1963 Porsche 356
- Year of manufacture1963
- Car typeOther
- Lot number134
- Exterior colourOther
Carl Dupré, Speyer, Germany (acquired new in 1962)
Wlochini Fomatt, Mannheim, Germany (acquired from the above in 1965)
Werner Schoch (acquired mid-1970s)
Private Collector (acquired via a restoration shop in later 1970s)
European Collectibles, Costa Mesa, California (acquired from the above in 2013)
Current Owner (acquired from the above)
The Porsche Carrera four-cam engine, designed by Dr. Ernst Führmann, is one of the most interesting designs of the 1950s and 1960s. While following the basic configuration of the standard Porsche engine, the Carrera engine differed in almost every other detail by use of four camshafts, dual-distributor ignition, dry sump lubrication, and initially with roller bearings on both the mains and rods. First developed for the Type 550 Spyder – and what helped make that car a racing legend – the motor and its plain-bearing successors would come to be installed in road-going Porsche models. At the 1961 Frankfurt Auto Show, Porsche introduced the 356 B 2000 GS Carrera 2 – with the “2” referencing the new two-liter Carrera engine – and made it available in both coupe and cabriolet form.
While similar in appearance to the standard models in the Porsche 356 lineup, the Carrera 2 featured an exotic, four-cam engine – producing 130 hp at 6,200 rpm – that was mated to a fully synchronized four-speed manual transaxle, with model-specific annular disc brakes at all four corners. Top speed was a lofty-for-the-time 125 mph. That was in addition to the further improvements and enhancements the company imparted on the significantly revised B models.
The fastest and most expensive Porsche road car of its day, the 356 B 2000 GS Carrera 2 Cabriolet cost about $6,200, a 50% price increase over the pushrodengined model; most of the cost difference was due to the complex Type 587/1 four-cam, which took nearly 100 hours to assemble. Out of more than 70,000 examples of the 356 produced before the 911 succeeded it, only 436 Carrera 2s in total are believed to have been made for 1963 and 1964, making this model one of the rarest at the time and certainly among the most exclusive and desirable today.
According to its Kardex, this 1963 Porsche Carrera 2 Cabriolet was completed in September 1962, and left the Porsche factory in the attractive color scheme of Silver Metallic (6206) over a black leather interior. It was delivered that same month via selling dealer Autohaus George Rittersbacher – which is still in operation today in Germany – and was equipped with optional chrome ventilated wheels, arm rests, antenna, loudspeakers, floor mats, and Dunlop tires. Chassis 157116’s first recorded owner was Carl Dupré of Speyer, Germany. Handwritten notes on the Kardex offer details on several trips to authorized Porsche dealers for servicing and repair work.
Mr. Dupré would sell the open-topped Carrera 2 to Wlochini Fomatt of Mannheim, Germany, on September 15, 1965. According to records noted on the Kardex, Mr. Fomatt owned the car into the late 1960s. By the 1970s, the car was imported into the US by Los Angeles-based broker and importer Werner Schoch. Mr. Schoch reportedly sold the car to a Long Beach, California, restoration shop that painted it white and then sold it to a local businessman. European Collectibles of Costa Mesa, California, acquired the car after it was rediscovered in 2013.
European Collectibles sold the car to the current owner, who contracted the Costa Mesa firm to complete a concours-level restoration of the Carrera 2 Cabriolet. The coachwork was stripped to bare metal, necessary repair work was performed, and it was refinished in its original color, while all exterior trim was refurbished, using as many original components as possible. The interior was re-trimmed, including correct German square-weave carpeting and black floor mats, and a new soft top was installed. The suspension, annular disc brakes, and transaxle also received attention, with any worn items rebuilt or replaced as necessary. A European Collectibles document, supplied with the car, lists the details of the four-cam engine’s overhaul. Now, after a two-year restoration completed in 2017, this Carrera 2 Cabriolet appears in thoroughly stunning condition, with the sole deviation from its original specifications apparently the change to red leather from black.
Most of the remaining Carrera 2 Cabriolets reside in long-term private collections around the globe and are very seldom offered for sale. This offering of an extremely rare 1963 example with beautiful restoration work represents an opportunity for the discerning collector.