1956 Porsche 356A

European Cabriolet, body by Reutter
Sale Price
$350,000 - $500,000
Est. Range
21 August 2022
Sold Date
Lot Number
Older restoration
Gooding & Company
Auction House
Chassis no. 61064; Engine no. 60401. Aquamarine Blue with tan top over red. 1582/60hp, 4-speed, hub caps, boot cover, original radio, tool kit, Kardex and CoA.

Evaluation: Rare “European” model, built only for a brief period in early 1956 for, ironically, the American market. This one sold new in California and spent most of its life there, then was restored in the mid-2010s. It is represented as a four-owner car and is still gorgeous and showable. An unfortunate chip on the passenger’s door and a non-original (but correct and rebuilt) transaxle are the only flaws to speak of.

Bottom Line: If the 356 “Continental” is an obscure bit of Porsche history, then the 356 “European” is real anorak stuff. In 1955, Porsche slapped a Continental badge on a batch of 356 coupes and convertibles, with “Continental” implying the sophistication of a car from Europe and, by extension, the person who buys one. Ford, however, had other ideas and proved quite protective of the word Continental. Lawyers got involved, and Porsche backed down from the behemoth from Dearborn, leaving the Continental as a one-year only model. Problem was that there were cars left to be sold that had pre-drilled fenders, so Porsche affixed “European” badges instead.

According to Gooding there are only seven 356 European Cabriolets listed in an online registry for the model. Porsche people love the little details that set their car apart from other P-cars, and have proven time and again their willingness to pay up for those details. Here is yet another one, as those little badges amount to a six-figure premium.

by Andrew Newton
7 September 2022
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Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
Hagerty only assigns condition ratings to vehicles we can inspect in person or, for online listings, via high-quality photography.