Concours-Spec Restoration Or Thoroughly Patinated? The Choice Is Yours With This 1959 Porsche 356A Coupe
The debate on whether a classic car should be restored or allowed to wear its battle-scars with pride is unlikely to ever die down, but whichever camp you are in this Porsche 356A Coupe is ready to fulfill your desires.
Originally completed in 1959, this right-hand-drive matching numbers 356 was delivered new to former England and British Lions rugby union winger, Frank Sykes. He later moved to the US and it is assumed that the car went with him.
While it is not immediately apparent from the images, chassis no. 107479 was originally finished in Silbermetall (silver metallic) paint, and it has spent the past 30 years in storage where it developed the unique patina you see here.
Remnants of red, blue and the original silver paintwork have survived an earlier half-finished attempt at restoration, yet instead of looking like an abandoned wreck this unfinished look seems to suit the old-stager rather well.
Classic car specialists Thornley Kelham displayed the car at Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court Palace recently and many visitors felt the same way. Based on this feedback Thornley Kelham decided to offer its next owner two types of restoration, the first would see a full mechanical and interior restoration being carried out while the body (aside from replacing certain rusted sections) would be clear-coated to preserve that unique patina.
The second option would follow the more traditional route of a complete ground-up restoration with completely rebuilt and potentially upgraded the mechanical components to enhance the performance of the car beyond its original specifications.
Simon Thornley, co-founder of Thornley Kelham, explained, “Often in the world of rare and significant classic cars, the stories that they tell are just as meaningful as their condition. We have deliberated long and hard over whether or not to maintain this 356’s marks of age, or to return it to as-new condition, but ultimately we felt it was a decision best made by the buyer. Our team has completed a number of 356 nut-and-bolt restorations, and we’ve carefully analyzed the structure, body, mechanicals and interior of this example to know that no matter which route the buyer chooses, we can produce a rare Porsche 356A that looks good, drives well and works every time.”
In a world where perfectly restored 356s are becoming the rule rather than the exception, we hope the new owner of this special car will opt to retain as much of its visual uniqueness as possible.
Images courtesy of Thornley Kelham