You might think it looks like a rusty old paddock ornament, but this 1950s Porsche is worth up to $350,000 restored.

It is set to go under the hammer at Shannons 2021 Summer Timed Online Auction from February 16-23.

But before you go getting all excited, be warned it’s expected to fetch up to $120,000 bucks as is.

Why so, when the 1.6-litre air cooled engine, not running I might add, is the spitting image of the 1.6 in my old Volkswagen Beetle.

Well, 356s are much sought after and this late-1958 Porsche 356A Cabriolet is rather special.

It’s factory-equipped with a rare Karmann hardtop and even-rarer 15in x 4in Rudge knock-off wheels.

The rusty, but complete and unchanged Australian-delivered early Porsche was originally delivered new through Hamiltons in Melbourne and fitted with a comprehensive list of factory options.

It’s one of just 1382, 356A 1600 Super Cabriolets built in 1958 and includes a more powerful 1600 Super engine.

In addition to its Rudge wheels and Ruby Red hardtop, the once-glamorous White Cabriolet was equipped with a separate black convertible folding top.

It also features Koni shock absorbers, a green-tinted windscreen, an electric clock, a Sunblind with make-up mirrors, ‘Ponto’ exterior mirrors, Bosch 40/45 Watt headlamps and USA bumpers.

Twelve years after it was delivered, the Porsche was in Queensland where it was purchased second-hand in early March 1970 from Brisbane’s Maxim Motors by its late female owner.

Papers with the car record she paid $1162 for it, less the $250 trade-in credit she received for her VW Beetle (betcha she didn’t look in the back).

After driving the Porsche for some years, it was stored beneath a Newmarket, Brisbane church in 1995 with its odometer showing 12,482 miles.

It remained there, undriven, for the next 25 years.

During its active years the car wore the hallowed Queensland Porsche numberplate 356POR before its registration lapsed.

With its once-gleaning white paintwork now badly pockmarked by rust, its formerly plush red leatherette upholstery ravaged by time, its tyres perished and its 75HP, 1582cc four cylinder engine not running, the 356A requires a total, bumper-to-bumper restoration.

However, Shannons reckon its exceptionally ‘cool’ patina might prompt a purchaser to restore the car mechanically and simply apply a clear coat to suspend its current exterior in time, creating the ultimate classic Porsche conversation piece.

The rusty look is all the rage at the moment, which makes many a Beetle owner a happy camper indeed.

On the other hand, due to its provenance, factory options and rarity, others might undertake a full nut and bolt restoration.

The choice is yours.

While today it is worth around $250,000-$350,000 fully restored, the car is expected to sell for $90,000-$120,000 at Shannons February auction.

 

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Chris Riley e1562539398605 96x96 - Rusty Porsche cool as a cucumber

Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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