Who Will Buy the World’s Most Unloved Porsche 356?

Posted November 08, 2018

By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, eBay

This poor little 356 was more than likely run hard and put away wet all of its life. Then it was deposited in the woods to be dissolved into the ground.” — eBay seller jhllcusedcars

Unlike many sellers, this eBay seller makes no attempts to sugarcoat the condition of his vehicle. The car is dented up, rusted through in numerous areas, and lacks a drivetrain. Furthermore, almost all parts were once bolted on, attached with adhesive or were otherwise mounted to the car when new, are absent. Just a beat-up old shell remains with a fuel tank, fuse block and some front end parts. But when that shell was once a 1963 Porsche 356B, and the title and VIN are there to prove it, you don’t exactly cart it off to the scrapper. But given the thrashed nature of this 356, we have to wonder who will buy the poor Porsche and what will they do with it?

When she was new back in ’63, the little 356 was definitely worth a second look. Designated a 356 B-model with the twin-grill engine lid, external fuel filler cap and larger rear glass, the car had great looks and practicality on its side. The coupe was finished in an agreeable white over red interior with power from a 1.6-liter engine.

It’s tough to imagine the abuses the 356 suffered throughout the years that resulted in its condition today, and if such an account were available, it would surely be horror-film caliber stuff. From the photos, we’d guess the 356 was passed around for a few years, repainted several times, wrecked some time in the 1970s, and shamelessly parted out in the following decades. Also, from the photos it appears that the car sat on its passenger side on the ground, as that side is far more rusted than the driver’s side. Is there any happy ending in sight for our Porsche? Lets add up the factors.

If the 356 was a complete, running car in respectable condition, it would probably be worth between $60,000 and $80,000. A complete, and much more restorable ’63 356B twin-grille can be found here on eBay for $37,500. It's also worth mentioning that you can buy a pretty decent 356 for under $50,000, like this ’61 356B for $47,500. Unfortunately, that does not leave much meat on the bone for our 356 here. The car needs everything and would be incredibly costly to restore. And what would you have left of the original car anyway? The title, VIN, a jam here, a dash there — making this car a glorified donor.

Do you take the haggard shell to a Porsche restomod outfit like Emory Motorsports and have them build you an over-the-top Outlaw of some kind, justifying the huge amount of money spent by saying, “at least we’re not slicing up a nice one?” Valid option, but I have to wonder what their reaction would be when the rollback showed up.

The final, and most dismal, outcome for this 356 would be to continue parting it out, cutting and torching the final usable pieces from its shell and scrapping everything else. Perhaps I’m over dramatizing the situation, but every gearhead with a shred of mechanical sympathy has to agree with me in some capacity.

The last topic I want to bring up is the role of replicas and recreations as they pertain to this poor Porsche. If a restoration isn’t practical for the car, would the best choice to take its identity for use on a new steel-bodied 356 recreation? This is sort of a hot topic today, with adamant people on both sides of the fence. There’s definitely a line crossed where a vehicle is “too far gone” to save, where it’s appropriate to have that discussion though. Is this car too far gone? I suppose that’s the real question.

For one, I'd sleep better at night if I knew this 356 was being purchased by someone who would diligently handle the metal work to bring this car back to life — a real labor of love in someone's garage, but that's a small market. Perhaps the right thing to do is to store the car in a safe place for another few decades, until you cant touch a 356 for under six figures, and then sell this car for someone to restore as best they can. What’s your take on this unloved 356 Coupe? Let us know in the comments below.

This Porsche 356 sold at no reserve to a high bid of $2,100.

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356 Porsche Wrecks