In July of 1958, Porsche sent a letter to all of its foreign distributors stating that the Speedster which had been designed specifically to fill the demand for a low-cost, stripped-down sporting convertible for the United States had not been all received elsewhere. The letter also informed that a new model was going to be introduced in 1959 and would be manufactured by Karosseriewerke Drauz of Heilbronn, Germany. Its styling was reminiscent of the Speedster while offering the comfort and amenities of a Cabriolet- specifically wind-up glass windows in place of side curtains, a taller, more angular, and less raked windshield with a taller convertible top to match, and a more luxurious interior with coupe seats as standard. The earlier “bee-hive” tail lamps were replaced by larger teardrop-shaped tail lights, and the U.S.-destined cars received front and rear bumper guards with over riders.
The new model was designated the Convertible D, the D representing the coachmaker Drauz. The 356A Convertible D was produced as an interim model for the 1959 model year only before being replaced by the 356 B Roadster in 1960. The Convertible D was offered alongside the Cabriolet- both were soft-top options, the Cabriolet was an open version of the Coupe, while the Convertible D was unique in its construction and styling. Porsche’s sales literature advertised the new Convertible D as ”a dynamic car of beautiful proportions. Extra light and low in design for competition and pleasure driving.”
Production began in August 1958 and ended in September 1959, with a total of 1,331 units produced in that period. A fraction of those examples were ordered with the 75-horsepower high compression type 616/2 Super engine, approximately 300 in total.
This example, chassis 86078, was completed in April of 1959 and ordered new from Glöckler in Frankfurt, Germany with an impressive list of options. It was configured in Ivory paintwork with Black leather seats and with the 1600cc Super engine. The Kardex lists the optional equipment as including Michelin tires, a luggage rack, reclining leather seats in black leather, a cigarette lighter and ashtray, chrome wheels, sealed-beam headlights, a set of woven Koko mats in black, one pair of seatbelts, the larger 80-liter fuel tank, and the fender-mounted Spyder mirror.
Since 2015, the Convertible D has been a staple in the Ingram Collection. Today, chassis 86078 presents in exceptional show-quality condition. It retains its original drivetrain and its correct components. It was repainted in its original shade of Ivory by brothers Adam and Tyler Krause of the Refinery paint shop in Manteno, IL, and completed in March of 2023. The interior was recovered in warm brown leather with a German square weave carpet that combines shades of tan, grey, and brown with matching leather binding. It has been fully serviced by our service department and is ready to be driven, shown, and enjoyed by a new owner.
One of approximately 300 Convertible D examples fitted with the 75-horsepower type 616/2 Super engine
Ordered new with a number of options, including the optional 80-liter fuel tank, chrome wheels, and Spyder mirror.
Repainted by the Krause brothers of The Refinery paint shop in Ivory paintwork.
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