1961 Porsche 356B Notchback Coupe

Up for auction is a very special and unique 1961 Porsche 356B Karmann Notchback Coupe.  T5 notchbacks feature cabriolet bodies that were converted to coupes at the Karmann factory.  This 356 was originally sold by Porsche Car Pacific in San Francisco.  The seller who owned this car from 1970-1973 was browsing the internet in 2013, found the car and purchased it back 40 years later! In 1973 it was bought by an Arizona racing group and campaigned for a year before being acquired by an engineering professor, who refurbished the car in 1974 and kept it until 2013. This 356 is one of 1,048 T5 coupes produced in 1961, and it is now offered with records dating back to 1970, articles and photos documenting its history, awards, a Kardex, and a transferable Vermont registration.

The seller put a strong emphasis on the fact that this car was in dry climates for its entire life and is incredibly solid.  This is probably the single most important factory when considering a 356.  The Light Ivory paint is stated to be in remarkable condition and shows exceptionally well.  In 1974, the trim, glass, lighting, doors, hood, and deck lid were reportedly removed for the Sikens repaint.  There had been prior bodywork in 1971 after the car was rear ended while parked at which point a later-style deck lid with dual grilles was installed.

The interior was re-trimmed in 1974 with the seats upholstered in dark brown leatherette and corduroy inserts. Tan carpeting is protected by a set of Coco mats, and the 3-spoke steering wheel wears a perforated wrap. According to the seller the heater cables are not hooked up. The tachometer does not work, nor do aftermarket oil pressure and oil temperature gauges that have been added in the dash. The seller believes the sending unit for the aftermarket gauges needs to be replaced.

The 5-digit odometer shows 31k miles and is believed to have turned over once based on documents dating back to 1970.

In 2014, the 1,720cc flat-four engine was built using the case from a 356C.  Engine number *716227* corresponds with a type 616/15 engine from a 1965 356C. Some details on the motor are listed below:

  • Competition Engineering Torque Master camshaft
  • JE pistons, and Competition Engineering cylinders
  • custom carburetor jets
  • electronic ignition
  • electric fuel pump
  • 12-volt electrical system

The seller reports that a compression test was completed following the rebuild around 3k miles ago and reportedly yielded results of 143 psi on cylinders 1, 3, and 4, as well as 147 psi on cylinder 2. A stock 4-speed manual transaxle was installed with the engine. A recent service included an oil change and a valve adjustment.

15” ventilated steel wheels wear polished covers and Vredestein tires.

Accompanying the sale are photographs from the seller’s first ownership as well as the 1974 refurbishment. Also included are articles Porsche 356 Registry magazine (on the seller and this car) as well as a local newspaper, an obituary for the longtime previous owner who refurbished the car, and awards from various car shows attended during current ownership. 

Auction Results

  • High Bid: $62,000
  • Auction End: May 13, 2019, 7:34 p.m.
  • Number of Bids: 16
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Comments (28)

  • Tempkey2 2 weeks, 3 daysago

    Bid in the amount of $62,000

  • horseman 2 weeks, 3 daysago

    Bid in the amount of $61,500

  • Tempkey2 2 weeks, 3 daysago

    Bid in the amount of $60,000

  • horseman 2 weeks, 3 daysago

    Bid in the amount of $59,650

  • irtpeatco 2 weeks, 3 daysago

    Bid in the amount of $59,356

  • Dhaliwal 2 weeks, 3 daysago

    Bid in the amount of $55,000

  • Lafin8 2 weeks, 3 daysago

    Bid in the amount of $51,500

  • Stroppe 2 weeks, 4 daysago

    Beautiful car. I agree I feel this car would have a very powerful presents in person. Photos do not do its justice

  • EmmetGuard (seller) 2 weeks, 4 daysago

    My ownership years were from 1970 to 1973 and then from 2013 to now. This is a total of 9 years.
    The owner from 1974 to 2013 was an engineer and he passed away in 2014. He was the one who restored the car in 1974-75.
    Here is a link to his story:
    https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/tucson/obituary.aspx?pid=170424896

