- Chassis # 86210
- Engine # 73637
- A California Car & A Great Candidate For A Full Restoration
- Originally Finished In Ruby Red Over Brown Leatherette Interior
- One Of The Rarest 356 Models To Ever Roll Out Of The Porsche Factory
- Sale Includes Workshop Manual, Original Jack, Spare Wheel, Original Floormats, And Misc. Paperwork And Records On File
There isn’t much to be said about the Porsche 356 that the masses haven’t already lauded throughout the years. It is the model that cemented Porsche as one of the best among German manufacturers and garnered accolades at Le Mans and other circuits across Europe. The 356 A debuted in 1955 with numerous small yet significant changes over its early “pre-A” variant that began with the 1948 “Gmünd Roadster”. The pre-A was offered with various engines but was available as either a coupé or an open-top roadster between 1948 and 1955. Various other styles evolved over time from the early split window coupe to the roadster, and cabriolet.
The Speedster, introduced in 1954 at the request of US importer Max Hoffman, was a more barebones sporting version of the 356 with a low, raked, and removable windscreen, bucket seats, and a folding top. It was a tremendous success and turned the West into the biggest market for Porsche. In the years since its introduction, the Speedster has become arguably the most desirable and iconic 356 model ever made.
It was replaced in late 1958 by the more comfortable and usable Drauz-bodied “Convertible D”, which featured a taller windshield, roll-up glass windows, more comfortable seats, door panel pockets, and several other changes. Only 1,331 Convertible Ds were made between August 1958 and September 1959.
This particular example, Chassis # 86210 fitted with Engine # 73637, is a Convertible D that was recently discovered in a California garage and purchased by automotive personality Dennis Collins. According to its factory build sheet, this Porsche was finished on 4/3/1959 and was purchased new by PFC Robert Grygiel of Oneonta, New York when he was likely stationed in Germany. It originally wore Ruby Red paint over a rare Brown Leatherette interior and was optioned with a Blaupunkt Bremen radio, sealed beam headlights, and Veith white wall tires. Mr. Grygiel went on to own the car until sometime in 1980 when it was purchased by Clarence Paul Buist III from California before it proceeded to sit for many years.
The front facia has been replaced with one from a 356B (allegedly by Rod Emory) following a minor fender bender early in the car’s life. At some point, its color was also changed to Ivory White over a Black Leatherette interior. A copy of the original Kardex and COA on file lists the engine number as #73630 rather than the number stamped on the case #73637. Notably, the last digit, a “0” is listed instead of a “7”. We believe there is a chance this could be a clerical error in the factory records though we do not have any proof to claim this was the case. It is technically a non-matching engine number though the transmission number stamped does match the COA. The body of this example is a good basis for full restoration with rust limited to small areas of the original floor pan, bottoms of the doors, and battery box. See the underside photos for reference.
Despite being stored for a number of years, the car is fairly solid and includes its original CA black plate. A Porsche Certificate of Authenticity, some original documentation including a California pink slip and transfer slip from 1980, paperwork from its 1976 sale, and an old California parking ticket are included in the sale. Following Mr. Collins’s purchase and video on his YouTube series “Coffee Walk”, the engine and dual carburetors have undergone minor servicing to make the car run.
As it sits, this is one of the rarest 356 models that ever rolled out of the Porsche factory. With its correct type powertrain, barn-find story, and low production numbers, this particular Convertible D is a solid basis for a full restoration with limited rust. While it does run, it will need a total comprehensive service to be driven. Upon purchase, the new owner will receive a workshop manual, the original jack, two spare taillight lenses, a spare wheel, original floormats, a period Convertible D advertisement, and all of the miscellaneous paperwork and records on file.