Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Reutter
Alan Surgi, Louisiana (acquired in 1974)Current Owner (acquired from the above in 1984)
Porsche Parade, Steamboat Springs, Colorado, 1998Porsche Parade, Jay Peak, Jay, Vermont, 2016 (Zuffenhausen Award)
The mid-1950s marked a major turning point in Porsche’s history. One figure almost single-handedly engineered Porsche’s success during this period: importer Max Hoffman. In his stunning Frank Lloyd Wright-designed showroom in Manhattan, Mr. Hoffman reportedly was selling 11 Porsches a week and about 30% of the company’s total production in 1954.
On June 24th of that year, this elegant Pre-A Cabriolet left the factory to be delivered to Mr. Hoffman. The Cabriolet eventually made its way to Louisiana, was purchased by Alan Surgi in 1974, and was then shipped to Maine, where a restoration began. Though stripped and acid-dipped, progress was halted for some years. Purchased by the consignor in 1984, restoration continued in 1990 with Don Michaud of Yarmouth, Maine, carrying out the work. Completely restored and photo-documented over the course of eight years, the consignor drove it for the first time at the 1998 Porsche Parade in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. It scored 232.8 points out of a possible 235, especially impressive since, the consignor notes, it was only 98% finished.
The 1953-1955 Pre-A “Bent-Windshield” cars evolved from the earlier split windshield design but predated the curved windshield of the 356 A. Originally Terrakotta, this example is now finished in the factory 1954 shade of Turkish Red over a Black interior. Fitted with the matching-numbers 1500 engine, according to the accompanying Kardex, the consignor also notes several welcome details, including the rare gold Porsche script on the dashboard and glass washer-fluid container. The car rides on correct 16"date-stamped wheels and the engine lid retains its proper chassis-number stamping. Since the restoration, the consignor reports, he has used the 356 sparingly, driving it less than 1,500 miles since registration in 1998. He displayed the car at the 2016 Porsche Parade in Jay Peak, Vermont. It received the Zuffenhausen Award and scored 295.8 out of 300 points, a testament to how beautifully its restoration still presents.
Along with its Kardex, it is accompanied by a file of restoration records and photographs, PCA judging score sheets, tools, an extensive roadside repair kit, jack, manual, and original parts, including the original steering wheel. The consignor states that the car is fitted with a period-correct gearbox. The matching-numbers unit (damaged) and additional original parts remain with the consignor and will be shipped to the new owner at the consignor’s cost.
While over 1,700 examples of the 356 Coupe were produced in 1954, Porsche reportedly made only 327 Cabriolets that year. These cars offer the rarity and beautiful lines of an early Speedster while providing a comfortable ride and full weather protection, making this gorgeous Porsche an ideal companion for touring or concours display. Presented in distinctive and elegant colors, this 356 is a meticulously restored example that would be at home in any fine collection.