1963 Porsche 356
Year of manufacture1963
Number of seats2
Matching numbers, 73,000 miles from new
1963 Porsche 356B Coupé
Registration no. YNF 389A
Chassis no. 214233
Engine no. 0700953/616/12
One of the all-time great sports cars, the 356 was the work of Ferry Porsche, who had been inspired by the FIAT-based Cisitalias of Piero Dusio. Ferry's 356 was based on the Volkswagen designed by his father, and like the immortal 'Beetle' employed a platform-type chassis with rear-mounted air-cooled engine and all-independent torsion bar suspension. Introduced in 1948, the Porsche 356 set a new standard for small sports cars and proved adaptable to all forms of motor sport including circuit racing and rallying. 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 the Circuit de la Sarthe.
The first phase of development saw the 356's engine grow to 1.3 and then to 1.5 litres; the original split windscreen replaced by a one-piece; and a Porsche synchromesh gearbox adopted. 1955 marked the arrival of the restyled 356A, the newcomer being readily distinguished by its curved windscreen and 15" - down from 16" - wheels. Numerous further styling revisions differentiated the 356B of 1959 from its immediate predecessor while the engine - now standardised at 1,600cc - was available in three different stages of tune, the most powerful - apart from the four-cam Carrera - being the 90bhp unit of the Super 90.
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 Polensky 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 GTs are among the most competitive cars in their class in historic circuit racing and rallying.
The 356B represents significant advances in driveability and comfort over earlier 356 models, and is a pleasingly quick way to enjoy the traditional Porsche values of quality, reliability and mechanical robustness.
A late twin-grille model, this left-hand drive Porsche 356B is finished in the correct original black paint with original red vinyl interior in very good condition. The car completed a four-year total restoration at the end of 2014, which included rebuilding the original engine, gearbox, brakes, suspension and steering in addition to refreshing the paintwork and chrome trim. The mechanical works were carried out by Porsche 356 specialists. An extensive history file, inspection of which is highly recommended (works total circa £50,000), accompanies the car together with a Porsche letter of authenticity confirming that it retains matching numbers. 'YNF 389A'is currently taxed and MoT'd and comes with a V5C registration document. With only 73,000 miles covered from new, this beautiful Porsche 356B is surely one of the best currently available, representing a unique opportunity to acquire an example in virtually 'as new' condition.