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Coachwork by D'leteren Frères
Restored by Marque Expert John Willhoit | Desirably Equipped with Rudge WheelsGlen Harcus, Kenosha, Wisconsin (acquired new via Concours Motors in 1961)Sharon Biles, Austin, Texas (acquired from the above in 1975)Terry Reaves, Silver Springs, Florida (acquired circa 1985)Richard Moran, Irvine, California (acquired by 2005)Current Owner (acquired from the above in 2012)
PCA Chicago Elkhart Lake Gymkhana, 1966 (1st)Porsche Parade Colorado Autocross, 1966 (3rd)Porsche Parade Florida Gymkhana, 1966 (1st)Porsche Parade Florida Autocross, 1966 (2nd)PCA Sonnenfest Parade Autocross, Florida, 1968 (3rd)
A replacement for the one-year-only Convertible D, Porsche’s 356 Roadster was introduced in 1960 to continue satisfying demand for a sporting, open 356 with the practicalities of roll-up windows and a taller windscreen. Based on the updated 356 B, refinements included improved engine internals, a stronger gearbox, and more powerful brakes. The most collectible iteration of the Roadster is the final series produced in the updated T-6 body style, identified by its squared-off trunk profile, outside fuel filler, and “twin grille” engine lid. Just 248 “Twin Grille” Roadsters were built, with coachwork completed by Belgian firm D’Ieteren Frères. Of those, a mere 37 were built to the ultimate Super 90 specification, as was this example.
This remarkable 356 was ordered new by Glen Harcus of Kenosha, Wisconsin, and imported through Porsche Car Import of Northbrook, Illinois. It was specified in black with medium brown upholstery and highly optioned from the factory. Mr. Harcus purchased the car from Porsche dealer Concours Motors in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on October 15, 1961. Harold Zimdars, a Porsche racer and mechanic at Concours Motors, recalled servicing this unique “Twin Grille” Roadster and traveling to races with Mr. Harcus. “It was a fast car, and Glen was a pretty good driver,” said Zimdars, who was ranked third nationally for the SCCA 1960–61 season. In correspondence, Mr. Harcus recounted his own competition experience with this Porsche. “That was the most outstanding handling car I ever owned. I entered dozens of autocross events and won every one.” Remarkably, the Porsche retains important original documents from Mr. Harcus’ ownership, including the sales invoice, a period photograph, service records, and a collection of trophies.
After passing to owners in Texas and Florida, the 356 was acquired by well-known Porsche collector Richard Moran, who entrusted the car to the experts at Willhoit Auto Restoration of Long Beach, California, for a complete, show-quality restoration to factory standards. A story in Excellence, The Magazine About Porsche said of Willhoit and Mr. Moran in its April 2012 issue, “A visit to John Willhoit’s Long Beach Porsche restoration and hot-rodding shop can be a little intimidating. There’s no oil or grease – anywhere. That might be why Dick Moran of Orange County, California, has chosen to have Willhoit restore more than a few of the Porsches in his collection. You see, the two appear to be cut from the same cloth…both of them are perfectionists. When you see one of Willhoit’s cars, there is no denying the quality of the work.” Since being acquired by the current owner in 2012, the Porsche has been maintained in a no-expense-spared fashion, and is offered today with Rudge wheels, a proper tool kit, owner’s manual, copy of the factory Kardex, and a comprehensive history file.
Exquisitely presented, ideally specified, and possessing a fascinating provenance, this meticulously restored and highly sought-after Super 90 “Twin Grille” Roadster represents everything a discerning Porsche aficionado could desire.