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						Outlaw 356 A Coupe

Outlaw Reutter Coupe: 1959 Porsche 356A

By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, BringaTrailer.com

There’s a very thin line to walk if you decide to modify a classic air-cooled Porsche. You have to remember that you’re literally screwing with perfection here, and no matter who you are, you don’t have total artistic freedom. But the flipside is that people will pay crazy sums of money for a tastefully modified Porsche if you get it right (just think of what people pay for Singer-modified 911s). Really, if you’re going to modify a classic Porsche 356 these days for aesthetics or enjoyment, the outlaw style is the only way to go, and this perfected ’59 356A Coupe on BringaTrailer.com shows what the style is all about.

In general, the outlaw style isn’t about reinventing the wheel — it’s more about highlighting the 356’s simple elegance while infusing competition flavor throughout. As such, you won’t find many permanent modifications to the body anywhere. Simple details like minimizing chrome brightwork and colormatching bumpers and wheels to the body make a large statement. Some folks will ditch stockers for Fuchs –style wheels, but more often then not, the standard wide-fives are a foolproof route with the center caps omitted.

The builder of this 1959 Porsche on BaT started off with a nice early car, being a 356A Reutter coupe, and he did well to return it to its factory ivory shade. The car’s original engine was replaced somewhere along the line with a 1.6-liter from a 912, and this one’s been upgraded with a Sebring exhaust system. The coupe’s suspension has been lowered slightly, which tucks the standard wide-five wheels nicely, and the modern Goodyear Integrity rubber ensures that the car can be properly thrashed on the street.

When it’s time to add some excitement to the old iron, there’s no shortage of historical sources for competition modifications. Things like mesh headlight protective screens, leather tie downs, lightweight mirrors and driving lights are sure a sure bet, and many of these items can be sourced readily thanks to the proliferation of the 356 replica scene. This car exhibits a nice mix of these cues without going overboard, because in my opinion, it’s pretty easy to overdo it with a car like this and lose too much of its original identity. Basically, I think this one’s equally at home at your local cars and coffee as it is with a group of Porsche purists — you’re bound to make friends in both places.

As with the exterior, the builder of this car permitted himself a few tasteful indulgences that really make this car one of a kind. As is common in the outlaw style, the standard 356 coupe seats were replaced with smaller, racier Speedster-style seats. They’re finished in worn-looking brown leather with white piping, and the material carries onto the steering wheel as well. The upholstery is otherwise standard, and it looks like the car could be returned to original condition easily if the buckets didn’t suit the new owner’s style.

There are a couple interesting additions on the dash as well, starting with a vintage Blaupunkt AM radio — likely a period piece from the 1960s. The ivory preset buttons and simple black tuning knobs perfectly suit the Porsche’s interior, and the radio may very well be an optional extra that’s been with the car since new, as these AM radios were offered in period. There’s also a fantastic analog clock that’s been mounted on the dash, and beyond being a cool piece, it was actually sourced from a WWII German aircraft. The Messerschmitt Junghans clock is a pretty valuable piece in its own right, and tough to purchase these days, definitely a worthy addition to a really cool cockpit.

Through and through, this 356A Reutter coupe is a fantastic example of classic Porsche styling that’s been subtly improved with outlaw elements. The current high bid on the car is $70,500 here on BringaTrailer.com, where three days remain in the auction.

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356 Porsche