Winter Project: 1956 Porsche 356 Kit Car

Over the years, the popularity of kit cars has gone through cycles in popularity, and a lot of this has been based on either government regulations regarding safety requirements, or the quality (or lack thereof) of the various kits available on the market at any given time. The quality of this Porsche kit looks to be much better than average, and it promises the owner a wealth of fun when it is complete. The kit is located in Washington, New Jersey, and is listed for sale here on eBay.

The owner of the Porsche kit purchased it in 1992 and has never taken it out of the shipping crate. The gel coat is said to be original and has only now seen the light of day. It is hard to tell from the photos, but the body looks to be quite nicely finished, and the gloss on the gel coat looks really good.

When the owner purchased the kit, it is essentially a complete car, minus the donor VW Bug. As a result, included is all of the trim and pieces to complete the body. You get all of the badges, the lights, the grilles and vents, bumpers, brackets, windshield, cover, and top. Basically, it appears that there will be little that you would need to buy to complete the car.

To match the tan soft-top, the interior trim is also tan, and the majority of it is included in the sale. This includes the seat cores and mounts, the tan upholstery, and the brown carpet. The quality of the finished product would no doubt be dependent on the skill level of the person completing the build, but judging by the apparent quality of the items included in the kit, this promises to be a nice car when finished.

This kit is not the ideal item for a Porsche purist, but for a person on a limited budget, there is a lot of potential here. The quality looks good, and these sorts of kits can be quite enjoyable and rewarding to build. If you don’t have a spare $250,000 plus to buy the real thing, you can have something that looks similar for less than a tenth of the price. The owner has set a BIN price of $6,500 for the kit, and the option is there to make an offer. This could be a great Winter project for someone.

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  1. DayDreamBeliever Member

    GONE. “error in the listing”

    Yea, IMO the error was that the listing was way too low, price-wise, and someone clued the seller in on that. Or just flat bought it and ran.

    • Brakeservo

      Whenever I see something on eBay that I’m interested in, I try to contact the seller quickly to keep someone else from buying out from underneath me, likewise when I list something on eBay I also try to find a way to “sneak” my phone number in there so someone can contact me if they want to buy it quickly and make a fair offer. eBay is not a game, not really an “auction” but simply another advertising venue and I treat it as such. My theory is that if something is priced right, it should sell quickly so why some people persist on waiting to the end of a seven-day auction is beyond me! And yes, I have perfect eBay feedback. Now on another issue – that this seller had priced this way too low – uh, well when you consider you can buy a running driving completed one for under $15,000, my personal opinion is that $6500 is too much! Factor in your time and the needed donor parts, the work and effort to rebuild them and then assemble the whole car, no even if it was given to you for “free” from a strictly economic standpoint it might cost too much to complete, at least for the guy who wants a car to drive and have fun with and doesn’t care about the experience (hassle, headache, problems and pain etc) of building it himself.

  2. Sidney

    This is the obvious way to go if you are a true car lover and driving enthusiast, and not a snob.

  3. redwagon

    I wonder how a kit car like this drives compared to the real thing? My understanding is that the engine was similar to the bug engine. What about the suspension? Anyone know?

    • DayDreamBeliever Member

      The advantage with a kit car is that builders can do pretty much whatever they want, for chassis, suspension, and powertrain. Yep, the potential is very much there to go maxed out on performance, and able to run circles around a car constrained by an original design from so long ago.

      • Sidney

        Agreed. Why wouldn’t you go the replica route, all around better car with the same looks and better performance. I don’t know why owners of originals get so worked up about nice replicas, it is not like their own cars have less meaning because of them. Perhaps they are not mature enough to understand that contentment comes from inside, not how others see you. I myself do not care what other people think about what I drive. For years I drove around in a 20 year old rusty car even though I am easily upper middle class in income. Too many people worry about what other people are thinking, and I think the average Porsche owner is among them.

      • grant

        I would think the purists would appreciate a well built, driving replica. A $250k irreplaceable original is hard to enjoy on the street.

      • Brakeservo

        Re Grant: perhaps then it’s easier driving a $500,000 original on the street than a $250,000 original, after all, you can’t do more than $300,000 damage to one. Personally, I had no problem driving an $8 Million Ferrari and a $3 Million Cobra when I had the chance (no, they weren’t mine).

  4. Chinga-Trailer

    If you know what you’re doing, these can be built with disc brakes, full IRS suspension whereas the original had swing axles and drums, so, like a well built fake Cobra, performance can exceed the original.

  5. Danno

    I recall the young version of myself liking CMC’s ad quite a bit…

  6. local_sheriff

    I’ve always been somewhat curious as to how many of these 356 kit car projects that actually end up as completed builds, in comparison to how many get started…?This ad obviously proves my suspicion somehow?

    It’s obviously the right way to go if you desire a 356,of course unless you’re cousin Anthony.I googled the CMC kits and I understand they were regarded as among the better 356 kits back in the day. I recall more than one aquintance who bragged about their soon-to-become 356 projects after watching too many episodes of ‘Beverly Hills 90210’,only to realize their ‘bargain’ 356 kit would include little more than a crudely shaped body shell…!

  7. Chuck F 55chevy

    This is not a replica of a $250,000 Speedster, it is a CMC designed kit that has been customized with flared wheel wells, I don’t think Porsche ever made one that looks like this from the factory. It does give you more room for a wider suspension. But it will be mistaken for a real Porsche by average people, just look how many of you were fooled.

    • grant

      Nobody was “fooled,” the car is honestly advertised as a kit car replica.

  8. Wrong Way Member

    I thought about one of these before I dumped 60 K on the 356 B that we are redoing now! It would just not be the same in any way but the looks! I will have a estimated 130 K to 150 K sunk into it when I am done! And yes, it will sit next to my other cars and driven maybe once a year! Soooooo, if you want to really enjoy one of these definitely get a kit car otherwise I guarantee you that you will not drive a original 356 of any series around for enjoyment! JMHO

    • grant

      Precisely! I wonder how crazy this would be with the drivetrain from an AWD 911 Turbo stuffed under it.

  9. Maestro1 Member

    If you are a serious builder with some rescources this would be an interesting buy. There’s no reason not to drive a replica. You get advanced engineering (the chassis/drive line and so on) in a retro look that makes the car unique. I have no idea as to resale value of replicas, but if resale is your issue buy a Chevrolet, or something. Don’t let reality such as market values intrude. Buy and enjoy.

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