Amelia Island

10 March 2012

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Lot 142

1956 Porsche 356A Carrera GS Coupe

  • Chassis no. 57998

Sold for $288,750

1700 cc four-cam Carrera dry-sump engine featuring “904” pistons and cylinders, Carrillo rods, twin Solex P11-40 carburetion, electronic ignition and a Porsche “peashooter” exhaust, four-speed transmission with “mountain rally” gears, 7:31 ring and pinion and a 12-bolt diff-housing, four-wheel brakes with alloy-finned 60 mm wide drums, independent suspension with transverse torsion bars, hydraulic shock absorbers and anti-roll bars. Wheelbase: 2,100 mm (83")

• Two-year total restoration by Porsche specialists completed in 2000

• Correct four-cam engine built by Gerry McCarthy

• Certificate of Authenticity by Porsche Cars North America

• Major rally successes with the current owner, including Targa Newfoundland, two Carolina Trophies, New England 1000 and the Virginia Mountain Mille

The first Porsche Carrera was introduced at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September 1955. As early as 1952, Dr. Ernst (later Professor) Fuhrmann was assigned to experiment with the marque’s air-cooled flat four to discover what the potential might be. He reasoned that a figure of 70 hp per liter was possible by re-designing the heads to a four overhead camshaft configuration and adding a twin ignition, dual-choke Solex carburetion, dry-sump lubrication and roller bearings on both mains and rods. This mechanical marvel was envisaged for the marque’s sports racer, the 550 Spyder, but was soon installed in a 356 coupe which won the 1954 Liege-Rome-Liege rally outright in the hands of Polensky and Linge. In 1955, after a similar engine was installed in Ferdinand Porsche’s own 356 Cabriolet, enthusiastic approval for the GS/GT Carrera Series was soon granted. The four-cam engine was available in all three 356 body styles, resulting in a weight distribution of 41 percent front, 59 percent rear and proved to be hugely tractable, accepting full throttle from 1,500 rpm with an upper rev limit of 7,500 rpm.

According to a letter from Porsche A.G., this Carrera was originally delivered to the Dusseldorf dealer in November 1956. Sometime later the car was sold to the USA. The current owner acquired the car about 14 years ago and treated it to a complete professional restoration. Gibson Auto of Ontario performed a full “rotisserie” body and paint procedure, while Porsche expert Dennis Rak of AutoTech Diagnostic renewed all chassis mechanical, brake and running gear aspects. Famed Connecticut-based four-cam guru Gerry McCarthy was chosen to supply and build the mildly modified but correct GS engine. Unlike most of these rare Carreras, doomed to spend time garaged in museums, this immaculate example was restored to be driven, as Dr. Porsche had intended. Successful completion of the Targa Newfoundland, the New England 1000, the Virginia Mountain Mille and at least two Carolina Trophies surely attest to this fact.

Recently RM Auto Restoration fitted a rebuilt generator and completed an all-system check-over and oil service as well as a full paint, brightwork and glass detailing. Additionally, a new clutch and pressure plate were fitted, and a full brake service was performed, including a fluid change and wheel cylinder rebuild. These early GS cars are true sleepers with only three gold Carrera body scripts, the special exhaust system and, in some cases, different gauges to distinguish them from a regular 356 A coupe—that is, until one mashes the gas pedal and experiences the fierce acceleration and glorious symphony of sound emitting from the exhaust pipes.

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

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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

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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

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Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 9... read more

David Swig

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California, United States

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

Don Rose

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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

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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

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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

Ian Kelleher

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Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College with a Bachelor of Arts in Politica... read more

Jake Auerbach

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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

Jonathan Sierakowski

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Jonathan Sierakowski developed a passion for classic cars while working at a Connecticut restoration shop as a teenager. He graduated with a... read more

Kurt Forry

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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

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

Michael Squire

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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

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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

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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

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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

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

Peter Wallman

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United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007 following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, where he was based out ... read more

Shelby Myers

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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

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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