1962 Porsche 356 B Carrera 2 CabrioletSOLD
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Estimate: Refer Department

Sold: Ç294,400

Porsche's first production car, the 356 brought the marque enduring fame around the world and its reliability, performance and wonderfully entertaining handling have guaranteed it a keen following. Inspired by the Fiat-based Cisitalias of Piero Dusio, Dr Ferdinand Porsche had decided to follow the same path with a car using Volkswagen components. The first 356 was sold in July 1948 and production continued right through to 1965 in various guises and with numerous engines. As the company's first production model, the Porsche 356 set a new standard for small sports cars and gained its laurels in all manner of motor sport disciplines including racing and rallying.

In October 1955 the 356A model was introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show with numerous improvements and three body styles were now offered, the coupe, the Speedster and the cabriolet, all built by Reutter in Stuttgart. Of particular note was the simultaneous launch of the 'Four Cam Series' which was named Carrera after the Mexican road race in which Porsche had done so well. Designed by the talented Ernst Fuhrman and boasting twin overhead camshafts per bank of cylinders, roller bearings, dual ignition and dry-sump lubrication, the 1,498cc Type 547 engine, already seen in later 550 RS race models from 1955, had become one of the most successful in motor racing, and it would lead to the development off all Porsche's subsequent air-cooled, overhead camshaft engines.

A total of five engine options were available for the 356A, the 1.3 litre 1300 and 1300S, the 1.6 litre 1600 and 1600S and the 1.5 litre 1500 GS, the latter the four camshaft unit developing 110bhp at 6,200rpm; with it the Carrera model was capable of 0-60mph in just 11.5 seconds and a top speed in excess of 120mph. Carrera versions were recognisable by their dual exhaust tailpipes, the oil tank filler protruding from the left rear wheel arch and gold coloured lettering bearing the name on the back of the car and the front wings. The 356B model followed in 1959 with revised bumpers, more interior space and improved brakes and for Carrera variants the four camshaft engine, now of 1,587cc and no longer using a roller bearing crankshaft, amongst other detail changes, was re-designated the Type 692.

For 1961 came another engine change with the revised Type 587 four camshaft engine, with a capacity of 1,966cc and producing 130bhp at 6,200rpm, for the potent Carrera 2 (the 2 standing for two litres) which was capable of over 125mph and impressive 0-60mph acceleration in under 10 seconds, the latter bettering many larger engined sports and GT cars. The type C, the definitive version of the 356, which continued with similarly updated Carrera models, was replaced by the 911 and 912 when production finally ceased in 1965. As the top of the range models from Stuttgart during the late-Fifties and very early Sixties, the fabulous Carreras remain amongst the most sought-after and highly prized of all Porsches.

Of only 437 Carrera 2s produced in either 356B or 356C guise, a mere 74 were Cabriolet models such as this splendid example. One of only some 30 believed to remain in existence, and delivered new to America, this 2000GS was imported to Italy in 1989 where it underwent a comprehensive restoration over a ten year period by a prominent Rome-based Carrera specialist, the mechanical work including a rebuilt engine by Bill Doyle in America, arguably the world's leading expert on these engines. Finished in off-white with black leather interior, this fabulous and ultimate specification Carrera Cabriolet, complete with matching engine and chassis numbers, is possibly the finest and most desirable of its genre ever to grace the market place. Highly recommended and a potential jewel in the crown of any serious Porsche collection.

Reference Number 14192

as of 10/13/2007

Car 1962 Porsche 356 B Carrera 2 Cabriolet