The 356B Roadster was essentially an evolution of the 356A Speedster and effectively replaced the single-year interim replacement for the Speedster, the Convertible D. Like the Convertible D, it was a sporty open-top model that featured a larger and taller windshield that could easily be removed with just a few bolts. The T5 body 356 B Roadster bodies were constructed at the beginning of production by the Drauz (the coachbuilder who constructed the Convertible D models) and later by the Belgian coachbuilding firm of D’Ieteren Freres S.A. in Brussels. The 356B Roadster was only made from 1960–62. During those three model years, only 2,902 were built, with just 561 constructed in 1960.
This 1960 356B Roadster is a numbers-matching example that was restored to a high level between 2015 and 2019 by Bruce Baker, and returned to its original color scheme of Ivory with Red leather interior and Oatmeal square weave carpeting.
Its most recent owner obtained chassis 87378 from a private seller named J.P. Moore, who had commissioned a thorough restoration of the car, performing the disassembly and assembly himself. It was traded in to J.P. Moore’s father’s Porsche dealership in the early 1980s and verified as a numbers-matching car through the Kardex he had obtained in 2008. It was immediately stripped to a bare chassis and sent to Bruce Baker to strip the car to bare metal, and perform any metal repairs that were necessary. Over the span of 2-3 years, he replaced the floors and any corrosion on the body and door panels. After the metal work was completed, it was painted Irish Green, and the interior was tan leather. The engine had been completely disassembled and was rebuilt by J. Winsor at J & J motors, where the pistons, cylinders, main and connecting rod bearings, oil cooler and seals were all replaced. The transmission was rebuilt by a mechanic at J.P. Moore’s dealership, and all of the bearings, synchronizers and seals were refreshed. During the reassembly process, he either restored the original components or replaced with new-old-stock replacement parts, and replaced all wearable items.
Even though chassis 87378 was a great driver-level car once it was finished, its most recent owner began the discussion with Bruce Baker about bringing the car back to its original Ivory and Red color scheme as was noted on the Kardex and Porsche Certificate of Authenticity. A deal was struck between J.P. Moore and its recent owner, and the Roadster was delivered to Bruce Baker’s shop in Pennsylvania in March of 2015. The car was once again completely dismantled and stripped to bare metal, and further metalwork was performed to make the body’s surfaces and gaps the best they could be prior to paintwork. The convertible top and interior were sent to Jim Quartermus to be recovered in red leather and the convertible top to be recovered in black. A pair of headrests were added at the owner’s request, and regular emails between the owner and Bruce Baker show the two discussing addressing the correction of numerous safety and mechanical items, including the suspension, braking system, and gearbox. At the end of 2018, chassis 87378 had been completely sorted by Bruce Baker and his team performing a mechanical overhaul during its reassembly. Wills Werks performed a complete gearbox rebuild in 2018, and has since covered approximately 200 miles since.
Today, chassis 87378 is still in excellent overall condition thanks to the care of its most recent owner. The care that Bruce Baker’s team took in its restoration shows to this day- the paintwork and bodywork is straight and is still in excellent condition, the body gaps are tight and consistent at each opening panel. The interior shows hardly any wear. The engine fires up with no hesitation and pulls strong throughout the rpm range, and the type 741 gearbox shifts smoothly through each gear. Through and through, chassis 87378 is an excellent high-level driver example of the T5 Roadster that would be as at home on the show field as it would be on a spirited drive through a set of twisty back roads.
High-level restoration performed by Bruce Baker Enterprises
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