Porsche 356 Pre-A 1500

Porsche 356 Pre-A 1500

Coupé, 1953


  • One of 1,537 Built for the 1953 Model Year
  • Long-Term Single Family Ownership from 1953 to 2016
  • Accompanied by Tools, Spare Parts, Porsche COA, Kardex, FIVA ID Card, Period Registrations, and Original Manuals

1953 PORSCHE 356 1500 COUPE

Introduced in 1948, the 356 was the genesis of Porsche’s sports car lineage and boasted lightweight construction and a windswept silhouette. Referred to as “Pre-A,” the earliest models were built from 1950 to 1955. The first significant revisions occurred in 1952, when the 356 received updates including sturdier bumpers, a synchromesh gearbox, and an enlarged 1.5-liter engine was offered. The previous two-piece windshield was replaced by a single-piece version with a center bend.


View the cars in your watch list: Go to watch list
Please mention Elferspot when calling Gooding & Company.

The vehicle in detail

According to its factory Kardex and Porsche Certificate of Authenticity, this Porsche 356 Pre-A Coupe was completed on August 10, 1953, and finished in Pascha Red (R523) over a corduroy interior, with “US Equipment” the sole option.

Imported through Max Hoffman, this 356 is believed to be one of the “America” variants requested by Hoffman to make the car’s base price more appealing to American consumers. Powered by the 1500 Normal engine, America coupes received corduroy upholstery, fixed-back seats, and no passenger visor or radio.

On November 4, 1953, the 356 was sold new to Gordon Sheldon, a draftsman for Boeing and Rocketdyne, by Jack McAfee Motors in Los Angeles. As recollected in the 2018 documentary film 27, featuring the car and Mr. Sheldon’s wife Lois, this 356 was used as the family’s daily driver, and for participating in time trials and rallies with Mr. Sheldon becoming the Porsche Owners Club 27th member – thus the cast aluminum “27” front number plate. In the early 1970s, the 356 was repainted in its current beige due to fading paint and the desire for a more contemporary color. Taken off the road circa 1976, this 356 was placed in storage but remained in single family ownership until 2016, when it was purchased by its current enthusiast custodian.

Except for paintwork and some other minor items, the consignor found the 356 to be in remarkably original condition, retaining its numbers-matching engine and gearbox per its certificate of authenticity, body panels, glass, and date-stamped wheels, while many interior pieces still bore a handwritten “15” in chalk. Subsequently, the consignor decided to return this 356 to the road while preserving originality wherever possible. Between 2016 and 2017, its mechanical systems were refurbished, with replacements made for some components and rubber seals. The original engine, rebuilt in 1998, was dyno tested before installation, while period-correct seat covers and headliner were fitted by Autos International.

Since its recommissioning, this 356 was exhibited at numerous events, including the 2017 PCA Werks Reunion (Sponsor’s Choice Award) and The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering in 2019. Other notable media include the April 2018 Panorama magazine feature, “A Different Kind of Awesome,” and The 356 Porsche, A Restorer’s Guide to Authenticity IV by Dr. Brett Johnson.

The sale includes original manuals, tools, spare parts, an extra set of wheels and tires, refurbishment receipts, as well as a trove of historical documentation. Additionally, the Porsche has been inspected and issued a FIVA Category A/2 Identity Card. With side windows still carrying stickers for the enthusiasms of the family that owned it for 63 years, the offering of this exceptionally well-preserved and storied “Bent Window” Porsche 356 is a likely unrepeatable event.

Gordon Sheldon and Family, Los Angeles, California (purchased new in 1953)

Current Owner (acquired from the above in 2016)


PCA Werks Reunion, Monterey, 2017 (Sponsor’s Choice Award)

Luftgekühlt 5, Los Angeles, 2018

356 Porsche Club North Meets South, California, 2018

The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, California, 2019

Concours on the Avenue, California, 2019

Continue reading


Year of construction: 1953
Model: 356 Pre-A 1500
VIN: 51015
Body: Coupé
Series: 356
Power: 55 HP
Cylinder capacity: 1,5 Liter
Steering: left
Transmission: Manual
Drive: Rear drive
Fuel: Gasoline
Interior color: Beige
Interior material: Leather
Exterior color: Beige/Brown
Manufacturer color code (exterior): Elfenbein 5404/Reutter 504
Matching numbers: yes
New / used: Used car
Ready to drive: yes

More information

Elferspot magazine

Elferspot recommendation

Similar cars



Continue shopping

Watch list

Edit watch list



Not available

No cars in the watch list


Share "Porsche 356 Pre-A 1500" with your friends!

Facebook Twitter Pinterest WhatsApp E-mail