RM Sotheby’s Monterey Sale Preview
1956 Porsche 356 A European Coupe by Reutter

Knotty Nawadhinsukh Words by Knotty Nawadhinsukh
Stock engine uprated to later 1.7 Litre unit

Among our picks of all the road-going Porsches which are listed in RM Sotheby’s Monterey Sale this week would include this 1956 Porsche 356 A European Coupe.

“Quite Fashionable”—Fashion Grey chosen as exterior colour during restoration

What caught our attention with this U.S. import Porsche would be its condition as it is now. After a complete restoration from down to bare metal since 2016, chassis 55425 is now immaculate. Part of the process included freshening up all original parts, such as the glass windows, as well as installing all the required period-correct components.

Meticulous detailing inside included the in-period switchgears and radio

The result has been such that the coupe has been transformed into a like-new Porsche. So much so that it earned nearly perfect 300 points by the judges at a Porsche Club of America meet soon after the completion of the refurbishment.

This 356 A 1600 was the thirty-fourth made for 1956

One other notable feature of this Fashion Grey with red leather upholstery 356 is that it is a “European” badged example, which many enthusiasts would be aware of its rarity value. It made a very brief appearance as the model name for Porsche 356s that were delivered-new for the U.S. market in 1956 before the name was dropped soon after during the year for some reason.

“Euro Stash”—U.S. importer Max Hoffman thought Porsches needed to be called something to sell well in America and thus they came up with “Continental” first for 1955. Then Ford threatened legal action (they owned that name for their Lincoln), so they had to change the badge to “European” the year after for only a few months before scrapping it. Hence the rarity.

It will be quite interesting to see how much a show-condition Porsche 356 A 1600 such as this one will eventually fetch in an auction environment during the 24th and 25th of August at the Monterey Conference Center.

(Estimate: US$200,000 – $250,000)

The 356 A scored 296 out of 300 points back in '16 by PCA and has been featured in Excellence Magazine

All Photos Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s