Amelia Island

9 March 2013

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Lot 123

1959 Porsche 356A Convertible D by Drauz

  • Chassis no. 86471
  • Engine no. 65439

Sold for $170,500

75 bhp, 1,582 cc air-cooled flat four-cylinder engine with dual carburetors, four-speed manual transmission, parallel trailing arm front suspension with laminated torsion bars, swing axle rear suspension with transverse torsion bars, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 82.7 in.

  • The successor to the 356 Speedster
  • Owned by a noted Porsche authority and restorer
  • “Twin grille” deck lid and Abarth four-pipe exhaust
  • Colorado Grand veteran

The original Porsche 356 Speedster has become a legend, but in its day, it was just a bit too bare-bones for some customers. Porsche’s answer was the 356A Convertible D, “D” referring to Drauz, the German coachbuilder that produced the new car’s bodywork. The new car featured a higher windshield and wind-up door windows for enhanced weather protection, as well as fully upholstered seats, and it was built using the same 356A styling, chassis, and drivetrain as the final Speedsters.

Of the three versions of Porsche’s lightweight open cars equipped with removable chrome-framed windshields, the Convertible D is the rarest. Only 1,330 were built, compared to nearly 4,000 356 and 356A Speedsters and 2,653 356B Roadsters. That makes the Convertible D a prized commodity today.

The car offered here was originally purchased by an American doctor who took delivery at the Porsche dealership in Munich, Germany, as is documented by the factory Kardex card. Interestingly, it is equipped today with a “twin grille” engine deck lid, versus the majority of Convertible Ds, which have the normal 356A “single grille” lid. A Drauz advertisement of the period shows the second Convertible D built, for a member of the Porsche family, and it has the twin grille lid. How long this particular car has had twin grilles is not known, but it is certainly a rare and desirable feature, as is the Abarth four-pipe exhaust with which the Porsche is also equipped.

The car was restored some years ago in its original Ruby Red color, and at some point in time, it’s original 1600 Super engine was replaced with a replacement engine, built using engine case 65439 and correct 1600 Super components. Importantly, the car is supplied with the front case from the original engine, bearing the number 84390, which shows as the original engine on both the Certification of Authenticity and the Kardex—both of which accompany the car. Recently, to improve drivability, the original Zenith carburetors were replaced with Solex carburetors; the original carburetors, manifolds, and air cleaners also transfer with the car.

The car’s present East Coast owner, a prominent long-time collector and enthusiast well-known in Porsche circles, has driven it in various rallies and events. Since he acquired the Porsche in 2003, it has participated in the 1,000-mile Colorado Grand on three occasions, completing all trips without any difficulties. It has also been driven in the Highlands Classics events in North Carolina.

This is a desirable, honestly presented Porsche of rarity and beauty, and it is ready to drive and rally in style.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more