This Ex-Concours 1959 Porsche 356A Is Stranded at a Small-Town Copart
From winning awards at Monterey Car Week to sitting in a lot with broken Toyotas.
Rare cars can command outrageous prices, but most buyers look for solid, running examples before spending the big money. That said, the most sought-after vehicles can still sell for a premium even with a few missing parts or a bit of damage. This 1959 Porsche 356A GT Coupe may take the cake, though, as it's been massively crushed—that's tragic for any Porsche of this vintage, but considering this was once an Amelia Island-level collector's item, it makes it even more so.
The car, which currently resides at a Copart lot in Mebane, North Carolina, is offered with an estimated retail value of $1.85 million. We’re guessing that the crater in the Porsche's roof may change that number a bit, but the fact there were just 11 356A GT Coupes built in 1959 will probably help its chances. The car appears to have been part of the Ingram collection in Durham, NC, which was damaged in an explosion that killed two and destroyed several other super rare cars.
What's more, this was the first of its kind built that year. Reportedly, it was delivered to Jean Kerguen by Automobile Centrum of Casablanca in Morocco. From there, Kerguen and Robert Lacaze drove the car in the 1959 Tour de France Automobile and finished fourth overall behind a trio of Ferrari 250 GTs.
When new, the sports car's air-cooled, 1600cc flat-four engine made 141 horsepower, which was good enough for a zero to 60 time of just 10 seconds and a top speed of 124 miles per hour. Like all other 356s, it was treasured for its superb handling which helped Porsche drivers fight for wins in road rallies, like the Tour de France Automobile, across Europe.
As the story goes, a New York man bought this Porsche in 1981 and had it shipped to the States with 47,800 miles on the clock. Afterward, it got a full restoration by the Paterek Brothers. The 356A was an award-winner back in the 1990s, taking home both the Judge’s Choice and People’s Choice awards at the Porsche Club of America Parade in Monterey. It also moonlighted at iconic Concours events like Amelia Island as recently as 2011.
At some point between its move to America and now, the car took on a few thousand more miles and the damage we see here. The engine appears to be intact and many of the car’s little details like headlights and trim pieces appear to be in place. The interior has been trashed, but that’s to be expected when there is so much open air showing through what’s left of the roof.
As of now, it's unclear what'll come of this treasured P-car. It would undoubtedly take a colossal investment to return it to proper condition, and even then, numbers-matching parts are few and far between. Hopefully the right buyer is out there, but for now, it's left sitting at a North Carolina salvage yard amongst droves of Toyota Priuses and Corollas.
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