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Porsche 356 Pre-A 1500

Porsche 356 Pre-A 1500

Coupé, 1953


  • One of the finest, unrestored “Bent Window” 356 Coupes
  • Long-term single family ownership from 1953 to 2016, just two-owners since new
  • Complete with a factory tool set, owner’s manual and other factory literature, countless other items, spares and documentation

One of the finest, unrestored “Bent Window” 356 Coupes – Long-term single family ownership from 1953 to 2016, just two-owners since new – A fully numbers-matching 356 pre-A, documented by a Kartex and CoA – A well-known, highly regarded example – Recipient of a conscientious recommissioning and preservation – Complete with a factory tool set, owner’s manual and other factory literature, countless other items, spares and documentation

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The vehicle in detail

Completed on August 10, 1953, this early 356 Coupe was finished in Pascha Red over a corduroy interior, specified for the US market. 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, non-reclining seats, and no folding rear seat back, 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. As was common with the earliest of Porsches, the unconventional sports car also took part in time trials and rallies with Mr. Sheldon becoming Porsches Owners Club 27th member – thus the cast aluminum “27” front number plate which remains today.

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 owner.

Except for paintwork and some other minor items, the 356 to be in remarkably original condition. Unusual for an early example, the Porsche retains its numbers-matching engine and gearbox, body panels, glass, and date-stamped 16” wheels, while many interior pieces still bore a handwritten “15” in chalk.

After acquiring the car in 2016, the current owner undertook a detailed and well documented resurrection of the car, with a significant effort made to preserve as much originality as possible. Between 2016 and 2017, its mechanical systems were refurbished, with replacements made for some components and rubber seals and the original engine, rebuilt in 1998 and unused, was dyno tested before installation. The interior was cleaned and preserved, while period-correct seat covers and headliner were fitted by Autos International, matched perfectly.

The 356 became a noteworthy example, both for its charming story and appeal, but also as a benchmark example of the notably hard to restore early cars. Restorations have used this very car to document correct details and certain restorers have even copied small items otherwise unseen.

Since completion, the Porsche was exhibited at numerous events, including the 2017 PCA Werks Reunion, where it received the Sponsor’s Choice Award, The Quail in 2019, Luftgekuhlt 5 in Los Angeles, and the Carmel Concours on the Ave. The 356 was also featured in 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.

In addition to its countless original details, the 356 is complete with original manuals, tools, spare parts, an extra set of wheels and tires, refurbishment receipts, as well as a trove of historical documentation which includes the Service Manual, Catalog of Spare Parts and Solex service booklet, period magazine articles, original Porsche Panorama Volume 1, Issue 1 along with other original literature, catalogues the fastidious owner and family kept for 70 years.

On hand is a Kartex, Certificate of Authenticity and the Reuter Certificate, all confirming the originality of the car. 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, notably some ultra-rare surf decals, the offering of this exceptionally well-preserved and storied “Bent Window” Porsche 356 is a likely unrepeatable event. The offering is only bettered by the efforts of a meticulous and caring current owner, ensuring that the 356 is in ready to use condition.

The award-winning documentary short “27”, the story of reuniting the car with the 93-year-old widow of the original owner, can be seen here, and has racked up more than 63,000 views:

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Year of construction: 1953
Model: 356 Pre-A 1500
Body: Coupé
Series: 356
Mileage: 51263 mi
Power: 55 HP
Cylinder capacity: 1,5 Liter
Steering: left
Transmission: Manual
Drive: Rear drive
Fuel: Gasoline
Interior color: Brown
Interior material: Fabric
Exterior color: Beige/Brown
Matching numbers: yes
New / used: Used car
Car location: USUnited States

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Paul R. Hageman

Paul R. Hageman from Hageman Motorcars looks forward to your questions and is happy to help you.

Porsche 356 Pre-A 1500

Price: USD 260,000

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