This 1964 Porsche 356C was sold new by dealer Ben Pon’s in Rotterdam, Holland. In later years it would make its way across the Atlantic to the United States, and it’s now being offered for sale as a project car with its numbers-matching engine and transaxle included along with a slew of other parts.
The Porsche 356 is the car that put Porsche on the map, it was the company’s first mass-produced car, and it remained in production from 1948 until 1965 – an incredible 17 year run. Power was produced by a rear-mounted flat-four, the car has 2+2 seating, and elegant styling that’s still winning it fans today.
Fast Facts – A Porsche 356C Project Car
- The Porsche 356 was introduced in 1948 and sold until 1965, it was the company’s first production car, and it paved for the way for the Porsche 911 which came along in 1964 and eventually replaced it.
- The 356 has steel unibody construction, a rear-mounted flat-four, air-cooled engine, a manual transaxle, and independent suspension front and back. It proved a capable sports car and a popular racing car, with celebrity owners including James Dean, Steve McQueen, Janis Joplin, and many others.
- The enduring popularity of the Porsche 356 has been nothing short of remarkable, and alongside the early 911s they remain among the most valuable cars from Porsche’s back catalog.
- This Porsche 356C is from 1964, the penultimate year of production for the German sports car. It is being sold with its original engine and transaxle, as well as suspension and some other parts. It’s now being sold out of East Durham, North Carolina on Bring a Trailer and the dolly that it’s currently sitting on is included in the sale.
The Porsche 356
The Porsche 356 would be the car that set the formula for Porsche going forward for the next 40+ years – a two-door sports car in both coupe and cabriolet forms, with a rear-mounted, air-cooled engine, 2+2 seating, and independent suspension at all four corners.
In 1972 interview with Panorama, the Porsche Club of America magazine, Ferry Porsche related his original inspiration for the Porsche 356:
“I had always driven very speedy cars. I had an Alfa Romeo, also a BMW, and others. By the end of the war, I had a Volkswagen Cabriolet with a supercharged engine, and that was the basic idea. I saw that if you had enough power in a small car, it is nicer to drive than if you have a big car which is also overpowered. And it is more fun. On this basic idea, we started the first Porsche prototype. To make the car lighter, to have an engine with more horsepower…that was the first two-seater that we built in Carinthia (Gmünd)”. – Ferdinand “Ferry” Porsche
The 356 had a body designed by Erwin Komenda, he would later design the Porsche 550 Spyder and he worked with Ferdinand “Butzi” Porsche on the design of the Porsche 901, which would of course become the Porsche 911.
A total of 76,313 examples of the Porsche 356 would be built over its production run, not including the early prototypes, and a remarkable number of them have survived to the modern day.
Above Video: This documentary, titled “Porsche – Made by Hand,” covers the early history of Porsche and shows the Porsche 356 production line in great detail. The film is introduced by Ferdinand “Ferry” Porsche himself, and it runs for 40 minutes in total.
One offshoot within the Porsche 356 community is the Outlaw group, a community of customizers who modify their 356s to improve performance – often significantly changing the look of the cars as well. Perhaps the earliest Outlaw is the Dean Jeffries Porsche 356 that was built in 1957.
The best-known Outlaw 356 creators today, and for the past few decades, are the family behind Emory Motorsports. They’ve built countless examples over the years including some powered by highly-modified Porsche engines producing 400+ bhp.
The 1964 Porsche 356C Project Car Shown Here
The car you see here may be destined for conversion into an Outlaw 356, either then or it’ll be bought by someone who wants to restore it back to original factory condition. It does come with a matching-numbers engine and transaxle according to the included Kardex and Porsche Certificate of Authenticity, which will significantly boost the value of the car in the eyes of collectors.
The engine is a 1.6 liter Type 616/15 flat-four that retains its twin Zenith NDIX carburetors, Knecht air cleaners, a Bosch ignition coil, and its exhaust system. The 4-speed manual transaxle is fitted with axle shafts, and the car comes with suspension and the interior which are both currently not installed in the car.
It should be noted that the interior and some of the other parts will need refinishing before they’re reupholstered.
Helpfully the wheeled dolly that the car is currently on is included in the sale, which will no doubt make transporting it much easier for the new owner.
The car is finished in its original factory color of Light Ivory (6404), it comes with teardrop taillight and European-style Bosch headlights, as well as the brightwork (not including bumpers) which has also been removed from the car.
The glass, bumpers, and some other smaller parts are not included in the sale, and the new owner will need to source them independently. Given the broad parts availability for the 356 this should present no major challenges.
If you’d like to read more about this 356 project car or place a bid you can visit the listing here on Bring a Trailer. It’s currently being offered for sale out of East Durham, North Carolina and it’s accompanied by spare parts, a copy of the Kardex, and a Porsche Certificate of Authenticity.
Images courtesy of Bring a Trailer
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.