Stored Over 50 Years: 1959 Porsche 356A

There is just something about a barn fresh Porsche. Occasionally we find Porsches in this condition that have been in long term storage. My theory is these cars were loved by their owners but driven as daily transportation, then when some mechanical issue occurred, the car was put away. The reason for putting them in storage instead of trading or junking was simply because they couldn’t bear parting with it and had thoughts of fixing it in the future. Whatever the reason, we are glad to see them pop out of the barn on occasion. Check out this example here at Gullwing Motor Cars in Astoria, NY with an asking price of $67,500.

The Porsche 356 goes back to 1948, from ’48 until ’55  these cars were called the 356, sometimes referred to as the pre-A model. In 1955 Porsche tried to give the car a name and started badging the 356 as the  Continental. This was done for 1955 only because Ford promptly sued Porsche for using the Continental name because they owned it for their Lincoln product line. After the naming debacle, Porsche settled on 356 A as a designation. The “A” model was made until 1959, which makes this car a sought after final year “A”. The most valuable 356 A is the Carrera with the famous 4-cam engine.

Out Back we find the numbers matching 1600CC engine. Although dirty, everything looks to be in mostly original condition. Originally this engine should have downdraft Zenith carbs which I believe is what we see here. The motor turns freely but will most likely need to be overhauled, I would certainly try to get it running before doing anything drastic.

The interior is stunning in my opinion. The brown leatherette is a perfect complement to the rare Fjord Green paint. This car is very original, hopefully, the interior can be cleaned and preserved. The exterior may be too far gone to preserve but it’s possible to make this an original driver. The bumpers have been taken off but are included as well as the factory tool roll and owners manual. A Porsche Certificate of Authenticity is included as well. Whatever route the new owner takes it is no doubt this Porsche will return to the road.

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  1. RayT Member

    According to the website, it has been sold.

    I expect its next stop to be a Porsche restoration shop, where vast sums of money will be put into rectifying everything that is less than perfect (bye-bye paint, bye-bye interior, hello rebuilt drivetrain/chassis and fresh chrome) gets a good going-over. No one will ever know it sat unused for 52 years.

    The alternative is that we’ll see it crop up again in a few months with a $20,000 premium added to the price. That may not work with just plain cars, but seems to go over well with Appreciating All-Original Classics.

    I have never understood the collecter mentality. No matter how pristine, rare or “iconic” a car may be, if I can’t drive it I simply don’t want it. I suspect this one’s days as a regular driver ended back in 1968. Was it worth $67.5K? Someone apparently thought so, which means it was.

    Like 7
  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    Daily transportation comment right on for us. We bought a used ’59 dark green coupe as a daily runner and drove it all over the country for years. Paid $900 for it from a National Guard fighter pilot who wanted to move up to a 911. Agree the asking price it high for a car needing a complete rebuild. We restored a ’57 cabriolet with similar nose damage years ago. Metal on these cars is hard and thick. It took four full days of metal work to get it back in shape.

    Like 5
  3. steve

    Stupid money for a bucket of rust…I have worked on many of these . what you don’t see is a rotted out floor at the pedals the inner wheel tubs rotted out rockers rotted out from the inside not to mention the cost of parts for a car that any MGA will beat through the corners stop better and have the prince of darkness for electrics.No bumpers or brackets.This is a strip out start from the bottom up…Any resto shope worth going to will give you a bid of 30 to 40 thousand for the steel 20 thou for the motor and trans and 10 thou for the interior. don’t walk,run to your nearest bank.over priced junk.

    Like 6
  4. Beyfon

    I think that the name story is largely incorrect. Someone may know more, but these were not referred to as “356” back in the day, it’s a much more recent thing.
    They were simply a Porsche 1600, and either as a Normal or a Super version.

    They are fun cars but I struggle to understand the price hype. That is a lot of money for a car that needs everything.

    Like 1
    • Ken Jennings

      Way over priced. Ya could get a replica P Car with a nifty Subbie engine in it that would run great, be 100x more powerful, handle better, plus be far more reliable. Add in the fact that it would be much much cheaper than the ask here and doesn’t require an extra 80K to get her running, plus you can drive it today with a smile on your face. Is there even a choice here? Do we love the car and driving experience, or are we P Snobs and people trying to make a buck? No, no choice at all. (At least not for true driving purists)

      Like 3
      • Mr.BZ

        I’m no Porsche snob, KJ, but the thought of one with a Subbie engine makes me LOL!

        Like 1
      • Ken Jennings

        BZ, look it up. A very popular option on these replicas is the Subaru engine, the most popular one, actually. Besides, you could still be a P Snob if you wanted to , most people would think it is real when you drove by. Put the proper name badges on it and the deception is complete. Country club appeal at a dirt ball field price.

        Like 2
      • triumph1954

        Ken Jennings. Replica P car with a nifty Subbie engine in it. Drive it today with a smile on your face. You are a true driving purists.

        Like 1
  5. bobhess bobhess Member

    Bayfon… My original ’59 factory manual has 356A on the front cover. Don’t believe it was a misprint.

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