1964 Porsche 356 C 1600 Coupe
Chassis No. 129361
Engine No. 731694
The Porsche 356 was so beloved that when the 911 was introduced in 1965 as a replacement, the Porsche faithful were outraged. 'A bloated GT' some said. Others claimed the new 911 was not a real Porsche. Porsche's clientele in the 1960's were a particular bunch — scientists, engineers, doctors, and workers in traditional professions where constant experimentation leads to progress. The car they all loved — the Porsche 356 — through all of its progressions, was engineered and constructed very much the same manner in which they themselves were used to operating. Towards the end of 356 production, Porsche was building the most refined 356 since the company first put pen to paper in 1948. Gone were the cable brakes, unsynchronized transmissions, and smaller VW based engines that typified early construction cars. In their place were proper, Porsche engineered parts, which had the benefit of over a decade of gradual refinements and testing in the toughest laboratory in the world — hundreds of thousands of racing miles by professionals and amateurs alike across the globe.
In 1964, all of that engineering refinement came to a peak when Porsche released the 356 C series, the final version of the 356 offered by Porsche. It featured minute improvements inside and out over the B including updated seats, door panels with armrests, softened torsion bar spring rates and a revised exterior color program with seven standard colors and four optional. The biggest improvements were to the braking system. For the first time Porsche offered Ate disc brakes as standard; a welcome upgrade over the previous drum brakes used on all previous standard 356 models. Additionally, Porsche made alterations to the wheels and hubs to suit the new braking system.
The Porsche 356 C 1600 on offer, a German market example, was originally sold to Raffay & Co of Hamburg, Germany. These European-spec, home market cars featured slightly different front and rear lighting, and a much preferred cabin heater system when compared to US-spec cars. This 356 C was also optioned with a Golde electric sliding sunroof, a $300 option. The car quickly made its way to the USA, arriving in California in the mid-1960s. Its longtime owner discovered the car in Woodland Hills, CA in 1980 and, shortly after purchase; he began an exhaustive decades-long restoration returning the car to show worthy condition. Using many specialist shops, including Stoddard Porsche of Willoughby, Ohio to rebuild and restore the engine, the car was ready to display and drive in 2001.
This 356 C has been with the current caretaker for the past six years after acquiring it from the previous owner responsible for the restoration. It features an exterior engine lid mounted Leitz luggage rack, Nardi wood rimmed steering wheel, Blaupunkt push button radio, and luggage straps with period luggage on the rear fold down seats. It is sold showing 47,315 miles on its 5-digit odometer and includes a toolkit, jack, and date coded front trunk mounted spare. This 356 C 1600 was built as the last, most refined model of the first era of Porsche. Rescued from obscurity in 1980, it was correctly restored by a passionate individual for maximum enjoyment whether being shown at a concours event, participating in a rally or driven to a fun weekend getaway.