• Year of manufacture 
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  • Location
    United States
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To Be OFFERED AT AUCTION WITHOUT RESERVE at RM Sothebys' Monterey event, 15 - 17 August 2024.

  • Highly desirable, single-year Convertible D body style by Drauz
  • One of just 1,331 produced for 1959 only
  • Factory-correct Meissen Blue over Red; factory leatherette upgraded to leather
  • Beautifully restored; retains its numbers-matching 1600 engine
  • Documented with Porsche Certificate of Authenticity and Kardex copy

Do not be fooled by the cold alphanumerics of its model name: The Porsche 356 A 1600 Convertible D by Drauz is a completely charming variant of the pivotal mid-century German sports car, and among the most collectable. It also came about at an important juncture in the evolution of Porsche’s model lineup.

Porsche’s simple, purpose-driven 356 Speedster, designed to bolster the marque’s motorsports credibility, had exceeded all expectations on the racetrack—but it was perhaps a bit too bare-bones to ever be widely marketable, and it was phased out in 1958. The 356 B Roadster that would arrive for 1960 offered similar styling, but with an added dose of luxury. In the interim, Porsche commissioned coachbuilder Drauz of Heilbronn, Germany to create a special run of cars to fill the gap. The new car added such amenities as a wind-up door glass in place of side curtains, a taller windshield, a better top, and a more luxurious interior. Porsche sales literature described the new Convertible D as “a dynamic car of beautiful proportions. Extra light and low in design for competition and pleasure driving.” Built only for 1959, just 1,331 examples of the 356 A Convertible D were produced for worldwide markets.

Completed on 15 April 1959, this US-specification Convertible D passed through the important Frankfurt-based distributor Glöckler on the way to its American first owner, a Richard S. Kem of Richmond, Indiana. A Kardex copy on file, as well as a Porsche Certificate of Authenticity, note that it was finished in the very attractive combination of Meissen Blue over Red leatherette. It was further equipped with reclining seats, USA bumpers, a Blaupunkt Bremen radio with two speakers, and an antenna.

Prior to acquisition by the consignor, this Convertible D was comprehensively restored to a very high standard. Mechanical work, including attention to its numbers-matching 1600 engine, is said to have been performed by Porsche 356 specialist Jack Staggs. This stunning restoration diverges from original specifications in just two notable areas. First, its as-built Red leatherette was replaced by Red leather upholstery, a welcome upgrade that maintains the factory color combination. Second, its Blaupunkt radio and the associated speakers and antenna were not installed (and do not accompany the car)—a decision that reflects the Convertible D’s Speedster-derived purity of purpose. Riding on chrome wheels, and with its black convertible top tucked neatly beneath a black top boot, this is a wonderfully detailed restoration, inside and out.

Benefitting from single-year exclusivity, a comprehensive restoration in its excellent factory colors, and the presence of its numbers-matching 1600 engine, this Convertible D is truly a rare Porsche 356 to drive, show, and enjoy. To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/auctions/mo24/.

RM Sotheby's
5 Heron Square
United Kingdom
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