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Lot 661
1963 Porsche 356B Coupe


Selling on Saturday Evening

From the Estate of John Hendrickson

CHASSIS NO: 211325

• Desirable black-on-black color scheme
• 60 horsepower model; 15” chrome wheels
• Lovingly cared for and enjoyed
• Well-maintained and ready to drive

1,582 cc OHV flat four-cylinder engine, two twin-choke carburetors, 60 HP at 5,000 RPM, four-speed manual transaxle, four-wheel independent suspension, four-wheel drum brakes; wheelbase: 82.7”

From the time that Porsche returned from Austria to Germany in 1950, most of their bodies had been built by Reutter, with whom they had had a long relationship. In the 1960s, however, Karmann, better known as a supplier to Volkswagen, built a number of coupe styles. Wilhelm Karmann acquired the coachbuilding enterprise of Klages in Osnabrück, Germany, in 1901. Already a volume producer, he could supply orders of 100 bodies a month, and became the major source for Adler in Frankfurt. Never a builder of one-off creations, Karmann began supplying convertible bodies to Volkswagen in 1949, and continued for the life of the Beetle model. From 1955 to 1974, Karmann also built two-seat Karmann-Ghia coupes and cabriolets in great numbers. Among work for a myriad of European manufacturers, including BMW, Opel and Renault, was the construction of coupe bodies for Porsche from 1961 to 1965. Some of these were of the “hardtop” variety, also called “notchback,” essentially a cabriolet with an optional steel hard top welded in place. Others were the standard coupe style, similar to those being built in larger numbers by Reutter. Fewer than 1,750 hardtops were built in two years, while annual coupe production climbed steadily, reaching 12,000 in 1964, about one-third built by Karmann.

For the model year 1960, the 356A was replaced by the completely redesigned 356B (T5). Its power spectrum ranged from 60 horsepower in the 356B 1600 to 140 horsepower in the 356B 2000 GS-GT Carrera 2. The key visual differences between the B series and the previous model included the front bumper with enlarged rim guards, which was positioned approximately ten centimetres higher, and the headlights, which were also positioned much higher. The horn grilles next to the further-protruding front indicators were flatter and featured two chrome-plated slats. The front lid handle was also wider at the bottom. The two lamps for the number plate lighting were incorporated into the higher-positioned rear bumper, while the reversing light was mounted below the bumper. For the model year 1962 (T6), the 356B received a front hood that had been significantly widened at the bottom and a tank cap in the front right fender. Two vertical ventilation grilles were integrated into the enlarged engine lid.

The 356B series cars were, and remain, a pleasure to drive. They're light, nimble and comfortable - equal part grand touring car and sports car, which is something often said about today's 911. Car & Driver magazine said that same thing back when this car was new, too, in a road test of a 356B coupe similar to this one in their October 1963 print issue. They called it a luxurious "businessman's express" that "also does everything most sports cars try to do.” The editors declared it “an incomparable car in the literal sense; there's nothing like it at any price."

This 1963 356B, finished sharply in black and rolling on 15-inch chrome wheels, is an accurate example of the classic 356B era. It sports an older restoration that has held up well. There are some areas of paint imperfections throughout but the gloss black paint maintains a brilliant lustre. The estate has indicated that the car carries its numbers matching engine but there are no documents that will confirm that in the file. The 1600 engine, often called “1600 Normal,” rated at 60 DIN (European) horsepower with twin Zenith carburetors. The model performed and handled incredibly well, and it became a favorite of sports car aficionados and a frequent rally competitor. A much-loved possession of Mr. John Hendrickson for many years, it rides on 15-inch chrome wheels and has been well maintained. This great-looking Porsche is ready to be enjoyed today as it was back in 1963.

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