10 March 2012
1956 Porsche 356A Carrera GS Coupe
- Chassis no. 57998
Sold for $288,750
• 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.
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