1956 Porsche 356 A - Orange Orchard Find
1956 Porsche 356 A - Orange Orchard FindSource: California Classix
Long Beach, CA, U.S.A.
portfolio | web site
Posted: 10 Mar 2012
Languishing for decades under an orange tree behind the locked gates of a secluded orchard high above the new-age enclave of Ojai, Calif., this Reutter bodied 1956 Porsche 356A, VIN *57812*, was recently discovered by an enthusiast and PCA member who happens to be a retired Porsche and Volkswagen master technician, living in Santa Barbara. He took his time going through the entire car, system by system, refurbishing every one of them as needed, to turn the car -- lovingly called Die Ratte (German for "The Rat") -- into a fun and reliable daily driver once again.
Die Ratte came with an ancient folder containing exactly 85 documents, dating all the way back to 1970. We carefully sorted them chronologically, and now they're preserved for posterity, inside clear sheet protectors, in a three-ring binder.
The car was owned during the late 1960s by an architect teaching at USC and resided in Beverly Hills, then in La Canada, before finding its way up to the Santa Barbara/Lompoc area in '72. The receipts bear the names of many famous, long-defunct Porsche emporiums like Estes-Zipper, Porschop, Anything Ltd., Allred Porsche, Boggs & MacBurnie, and Lavia Porsche-Audi.
Being 56 years old, chassis No. *57812* has benefitted trememdously from having spent its entire life in Southern California. Though obviously exposed to the elements, ridden hard, and put away wet more than once, the car still features straight coachwork with good gaps. Doors and deck lid fit excellently; the hood was kinked at one time, and there's been a repair to the nose, but it's still the factory original sheet metal all the way. Corrosion is limited; apart from the mild surface rust here and there, all we can see would be the usual bubbling on the lower outside door skins.
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From WikipediaThe Porsche 356 was the company's first production automobile. It was a lightweight and nimble-handling rear-engine rear-wheel-drive 2-door sports car available in hardtop coupe and open configurations. Design innovations continued during the years of manufacture, contributing to its motorsports success and popularity. Production started in 1948 at Gmünd, Austria, where approximately 50 cars were built.
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