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						Microplas Mistral 5

Mistral-bodied 356

By Dean Larson

This Porsche 356 is probably not like any other you’ve seen. Its body may remind you of the 550 Spyder in a few areas, but we’ll assure you, those lines weren’t penned in Stuttgart. The car has actually been rebodied, but put your pitchforks down Porsche enthusiasts; this Porsche has an interesting history and is probably the only one of its kind.

This 356 was born in 1954, making it a desirable Pre-A Coupe. The seller believes the car was brought to the U.S. around 1957 and raced in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s. We’ll assume the car received its body transplant early on in this period to give it an even better weight advantage on the track. The body was built by the Microplas company in 1955 and called the Mistral. It was primarily designed for the Ford Ten platform (derived from a variety of cars built by Ford Britain) and was available in the U.S., Germany and New Zealand. 

If you’re familiar with the Mistral, you may notice the distinctive side vents are missing from this example. In fact, the whole lower portion of the body has been altered from the original Microplas design. The seller explains that the doors and whole lower part of the body are aluminum, while the upper is fiberglass. We assume the builder did this to help fit the body to the 356. While the altered portion looks crude in some areas, it compliments the rest of the body well, and the large air duct is a cool touch. Almost everything underneath the bodywork appears to be original to the car.

The car has recently received a minor restoration at Redline Service in Tucson, Arizona. The VW engine that was in the car back in 2013 has been replaced with a 1,750cc out of Redline's own 912. It was also and cleaned up inside and out and had some service work done.

If this one-of-a-kind 356 is just your style, it can be found on BringaTrailer.com where it is currently being auctioned online. The current bid is up to $21,000, definitely short of fair value for this unique Porsche with race history. 

**A high bid of $28,000 fell short of fair value for this one-of-a-kind Porsche. We think it would take a number in the 40s to take it home.**

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Porsche Rebody