Speedster Substitute: 1959 Porsche 356 Convertible D

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There are some cars that simply give you chills. This 1959 Porsche 356 Convertible D is just such a car, as it truly looks like the improbable find the seller portrays it to be. Listed here on the Kijiji classifieds, this Speedster substitute is said to be the first Convertible D that rolled off the production line in 1959. The seller is asking $395k Canadian or about $287k US dollars and will entertain buyers who wish to buy the car outright or who want to become a financial partner in the restoration. 

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The seller says his father is the second owner and that the car has been in his possession for the last 40 years. Convertible D’s are special cars, with just over 1,300 ever made and considered by some to be the spiritual sibling to the famed Speedster. The lower windscreen is one such feature that carries over from the Speedster, but the D’s overall higher levels of refinement made it a bit more livable on a daily basis, with features like real side windows and more comfortable bucket seats.

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Only 3 pictures are provided, so either this seller doesn’t think we need any more  information than that to complete a $400,000 purchase or he’s genuinely out of touch with what’s expected when selling a car. Of course, since the listing specifies the only phone calls they want are from people with the cash to buy the car outright, they could already be tired of tire kickers and dreamers. Personally, it would be hard for me to let this car go if it were in the family – even with the potentially staggering windfall looming…

porsche356registryorg
Photo courtesy of porsche356registry.org

Above, you can see what one of these special Convertible D’s looks like when restored (or at least with fresh paint). The Speedster roof and windshield really do transform the look of this car, and once the low production number is verified, you’ll have a car that is quite hard to repeat. The seller’s story seems authentic, as does his wish that his elderly father get one last ride in the car before he passes away. Thanks goes to Barn Finds readers Nic B. and Nolan M. for sharing this find!

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Comments

  1. randy

    Man, I find it oh so hard to believe that these cars can bring this kind of money.
    The high price paid for Janis Joplin’s car will surely help the 356 market.

  2. hhaleblian

    I have a few early P cars so I hope I have some idea of the market. I’d think D’s done up right with the right buyer sell for $300k. The Joplin car at $400k, I never thought so. But then I couldn’t believe the sell. Glad I bought mine when I did and wished I hadn’t sold a few. So it goes in the hobby.

  3. Howard A Member

    IDK, the only chills I would get with this car, is the cold Wisconsin air leaking in and a poor heater. I never really saw the attraction in these (much more of a British roadster guy), and like randy brings up, how coincidental this should pop up now. I guess it seems legit, how would you know with all the shysters out there. If the story checks out, that would be great to have the father ride in it again. ( I’m such a sap for human interest stories since losing my parents a while back) Can someone tell me, was gold shag carpeting standard on these cars?

  4. Dolphin Member

    – Only $395 CDN asking

    – Add $100K for a top restoration

    – Owner needs someone to put up $$$ to restore it

    – It’s certain there will be no trouble at all with the 2 people involved in totally agreeing on the decisions like: how much $$$ is needed; who will do the resto work; to what standard; who will do the jo-jobs like go-fer, moving the car, overseeing the resto

    – The question of how much of the car will each party own in the end isn’t mentioned, but Hey, that’s just a minor thing

    – If an US citizen steps up there is certain to be no legal / jurisdictional difficulty whatsoever in sorting things out across an international border in the very unlikely event there is some disagreement, or if the $$$ runs out

    What could possibly go wrong with this deal?

    • randy

      Gee boss, I don’t know. Maybe he could start a “go fund me” webpage.

  5. rusty

    shame it looks so good as it is..nice

  6. Tom

    I dig the shag carpeting. The prices on these cars defies reason, other than they have become a commodity in a speculative market.

    Shame. Great old cars. I owned more 356’s than I can accurately recall. Most of the ones I owned were rough 35 years ago. During the same time people could not give 190SL’s away. Now their prices are way stupid, but there the driving dynamics are dull and listless.

    Here, the drive, even in a crap box is a hoot. Times change, so do cars I can afford. Now, after checking in the couch for change, that 66′ Plymouth wagon would be nice.

    I had one in HS with a 383 2bbl that was slow and sucked 40cent regular always at less than 10mpg. But for camping, 3 young men, 3 young women and all the gear?

    It was a blast. Great to learn advanced driving dynamics in a car that wallows and can’t stop worth a damn.

  7. Johnh

    When I had a Speedster many years ago, Convertible Ds were considered a pale substitute for the real thing. The money these things change hands for today is stupid. I paid a friend $400 for my Speedster, drove it a year and sold it back to him for $400.

  8. bobhess Bob Hess Member

    That’s the B,C hood handle in the picture. Would also like to know what the engine lid looks like…. one or two grills. the D was the lead in for the ’60 B roadster and was built using the B rear sheet metal including the bump in the center for the backup light. Would like more pictures or a long talk with the owner.

    Bob

  9. Keith

    287k ??? Hmmmmmmmm Let me fire up my crack pipe and think about this one……

  10. Francisco

    Whoever would pay 287k for this car has about as much sense as a guy who couldn’t pour piss out of a boot with the instructions written on the heel.

