David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/15/16 2:41 p.m.

Ah, the one that started it all: The 356 was Porsche’s first production automobile and the car that set the stage for the timeless 911. For expert advice on this game-changing model, we turned to Chris Casler, sales manager of European Collectibles. The company sells about 100 Porsche 356s per year…

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Tom1200
Tom1200 HalfDork
12/18/16 10:49 p.m.

Given these were never cheap to restore this is handy. Now that the prices are what they are it's even more important to do your homework.

I only wish I could put the advice to use but sadly the ship has sailed for me on 356 ownership. I'd have to sell everything in the garage to even come close to affording anything remotely rust free.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/20/16 11:00 a.m.

A million years ago I had a chance to buy a nice 356 SC. The original engine had been replaced with a Super 90. Even so, I hate to think what that car is now worth.

Tom1200
Tom1200 HalfDork
12/20/16 11:22 p.m.

David in 1986 I passed on a 356SC as well; the engine had just been rebuilt. I had $3000 so it was the 356 or a 125cc GP bike to race and a mini pick up to get it to the races. I went motorcycle road racing which I brought me many happy memories, I'd do not think the 356 would have been as happy of an experience. While driving around in the 356 would have made me smile it just couldn't overcome my desire to go racing.

TR8owner
TR8owner HalfDork
12/24/16 9:39 p.m.

They're pretty simple cars. Absolutely no mystique about them at all. If you can work on a VW beetle you can work on a 356. I owned two of them. Sold the last one in the mid 80's for $6500.

Tom1200
Tom1200 HalfDork
12/27/16 5:28 p.m.

A few years back at a PCA track day I drove one for a couple of laps, it was a students car, really wasn't any faster than my Datsun. It did oversteer in the same manner that the Datsun does, which of course I liked. I still find them one of the best looking cars ever made.

terracer
terracer New Reader
10/21/19 6:31 a.m.

I too had an opportunity to buy a 356 back in the day.. I was doing SCCA back then, racing first generation RX-7's and having the time of my life.  Purchasing the Porsche would've meant selling alot of my toys and i just wasn't prepared to do that at the time.  However, timing - as they say - is everything and i wish I had bought it.  The closest I will ever get to a 356 is the 1964 Karmann Ghia that currently resides in the warehouse at work.  This article has inspired me to resurrect her - thank you for that!  

Jordan Rimpela
Jordan Rimpela Digital Editor
10/21/19 9:24 a.m.

In reply to terracer :

We're glad to hear! Keep us updated. 

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia HalfDork
10/21/19 10:02 a.m.

If anyone knows where a terrible 356 body shell is , I am game to put it back together for a track car  , 

crashed or rusty OK .......

We "resurrected "  a rolled over 356 coupe  pulled out of the forest  years ago , 

 

bosswrench
bosswrench New Reader
5/3/23 12:15 p.m.

I had a '56 Speedster that had been production-raced, with a Super 75 (DIN) engine and Webers. Those motors came with aluminum Nikasil cylinders. If you wore one out- as I found- replacements came with a fitted piston and rings- you couldn't find just a cylinder or a piston. Quite an education keeping it running on midwest streets. Aluminum doors, hood & deck, plus the bumpers, and wooden framed seats- only weighed about 1500 lbs w/gas & oil.

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa UltimaDork
5/3/23 7:33 p.m.
californiamilleghia said:

If anyone knows where a terrible 356 body shell is , I am game to put it back together for a track car  , 

crashed or rusty OK .......

We "resurrected "  a rolled over 356 coupe  pulled out of the forest  years ago , 

 

My dad is friends with the folks that are running Havana 911.  If anyone in my circle would know who had them, they would.

 

 

BuckarooBanzai
BuckarooBanzai
7/11/23 9:53 p.m.

Had a 356SC Cabrio my dad bought new in 1965 taking European delivery. Check out the Christmas card picture that year with me in between my sisters in the back seat! Car stayed in the family until my mom died in 2017 and I couldn't justify buying out my sister's interest after value balloned substantially above $100K. I learned to drive in it, and no car has ever made me smile quite as much when ever I drove it!


Second picture is of my father Joel Naive's garage in about 1972 showing 5 collectibles I certainly wished had stayed in the family. 2 1955 550A Spyders - the one on the right got restored by him and sold to a collector in Japan in the early 80's for a then sizable $50K, the one on the left sold back to Le Mans winner Dick Barbour I believe. Also 2 1950 Coupes, one restored and sold to Harrah's Museum (now the National Automobile Museum in Reno) where I believe it still resides, the second sold to Wayne Baker in San Diego. And finally in the back a 1969 911L factory rallye car with a prepared 911S race motor with substantially lightened flywheel, lexan windows, Minilite wheels with Goodyear Blue Streak racing tires. Rather scary to drive the one time I had the chance while still on a learners permit with my Dad in the passenger seat! It also went back to Dick Barbour I think as my Dad's interest morphed into 1930s Auburn cars, but that's another story ...

joeymec
joeymec New Reader
11/11/23 12:42 p.m.

What is it about the allure of this upside down bath tub?  It's so gauky looking yet it sucks you right in.  There really are no lines, it's just round!  It's so simple and yet even as a kid 60 years ago, when one drove around on the Jersey shore, it alway caught my eye.   The closest I ever came to getting one was 20+ years ago.  I was driving up to Vermont in the process of moving there and it was trip that I was towing a small trailer.  There in NY state on Rt4  near Whitehall sat a 356  in an empty parking lot with a big sign on it.   $1500!    I immediately stopped and looked at it.  No one else was around.  The tub was rusty but it was straight and complete.  All there!!  At that moment, I knew I could get at least $6000 as it stood!  I just could not figure how to get it and had to move on to my destination in Vermont.  I think of that car today and if I just picked it up and put it in a barn;  what would it be worth today for restoration, $40K, 50K, 60K?  I don't know but it would be up there somewhere!   My closest story of acquiring a bath tub Porsche!!

joeymec
joeymec New Reader
11/11/23 12:48 p.m.

What is it about the allure of this upside down bath tub?  It's so gauky looking yet it sucks you right in.  There really are no lines, it's just round!  It's so simple and yet even as a kid 60 years ago, when one drove around on the Jersey shore, it alway caught my eye.   The closest I ever came to getting one was 20+ years ago.  I was driving up to Vermont in the process of moving there and it was trip that I was towing a small trailer.  There in NY state on Rt4  near Whitehall sat a 356  in an empty parking lot with a big sign on it.   $1500!    I immediately stopped and looked at it.  No one else was around.  The tub was rusty but it was straight and complete.  All there!!  At that moment, I knew I could get at least $6000 as it stood!  I just could not figure how to get it and had to move on to my destination in Vermont.  I think of that car today and if I just picked it up and put it in a barn;  what would it be worth today for restoration, $40K, 50K, 60K?  I don't know but it would be up there somewhere!   My closest story of acquiring a bath tub Porsche!!

joeymec
joeymec New Reader
11/11/23 12:48 p.m.

sorry!!  it posted twice!!

Datsun240ZGuy
Datsun240ZGuy MegaDork
11/11/23 1:28 p.m.

Once at Road America in the mid-1980's an old dude had a well driven 356 convertible (corner 3) and I proceeded to pass wisdom down to my younger brothers and I told them it's basically a Volkswagen Beetle.  

The old dude heard me and gave me a lashing and explained what it was.  I was truly humbled that day.  LOL.  

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