Rare Porsche 356C Emerges from 44-Year Slumber and Heads to Auction

If you thought that all barns in Europe have been checked by now for the presence of some valuable sports car from the 1960s, clearly a few have been overlooked. Later this month, a 1965 Porsche 356C 1600 Super[1] will head to auction in the UK–a car that had been off the road, reportedly in dry storage since the mid-1970s–giving it some actual time-warp cachet, complete with empty packs of period-correct Gitanes cigarettes inside.

(C) Silverstone Auctions Dry-stored for 44 years, this ‘barn-find’ 1965 Porsche 356C is ready for a restoration. How much would you pay?

Silverstone Auctions[2] will offer this right-hand drive, UK car at its upcoming Classic Sale at the end of the month[3], showing 7539 miles on its odometer. The back story behind this one is simultaneously well-known, as far as paperwork goes, and a bit of a mystery.

The auction house indicates that this 356C, #131866, was built in late 1964 as a 1965 model-year car and was originally supplied to the UK by a Frazer-Nash dealer called AFN Ltd. The car was first registered in 1966, with the 356 Registry also noting that they believe that this 356C was upgraded to a 1600 Super 90 engine by the dealer. The auction house notes that this car will be offered with a history file containing the original manual, lots of invoices for maintenance over the years it was active, a Porsche service book, insurance certificates, tax discs, and an invoice for an engine rebuild that was done in 1976, which is right before the car went into long-term storage.

(C) Silverstone Auctions The interior appears to have been preserved rather well, all things considered.

But just why this Porsche disappeared into storage around 1976 or 1977 has not been publicly disclosed as a part of the sale, with the auction house only noting that it has been kept in dry storage.

Silverstone Auctions also says the selling owner has applied for a certificate of authenticity from Porsche to confirm the details of the vehicle. Porsche experts know that not that many 356Cs were made in 1965–just over a thousand in fact–which makes any newly discovered example uncommon. And right-hand-drive models are certainly in a minority among those, as well.

Gallery: Drones, Robots and Model Cars to Buy for Father’s Day (Autoweek)

Father’s Day has always been a boon for retailers of grilling utensils and neckties, and while a 30-pound bag of charcoal from Home Depot is nice and everything–and dads will gladly accept it–as a gift idea, it’s a little, um, lazy.

Dads could be interested in other things as well, things that don’t support the charcoal or necktie industry, and we suspect that some of them could be small vehicles of various kinds, remote-controlled or not, and in many different sizes. Here are 10 non-lazy, non-barbecue ideas in a range of budgets for Father’s Day gifts.

Tomica Limited Vintage in 1:64

This Japanese toymaker’s line of 1:64 will make Hot Wheels or Majorette cars seem like something produced with 1950s technology. The level of detail on Tomica’s offerings, most of which are those of Japanese cars in this line, can best be described as on a level of watchmaking, and they’re priced accordingly: £15 and up, prior to shipping costs.

It sounds pricey, but once you buy one of these you’ll understand their appeal.

F1 cars in 1:43 by Minichamps

For all of F1’s popularity, you won’t find scale models from the past at your local toy store. Thankfully, Minichamps has been cranking out F1 cars in 1:43 (and the larger and pricier 1:18 scale) for quite some time, giving collectors and racing fans alike some wide choices when it comes to eras and drivers. These can be at times be pricey depending on what you’re after, as some of these models have been out of production for years, so don’t expect uniform pricing.

But many are still very affordable. It just may take a while to find the one you want at the price you want.

2014 Jeep Wrangler 1:18 Scale

£39.97 Shop Now[4]

Maisto’s[5]line of various exotic cars, which built up momentum in the 1990s, continues to offer a lot of bang for the buck when it comes to 1:18 scale models. Did your dad own a Jaguar XJ220 in the 1990s? Probably not.

Did he daily a Ferrari F40? (It depends–he might have owned an F40, as many dads did, but he only drove it on the weekends). Maisto slightly overproduced a number of these 1:18 diecast models, to put it mildly, and the result 25 years later is that there are lots of them on eBay. Lately, Maisto has turned its attention to slightly more common cars, ranging from a 1970 Chevy Nova to a 2001 Chevy Corvette to a2014 Jeep Wrangler[6].

Surely someone’s dad owns a 2014 Jeep Wrangler somewhere?

1980 Honda Prelude 1:43 model by NEO

The modelmaker Neo[7] (not to be confused with the programmer Neo played by Keanu Reeves) has turned its attention to common American and Japanese cars of the past 40 years. This means that everything from a 1968 Ford Country Squire to a 1992 Honda Prelude has been reproduced in 1:43 scale, in resin, perhaps even in the color that your dad had at one point. It’s always worth checking if your dad’s first car has been offered in 1:43, because these can be fun gifts.