  • irtpeatco 2 weeks, 4 daysago

    Bid in the amount of $46,250

  • xssveritas 2 weeks, 4 daysago

    Bid in the amount of $45,500

  • catstatue7 2 weeks, 4 daysago

    Bid in the amount of $42,500

  • EmmetGuard (seller) 2 weeks, 4 daysago

    Photographs do not show how beautiful this car really is. I hope the new owner will love this car as much as I have and others have that have kept it so nice for so long.
    As the car did not have a motor when I bought it in 2013 I chose to use the best case from a 1965-C, which has a bigger oil pump and the strongest case used in the 356 line.
    My mechanic who built it, was very particular on every part that went into the build. See the spec's above. He carefully checked, measured and weighted everything, and the motor is very strong and pulls very nicely even in 4th gear going up hill. This build only has 3,000 miles on it.
    There are two VDO oil temp and oil pressure gauges, added in the dash from the cars racing days in 1973-74. As mentioned in the listing about the tachometer and oil gauges do not work with the sending units. The sending units need to be paired with the gauges as my mechanic tried a couple of different units but did not have the right ones.
    He suggested that these dash gauges need to be sent to Hollywood Speedometer to have them matched to new correct sending units and have them reinstalled in the motor. One of these sending units has some oil seepage which needs replacement anyway.
    When the ignition key is turned on both the oil gauges peg to the right, so these gauges do work.
    The only other issue to address is re-poking through the two punch holes in top of the gas tank vent area. These were sealed over when the gas tank was recondition with POR-15 sealer. A vented gas cap solved the venting problem, but poking through those holes in top of the tank would be a better way to vent the tank.
    Good luck to all those who bid and to the next lucky caretaker of her.

  • irtpeatco 2 weeks, 4 daysago

    Bid in the amount of $42,000

  • EmmetGuard (seller) 2 weeks, 4 daysago

    @maxmoulton When I bought the car back again 40 years later, I got back all my original receipts from when I originally owned the car. Also included was a log book the owner kept from 1975 showing 14,161 miles on the clock.
    I had driven the car to about 110,000 miles when I sold it in 1973 so I knew the odometer is correct. In 2013 it had 28462 miles logged onto it when I received the car back again.
    So in the 40 years the car was gone from me only 14,300 miles were added as it was on display most of that time in a Tucson Arizona airport .
    That is why the paint and interior look like new, because the car was on display much of that time.
    The original motor was sold separately and is still somewhere in the Tucson Arizona area.
    All the miles on this car are documented to be the original miles because I took it over 100K back in 1972-73. All this is in the log book.

  • Dhaliwal 2 weeks, 4 daysago

    Bid in the amount of $37,500

  • maxmoulton 2 weeks, 5 daysago

    @EmmetGuard that is so cool and such a great story especially because you bought this car back 40 years later. I really like the pegasus decals and think that buyer would appreciate the history this car has and especially because you had a job working at a mobil gas station a long time ago it adds to the Hx even more. really a special car. thanks for sharing that.

  • catstatue7 2 weeks, 5 daysago

    Bid in the amount of $36,000

  • EmmetGuard (seller) 2 weeks, 6 daysago

    @maxmoulton I realize not everyone may like the Pegasus horses I added to the car. These are adhesive and can easily be removed if desired.
    I added them because back in 1970 I had a part time job working for a Mobil gas station and had added them back in the day. When I got the car back again, I thought it was a little nostalgic to put these on once again.

  • maxmoulton 2 weeks, 6 daysago

    @EmmetGuard of course! and I love how rich it looks. it does not look like 45 year old paint at all!

  • CarpetkingCA 2 weeks, 6 daysago

    Bid in the amount of $35,000

  • EmmetGuard (seller) 3 weeks, 2 daysago

    @maxmoulton You have to see that color to really appreciate how elegant it is. Light ivory has a very subtle creamy tint to it which the camera just cannot pick up. Much like comparing thick rich cream against milk. It is very hard to believe this paint job is 45 years old, and that too adds a lot to the richness.
    Thank you for commenting on the car.

  • maxmoulton 3 weeks, 2 daysago

    absolutely gorgeous. really like the early days Mobil pegasus decal too. really works for all white.

  • catstatue7 3 weeks, 2 daysago

    Bid in the amount of $7,500

  • EmmetGuard (seller) 3 weeks, 2 daysago

    In addition to the walk around video, I have two others. One a driving video and the other all the documentation, photographs and receipts from 1970 to 2019.
    Here are those links:
    https://youtu.be/dPxDIbI4QoY
    https://youtu.be/BcnBLkNPEjw

  • DDavidson 3 weeks, 3 daysago

    ultimate country driver. so jealous. in the city I'm all about having a 911. but this is perfect for back roads just cruising. color is on point too. truly a special car.

  • rustynai1l5$ 3 weeks, 3 daysago

    Bid in the amount of $5,000

  • EmmetGuard (seller) 3 weeks, 3 daysago

    My name is Steve and I am the seller of this amazing car. My history with this goes back to 1970 as do my original receipts and photographs. The restoration was done in 1974-75 by the owner after me and he owed the car until 2013. It comes with the 1974 Arizona title, Vermont registration document and bill of sale.
    I am glad to answer every and any questions you might have, and I welcome anyone who wants to come and see the car in Vermont.

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1961 Porsche 356B Notchback Coupe
Final bid: $62,000 This auction has ended.