Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Drauz
Accompanied by a copy of its Kardex production record supplied by Le Mans-winning Porsche racer and marque expert Jürgen Barth, this 1959 Porsche 356 A Convertible D was built on February 10, 1959, bearing chassis no. 85977. Finished in Ruby Red (5702A), it was equipped with sealed-beam headlamps, Dunlop tires, US-specification bumpers, 716/2 transaxle gears, and Boge shock absorbers. It was shipped to the US and delivered to its selling dealer via Max Hoffman in New York City.
The second owner, a Californian Porsche collector, acquired the 356 during the mid- 1960s and gave it a high-quality restoration during the 1980s. Following completion, the car was shown, sparingly exercised, and properly stored and maintained. Among its confirmed show entries was the 14th SCCA-sponsored Lafayette Concours d’Elegance in California. The consignor, a New York-area collector, acquired the vehicle in 2013.
A viewing confirms that the Porsche is correct and beautifully preserved throughout, with a highly attractive exterior finish, a well-detailed engine bay, a nicely appointed interior complete with correct German square-weave carpeting, and a properly fitted black cloth convertible top. It retains the original-specification bumper over-riders and proper unscripted hubcaps and is accompanied by a tool kit and Porsche 356 A owner’s manual.
A matching-numbers example, 85977 is a joy to behold. Owning a Porsche 356 is a mandatory experience for serious classic sports car enthusiasts and there is likely no better choice than this excellent and rare one-year-only 356 A Convertible D!
The 356 A Convertible D
While the elemental Porsche 356 Speedster offered excellent performance and brought Porsche ownership within reach of a broader market, particularly in America, its limited creature comforts spurred the summer 1958 release of the 356 A Convertible D. In essence a second-generation Porsche Speedster offering a quantum leap in passenger comfort, the Convertible D included a taller windscreen allowing greater headroom with the top up, roll-up glass side windows, improved seating, and a host of detail refinements in typical Porsche fashion. Just 1,332 examples of the Convertible D were built, with all constructed for Porsche by Karosseriewerke Drauz from August 1958 to September 1959.
Drauz was founded in Heilbronn in Northern Germany at the dawn of motoring in 1900 by Gustav Drauz and partner Rudolf Leopold. Early work included bodies for Daimler and NSU, which were quickly joined by Adler, FIAT, and Ford. Following the end of WWII, Drauz focused mainly on production of van bodies for Ford and DKW, plus some 120,000 Ford Taunus sedan bodies. While production-based, it is truly a testament to the capabilities and quality work of Drauz that it was selected to build the low-volume Convertible D and subsequent roadster variants of Porsche’s evergreen 356.