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The Porsche Paradox

1959 Porsche 356a Cabriolet

We have featured a surprising number of Porsche 356s over the years and while we have heard mixed viewpoints of them, one sentiment always seems to make an appearance. That sentiment is that they are usually overpriced. A few we have seen have even left us wondering if the seller just made up a random number to see if someone would actually pay it. Well Mandy T sent us a tip about this 1959 Porsche 356A 1600 Super Cabriolet that was recently listed here on eBay and we think it is proof that some of these sellers really are picking numbers just to throw out there. This one is rare, but after you take a closer look at its condition we think you’ll agree that the $99,356 asking price is a tad much.

Porsche 356A Floors

One look at the floors, or at least the area where the floors are supposed to be, and you will understand why we think this one is overpriced. Early 356s are notorious for having rust issues, but this one takes being rusty to a new level. Interestingly the exterior isn’t as rusty as the floors, but it’s not far behind. We are still struggling to figure out what is keeping this car together, as there appears to be rust in every structural component and light shining through places that were never meant to see daylight.

Porsche 356A Motor

The original 1600 boxer four is still with the car, but it is missing a number of parts. It’s missing it’s pushrods, pistons, and valve covers. Finding most of these pasts should be a simple task, but could get costly. This being a Super means its engine was rated at 88 horsepower, which was an 18 hp increase over the base motor. The missing parts and overall condition really leaves us questioning the seller’s sanity. Perhaps there is some information they are leaving out or maybe they want to simply grab people’s attention? If this were a Carrera GS than we could understand the price, but this one is going to be so costly to restore that it just doesn’t make sense to pay so much for it.

Porsche 356A 1600S CabrioletPorsche 356A 1600S Cabriolet

We have no doubt there is a true 356 fan out there who would love to tackle this project, but finding one willing to spend this kind of money is going to be a challenge. The seller seems to be upfront about the condition of the car and even states that they know their car isn’t worth the asking price, but that they are looking for serious offers. We aren’t sure what they mean by serious offers, but placing $99 in front of 356 probably won’t help attract serious buyers. We wish them the best all the same and give them kudos for being bold! Flintstones car anyone?


  1. Avatar photo skloon

    What a fright pig, I had a coupe of this vintage in the late 80’s that looked like this had it dipped and got back very little it was used as a donor and reference for a cabriolet restoration, I paid 500 for the coupe and 1500 for the cab, sold the cab finished for around 15000 this one should be worth 5000 at most as the labour will bankrupt you unless you have it done up in Romania or kidnap a bodyman and chain him to the car

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  2. Avatar photo ConservativesDefeated

    400 pictures to make obvious what is clear to anyone. This guy should be happy to have someone cart it away for scrap

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  3. Avatar photo Superlucent

    Price reduced! BIN is now $59,356.00

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    • Avatar photo Jim-Bob

      Wow! What a bargain! I’ll go cash in my 401k and but it right now!


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  4. Avatar photo paul

    Oh my gosh, where do I send the money?!!!!…. someone hold me back.

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  5. Avatar photo Doug M

    I’m reading 59K BIN on the eBay listing, seems like he’s just throwing 99K out there to try and excite/incite

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  6. Avatar photo Eric

    Wow. I turned down a rust-free ’64 356 coupe, complete and completely disassembled, in boxes, for $1,200 back in the eighties.

    Guess that was a dumb move.

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  7. Avatar photo Cowfy Kaufman

    i’d flip it at the first oppertunity and buy an alfa.

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  8. Avatar photo John M

    What was it being used for, a boat anchor?

    Like 1
  9. Avatar photo The "Other " Doug M.

    Love the sun roof! (Looks like there are two Doug M.’s on this forum. From what I can see, one is on the East Coast, and I am on the West Coast. However, that does not help, so To avoid confusion, I am going to come up with a different handle. Love this Forum, keep the good finds coming!)

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  10. Avatar photo Dirty Dingus McGee

    Once again an example that folks think rust is worth $60K per ton, if it has a Porsche badge.

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  11. Avatar photo ronnie

    …having restored many 356s during the last 45 years..this is a blatant unadulterated
    case of a very greedy individual!!…..kind of takes away the intrigue and romance!!

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  12. Avatar photo John Allison

    It’s 99% complete …ly rusted out!!

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  13. Avatar photo Dolphin Member

    I’m as sympathetic about someone wanting to build a nest egg for retirement as the next guy, but despite trying to sound reasonable, to me this seller is more annoying than most flippers out there.

    He’s gone from $99K to $59K. Sounds like the old positive contrast trick, where a $59K sale price seems real cheap compared to to the original $99K asking.

    Then there’s the “99% complete”, “This almost complete car”, and “The interior and seat are complete” statements. Maybe on a planet called Krypton 356A in some alternate universe maintained by the PCA this car is considered “99% complete”, but once you cut out all that paper-thin metal so you have something solid to attach new metal to, and then start to source all those big and little mechanical parts that are missing or unuseable, you will find that the “99% complete” claim is as thin as those missing floors.

    Then there’s the strange proviso that he reserves the right to keep the rims that are shown in all those photos and put the original rims on the car when it’s sold. Why not show the car on its original rims, which In think is what the buyer is actually going to get with the car?

    All that rust and the missing/unuseable parts are only some of the reasons why this would be a difficult deal to like.

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  14. Avatar photo otis

    “but after you take a closer look at its condition”, uh, no need to take a closer look. Viewing the first picture for half a second told me this once beauty is wasted. Sad.

