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
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