The 356 underwent six major evolutions over the course of its 17 years in production, and the “Technical Programme V” or T5 series introduced a number of changes both aesthetically and mechanically.
The headlights were raised 95mm to improve illumination and to comply with the regulations in the many countries that the 356 was sold, and the front and rear bumpers were raised and re-contoured. The front marker lights were redesigned to be larger and project further from the fenders, and the horn grilles grew to be wider and flatter. The thin 356A handle at the front decklid was replaced by a distinctive wider and flatter chrome handle, and the exhaust was cleverly routed through the vertical over-riders on the rear bumper. Inside, the new front seats were more supportive and more comfortable than those of its predecessor, and the rear seats were recessed 60mm and now split independently. Front quarter windows that were able to open improved airflow into the cabin, and a new three-spoke steering wheel and a shorter shift lever made for better ergonomics for the driver.
Porsche built about 8,500 examples of its 356 B in 1960, and of that total, just over 1,600 were cabriolets, a convertible with a fixed windshield, wind-up side windows, and a thickly padded folding top that could be hidden beneath a canvas boot. The 356 B offered a number of useful changes from the preceding “A” model, including reshaped front fenders with raised headlights and larger, reinforced bumpers front and rear. New vents to help bring cooling air to the front brakes were added to the lower front valance, and the front lid handle was enlarged for improved ease of use.
Because of their high level of finish and many luxurious amenities, cabriolets were quite expensive. The 356 B 1600 Normal Cabriolet carried a base price of $3,962 FOB New York, according to a 1960 price list from Hoffman Motors, the New York importer. That was about a hundred dollars more than a new Corvette. The 1600 Super versions and Carrera versions were even more costly. No matter the powerplant, Porsche cabriolets were extremely well built by Reutter, adjacent to the Porsche Works in Zuffenhausen, and were very comfortable all-weather touring automobiles. Adjustable seatbacks and good soundproofing provided occupants with a smooth and reasonably quiet ride at high speeds; a 1600 Normal could run all day at 100 mph and not stop except to refill the 52-liter (13.6-gallon) fuel tank. When it came time to slow, Porsche’s very effective hydraulic brakes—finned aluminum drums with pressed-in iron liners—were more than up to the task.
This example was ordered and delivered to its first owner through Brumos Porsche in Jacksonville, Florida in Signal Red with a black interior. In the early 1990s, the car was brought to Dawn’s Restorations in Sacramento, California to be restored by Dawn Perry and Ted Blake to an incredibly high level. Chassis 87467 began its restoration as a very solid car, and retained many of its original components- including the opening panels, hinges, and driveline to name a few. An email correspondence from a collector who purchased the car from Dawn’s at the tail end of its restoration discusses the correctness of the fasteners used for the window regulators, showing the attention to even the most minute details of the restoration. The car received best-in-show awards in its class at numerous car shows in the Pacific Northwest area in the early 2000s. The only modification performed to the car was in the engine itself- it was originally configured as a 1600 Normal, but was upgraded using the same engine block to Super specifications.
Since its completion, Chassis 87467 has been treated with the utmost care and presents in incredible condition throughout. From both a visual and mechanical standpoint, the excellent quality of the restoration has withstood the test of time and it is hard to believe that it was restored well over two decades ago.
Restored to a very high level by Dawn’s Restorations in Sacramento, CA in the 1990s
Refinished in the original color combination of Signal Red with Black interior
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