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Lot 229: Porsche 356B Super Cabriolet

Goodwood Festival of Speed, Bonhams (29 June 2012)

One of the all-time great sports cars, the 356 was the work of Ferry Porsche, who had been inspired by the FIAT-based Cisitalias of Piero Dusio. Ferry's 356 was based on the Volkswagen designed by his father, and like the immortal 'Beetle' employed a platform-type chassis with rear-mounted air-cooled engine and all-independent torsion bar suspension. Introduced in 1948, the Porsche 356 set a new standard for small sports cars and proved adaptable to all forms of motor sport including circuit racing and rallying. In 1951 a works car finished first in the 1,100cc class at the Le Mans 24-Hour Race, thus beginning the marque's long and illustrious association with La Sarthe. Cabriolets had been manufactured right from the start of 356 production, but the first open Porsche to make a significant impact was the Speedster, introduced in 1954 following the successful reception in the USA of a batch of 15 special roadsters. The Reutter-bodied Speedster was dropped in 1958 and replaced by the more civilised Convertible D, which differed principally by virtue of its larger windscreen and winding side windows. Porsche sub-contracted cabriolet body construction to a number of different coachbuilders, Convertible D production being undertaken by Drauz, of Heilbronn. By the time the 356B arrived in September 1959, the car had gained a one-piece rounded windscreen and 15"-diameter wheels, and the newcomer's introduction brought with it further styling revisions. The engine, now standardised at 1,600cc, was available in three different stages of tune, the most powerful - apart from the four-cam Carrera - being the 90bhp unit of the Super 90. Convertible D production transferred to d'Ieteren, of Brussels. The 356B represents significant advances in driveability and comfort over earlier 356 models, and is a pleasingly quick way to enjoy the traditional Porsche values of quality, reliability and mechanical robustness. Chassis number '157353' is one of only 21 right-hand drive Porsche 356B cabriolets delivered to the UK via AFN Ltd, which supplied the car to John Piper on 8th November 1962. John Piper was a well-known Porsche enthusiast, who in his time was chairman, treasurer and secretary of the Porsche Club of GB, which he had helped to found. During his ownership the car was widely known and it features in both Denis Jenkinson's book 'Porsche 356' and 'Great Marques, Porsche' by Chris Harvey. John Piper enjoyed good connections with the Porsche factory and maintained the car in immaculate condition up to his death in 1989. '113 HYL' then passed to his widow, Margaret, who died in 1999. The current vendor bought the Porsche from Margaret Piper's executors in January 2000, becoming, in effect, its second owner. In 2005 the car was restored, the body being bare-metal repainted in its original ivory by Roger Bray. At the same time a tuned 110bhp rally-specification engine was built and installed by respected marque specialist Andy Prill (original engine included in the sale). Described as in generally excellent condition, this much admired Porsche 356B cabriolet is offered with history file, sundry restoration invoices, FIVA passport, current MoT/tax and Swansea V5C document.

Lot Details
Auction Goodwood Festival of Speed
Bonhams, Chichester, Goodwood,UK
Lot Number229
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£58000
Hammer Price (inc premium)£66460
Condition rating1
Registration number113 HYL
Chassis number157353
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2