  11. Olivier

    I own a 59 D going 18 year. I love that car. It’s a blast to drive and perfect in very sense. They are easy to maintain, great shape and more compfortable than the speedster. The interior looks pretty original for the exception of the carpet.
    The hood is also questionable. What is the vin on this car. I wonder how the rockers and front battery compartment really are.
    The door looks ok. 400k cad is insane.
    That car as is 180k USD providing it’s all matching number car

  12. Cassidy

    I’m a bit confused by these 356’s. Did they used to paint them? All we’ve seen is rusty hulks; I thought the Germans had run out of paint in the ’50’s

    • Francisco

      They ran out of paint when they lost the war, but they had a lot surplus shag rugs. This is Revisionist history, or so I’m told.

  13. Charles

    The gold shag carpet gives one a hint of what previous owner thought of their car, and it is doubtful that 287K came to mind. They could have spend a little more and got red shag carpet, or even a couple of hundred dollars and bought replacement carpet.

    Let’s just use those scraps of gold shag we found in the trash pile. It’s probably attached with sheet metal screws.

    The car looks solid and nice though. At least it is not a flaky rusty mess like most of them seem to be.

    287K nice? Not for me.

  14. alfred

    it makes zero sense to me

  15. Bullethead

    Crack pipe. The asking price will buy a nice Cab D with few issues. This guy is dreaming.

    • Dave Wright

      There is no such thing as a Cabrolet D.

  16. Dave Wright

    I have been observing the comments from all the wizards of smart here. Mostly Chevy and ford guys..,..,,.the value of these cars are set by the buyers, they are extremely high off course, my last convertable D cost me 1000.00 as a complete driver…….but they are a special car, only made for a few months while the Porsche factory was being retooled to make it more automated. The Porsche market is being driven by European buyers, most of us are simple spectators. These are simple cars in the end, every piece, nut, bolt and rubber part is being built and easily obtained. They can be rebuilt from a Vin plate. What people do with there money and cars while a curiosity, is only there own busisness. Most of the people here are internet lurkers without the means or knowledge to invest in cars in these price ranges…….I can not imagine anyone spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on cars they have not seen, no matter how many photos are there, in this world, an ad simply alerts the market that the car is available so negotiations and inspections can begin. The opening price is almost irrelevant. If you are so curious, hop in your corporate jet and go see it……Oh……most of us can’t afford one of those either.

    • randy

      ” ;>) Dave’s not here”

      Did you have a point? Your comments are everywhere, so I am not sure which side of the fence you are on, or are you sitting safely on top of the fence” ;>)

      I have worked around these cars and driven them, they are a joke, to put it mildly.
      The price will drop hard when all of the ones put together with VIN plates and all new parts start to flood the market. It’s a VW for goodness sakes.

  17. Dolphin Member

    Without trying to fence-sit (really!), I think both Dave and Randy are right.

    People can do whatever they want with their money, including paying high prices for old cars that they like or think they can sell for a higher price down the road. Most of us don’t have the cash or line of credit for that, so that’s not our world, but that doesn’t mean it can’t or shouldn’t be done.

    Altho I think as cars 356s are overvalued today, I understand why people buy them even at high prices, and there are lots of reasons—-the genuinely distinctive and cool look, German quality, great Porsche racing history, climbing market valuations, rarity, etc, etc. When I first attended races in the ’60s there were always 356s on the track and they always punched above their weight. Now they punch way above their weight in the hobby even if they never see another track, so in a sense not too much has changed.

    OTOH, on the road they remind me way too much of the Beetle I drove for years while I was in school and couldn’t afford anything else that had the reliability and ability to negotiate snow so well. The sound and driving dynamics make it unlikely I would ever own a 356 even if I could afford it.

    And if the collector car markets behave like the other markets on the planet, which I think they eventually will, the prices people will pay for these and other high $$ cars will fall, if not sooner, then later. I hope for the sake of the people who own these because they genuinely like them that doesn’t happen, but I’m not holding my breath. Nothing goes up so far so fast and then just keeps on going, not the stock market or the market for crude oil or gold or any market that I can think of offhand. If nothing else did, that would make me gunshy about buying a Porsche 356 right now.

  18. Dominique Legeai

    …supply and demand…that’s all! Let’s see what this one brings…
    BD

  19. Bullethead

    OK @Dave Wright, my bad, CONVERTIBLE D… regardless, every Porsche guy would recognize the sentiment in the comment and knows a good one can be had for less than the ask for this. And if you wanna be persnickety it’s spelled “cabriolet”.

    Sheesh. Anoraks.

  20. infowarrior

    I got my d in 1978, did a quick and dirty restore had vic s. do the engine, and drove it hard for 15 years, than came divorce and bad years on the grain farm , but its still in the garage. on the bucket list, get it and my 912 targa back on the road before the devil gets me!

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