Journal: Which Sixties European Performance Icon Would You Restore?

Which Sixties European Performance Icon Would You Restore?

Petrolicious Productions By Petrolicious Productions
July 15, 2013
19 comments

A highly original classic car is a very special thing, something it can only be once. A well-cared for machine will always wear the marks of time, regardless of the love and attention lavished on it by previous caretakers—wear, as well as small mistakes are bound to happen, after all. A warm, soft patina only ads to a car’s depth of character, but there’s a fine line between patina and outright shoddiness—sometimes, restoration is unavoidable.

In a new feature we’re calling “Which Would You Restore?”, we feature the neglected, the forlorn, the rusty and incomplete. For those of us with the skill, time, patience, and no small amount of vision, these projects represent golden chances to preserve and protect historic treasures, and to save them from the indignity of being recycled into corrugated steel roofing. Original may be best, but it’s far better for a great old car to wear incorrect, non-lacquer paint than to not exist at all.

We’re kicking off with two of the best mid-level European sports cars of the 1960s, a poor old Porsche 356 and an abused Alfa Giulia Spider. Generally speaking, the Alfa appears to be the less difficult (we won’t say easier…) prospect between the two. Sold with a disassembled, matching-numbers engine, but missing the entire intake system including carburetor. Inside, the seller claims the seats are all that is not included, but we’re sure there’s lots of absent trim pieces belonging to both the interior and exterior as well. No mention of rust is made, but this being a nearly five-decade old, open-topped car from Italy, it’s wise to plan on encountering at least a moderate amount of tinworm.

We can only speculate on potential resto costs based on the limited amount of info available for this car, but it’s safe to say that a quality job will be will into five-figure territory. A reserve auction with no BIN, matters are further complicated by the fact it’s impossible to predict an outright purchase price—provided, however, the seller is willing to part with the old girl for close to the minimum bid of $10,000, there could be an argument for the project as a sane investment project, as well-restored examples currently fetch high $20K prices on the low end.

Which brings us to the Porsche. Oh, the sad, little old Porsche… Largely a 356-shaped piece of iron oxide at this point in its existence, the commitment, both of the financial and emotional type, required to see this car through to completion will be simply monumental. A 1960 356 B, the auction includes a disassembled motor and transaxle, a few pieces of glass, and lots of Swiss cheese. Fortunately, parts for 356s are quite a bit easier to come by than with many other classics of the period, the aforementioned Alfa included. Thanks to high-quality reproductions and a huge and very active worldwide Porsche community, we have little doubt nearly all needed pieces, big and small, mechanical and decorative, can be sourced with relative ease, if not affordability.

Like the Alfa, restoration will not be cheap, in fact, it probably wouldn’t even make much financial sense given the current market for these cars. Even with a modest $10.7k BIN and a restored value roughly $40–$50,000 higher, the opportunity for a quick flip and profit look awfully slim for this particular example. Still, there’s the incredible satisfaction of turning an absolute wreck into a beautiful, healthy runner again, something whose value can’t easily be measured. Besides, if one held onto the finished project long enough, there will certainly be room for a gain in the long run—how long, though, isn’t for sure.

So, which would you go all in for?

1965 Alfa Romeo Spider

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1960 Porsche 356

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Lamond Jack
Lamond Jack

The series III – ALVIS TE21! Talk about beautiful and its quite a runner!

Lamond Jack
Lamond Jack

The 1963 Series III Alvis TE21 cabriolet! Talk about beautiful and a runner!!!!!!

Peter Olasz
Peter Olasz

the Giulietta!!!!!!

Erwan Brillot
Erwan Brillot

I don’t believe you could do anything with the Porsche. She slept in the sea for 10 years or what?

I’ll go for the Alfa anyway. Driving a classic is something. Driving a classic we the hair in the wind is something even better !

Marius Badarau
Marius Badarau

Alfa

Xander Cesari
Xander Cesari

I would take that Alfa and drop an LS in it!!

Just kidding, put down the pitchforks. That Alfa is a primo candidate for restoration and that Porsche…. phew it would take a more dedicated German car fan than I. The 101 series Alfas were what made me fall in love with the brand and it’s on my to buy list.

Matias Raim
Matias Raim

Alfa for me, I’m a huge Alfa fan. Besides I don’t like the 356.

Jebby Deringer
Jebby Deringer

Personally I would prefer a 356 lawn ornament/planter than throwing money into an Alfa, well except maybe a GT.

Eddie Relvas
Eddie Relvas

I’d only side with the 356 if the conditions were opposite. But since I’m an Italian fan all the way, and the state of the Alfa is definitely the only one worth considering, I’d definitely go with that. I’m one for the rolling resto too, that’s what I’ve been doing with my Fiat Spider.

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson

That 356 is not a restoration project it’s junk! They made 80k of them, just go and find another one. As for restoration costs I think I heard the voice of an expert earlier today “$200k plus the metal work”, sounds about right to me.

Love the idea of a Alfa rat rod, definately the way to go.

Alex Clise
Alex Clise

Yep, the Veloce all day long. Its mostly complete and decently documented. I’d Rebuild the drivetrain, find a couple seats and make it a driving restoration. Plus it’s in the right location for me 🙂 Who knows, maybe even make a deal for the Giulia in the background?

Josh Clason
Josh Clason

You, sir, have the right idea!

BiTurbo228
BiTurbo228

Definitely the Alfa. Big soft-spot for Giulietta Spiders.

Josh Clason
Josh Clason

Beautiful shot.

Ryan Hoyle
Ryan Hoyle

Definitely not “that” Porsche, but what about this one?
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1963-Porsche-356-Coupe-Restoration-project-/200941928797?pt=US_Cars_Trucks&hash=item2ec912815d#ht_864wt_1165
It’s on a reserve bid only, but maybe it won’t be much more than the Alfa initially. This one comes with several replacement bits already.

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange

Alfa for me too, that Porsche looks too far gone I’m afraid. The mechanic who looks after the Daytona restored a 101 Spider Veloce very similar to that one although I think the body was in better condition.

Kyle Howe
Kyle Howe

The Spider for sure. That Porsche is in sad, sad shape.

Rodrigo Conde
Rodrigo Conde

I will always choose the Alfa’s. There are too many Porsches out there!

Josh Clason
Josh Clason

Normally I would always side with Porsche but in this case I would choose the Alfa. That Porsche would take a lot to restore.