CHASSIS NO: 151597
• Matching numbers example with Porsche Certificate of Authenticity
• High-specification example of the upscale 356A Cabriolet
• Complete restoration in Meissen Blue over burgundy leather
• Excellent provenance from new
1,582 cc air-cooled, OHV horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engine, 75 HP (DIN)/88 BHP (SAE), four-speed fully-synchronized manual gearbox, four-wheel independent suspension with parallel trailing arms, transverse laminated torsion bars and anti-roll bar at front, rear swing axles with transverse torsion bars, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 82.7"
When looking at the history of Porsche, credit is due to Ferry Porsche, son of engineering legend Dr. Ferdinand Porsche, and body engineer Erwin Komenda, for developing the company’s cornerstone 356. Working under the constraints of a decimated economy and limited manufacturing base, Ferry literally created the cornerstone of the Porsche empire for decades to come. By the early 1950s, the racing results earned by the 356 were undeniable, and the little Porsche was already considered one of the world’s most respected sports cars, an amazing achievement considering the wartime devastation throughout Germany. Following Porsche’s relocation in 1950 from Gmünd in Austria to its former headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, the Type 356 Cabriolet entered production at both the Gläser and Reutter coachworks. Cabriolet production numbers steadily increased with these luxurious, well-appointed, and relatively expensive early Porsche models enjoying growing demand as an ideal choice for spirited cross-country drives. Marking the first major update to the 356 series, the 356A, known internally as “Type 1” or “T1,” debuted for 1955 with myriad detail, mechanical, and visual refinements distancing the Porsche from its somewhat more-humble Volkswagen-derived roots. While more popular than ever before, the top-of-the-line Porsche 356A Cabriolet was truly a limited production model, with just 3,367 examples produced in total through the end of the 1959 model year.
This matching numbers 356A/1600 Super Cabriolet has just received a top-to-bottom restoration and refinish in its correct factory colors of Meissen Blue paint over burgundy leather upholstery. All body panels are numbers matching and the wheel set is also date-stamped and correct to the car. The engine was overhauled and is numbers matching, based on the corresponding Certificate of Authenticity issued from Porsche. This 356A/1600 Super Cabriolet was sold new in San Diego, California to Neurosurgeon Dr. Manual Barba. All registration history from new is included with the sale of the car, documenting its history in California and then its subsequent journey up the west coast to Oregon.
Dr. Barba retained the car until 1965, when he sold it to Gary and Geraldine Ragsdale of La Mesa, California. In 1968, the Ragsdales moved to Beaverton, Oregon, as documented by a Temporary Oregon registration card. Upon moving to Beaverton, the Ragsdales decided to sell the car and well-known Lake Oswego attorney David J. Berentson, fresh out of his service in the military, bought the car as a treat to himself. Mr. Berentson enjoyed the car until 1978 when he parked it and never drove it again. In the late 1990s, Mr. Berentson finally relented, after years of pushing from his friend Mr. Donald Kemmerich, and sold the car to Mr. Kemmerich, who immediately began a restoration of the car.
The recent restoration was completed during 2018 and only a few hundred miles have been placed on the engine to begin the break-in process. The instruments were all restored by Seattle Speedometer, but the original mileage reading was retained despite the complete overhaul, with the odometer displaying 55,454 miles at the time of writing. The car has been gone through from top to bottom and as offered, it includes the original owner’s manuals and service books, plus all registration since new and the radio booklet, battery warranty card, tire warranty cards, a Certificate of Authenticity from Porsche, the original toolkit, a restored roadside jack and rear luggage rack with leather retaining straps. Excellent throughout, this 1959 Porsche 356A is simply a high-specification, handsomely restored example of one of Porsche’s finest.