive as is.

    Like 3
  9. Keith

    So tell me, what’s the difference between a 356 engine and a VW bug engine?

    • KKW

      A few horses.

    • DNC

      Dual carbs, more HP

    • Graham Line

      The Porsche 1600 put out 60 hp and was the least-tuned of the bunch.
      The 90hp version is the engine spec that restorers seem to build toward now. The ’57 Beetle has an 1192 cc engine with 36 hp.
      So, carbs, cam, cylinder heads, bearings, case, gearing, stronger rods and cranks were all different.
      Same difference as a Chev 283 in a DelRay with a powerglide, and a built Corvette.

      Like 4
      • Armstrongpsyd Douglas Member

        Nice layout of the differences. Thank you

  10. Armstrongpsyd Douglas Armstrong Member

    Tolerances for one.
    What’s with your negativity? People love these cars. Let them love without your judgement.

    Like 5
  11. Jeff

    Eeeevery single time a porsch shows up on barnfinds the same lame comments from all the envious guys destroying the spirit of the old car hobby!
    Who can’t accept other people tastes and dreams while probably putting thousands of dollars in their boring mustangs and bel air’s.
    I always was told America was the land of the free where everyone is allowed to live his dream … looks like this isn’t the case for the VW and Porsche lovers, at least here on barn finds … just sad …

    Like 7
  12. Jack Quantrill

    There are more of these hiding out there, covered with chicken-poo waiting to be found! Let’s go find them!

    Like 3
    • KKW

      And all it takes is one testicle to buy one! Well, maybe two if it’s in running condition. Lol.

      Like 1
  13. Chen Lee

    Correct me if I’m wrong; but aren’t those incorrect taillights for a ‘57?
    More like a ‘55/56… my 57 speedster has the teardrop style.

    • Adam Wright

      The car is an early 57 with a 5 digit VIN, A T1 car, which had bee-hives. Your Speedster is probably a late T1 or an early T2. The later 57 T1 Coupes had a six digit VIN starting with 100XXX.

      Like 3
  14. bobhess bobhess Member

    Chen Lee… The late ’57s were where they changed over to the tear drop taillights. Porsche didn’t get too picky about having everything the same on each year’s cars. Our ’59 Convertible D race car had the ’60 B roadster rear bodywork on it which included a bulge under the bumper for the backup light. I asked the folks at the plant during a visit and tour in ’75 about that. They said when they ran out of parts they just put on what they had which was usually the next year’s parts inventory. Lost any pictures of our car in the ’17 Hurricane so can’t show them to you.

    Like 1
    • Chen Lee

      You learn something new every day.
      Good to know… THANKS so much!
      YOU DA MAN👍

      Like 1
  15. Jake Loring

    Again way too pricey, I’ll buy a newer Boxer and have cash left over. Love these 356’s but they are unobtainable to the real car folks!

    • Armstrongpsyd Doug Member

      What makes people without money more “real car folks” than those with deep pockets?

      Like 2
      • Duntov

        <What makes people without money more “real car folks” than those with deep pockets?

        I have a friend, without money, who's always saying that.

        I think there's a certain % that only buys them as an investment, but the rest truly love them.

  16. bobhess bobhess Member

    Nice work Adam. Forgot about the numbers. Our first Porsche was a ’57 Cabriolet. It was about 12 cars away from an early T2 with the 4 round lights. Porsche was almost as bad as the Brits with their numbering system.

  17. Jeff

    Mr WRIGHT i totally agree with you on ARMCHAIR quarter backs they have NO idea on what it takes and if ya make a FAIR PROFIT they whine. Kudos to you for being honest and fair with the previous owner. For all the ARMCHAIR QUARTER BACKS Remember it is better to be thought a fool. Than to speak and remove all doubt. But im justa dumb MOPAR guy whatta?i know????

    Like 2
  18. Keith

    Oh no you all Mopar guys know everything?

    • TCOPPS TCOPPS Member

      Just waiting for the day when you have something positive to say.

      Like 1
  19. Armstrongpsyd Doug Member

    I’m a German/British guy, but I never let a Mopar post go by unstudied, specifically Super Bees and GTXs.

  20. Tricky

    If you can’t afford it don’t bid, but please don’t bag!!

    Like 1
  21. Bob

    This video shows the worse one I’ve ever seen. I’ve heard the owner wants $100K.


  22. Little_Cars

    Armchair quarterback here.

    Let me get this straight. This car was special ordered with a particular type/hue of paint? From the photos it looks like a nice gray primer! Great relic’ing job. The patina is perfect.

  23. John

    What paint?

  24. Adam Wright

    Sold for $66,000, headed to Australia.

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