“Without a doubt this was one of the most interesting cars we have ever tested. It completed the vigorous performance tests as if it were out for a Sunday drive. The fully synchronized gearbox is fool-proof although not ultra-rapid, and the brakes are tremendously powerful and adequate for the performance. Add to this the undeniable comfort advantages of a coupe, the detail qualities so greatly admired and typical of the marque, and the price doesn’t seem so steep. If the dream of a million VW owners is to someday own a Porsche, then the dream of 10,000 Porsche owners must be to someday own a Carrera. And we don’t blame them” – September 1956, Road & Track Magazine.
In 1957, Porsche began offering two iterations of the Carrera- the lightweight, competition-focused GT models and the GS “de Luxe”, which was by far the most luxurious Porsche constructed at the time and was aimed to satisfy the requirements of normal driving. The new Type 692/2 engine increased the cylinder bore from 85 to 87.5mm to increase the total displacement to 1588cc, and the implementation of a single-piece forged crankshaft facilitated the move to plain bearings to alleviate the damaged bearings and fouled spark plugs experienced by more leisurely drivers who did not treat the 547/1 competition engines as such. Additionally, the distributors were moved from the ends of the camshafts to the crankshaft, allowing for more precise ignition timing. These changes, in conjunction with an increased compression ratio, allowed for a more civilized driving experience while still producing some 100 horsepower. Only 102 692/2 motors were produced between 1958-1960- just 62 in 1958, and another 40 from 1959 into 1960.
The de Luxe models also incorporated an Eberspacher gasoline heater at the back of the engine as standard to supplement the engine heating system, along with plush seating and additional sound deadening. Despite the additional creature comforts, there was more of an appetite for the stripped-down GT models, and as a result, the Carrera de Luxe models failed to attract buyers and in turn, contributed to their extremely limited production.
This example, Chassis 105294, is one of just 346 Carrera GS Coupes produced and is one of thirty-three 356A GS Coupes produced in 1959. It was special ordered by Air Force Master Sergeant Robert Stratton while stationed in Libya. It was ordered and delivered through the Porsche distributor Pagani, located in the capital city of Libya. It was configured with Black paintwork and a full Red leather interior, with a number of options to travel the African and European continents in style and comfort. Of those thirty-three 1959 model year examples, it is one of just 5 that were finished with black paintwork. Original options include the rare Rudge knock-off chrome wheels, Michelin tires, Koni sport shocks, US over-rider bumpers, Fog lights mounted on the front bumper bars, safety belts, side-spear body deco aluminum trim, and an Eberspacher B3 gas heater mounted in the engine compartment.
Robert Stratton eventually achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and spent his last assignment in Germany, where he occasionally drove the Carrera on weekends. He moved back to the United States to attend the Walter Read National Military Medical Center when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He wanted to spend his final days in South Texas, so he was transferred to McAllen Texas. While in hospice, he gave the Carrera with 22,000 miles to his doctor, Dr. Nelson, in appreciation for the friendship they shared during his last days. Dr. Nelson disassembled the Carrera to restore it and purchased numerous new trim parts and interior components from Bill Jones in San Antonio, Texas. The engine was frozen, and Bill quoted the engine rebuild at $21,000 in the worst-case scenario. Dr. Nelson demurred and offered the car to Bill in exchange for Bill’s purchasing a plane that he wanted. The two agreed and settled the deal in 1988.
After serving in WWII and returning to the U.S. following a crash landing in North Africa, Bill Jones started a speed shop in Oklahoma City. He eventually became a chief mechanic for two Indianapolis 500 racing teams from 1950-1952. He later took on a position as General Service Manager for InterConinental Motors Corporation which distributed Volkswagen and Porsche automobiles for five states in the southwestern United States. It was headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. By 1968, Bill owned his own dealership- Autohaus Volkswagen. He sold the dealership in 1975 to open a shop called Jones’ Autowerks to specialize in Concours restoration work, and eventually earned significant recognition for high-quality restorations of Porsche automobiles.
After he took possession of the Carrera, it sat for 11 years while Bill collected the engine parts from all over the world, mainly from Europe. He restored it from the ground up with extreme attention to detail, leading to the car winning both the People’s Choice Award and Judge’s Best in Show Award at the 2004 PCA Porsche Parade.
When the time came to sell the Carrera, Bill Jones had two strong potential buyers- Bob Ingram and the Porsche brothers, Wolfgang and Hans-Peter Porsche. The Porsche brothers wanted the car to add to their personal collection but had been negotiating the price for some time. Mr. Ingram already had a 1959 356A Carrera GT but was interested in the Carrera GS as a bookend to the other car. Bill and Bob struck an instant friendship through their passion for open-wheel race cars- Mr. Ingram’s uncle had owned a midget race team that used the Offenhauser engine while growing up in downstate Illinois. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Ingram became the fourth owner of the GS Carrera Coupe and it has been a cornerstone of the Ingram Collection since.
Between 2019 and 2020, Road Scholars enlisted the world-class work of Adam and Tyler Krause of The Refinery paint shop to refresh Chassis 105294’s black paintwork to bring it back to its former glory. It has been shown at a handful of Concours events since joining the Ingram Collection, including the Amelia Island Concours in 2018 where it received a second-in-class award alongside the 1959 Carrera GT known as Ruby, the Highlands Motoring Festival, Chattanooga Motoring Festival, and the 2022 Greenwich Concours where it received the Award of Speed and Style.
Four owners from new
Numbers matching drivetrain (rare 692/2 four cam engine)
Numbers-Matching opening panels (stamped with last three digits of the VIN #294)
Rare optional Rudge knock-off wheels listed on the Kardex
Fog lights mounted on the front bumper bars
Eberspacher B3 gas heater mounted in the engine compartment
2004 Porsche Parade Winner: People’s choice and judge’s choice
2018 Amelia Island Concours: Second in class
2022 Greenwich Concours: Award of Speed and Style.
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