1962 Porsche 356
Year of manufacture1962
Pat Courington, Coronado, California
Skip Shirley, San Diego, California (acquired from the above in 2003)
Victor Wild, California (acquired from the above)
Reed L. Harman, Rancho Palos Verdes, California (acquired from the above)
Current Owner (acquired from the above)
Porsche Club of America Zone 8 Concours, 2005 (Restoration Award)
Porsche Club of America Parade, Hershey, Pennsylvania, 2005 (Best of Show)
356 Club of Southern California Concours, Dana Point, California, 2005 (Best of Show)
Introduced in 1948, the lightweight and nimble 356 was the first production automobile to bear a Porsche badge and possessed a jet-age silhouette with a profusion of rounded, windswept forms. Available in a variety of coupe and open-top configurations, the 356 was continuously improved throughout its production, enduring until 1965 when it was replaced by the 911/912.
For the 1960 model year, Porsche unveiled a new T-5 body style, designating the model 356 B. It represented a comprehensive redesign of previous models, with a focus on handling, ride comfort, and refinement, as well as more powerful engine options that could better exploit the car’s excellent handling dynamics. A new Roadster model also replaced the Convertible D, which was the more refined successor to the popular Speedster.
Among the external changes, the hood was made flatter with a large chrome handle, the front-end sheet metal crafted a smooth curve from side to side instead of a “wave” on Pre-A and A models, and the headlights and bumpers were raised. Technical upgrades included an improved steering box, and shifting linkage, while finned brake drums improved stopping performance. In 1962, the T-6 body type was introduced for the 356 B. Bodywork production for the Roadster model was transferred from Drauz to coachbuilder D’Ieteren Frères in Belgium with revisions including a more squared-off hood, a gas cap on the right-side fender, and twin grilles on the engine cover.
Finished in Light Ivory (6204) over a contrasting red leatherette interior, this 1962 Porsche 356 B “Twin Grille” Roadster was completed in November 1961, and additionally equipped with an outside mirror and headrests. Believed to have resided in Southern California since new, this Roadster was later acquired by award-winning Porsche specialist Skip Shirley of San Diego, who performed a comprehensive mechanical and cosmetic restoration in its striking original color combination.
The quality and correctness of the work was demonstrated when the Roadster earned three concours awards in 2005, including best restoration at the Porsche Club of America Zone 8 Concours as well as Best of Show at both the Porsche Parade in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and the 356 Club of Southern California Concours at Dana Point. In the current ownership the Roadster has had relatively limited use, accruing only modest additional mileage and remains in outstanding condition in all respects.
One of only 248 “Twin Grille” Roadsters produced, this example is equipped with a desirable GT fuel tank and comes complete with books, tools, and a Porsche Certificate of Authenticity reflecting its numbers-matching engine and transaxle. Restored to the highest standards and awarded on the concours circuit, this attractive Roadster is a rare find.