1958 Porsche 356A Cabriolet

The Porsche 356 is one of those cars that I never paid much attention to; it was the cheapest car in the Porsche line-up, one that looked like a squished VW Bug (the 911 looked like an elongated version of the V Dub to me).

My wife has an artist’s eye and excellent taste (present company notwithstanding) and she finds them beautiful. There IS something about the simplicity of design that commands attention: The Cabriolet is a simple tub with a big giant sky above you and three lovely dials on the dash. They are purpose-driven, the perfect little car for a spring jaunt out into the country. Back in the 1940s and 50s, they were light and powerful enough to win a few races. Good aerodynamics, decent handling, and surprisingly excellent build quality led to a rising fan base.

Of course, we cannot compare the speed or handling to today’s cars, but they handled physics as well as any car of their day.

The 356 was Porsche’s first production automobile and was produced from 1948–1965 (good history here). Lightweight and nimble-handling, 4-cylinder, rear-engine, rear-wheel drive, two-door came in both a hardtop coupé and cabriolet. When first introduced, the coupe sold for $3,750 ($42,300 in 2021 dollars), while the Cabriolet was a $500 option. ($4,250 or $47,900 in 2021 dollars). 76,000 were made about half of which survive today.

Even though I say I am not the biggest fan, I seem to notice them every Spring (See this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, and this).

Other people have recognized this analog, pre-turbo era. Cabs tend to be rarer and more valuable than coupes; the example below recently sold for $170k, but as the chart below shows, they can go from anywhere between $25k to as much as $500k.


Source: Bring A Trailer



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