1955 Porsche 356 Special CoupeSOLD

RM Auction - Vintage Motor Cars at Amelia Island - March 10, 2007

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ESTIMATE: $100,000 - $150,000

$159,500 Sold

137hp, 1507 cc. opposed four-cylinder overhead camshaft engine, five-speed manual transaxle, four-wheel independent suspension with torsion bars, four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 2100mm (82.7")

Improvement, refinement and development are the mainstays of Porsche history and the enthusiasm of Porsche owners. These qualities are abundantly reflected in the 1955 Porsche 356 Coupe Special offered here.

Built by Porsche as a 1500 Super, it resided in a barn awaiting a restoration from the 1970s until the mid-1990s, when it was discovered by Gary Emory (owner of Parts Obsolete) and his son Rod (proprietor of Emory Motorsports). Respectively the son and grandson of Neil Emory, owner of the Valley Custom Shop, the Emorys had recently completed a modified 356 Cabriolet for Rod and saw in the 356 Super the perfect, sound, solid basis for a modern iteration of the prepared 356 for Gary. Conceived as a family project, it was subsequently taken on by Florida pilot Jeff Hathorn who wanted his own Emory Porsche for a Bonneville speed record attempt.

Both for appearance and to reduce aerodynamic drag, the body was extensively modified, applying many of the techniques proven over the years in dry lakes speed record cars built by Neil Emory ’ s Valley Custom Shop. For safety and rigidity, a full 13/4" tubing roll cage was tightly fitted to the body ’ s interior and extended to also function as a rear subframe and engine mount.

The engine itself is a four-cylinder 911 single overhead camshaft built by Dean Polopolous. Enjoying all the advantages and development of the 901-series single overhead camshaft Porsche flat six, including five main bearings, the Polo motor runs a Velasco billet steel crankshaft, J&E pistons and Mahle cylinders, hot Elgin cams and twin plug heads. It breathes in through a pair of Weber 48 IDA downdraft carburetors and out through a custom Bursch “ nest of snakes ” exhaust, making 137 brake horsepower and 96 lb-ft of torque. The 901 five- speed gearbox has custom gear ratios mated to the engine ’ s power curve and the 356 ’ s intended use on the salt flats. It delivers its power through a 904 quick-change mainshaft and a set of custom alloy wheels.

The suspension has been modified and lowered to reduce frontal area and enhance handling and performance but is deliberately set up to be soft and compliant for comfortable road use and responsive handling. The four-wheel disc brakes with Brembo calipers are from an early Boxster.

The spartan interior is centered around a three-spoke aluminum, wood-rim steering wheel and “ Honey Wheat ” upholstered lightweight bucket seats. The electrical system ’ s fuse panel is mounted race car style on the dashboard. The fire system ’ s reservoir is mounted between the seats.

Since establishing an unofficial one-way E/GT class record speed of 151.52 mph, the engine has been completely rebuilt by the original builder. The body has been stripped and repainted and the chassis set up and dyno tuned by Heritage Motorcar Restorations in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Porsche 356 Special Coupé has been the subject of many magazine articles including a November 2003 feature in “ Excellence ” . It won first place in the concours at Brumos Porsche Octoberfest in 2004 and participated in the Daytona Rennsport Reunion in 2004.

This description can only begin to illustrate the myriad meticulous details, creativity and thoughtful craftsmanship lavished on this Porsche. Prospective bidders are encouraged to contact an RM Auctions specialist for additional information and to spend time inspecting the car. The effort will be abundantly rewarded.

Reference Number 6341

as of 1/21/2007

Car 1955 Porsche 356 Special Coupe
VIN 54089 
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