car—

For Sale

1961 Porsche 356B Carrera GT

Price
£850,000
Please note this car is now sold.
Please note this car has recently sold.

build date: 29 March 1961
chassis number: 115378
original colour: Metallic Silver
engine number: 96019 (now 95112)
engine type: 4 cam Typ 692/3A  

  • rare factory GT version of the 4 cam Carrera  
  • raced in period at the Macau Grand Prix
  • restored by Serratini, Hloch and Reinbacher
  • only 40 T5 Carrera GTs were made in 1960 and 61
  • the only known right hand drive example left in existence

background

From the first moment Porsche started building their inaugural 356 model in 1950 it was used in competition. Its light weight, reliability and build quality set it apart and despite the limitations of its VW derived pushrod engine it was successful in races and rallies across the world.  In 1955 Porsche decided to do something about their power disadvantage and installed the newly designed four cam “Carrera” racing engine from the 550 Spyder into the 356 as a top of the range Carrera model.  A small number of these cars were prepared by the factory for racing and bore the now famous moniker “Carrera GT”.

The 1960 / 61 Carrera GT version of the 356 B boasted a long list of modifications over the standard road car.  To save weight the doors, engine lid and bonnet were made from aluminium rather than steel and the side windows were Plexiglass. The suspension was modified, the front brakes were larger, twin front oil coolers were fitted and the wheels had aluminium rims rivetted to steel centres.  The four cam engine had been evolved in both its design and capacity and offered 135 hp from its 1600cc.

car history

Chassis 115378 is one of 40 T5 Carrera GTs made by Porsche and left the factory in March 1961.  It is one of only three made in RHD.

The car was sold by Hong Kong importer Jebsen & Co to its first owner Mr. David Luk.  The car was raced at the 1961 Macau Grand Prix, which at the time was a three hour Formula Libre event that allowed a wide range of cars to compete.  It was driven by Heinz Gosslar, a Jebsen employee, to 3rdplace behind a Lotus 15 and a Jaguar E-Type.

After the Macau GP, the car was purchased by Dr. Henry Lee, a Hong Kong resident, who owned the car for four years and competed with it in several local races. In 1965 he sold the car and the next owner had a new 1600cc SC pushrod motor installed by Jebsen.

Hong Kong registration records show the car changing hands several times in the mid 1980s until ending up with Mr. Yeung Wai Kim, the owner of small air-conditioning business. By this time it was in a stripped non-running condition.

The car was discovered by its current owner in 1993 quite by chance.  While accompanying a friend who was having his Porsche’s air-conditioning repaired he noticed a disassembled 356 cabriolet under a pile of cardboard boxes.  A number of tell-tale signs indicated the chassis was something special.  After checking with Porsche in Germany and confirming its identity as a Carrera GT coupe, a deal was struck and the car was disinterred and transported back to the owner’s home in Austria.

The restoration of the car did not begin in earnest until 2004 when Carrozeria Tiziano Serratini of Bologna, famed for their work on 356s, were commissioned to return the body to its original form.  The completed body was then sent to Arno Reinbacher in Austria who built the car up into its final restored state.  The restoration was completed in 2016 and the car has only had shakedown mileage since.

car specification and condition

When the car was discovered in Hong Kong, it had been crudely converted into a cabriolet so the work undertaken by Serratini to correct it was quite extensive. However the car retains much of its original inner structure, including its original aluminium doors. The 100 litre fuel tank is also original to the car.

The engine is a spare Type 692/3 four cam that was made by the factory in 1961 and which is correct for a 1960 T5 Carrera GT.  For 1961 these engines were updated to 692/3A specification and these upgrades have been made to this engine by Karl Hloch, the world’s pre-eminent Porsche four cam engine builder.

The gearbox is the one that was in the car when it was discovered in Hong Kong. It does not have any numbers on it but is the correct Type 741.

The car has been expertly restored to the exact specification and cosmetic appearance it had at the Macau GP in 1961.  It presents extremely well and is in unmarked freshly restored condition.

Chassis 115378 is one of the run of 40 T5 Carrera GTs and left the factory in March 1961. It is one of only three made in right hand drive.
Chassis 115378 is one of the run of 40 T5 Carrera GTs and left the factory in March 1961. It is one of only three made in right hand drive.
Our thoughts

While all 356 Carreras are rare and desirable cars, the 1961 B Carrera GT is a very special animal indeed.  Built from lightweight materials and sporting Porsche’s most powerful racing engine of the time, they were in a different league to the most highly specified road car that the Stuttgart factory then produced.

Both pretty and purposeful at the same time, Carrera GTs have a unique look that acted as an inspiration for the California “outlaw” movement.  However they are about far more than appearance and the quality of their engineering surpasses anything that was being produced by the contemporary British and Italian competitors.  The Type 692/3A engine is a jewel and gives the car tremendous character.  The exhaust note, friendly at idle, hardens as the revs climb to the most terrific bark as it nears the 7,000 rpm red line.

For those concerned about the risk of racing a valuable four cam engine, this car affords a particular opportunity.  Having been supplied with a replacement pushrod motor by the factory in period, it could legitimately be raced with such an engine again.  Fifty years of continual development means that race versions of these pushrod engines now surpass the power outputs of the factory four cams.

In summary we think this little 356 has everything.  Rarity, history, looks, engineering pedigree and eligibility.  It is very much ready to go and compete in next year’s Le Mans Classic or Goodwood Revival.

Please note this car is now sold.
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