Lot 203: 1963 Porsche 356B 1600 Normal Coupe
Coachwork by Karmann
From the time that Porsche returned from Austria to Germany in 1950, most of their bodies had been built by Reutter, with whom they had had a long relationship. In the 1960s, however, Karmann, better known as a supplier to Volkswagen, built a number of coupe styles.
Wilhelm Karmann acquired the coachbuilding enterprise of Klages in Osnabrück, Germany, in 1901. Already a volume producer, he could supply orders of 100 bodies a month, and became the major source for Adler in Frankfurt. Never a builder of one-off creations, Karmann began supplying convertible bodies to Volkswagen in 1949, and continued for the life of the Beetle model. From 1955 to 1974, Karmann also built two-seat Karmann-Ghia coupes and cabriolets in great numbers. Among work for a myriad of European manufacturers, including BMW, Opel and Renault, was the construction of coupe bodies for Porsche from 1961 to 1965.
Some of these were of the “hardtop” variety, also called “notchback,” essentially a cabriolet with an optional steel hard top welded in place. Others were the standard coupe style, similar to those being built in larger numbers by Reutter. Fewer than 1,750 hardtops were built in two years, while annual coupe production climbed steadily, reaching 12,000 in 1964, about one third built by Karmann.
The basic 1600 engine, often called “1600 Normal,” was rated at 60 DIN (European) horsepower with twin Zenith carburetors. While “normal” in contrast to the more powerful Porsches, the 1600 Normal was supernormal when compared to other cars. Even this basic model performed and handled incredibly well, and it became a favorite of sports car aficionados and a frequent rally competitor.
This 356B Karmann was completed on September 11, 1962. It is newly painted in Ivory, with new carpets, and has received a full renewal of weatherstripping. The engine has also been detailed. It comes with a Certificate of Authenticity from Porsche Cars North America, describing its production record and equipment. A perfect example of the German sports coupe, it is ready for rallying, concours competition or simply for enjoyment.
A Sale Of Collectors' Motorcars|
Bonhams, Greenwich, Connecticut
|Hammer Price (inc premium)||$35100|
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