Porsche 356 B 1600 Super 90

Porsche 356 B 1600 Super 90

Coupé, 1961

Highlights

  • One of 14 examples produced between 1960 and 1961
  • Restored in its original configuration!
  • Black Leather with Mouse Grey Corduroy Inserts

1961 Porsche 356B (T5) Super 90 GT for sale!

Restored in its original configuration of Ruby Red Paintwork with Black interior with Mouse Grey Corduroy inserts – 80 Liter GT fuel tank – Correct GT roll bar – Correct GT interior – Correct riveted bi-metal KPZ wheels, including spare – Correct hardware and finishes – Owners manual, Carrera supplement

From the marque’s inception, Porsche’s success was largely influenced by its conquests in competition from privateers and factory entries. Special variants of their production cars were tailored to Porsche’s clients who wished for a sports car that could be driven regularly on the road and would perform at a very high level at road races. With the rapidly growing popularity of motorsports in the 1950s, the number of high-performance production 356 variants constructed with the racetrack in mind grew to meet that demand.

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Beginning in 1955, the 356 Carrera with Ernst Fuhrmann’s potent four-cam engine set the bar for performance in the model lineup. 356 Carrera models account for over 1,000 examples from the total 356 productions making them rare and sought after by collectors and connoisseurs, but one version of the 356 is much rarer and few ever come to market: the 356B Super 90 GT.

Only 14 examples of the 356 Super 90 were ordered and produced with the lightweight GT package for racing- just five examples in 1960 and nine in 1961. All 14 examples were constructed as Carrera GTs and were prepared to receive the 1600cc four-cam engines but given the tremendous expense to develop and produce the complex engines, Porsches supply was low and the decision was made to install the powerful and torquey pushrod Super 90 engines into the cars, only as Porsche was set to deliver and fulfill the ordered Super 90 GTs. Additionally, the pushrod 1600cc Super engine was easier to service and was often more reliable.

The Super 90 GTs featured the same construction as the Carrera GTs- lightweight aluminum body panels with a louvered rear engine lid, a factory roll bar, an 80-liter fuel tank, a heated windshield, plexiglass windows, leather-strap window lifts, 60mm RSK-type brakes, GT bucket seats, and minimal soundproofing and undercoating. Additionally, the Carrera coil switches and holes for “Carrera plumbing” were left unused. These weight-saving measures paid off and in the end, the Super 90 GT weighed 200 pounds less than a standard coupe, and 150 pounds lighter than the four-cam equipped Carrera GT. Despite being cheaper and easier to service than its Carrera GT counterparts, it was offered with a hefty base price of $5,551.

This example, chassis 115381, left the factory finished on March 23, 1961, in Ruby Red with a black interior and mouse grey corduroy seat inserts. Prominent Swedish rally driver, Harry Bengtsson, began his racing career in 1950 with a Volkswagen Beetle purchased with proceeds from his 5,000kr lottery winnings. He quickly established himself as a dominant force in the local racing scene. “Rally Harry” as he became known won numerous races in his Volkswagen before upgrading to the 356 Super 90 GT on April 18, 1961- his 33rd birthday. His first race with the car was the Tulip Rally, where he took 2nd in his class and 16th overall.

From a September 2000 issue of the Porsche 356 Klubb Sverige: “Hans-Joachim Walter, who was a factory driver for Porsche and drove a Carrera 2, treated Harry in a slightly dismissive manner before the race, but afterward, when he had been beaten on several stretches, he used a more civil tone and asked Harry if he could ride as co-driver with him in the Midnight Sun Rally since even the co-driver received full European Championship points and he was out for the European Champion medal.”

“The race went well; the whole time [Hans-Joachim Walter] urged Harry with ‘faster, please, faster!’ They led overall but missed the overall victory due to a driving error on a transport stretch. This was due in part either to the language problem or that HJW was not much of a map reader. However, Harry took the blame since HJW in the Götenborg area read ‘motet’ and Harry interpreted it to be ‘motel’ and drove off completely in the wrong direction. “

“By the time the error was discovered the clock had run out so they got transport points. A plea to the judges didn’t help. The duo achieved 8th overall and won their class, of course, and there were many European Championship points for Hans-Joachim Walter”

During the 1961 and 1962 seasons, Rally Harry took to the podium in seven out of nine events. While Harry’s limited resources restricted his competition entries into larger European events, he became a key driver in partnership with Hans-Joachim Walter who earned enough points to secure the 1961 European Rally Championship. In 1962, Bengtsson drove 115381 to a first-in-class victory at the Rally to the Midnight Sun in Sweden, and an impressive 2nd place overall finish.

