Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Drauz
356 Registry, West Coast Holiday, San Diego, California, 1997 (Second Overall)356 Registry, West Coast Holiday, Monterey, California, 1998 (First in Class)356 Registry, West Coast Holiday, Sedona, Arizona, 1999 (Fourth in Class)356 Club of Southern California, North Meets South, Cambria, California, 2003Speedster 50th Anniversary, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, 2004Porsche Club of America Parade, San Diego, California, 2007 (Third in Class)Concours on the Avenue, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, 2009Porsche Club of America Werks Reunion, Monterey, California, August 2015
By 1958, Porsche was searching for a way to boost sales while still offering an entry-level model. Balancing customer desire for creature comforts in a package still suited for the weekend racer, Porsche created the 356 A Convertible D as the Speedster’s successor.
While retaining the Speedster’s beautiful sloping beltline, the Convertible D used a redesigned windshield that was 3.5 inches taller than the Speedster’s, with stronger side posts. The new folding top, derived from the Speedster, was taller. An improved windshield seal enhanced foul-weather comfort. The top also incorporated a significantly larger rear window to aid in rearward visibility. Initially met with disdain by hardcore Speedster fans, the most popular Convertible D improvements were accepted over time. These were the addition of roll-up glass side windows and non-reclining coupe seats to replace the spartan seats of the Speedster.
Produced only from August 1958 to September 1959, the Convertible D is one of the rarest 356 models, with just 1,331 examples built. In 1959, Porsche bodies were being produced by Reutter Coachworks. With Porsche sales across the model range strong, Reutter was unable to take on this new model. To satisfy customer demand, Porsche turned to Drauz Karosserie to build the Convertible D.
This breathtaking Porsche 356 A Convertible D was built in March 1959. It was discovered in a garage in the Reseda neighborhood of Los Angeles, and purchased by noted Porsche collector Stanley Gold. During Mr. Gold’s 20-year ownership, he entrusted his find to Aurel & Don’s Independent Porsche Service in North Hollywood, for a comprehensive, nut-and-bolt restoration.
Originally painted Ivory, the meticulously restored body was finished in highly desirable Fjord Green, a correct Porsche color for 1959. The striking paint is complemented by a tan leather interior and tan convertible top, and accentuated by bumper overriders, and Speedster upper side moldings. Mr. Gold spent two years on the wheels alone, sourcing and restoring the tremendously coveted Rudge knockoffs. Included in the sale is a remarkably scarce Rudge knockoff brass hammer. Since restoration, the Convertible D has been exhibited at several Southern California concours earning numerous awards.
Once Porsche’s entry-level roadster, the 356 A Convertible D has become a rare and decidedly collectible 356. This show-winning example, wonderfully restored and carefully sorted, is ready for a top-down weekend getaway in vintage Porsche style.