The Don Davis Collection

27 April 2013

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Lot 155

1959 Porsche 356A 1600 Super Convertible D by Drauz

  • Chassis no. 86142

Sold for $137,500

75 bhp, 1,582 cc horizontally-opposed OHV four-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, torsion bar independent front suspension, swing axle independent rear suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 82.7 in.

  • Highly-desirable Convertible D model
  • In single ownership for 45 years
  • Judges Choice at Keeneland Concours

One of the most sought-after Porsches of the late-1950s is the 356A Convertible D, with body by Drauz Karrosseriewerke in the northern city of Heilbronn, Germany. Gustav Drauz and partner Rudolf Leopold began their coachbuilding business in 1900. Early clients were Daimler and NSU, both located nearby, but Adler, Ford, and Fiat soon signed on. The Ford relationship was so strong that a Cologne subsidiary was established in the 1950s. After World War II, most of their work comprised of van bodies for Ford and DKW, as well as some 120,000 sedan body shells for the Ford Taunus. Their pièce de résistance, however, is the Convertible D (for Drauz) body for the Porsche 356, built in 1958 and 1959.

A successor to the Speedster, the Convertible D debuted in the summer of 1958. With roll-up windows and a more upscale interior, it was less spartan than the Speedster, and a three-inch taller windshield gave it a less racy stance. Otherwise, they were much the same. This 1959 Convertible D, the 688th of the 1,330 car production run, was purchased at the factory by Mr. Louis K. Bok, of Cincinnati, Ohio. He drove it for nearly eight years before selling it to a young law student named H. Bradley Smith, for $1,000.

Brad Smith would keep it for the rest of his life. It was his only car for a time, and it was also the first of 12 Porsches that he would eventually own. He restored it twice, in 1988 and again in 2003. He chronicled the 2003 refurbishment, with great humor, in Rumble, the magazine of the Bluegrass Region of the Porsche Club of America. “At the time, the car was past ready for a junk yard. A convertible with no appreciable source of heat was not the best choice to have in Cincinnati.” He completely disassembled the car, he learned to weld, and he studied with the 356A experts. He had the engine rebuilt by Dick Weiss, of Cincinnati, acquired wiring from YNZ, of California, and sent the instruments to VDO for restoration. Body work and painting were done by a local craftsman, and the color changed from the original ivory to black. The seats were reupholstered in high-grade black leather with perforated maroon inserts. Summing up, he wrote, “I’m grateful for all the things I learned and all the good friends I made in the Porsche community.” In 2006, with 200,000 miles on the odometer, it won Judges Choice at the Keeneland Concours d’Elegance in Lexington, Kentucky.

The car still presents very well, with excellent paint and panel fit; the brightwork shows just the slightest age and blemishes. The engine compartment is clean and correctly presented. The interior is excellent in very respect. Surely, this is one of the finest examples of its kind.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

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California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more