This 1959 Carrera 1600 GS de Luxe Coupe, one of just 31 such coupes built that year, represents one of the rarest, most powerful, highly refined, and luxuriously equipped renditions of Porsche’s iconic A-series 356 model. Powered by the high-performance, one-year-only powertrain combination of a 1.6-liter, competition-derived Type 692/2 “plain bearing” four-cam engine and fully synchronized four-speed gearbox, the 1600 GS de Luxe Coupe retains generous cabin insulation, solid glass windows, a radio, cabin heater, plush seats, and even a distinctive Eberspächer heater—all of which Porsche had cut from the contemporaneous 1600 GT.
An accompanying Kardex on file shows that the 692/2 engine present today is the numbers-matching unit; chassis number 106545 also retains its numbers-matching gearbox, still presents with its factory-correct color combination, and sports a host of desirable optional equipment.
This car was completed at Zuffenhausen on 31 March 1959 and delivered new shortly thereafter to a member of the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force stationed at Wethersfield. Clad in Ivory (5704) over red leatherette, this Carrera must have been quite the sight in dreary England! As presented today, the car is further fitted with Hella sealed-beam headlamps, Michelin tires, a Blaupunkt radio, Hirschmann antenna, Simpson lap belts, the correct Eberspächer B3 gas heater, and a stunning set of chrome center-lock Rudge wheels.
Chassis 106545 was later imported to the United States, and by the mid-1980s it had reportedly been acquired by an Ohio-based Porsche enthusiast who furnished it to a comprehensive and accurate restoration. Renowned Fuhrmann engine technician Gerry McCarthy of KAM Motorsports is reported to have rebuilt the 106545’s numbers-matching engine during this restoration. The car remained registered in Ohio under the vanity plate “1600 GS” with this same owner until 2006, when it was purchased by a California Porsche specialist.
Between May 2006 and June 2012, 106545 was treated to approximately $9,100 of mechanical servicing and cosmetic detailing, with notable line items having included a total sorting of its brake system and front suspension, new windshield seal, valve cover gaskets, and pair of Solex 40 carburetors. In May 2008, it received professional touchup paintwork to the left door and contiguous front quarter panel; the quality of this work was quickly substantiated at the 2008 Carmel-by-the-Sea Concours, when this this car claimed two awards.
Since entering the White Collection in late 2012, this 1959 Carrera 1600 GS de Luxe Coupe has been started and run to operating temperature monthly. Created for ultimate performance in sublime comfort, this model remains widely regarded as one of the most “livable” variants in vaunted 356 Carrera lineage—well-suited to both exhibition and all-weather driving enjoyment.
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