Auctions and Brokerage
From The Tommy Trabue Collection | A Custom-Ordered Example with Numerous Special FeaturesWilliam R. Neff, Fresno, California (acquired new in 1961)James A. Kilpatrick, Fresno, California (acquired in 1961)Kathleen A. Kilpatrick, Fresno, California (acquired from the above in 1996)Thomas M. Trabue, White Bluff, Tennessee (acquired from the above in 2000)
An updated Porsche 356 was introduced at the 1959 Frankfurt Motor Show. The B series featured reshaped front fenders with more upright headlamps, a larger chrome hood handle, protruding cone-shaped parking lamps, and brake-cooling slots below the front bumper. Inside, the B received a new steering wheel and gearshift lever while mechanical changes were few but significant. Cast aluminum drum brakes with radial cooling fins shortened braking distances while dual transmission mounts improved shifting. An optional pushrod Super 90 engine developed 90 hp at 5,500 rpm, providing similar performance to the original Carrera.
Custom-ordered from the factory by William R. Neff of Fresno, California, this extraordinary 1961 Porsche 356 B Super 90 Coupe is finished in 11626 Hellblau Lechler – a Mercedes-Benz Light Blue Metallic color – over a blue leather and corduroy interior. Other options itemized on the order sheet include seldomseen and very rare chrome Rudge knock-off wheels, bumper-mounted Lucas driving lights, special wood-rimmed steering wheel with engine-turned metallic surfaces, Blaupunkt-Köln radio, two loudspeakers, antenna, door-mounted armrests, safety belts, luggage straps, roadside travel kit, a spyder racing mirror mounted on the driver’s fender, and GT-model aluminum louvered rear deck lid.
While Mr. Neff purchased the car with precise specifications, he is believed to have kept this car for only about a month after delivery before parting with it.
Shortly thereafter, the almost-new 356 was acquired by Brigadier General James A. Kilpatrick in late 1961. A fighter pilot and commander of the 194th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron based in Fresno, California, Kilpatrick was also an avid privateer racer and is recorded as having logged a record-breaking 55,000 SCCA racing miles in a 1958 Speedster over 33 racing seasons.
The 356 was used as General Kilpatrick’s daily driver for a time; later, he and his daughter Kathleen mechanically restored it while paint and interior work were contracted out to professionals. Ultimately bestowed to his daughter and infrequently used, this special 356 was then purchased by collector and enthusiast Tommy Trabue in March 2000. A favorite among his collection of rare Porsches and Alfa Romeos, this 356 has benefited from fastidious care and attention over the intervening years, including a rebuild of its original Super 90 engine as documented by a thick file of service receipts that accompany the sale.
Presenting very well today inside and out, this extraordinary 356 is accompanied by all of its original delivery equipment as well as tools, roadside service kit, matching spare Rudge wheel, fitted luggage, and copies of its purchase documentation. A most interesting and highly optioned road-going 356, this unique 1961 Porsche 356 B Super 90 Coupe warrants consideration by any serious Porsche collector.