Race history under Harry Bengtsson’s ownership:

1961 Season:

May 1961: Tulip Rally, Holland- 2nd in class, 16th overall

June 1961: Rally to Midnight Sun- 1st in class, 7th overall

1961: Hallstabaken Hill Climb- 1st in class

1961: Zandvoort

1961: Falkenberg, Sweden- 3rd in class

1961: Karlskroga, Sweden- 6th overall

1962 Season:

April 1962: Tulip Rally-2nd overall

May 1962: Rofors Hill Climb- 1st overall

June 1962: Rally to Midnight Sun- 1st in class, 2nd overall

1962: Jyvaskyla Rally- 1st in class, 10th overall

Near the end of 1962, Bengtsson sold the car to Tage Holmberg, another local racer, who used the car in ice racing competitions. In 1963 the car was returned to Bengtsson, as he never received payment from Holmberg. The car was sold again to another Swedish owner and eventually was purchased in 1978 by local 356 expert, Lars-Åke Ingsten in Helsingborg, Sweden. He owned the 356 until 1980, when he sold the car to Claes Ekman who commissioned Ingsten to perform a restoration over the next few years. In 1988, chassis 115381 was purchased by Jorg Steidiger in Metzingen, Germany, and remained in his custody for the next decade. Its next owner, Michael Roock in Leverkusen, Germany, commissioned a complete restoration of the car to a high level between 1998 and 2002. Scott Boggs of Redmond, Washington became its new owner in September of 2003, and it was during this time that he began filling in the gaps in the Super 90 GT’s history. He contacted its previous owners, including Harry Bengtsson, who through journalist Bengt Alsed serving as his translator, was able to share and confirm chassis 115381’s early racing history, as well as numerous stories from his ownership and racing career. It was shown a handful of times at various shows and Concours, including the 2011 Porsche Race Car Classic at the Quail Lodge and Rennsport Reunion IV of the same year. It was also featured in the Porsche Heritage Tent at Rennsport Reunion V in 2015.

Under its most recent owner, the Super 90 GT was the recipient of a cosmetic and mechanical restoration between 2020 and 2022. There are numerous Carrera GT items to note- including the oil line holes in the passenger side fender well where the feed and return lines to the oil cooler would reside in a four-cam engine-equipped Carrera GT. The aluminum panels open and close smoothly, and the GT engine lid includes the internal ducting designed for the four-cam Carrera motor. Riveted bi-metal KPZ wheels are present and include a matching spare at the front trunk compartment, alongside the correctly finished GT fuel tank, fittings, and jack. In the cabin, care was taken to select materials that were correct to the original specification, including the black leatherette and corduroy upholstery over aluminum GT seats and the back factory roll bar.

Included with the car is a large file with original documentation and correspondence, including original documentation, photographs, books, magazines, memorabilia, and period racing documents.

As one of only a handful of the surviving 356B Super 90 GT examples, chassis 115381 stands out as one of the best examples in existence. With its Swedish rally provenance and the care and attention bestowed on it to restore it to a very high level, chassis 115381 offers its new owner the chance to drive and share one of the rarest 356 models ever produced.

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Fahrzeugdaten

Baujahr: 1961
Modell: 356 B 1600 Super 90
Karosserie: Coupé
Baureihe: 356
Laufleistung: 44500 km
Leistung: 90 PS
Hubraum: 1,6 Liter
Lenkung: links
Getriebe: Manuell
Antrieb: Heckantrieb
Kraftstoff: Benzin
Innenfarbe: Grau
Innenmaterial: Stoff/Leder Kombination
Außenfarbe: Rot
Hersteller Farbbezeichnung (außen): Ruby Red 6002
Zustand: Vollrestauriert
Neu / gebraucht: Gebrauchtwagen
Fahrbereit: ja
Fahrzeugstandort: USVereinigte Staaten

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