18-19 August 2017

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Lot 247

1951 Porsche 356 1500 Coupe by Reutter

  • Chassis no. 11111
  • Engine no. 30069

Sold for $1,017,500

  • Rare and lovely early 356; finished in its original colors
  • Retains its original 1500 engine
  • Exceptional concours-quality restoration
  • Class award winner at Hilton Head, Winterpark, and Amelia Island
  • Factory Kardex and Certificate of Authenticity

Soon after the end of the Second World War, the brilliant Ferdinand Porsche began constructing innovative sports cars bearing his family’s name. These sophisticated cars compensated for their lack of outright power with sleek, wind-cheating lines. By March 1951, the firm had completed an astonishing 500 hand-built coupes and cabriolets; by the end of that year, 1,103 units had been built. Porsche’s air-cooled four-cylinder horizontally opposed powerplants had grown to just under 1,500 cc; this improved engine now used more radical cam timing and roller-bearing con-rods to produce about 55 horsepower with a pair of Solex carburetors.

This handsome little coupe, chassis number 11111, was completed 20 December 1951, finished in black and with engine number 30069, which it still retains. Delivered by Raffay in Hamburg, it was regularly serviced by the dealership through 1952. The following year, the car found itself in San Francisco, registered to the late Millard Smith. It is believed that he sold the car circa 1958. Little is known until the mid-1970s, when the Porsche was discovered in an asparagus field. Offered for sale in Porsche Panorama, the car was described as being mostly complete at the time. After several intervening owners, it was sent to Karosserie Ltd. in Virginia in 2006 to begin what would become a comprehensive four-year, documented concours restoration.

After bodywork was completed, the 11111 was repainted its original Black. Autobahn Interiors created elegant new seat covers and trim in Gray-green leather (true to the original color), along with complimentary square-weave German carpeting. The original Ivory plastic steering wheel, instruments, and other controls were properly restored and a new headliner was made. A period-correct Telefunken radio was installed. The original engine, only the ninth 1500 Type 527 production engine made by Porsche, was completely overhauled and a new camshaft and twin-pipe exhaust system sourced. A series-correct transmission was sourced and rebuilt. The steering and brakes were refurbished and a new wiring harness installed.

Today, this wonderful little 356 coupe, which is believed to have just over 50,000 original miles, is offered in stunning condition. In recent years, it has been judged Best in Class and received a Zuffenhausen Award at the 2015 Porsche Parade, and scored class wins at Hilton Head and Winterpark in 2015, and Amelia Island in 2016. It is supplied with a Porsche Certificate of Authenticity, along with a copy of the factory Kardex, correct spare, and tools.

No serious collection of Porsches would be complete without a top-flight early 356; here is the perfect example.

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

+1 617 513 0388
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

+1 954 566 2209
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

+1 519 352 4575
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

+1 310 559 4575
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

+1 717 623 1638
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

+1 805 231 6410
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

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
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

+1 519 352 4575
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

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
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

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
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

+1 310 559 4575
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