- 1961 Porsche 356 B 1600S Roadster
- LHD North American export
- Spent most of its life in California
- Extensive history with invoices back to the 1970s
This stylish Porsche 356 B Roadster is one of just 473 to be built on the T5 chassis by Belgian coachbuilding firm D’Ieteren Freres. Its factory Certificate of Authenticity states that chassis number 89125 was completed on 9 June 1961, with Ivory bodywork and red leatherette interior.
It was then exported to US distributor Max Hoffman in New York, before making its way all the way across to the West Coast and its first owner, Albert Gavlak, who lived in Santa Monica, California. It’s thought that Mr Gavlak owned the car until 1973, when he sold it to Roy Pereira of Oakland, California.
In fact, this Porsche 356 B would stay in the Golden State until 2013. Its last owner there was Jim Barrington, who spent a considerable amount of money on the car over the course of his 10 years with it. That work included an engine rebuild that is documented within the car’s history file.
The Porsche was then acquired by a new owner in Tennessee before eventually being shipped to the UK, where it was first registered in 2019. Now finished in black, this excellent example of a ‘single grille’ 356 B 1600S Roadster is offered for sale at The Classic Motor Hub with its original Owner’s Manual and the optional reclining seats that were specified when it was new.
The history file includes invoices going all the way back to the 1970s, the tools and jack are still present, and this well-sorted 1600S Roadster offers the blend of style and performance that makes the Porsche 356 B such a coveted classic car.
Designed by Ferry Porsche – son of company founder Ferdinand – the 356 was launched in 1948, when Porsche was still based in the Austrian town of Gmünd.
By 1950, the firm had moved back to Germany and the Stuttgart borough of Zuffenhausen, and steel bodywork replaced the aluminium that had been used on the earliest 356s. For the rest of that decade, Porsche’s reputation grew rapidly – thanks largely to its motorsport prowess and success in North America – and although the basic outline of the 356 remained intact throughout its production run, there were numerous updates along the way.
The capacity of the rear-mounted, air-cooled, flat-four engine was originally 1100cc, but 1300cc and 1500cc variants were soon added. In 1955, the 356 A was introduced with its updated T1 body, and this model also gained the option of a 1600cc engine – plus the four-cam Carrera unit.
The 356 B was introduced in 1960 with a new T5 body style. The 1600cc engine was available across all body styles – Coupé, Cabriolet and Roadster – and with various power outputs. The 356 B gained the latest T6 body in 1962, and the final incarnation of this famous model was the 1964 356 C, which featured disc brakes all round and could be specified in 2-litre Carrera 2 form.
In that same year, Porsche introduced the six-cylinder 911 and production of the 356 came to an end in 1965.