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  15. Avatar photo otis

    “The car was stored outside at one point, but is now undercover.” Yeah buddy, that’ll help.

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  16. Avatar photo Michael Rogers

    With so many old sports cars of equal or better specification out there at tiny comparable prices, that HiPo Volkswagen just doesn’t make sense.

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  17. Avatar photo Horse Radish

    All the hard work is done, being that all rusted bolts and screws have been removed.
    luckily, it has the hardtop on to keep it from collapsing, but don’t anybody date to take that off.
    Looks like it’s time to roll this thing back into the salt bath it was sitting in and wait for the prices to catch up with his asking figure, which should be in 2 weeks or never.

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  18. Avatar photo jumpin jimmy

    What a bunch of light weights. It’s totally restorable in the right hands and will make an excellent car when done.

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    • Avatar photo Brian

      Then I am proud to be a light weight! I wouldn’t drag this hulk home if you gave it to me. Lets see: buy trashed Porche or pay off mortgage…hummm…

      Like 0
  19. Avatar photo Don

    Well, it could be used as a model for the car you will be able to put together when you get done buying all of the replacement parts this one would need!

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  20. Avatar photo Slim Chance

    “If your looking for 99% complete matching numbers 1959 356 A 1600S T2 Cabriolet to restore, this may be it.”

    That is the biggest 1% I’ve seen in a while.

    Quite literally tallied up $100,000 before I really got going.

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  21. Avatar photo Dolphin Member

    Sold to an undisclosed offer.

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  22. Avatar photo jim s

    did someone on this site buy it? would love to read the story/see photos of the finished car. i am not into porsche but if i was it would be 912, 914, 914/6s.

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  23. Avatar photo john kollander

    maybe that’s the price after he has it restored

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  24. Avatar photo geomechs Member

    It looks like it’s been SOLD(?). If the new owner isn’t already skilled at cutting and welding, I have no doubt he’ll be an expert when this project is done. Good luck…

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  25. Avatar photo Bill k

    Just wondering if the EPA was any Toxic Waste Superfund money available?

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  26. Avatar photo Fred

    We’ll, as that famous quote from PT Barnum goes…..

    ….”There’s a sucker born every minute.”

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  27. Avatar photo Charles

    I’ll go $35.60 if the current owner will pay the shipping…

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  28. Avatar photo C Bryant

    Sadly,on a Porsche you can’t even jack up the radiator cap and slide a new car under it.

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  29. Avatar photo ElisabethV

    How about $ 9,00 ?

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  30. Avatar photo Paul B

    Absurd almost beyond words. A car salesman once told me as we gazed over his lot of second-hand Renaults and Fiats, “I’ve got an ass out there for every one of those seats”. Probably still true.

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Brian

      Anyone with enough money to drop nearly a hundred G on this piece has one fat ass! Somebody must not be paying enough taxes!

      Like 0
  31. Avatar photo Alan

    I looked at the auction first, then came here to read the comments.

    Entertaining, as usual!

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  32. Avatar photo John E.

    Greed and auto auctions create the problem of over pricing. We have all seen it time and time again where the seller tags a mental value of their cars future worth (based on the objects age and popularity) trying to get it in a current market. We buyers nearly always walk away scratching our heads like what is being done here. I used to own a Porsche (86 944 Turbo), loved the car, had to let it go for a family emergency, will get another one when I can. They fun little cars, my daughters felt more like they were death traps on wheels for the times people would change lanes and not see us below their window (funny), but anyway pricing has to make since before I buy anything. When items are over priced one thing remains, the car or whatever will eventually rot away leaving it of no value eventually.

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    • Avatar photo John E.

      I meant to say 96 944 not 86. :-(

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  33. Avatar photo Olgraybeard

    Barnum and Bailey special SOLD FOR $40,000 There is a sucker born every minute!!

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  34. Avatar photo MikeW

    The 356 club just had a big meet and show in SLO this past weekend.

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  35. Avatar photo Bizfinguy

    You just know that some EBay lurker will hit the BIN and then cancel.

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  36. Avatar photo JohnD

    Would anyone here turn down 99k if it were offered? So what’s the problem with this seller asking it? He doesn’t make the rules, just playing the game. One ambitious seller a market doesn’t make.

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    • Avatar photo Brian

      The expression “people in Haities want ice water, that doesn’t mean they get it” applies here. Accordingly, if you put something up for sale for crazy money, expect people to call you crazy – you might have the last laught, but you might not. Even the owner admited in the ad that the car wasn’t worth the original asking price, expecting to get offered less and, likely, not trying to lower price expectations. After all, if this has been one of it’s cousins, a VW Beetle, we’d be looking at a car in the $200 range, maybe alittle more if scrap metel prices were up today.

      To someone, it was worth 6 figures; to me, it’s worthless as I could never afford to restore it even if I wanted to.

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  37. Avatar photo Slim Chance

    “There is shill bidding on ebay.”


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    • Avatar photo Alan

      Many years ago, when bidder’s identies were not disguised as they are now: There was a couple of parts for racing karts that I was interested in, but another guy was bidding me up. With only a little rudimentary research, looking at feedback, transactions, etc…. The seller and the bidder were the same guy. Two accounts.

      What an idiot. I turned him in, and he was kicked off of eBay within a day. Dang. I had to do without the parts…. ;-)

      Like 0

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