BaT Auction: 1955 Porsche 356 1500 Continental Pre-A Coupe

This 1955 Porsche 356 1500 Continental is a Reutter-bodied bent-window coupe that was built in April 1955 and distributed via Max Hoffman in New York. The car was reportedly refurbished during previous ownership in the late 1980s and was acquired by the seller from a collector in 2015. Refinished in its factory Turkish Red over beige vinyl, the car is powered by a 1.5-liter flat-four paired with a four-speed manual transaxle. Equipment includes a translucent sun visor, a single-grille engine lid, painted bumpers with overriders, fender-mounted rearview mirrors, and 16″ steel wheels with turbine trim rings. The electrical system has been converted to 12-volt with a replacement generator, and recent service is said to include a replacement clutch along with an oil change. This Pre-A 356 is now offered with correspondence from Porsche, a copy of the Kardex, a spare tire and jack, and a clean Florida title in the seller’s name.

1955 Porsche 356 1500 Continental Pre-A Coupe

The name “Continental” that adorns the front fenders was suggested to Porsche by New York-based importer Max Hoffman for a US version of the 356 that used a model name instead of a number. They were offered in the US for the 1955 model year only before legal threats from Ford compelled Porsche to stop using the name. The Reutter-produced bodywork of this example is finished in Turkish Red and features a single-grill engine lid and a bent single-piece windscreen, the latter of which replaced the two-piece spilt windshield of earlier models and was switched to more conventional curved glass for the 356A.

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The car was repainted during the late 1980s refurbishment, and paint correction and ceramic coating were reportedly performed during current ownership. Features include painted bumpers with overriders, fender-mounted rearview mirrors, pop-out rear quarter windows, and beehive-style taillights. The seller notes two dings on the left quarter panel and recommends replacing the front and rear rubber glass seals. A walk-around video is presented above.

1955 Porsche 356 1500 Continental Pre-A Coupe

Body-color 16″ steel wheels wear polished hubcaps and turbine trim rings, and the seller notes that the date stampings on the wheels do not match. The wheels are mounted with 5.00/5.25-16 Avon H.M. Tourist tires, and a matching spare and jack are stored in the front trunk. Braking is handled by four-wheel hydraulic drums.

1955 Porsche 356 1500 Continental Pre-A Coupe

The seats and door panels are trimmed in factory-specified beige vinyl and are joined by square-weave carpeting and a full-width rubber floor mat. Equipment includes a fold-down rear seat, an ashtray, a glovebox, a driver-side translucent sun visor, and manual crank windows. The seller reports that the Telefunken AM radio powers on but produces no sound, and a clip showing the operation of the dome light can be viewed here.

1955 Porsche 356 1500 Continental Pre-A Coupe

The two-spoke steering wheel features a horn ring and fronts a body-color dashboard housing green-lettered instrumentation including a 120-mph VDO speedometer and a 6k-rpm VDO tachometer. The seller notes that the gauges were refurbished during previous ownership and that the fuel-level and oil temperature gauges do not work. The five-digit odometer shows just under 84k miles, and true mileage is unknown.

1955 Porsche 356 1500 Continental Pre-A Coupe

The 1.5-liter Type 546/2 flat-four is equipped with Knecht air cleaners. A 12-volt electrical system conversion including a replacement generator was completed during prior ownership, and an oil change was completed in 2020. The seller reports bubbling in the paint in the engine compartment under the engine lid.

1955 Porsche 356 1500 Continental Pre-A Coupe

Engine stamping P-34766* is shown above and matches the engine number indicated on an October 1988 letter from Porsche as well as the Kardex. Transaxle stamping 5714 H1 is pictured in the gallery and also matches the Kardex. Closeups of the Reutter door tag and the chassis plate are included in the gallery below along with photos showing the last two digits of the chassis number stamped on various body panels.

1955 Porsche 356 1500 Continental Pre-A Coupe

Power is sent to the rear wheels via a four-speed manual transaxle. A replacement clutch disc, pressure plate, flywheel, throwout bearing, and pilot bearing were reportedly fitted in 2019, and the seller notes gearbox whine.

1955 Porsche 356 1500 Continental Pre-A Coupe

A copy of the Kardex lists the original colors and the drivetrain numbers. The current title lists the engine number as the VIN.

1955 Porsche 356 1500 Continental Pre-A Coupe

A 1988 letter from Porsche lists the production date and configuration of the car as well as its original US importer, Max Hoffman of New York.

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A start-up clip with overview footage of the interior can be viewed above, and a video tour of the engine bay is presented below. Footage of the front trunk can be viewed here.

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