Every car collector will tell you that a Porsche is so much more than just a car and falling in love with it is as easy as taking candy from a baby.
Over the years, Porsche has built plenty of models, but there is no doubt that the one that defined the sports car industry is the Porsche 356. This luxury sports car was Porsche’s first production car, and today it is a must have for any serious car collector and classic car lover.
That is probably what Richard and Dennis Collins had in mind when they decided to hold two Porsche 356s back from major auctions and sell them privately. These rare museum quality examples are part of the Collins’ breathtaking private automotive collection and are definitely among the most exceptional and are expected to fetch a high price.
Based on the humble Volkswagen and the first sports car to ever bear the Porsche name, the Porsche 356 was created by Ferry Porsche (the son of the company’s founder, Ferdinand Porsche). Production began in a factory in Austria back in 1948, and in a period of 2 years, approximately 50 of these beauties were built. In 1950, the factory relocated to Zuffenhausen, Germany, and general production of the 356 continued over the next 15 years.
A publication of the era, Auto Sport Review, described one of the early 1950s cars this way: “Here is a luxury car with a jewel-like body by Reutter coachbuilders, beautifully fitted cloth and leather trim, carefully engineered forced-air heating system, Telefunken radio, reclining seat for the passenger.”
The Porsche 356 shared many elements that Ferdinand Porsche used on the Volkswagen Beetle, including a four-cylinder, air-cooled, rear-engine, rear wheel drive car with unitized pan and body construction. Just over 76,000 356’s were produced in four different series: Pre-A, A, B and C. Today, only half of them survive.
The first of Collins’ cars that will be sold on the open market in Dallas is the “Pre-A” 1953 Porsche 356/1500 Reutter Cabriolet. This rare Azure Blue “Pre-A” example in the desirable open-air form is indisputably one of the finest available today.
Early 356s that were produced in Austria were handcrafted in aluminum, but when the factory relocated to Zuffenhausen, they started constructing the bodies out of steel. For this purpose, Porsche contracted the company Reutter, who previously produced bodies for the Volkswagen Beetle, and in the next 20 years, they became the primary supplier of Porsche bodies. In 1963, Porsche bought the Reutter company.
Numbered 60115, Collins’ “Pre-A” 1953 Porsche 356 contains a 1500-cc engine developing 60 horsepower at 5,000 rpm. The prominent Beck family of Beck Spyder lore owned the car for about 35 years before it was acquired for restoration. This gorgeous machine comes with a certificate of authenticity from Porsche that includes the original production date, June 5, 1953.
Apparently, nothing was left to chance, and some of the best restoration experts took care of this 356. Straight Line Restorations for paint and body, the interior was re-trimmed by American Upholstery, and Huber Restorations took care of the final mechanical sorting and detailing.
The second car for sale is the 1955 Porsche 356A/1600 Speedster. What makes this late-production example of the definitive Pre-A Speedster particularly desirable is the fact that it is one of the last 100 built that were equipped with upgraded suspension and higher horsepower 1600 engine.
Just like the “Pre-A” 1953 Porsche 356/1500 Reutter Cabriolet, this vehicle is also accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity from Porsche and a copy of the factory Kardex production record. It’s been nearly 62 years since this vehicle was completed which makes it an early-production example of the final 356A evolution of the Speedster.
It benefits from a Concours quality restoration that was completed in 2016 and it features the correct, factory-original red over black livery. This Speedster is finished by the correct German square-weave carpeting and striking brightwork and trim throughout.
If you are interested in more details you can visit Collins’ Brothers Jeep website‘s Classic Cars section.
These masterfully restored museum quality examples are definitely among the most captivating and awe-inspiring performance machines, and a true car collector knows that owning one of these beauties means owning a piece of automobile history.