Some Porsche purists refuse to acknowledge any of the brand's offerings after the 356. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Coupe/Speedster is a dream for the vinyl fetishists among those purists, but will its price make it ignored?
In California we have a three-strikes law which pretty much keeps our prison system cooking. Some of you — wait, strike that — the vast majority of you felt that the seller of yesterday's egregiously modified BMW should have been convicted under some kind of M3-strikes law, so terrible were the Jersey Shore add-ons, baboon-ass colored engine, and turbo to nowhere. In a stunning rebuke not seen since shit lost to Shinola in the Betty Crocker Bake Off, a blistering 98% of you felt that poor BMW was beyond saving.
Sad popped collar is sad.
Okay, keeping with the theme of questionably modified cars, today we have a 1959 Porsche 356 Coupe which has been beheaded and covered in vinyl like a pawn shop box gimp.
Over its 17 year lifespan, there were only about 76,000 356s built, which is a piddling number. Not only that, but today claims are that only about half that already small number have managed to survive. Of course in the animal kingdom, survival can depend on the ability camouflage oneself, making it difficult for predators or prey to pick you out. That may be the reason this '59 356B has managed to dodge its obituary as this former coupe has been disguised as a Speedster, as well as a. . . well, I don't know what exactly.
I mean, I can see converting a coupe to a roadster as the drop top cars command much higher prices, but what I can't wrap my head around is why you would then extend the top material to cover the entire nose of the car. Adding a bra -– or mask, if the lingerie reference embarrasses you –- is reasonably common, and can protect your car's nose from stone chips and the fingernail scratches of unfortunate j-walkers. But extending that fabric over the fenders and up above the base of the windscreen seems like the automotive equivalent of old man pants. Of course here that windshield is plastic so maybe it's doing it a favor.
The windscreen on a real Speedster was taller in '59 than this one looks, although that year Max Hoffman's brainchild did come with wind-up windows, so at least that bit of left-over coupe-ness doesn't throw off the Speedster vibe too much. The rest of the Coupe to Speedster transformation is awkward however, as the original fixed roof tail has been left intact, resulting in a presently ratty-looking hump back there that would give Frankenstein's Igor wood. Under that camel's pride is Porsche's Type 616 ‘Normal' 1600-cc four, which in the B produced about 60 horsepower. Yeah, that's not a lot, but the joy of driving these cars was in their handling and not straight their line performance. Still, if that kind of thing is important to you, the 356 that year was clocked at 15.3 seconds from a standstill to sixty by Road & Track, who also tagged the Porsche as a best sports car value.
In addition to the formal attire, the seller says the car has what are probably JC Whitney-sourced five-lug wheel adapters, and the car comes with commensurately inappropriate wheels. You could dump both, regaining the right offset and making the car more original, but then you'd also lose what he claims are Moon disk hubcaps, but look more like Shakey's pizza trays to me. If you're familiar with ‘50s Beetles then the rest of the 356's architecture shouldn't look too foreign to you, featuring torsion bar suspension while the drums all around were 72-fin aluminum dealios.
There's a lot that's odd about this car, but unlike yesterday's Bee-Emm-Double-Eeww — which looked like it had escaped from some backwoods bigtop where they show you the bearded lady and then eat you - this Porsche seems to have had good intentions in its modifications, which were then carried out with the utmost in taste. Oh right, it's wearing pleather. Well, at least with this one there's more of a description, including the mileage, which clocks in at a claimed 26K. Of course the odometer on that Bimmer wasn't relevant as who would ever drive it ever again?
So this is one weird Porsche, but at $22,500, it's sort of at the bottom of the 356 price bucket, for a drivable example at least. And the top goes down. And the front is covered in fabric, although the seller says he doesn't have the boot lid section of that, which I guess is a yea? With or without that boot bodice do you think that its $22,500 asking price clothes this Porsche in value? Or, is it but a rattle can away from total Crack Pipe-dom?
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