Matching Numbers Project: 1958 Porsche 356A Coupe

*UPDATE: The seller has now listed this vehicle on ebay here

This classic Porsche 356 is being offered by a seller who says it has been in storage since the 1970s. They say it is a matching numbers engine and transmission car that's been down to the bare metal for 4 decades.

The 356 was Porsche's first production car and lasted from 1948 to 1965, resulting in around 76,000 cars made but only about half are thought to be surviving today. They are one of the greatest cars of all time,  a beloved, admired, iconic classic and that is also extremely valuable and desirable. The rear-engine, rear-wheel drive layout, coupled with the timeless and seductive curvy little body, make the 356 one for the ages.

This is an early "A" car, of which 21, 045 were produced from 1955 to 1959. All of the 356 cars had flat four-cylinder engines, but each revision every few years brought about changes, mechanical and cosmetic, subtle and otherwise.

The seller states they have this car's pink slip from 40 years ago and also have the California black plates. It would have been nice to see the plates, but it's interesting to know they will be included, and will no doubt please the next owner, should they ever get it on the road and are able to actually use the plates.

The seller says the body and floor are original and there is no rust except in the battery box. They say it is all complete and original except for the seats. They don't have any photos of the interior, which is a shame, but, if a seller says complete, they usually mean complete, as that's a big claim.

Complete is good, but condition is a whole other ballgame. The car looks terrible. The paint has indeed been stripped and even a novice can tell a bunch of parts are missing, like the bumpers and taillights to start. Are these included with the sale? Who knows (although I do spot what looks like bumpers tied together on the roof in one pic). You better hope they are. The seller gives no word on the engine, so this isn't going to even be a rough driver. This thing will need a $30,000 restoration to make it presentable again. Factory-spec seats alone will probably be $1k-$5k. Most cars would be worthless with over $30k in needs.Yet the seller wants $38,500.

There is a Porsche bubble right now. They are unique, special, driver-oriented cars with racing pedigree and a mythology no amount of money can buy. The 911 in particular barely depreciates, then catches on fire about 10-20 years later and just keeps rising. But example like this are frustrating. It clearly needs work. You have to have $60,000 lying around to make this thing whole again. It would make most sense for the seller to let it go for about $15k-$20k to a reputable restorer who can put another $10k into it, then flip it for $30-$40k. Everybody will still get a piece of the action.

That's the fate this thing deserves.

Find it here on craigslist in Cedar Flat, California

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