1963 Porsche 356
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1963 Porsche 356C Rally Car
Coachwork by Reuter
Registration no. not UK registered
Chassis no. 215 153
The work of Ferry Porsche, and one of the all-time great sports cars, the 356 was based on the Volkswagen designed by his father, Ferdinand, and like the immortal 'Beetle' employed a platform-type chassis with rear-mounted air-cooled engine and torsion bar all-independent suspension. Having commenced manufacture with a short run of aluminium-bodied cars built at Gmünd, Porsche began volume production of the steel-bodied 356 coupé at its old base in Stuttgart, at first in premises shared with coachbuilders Reutter and then (from 1955) in its original factory at Zuffenhausen. In 1951 a works car finished first in the 1,100cc class at the Le Mans 24-Hour Race, thus beginning the marque's long and illustrious association with La Sarthe.
Although Porsche did not make a serious works effort in international rallying until the arrival of the 911, the 356 in private hands proved very competitive, being strongly constructed, light in weight and adequately powerful, especially in four-cam Carrera form. Early successes included private entrants Helmut Polesnky and Walter Schluter's victory in the 1952 Liège-Rome-Liège Rally, and the same duo's European Touring Championship the following year. And as late as 1961 the 356 proved good enough to bring works-assisted privateer Hans Walter the European Rally Championship. Today these versatile Porsche 356 GTs are among the most competitive cars in their class in historic circuit racing and rallying.
Originally built for the Italian market, this Porsche 356C coupé was purchased by the current vendor a few years ago from German former racing and test driver Willi Kauhsen, in whose workshop it had been totally restored to near concours standard in 2015. This most extensive overhaul included the engine, gearbox, and front and rear axles, while the engine was also enlarged to 1,980cc and tuned, producing a maximum of 100kW (137bhp).
The associated dynamometer printout is on file and the car also comes with a Porsche dating letter. At the same time the interior was re-trimmed and equipped for rallying, boasting grey leather sports seats, racing seatbelts, roll bar, trip master, two stopwatches, MotoLita wood-rim steering wheel, etc. Presented, the vendor states, in superb overall condition and this 356C comes from an important German collection of mainly Porsche cars and has rarely been used by the enthusiast owner, who has only driven it occasionally on German 07 red (Historic) numberplates.