Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Drauz
Production of the Porsche 356 began in Gmünd, Austria, but was moved to the Zuffenhausen plant in Germany in 1950, where the 356 was manufactured until 1965. Porsche attained world recognition with the 356, winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Mille Miglia, and the Carrera Panamericana among other international events. Approximately 76,000 of these agile, rear-engine 356 sports cars were created, and many innovations derived from the racetrack were incorporated into the street cars.
The iconic roadsters were only manufactured from 1960 to 1962, first at Drauz Karosseriewerke in Germany and later at the D’Ieteren plant in Belgium. This 356 B Super 90 Roadster, with coachwork by Drauz, is one of the earlier models manufactured in 1960 and fitted with the highly prized Super 90 engine, which renders the car more powerful with 15 added horsepower over the standard 1600-engined versions. The Super 90, today, is considered to be the most desirable push-rod motor to have been produced for the 356 given its free-revving nature and balanced output.
This car has a well-documented chain of ownership starting in 1972, when this stunning original black plate automobile was purchased in San Francisco by Navy Officer Jeffrey Banks and then driven to Arkansas, where it was stored for 28 years. In 2001, it was bought by Neil McSwain and was acquired by the current owner two years later.
Under the care of the consignor, the car underwent an exacting restoration by a team of top marque specialists, including Paul Colby of Autosports Exclusive, Jon Bunin of Werkstatt, and John Willhoit of Willhoit Auto Restoration. This extensive restoration was completed in 2007 and included several conversions to improve driveablilty and further enhance its performance for tours and events. For example, a lightweight flywheel was installed for improved response and Bilstein shocks were added. The engine was rebuilt and blueprinted to 1,720 cc with chromoly pushrods, and 8 mm stainless steel valves were installed with dual valve springs. The transmission was rebuilt with an upgraded, tall fourth gear; the electrics were converted to 12 volt; and LED taillights were fitted for safety. The owner also had the original red upholstery replaced with the highly sophisticated rich tan you see today. Much of the work is detailed in a collection of file folders that accompany the sale of the car.
It’s not surprising that the car went on to win First in Class at the prestigious Porsche 356 Club Dana Point Concours d’Elegance in 2009.
Today, this Kardex-confirmed, matching-numbers , black Super 90 is offered with approximately 57,000 miles on the odometer and a host of extra features, including a Les Leston wood steering wheel, the original California black plate, the maintenance manual, tonneau cover, and a comprehensive binder filled with receipts and documentaion. The owner reports that he has maintained the car in near-concours condition, both aesthetically and mechanically.
This lovely, well-sorted 356 B Super 90 Roadster is believed to be one of only 132 Super 90s with Drauz coachwork built in 1960. Over 50 years old and a fabulous example of Porsche excellence in its striking black and tan livery, this lovely little roadster is primed and ready for its next adventure. Ideal for touring and rallies, it should delight both those who drive it and those who watch it fly by.