Freedom of Expression

Posted March 13, 2018

By Dean Larson

Have you ever been at a car show and walked past someone’s custom hot rod that was a bit too “custom,” or seen a build in person that you just couldn’t agree with? It can be hard as an automotive enthusiast to bite your tongue and move on when you feel that someone has done a classic car a permanent injustice, but sometimes it's not not worth mentioning "the things you'd change." Now that we’ve trekked down that road of negativism, I’d like to explain why you shouldn’t feel that way at all about this Porsche 356A replica.

Offered for sale on (BaT) via internet auction, this little 356 replica has garnered a lot of attention thanks to a super-low ride height and some outstanding paint work. BaT’s auctions work similar to eBay, except with a few added features, including open commenting at the foot of the auction listing. This often produces some really interesting conversation, including helpful tips for buyers and a whole lot of reminiscing.

Porsche 356 A 7

In this case, however, many commenters have been knocking the car, accusing the builder of overdoing the interior and engine bay, and making the car too low with too much negative camber. And while most would probably not go this extreme with their own builds, I’d like to take a second to appreciate what the builder was able to accomplish here.

Even the most traditional Porsche enthusiasts are likely to show some respect for the striking appearance of this 356. We’ve seen a few Porsche replicas finished in this shade now, an Audi paint chip called Nardo Gray, and we’ve been fans of every single one. The lighter shade of gray used on the accent painting is an appreciated touch also, and it matches the shade used on the Fifteen52 Outlaw wheels. With all that custom powder coating on the wheels, it’s refreshing to see a sedated and agreeable Firestone P560S radial tire with an appropriately narrow 155 series width. The extra-low ride height adds an aggressive curb appeal to the 70-year-old design.

On the interior, you will find a level of finish that Porsche didn’t have in mind. A one-off Budnik steering wheel is matched with other speed-holed and polished controls including a 550-style handbrake and a handmade pedal assembly. Vibrant red leather trims the interior with plenty of diamond stitching and faux luggage hides a subwoofer and amplifier. These themes continue in the front and rear trunks, where the firewall is covered in the same leather, and more faux luggage disguises a fuel tank up front. Maybe these touches go beyond your conservative tastes, but some folks at SEMA disagree. This 356 was displayed at the Coker Tire booth back in 2015, which is something most don’t get to say about their hand built cars.

To cut this rant short, I want to leave you with one parting thought. This build is not a classic Porsche 356 that’s been chopped up and hyper stylized. Instead, this car started out as an old VW pan, some fiberglass from Vintage Speedsters and one person’s vision. Anyone who can turn those raw materials into a finished product worthy of the SEMA Show and coverage in several prominent car websites definitely gets my respect.

Check out the online auction here at

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