2022 | Pebble Beach Auctions
1956 Porsche 356 A 'European' Cabriolet
Coachwork by Reutter
$350,000 - $500,000
Rare “European” Model Built Only in Early 1956
Finished in Its Desirable and Gorgeous Original Aquamarine Blue (Code 5607)
Retains Matching-Numbers Engine per Porsche Certificate of Authenticity
Over $375,000 Spent on Extensive Restoration Undertaken by Various 356 Specialists
Accompanied by Manual, Tool Kit and Pouch, Sales Brochure, Porsche COA, and Kardex
1,582 CC OHV Air-Cooled Flat 4-Cylinder Engine
Twin Solex 32 PBIC Carburetors
60 BHP at 4,500 RPM
4-Speed Manual Transaxle
4-Wheel Hydraulic Drum Brakes
4-Wheel Independent Suspension with Torsion Bars and Tubular Shock Absorbers
This fantastic 356 A Cabriolet is a gorgeous example and adorned with the seldom seen golden “European” fender script, affixed to only the earliest 1956 Porsches destined for the American market. Porsche discontinued the Continental model after pressure from Ford Motor Company at the end of the 1955 model year, changing the name to European for just a few months so that script would cover the pre-drilled fenders intended for the Continental. Only seven Cabriolets are listed in the 356 European online registry, making this example incredibly rare indeed.
A Porsche Certificate of Authenticity on file for this Cabriolet states that it was completed at the factory on January 19, 1956, as a “Type European” and equipped with sealed beam headlights and instrumentation in miles. The car is believed to have been sold new to a doctor in Palo Alto, California, who then sold it to another Northern California-based enthusiast. This enthusiast then sold it, in 1979, to Ted Lyman of Oakland, California, making the 356 a four-owner, nearly lifelong California car. The consignor purchased it from Mr. Lyman in 2014 and shortly thereafter commissioned a complete restoration by 356 specialists.
The restoration was led by Porsche expert Bruce Baker Enterprises Inc. of Collegeville, Pennsylvania, who then contracted several other specialists, including Vic Skirmants for the rebuild of the car’s period-correct type-519 transaxle, and Eric Wills of Wills Werks in Alexandria, Virginia, for the rebuild of the car’s engine. The car was then fitted with a new wiring harness, painted, reupholstered, and reassembled. Copies of factory photos showing an early 1956 model of the 356 A Cabriolet were used to instill authenticity into the restoration, including attention to such small details as a single chromed-tip exhaust pipe, full circle horn ring, top design details, and correct SWF wipers. A period-correct new old stock Hirschmann red-tip antenna was even sourced directly from Germany.
Since the restoration was completed, the car has been driven sparingly, and shown only at the New York invitational concours The Bridge, as well as the Sunday in the Park, the Lime Rock Concours. Commensurate with its outstanding condition and fastidious attention to correctness, the 356 also comes with an original driver’s manual, sales brochure, restoration records, copy of Kardex, Porsche COA, and tool kit with rare two-tone vinyl pouch. Finished in its exceptional original color of Aquamarine Blue, and retaining its matching-numbers engine per its Porsche COA, this stunning 356 A Cabriolet is an ideal candidate for concours display and worthy of a place in the most discerning Porsche collections.