Or they could be less fun if that car ended up being wrecked somehow in real life. Buyer discretion advised.

Tatra 815 dump truck 1:43 model by Auto Istoriya

Does your dad know about the Tatra 815? Well, he should, because this truck was very innovative when it came out and in many ways upstaged Tatra’s passenger cars[8], featuring a frameless architecture and an unorthodox suspension design.

The “frame” was essentially a long tube that housed the driveshaft and also served as the main structural element, allowing axles to be easily added in a modular fashion. The 815 was built in many different forms, but this dump truck version is one of the more common ones, especially in these classic colors. The 815 debuted decades ago, but these trucks are still in use all over Europe.

Husqvarna Robotic Lawn Mower


Shop Now[9] It is well known that dads love robots, and they love to sit in lawn chairs. They also love not working on the weekends.

The center of this Venn diagram, we propose, is a dad who owns a robot that’s also a lawnmower. Before the robot apocalypse arrives and these robots all team up to take over the world, you can still purchase and force a lawn mowing robot to give your yard a haircut. The robot in question isHusqvarna’s Automower 310[10], which works on yards up to a quarter of an acre and produces fine clippings that act as a fertilizer for the lawn.

It’s also quiet enough to be used at night because it’s electric–and weatherproof to work in the rain (though it would be funnier if it was gasoline-powered and incredibly loud like a riding mower). It’s also notably cheaper than most riding mowers–priced at£1,199[11]. Is this the future of lawn-mowing?

Porsche 911 Carrera by Maisto in 1:18

Maisto[12] produced a number of popular supercars and sports cars of the 1990s in 1:18 scale, selling them for very reasonable prices back in the day.

But Maisto may have overestimated the demand for these a bit in the U.S., which is why they’re still available for very reasonable prices[13]. This means a gang of Ferrari, Porsche, BMW and Lamborghini and other automaker’s models can be easily found for not much dough, still in their original boxes. Almost three decades later, it’s still tough to beat these for value and detail, because modern 1:18 models tend to be much more expensive from other toymakers.

Mercedes-Benz W116 in 1:87 by Brekina

Almost at the other end of the scale model spectrum is the 1:87 scale, a popular scale for model railroads in Europe.

But not only model railroads–this is a fairly popular scale for passenger cars and trucks as well. Brekina[14] is one of the players in this segment, and they made a wide variety of European cars, trucks and buses. The cars tend to be German, and there is an almost endless variety of them. Prices for cars are just under £20[15], which may surprise some used to Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars, but keep in mind that these are meant to be realistic and are built to be displayed, rather than played with, so the construction is skewed toward realism.

Trucks by Wiking in 1:87

The German scale model maker Wiking has an extensive catalog of models in 1:87 scale, models that are either bought by collector or by model railroaders for their dioramas.

The most obscure European trucks are on Wiking’s menu, ranging from forklifts to DAF to Magirus trucks, like the one seen above[16]. Models of vintage trucks are not hard to find from this maker, at least online, and there is an endless variety of them in Wiking’s repertoire. Prices can vary quite a bit, from just a few dollars to £50.00, so it can take some time to find something specific at a price you like. eBay is the place for these.

UAZ 452V in 1:18 by SSM

Everyone’s favorite car that they saw in Ewan McGregor and Charley Borman’s Long Way Round[17] has finally been reproduced in glorious 1:18 scale.

That’s right: The UAZ 452V, the official vehicle of Mongolia, is now available in this giant scale[18] to take up an entire shelf on a bookcase. The 452V has been in production in Ulyanovsk, Russia, pretty much unchanged since the 1960s, and it’s one of the earliest and easily the longest-produced 4×4 minivans. Nicknamed bukhanka, which means bread loaf, the 452V can perform ridiculous off-road feats while carrying up to a dozen people.

The 452V model is made by StartScaleModels, which offers these in a number of paint colors[19], in addition to other Eastern Euro cars in 1:18 scale.

Holy Stone HS120D GPS Drone

£199.99 Shop Now[20] Drones have been a hobby long enough to drop in price to be affordable to just about everyone, and high-quality drones with a lot of advanced capabilities aren’t out of reach either.

One of the most popular models on the market right now isHoly Stone’s HS120D GPS quadcopter[21]with a camera that features a 1080HD filming capability and functions like auto-follow and an automatic return home. The footage goes directly to your smartphone, which is attached to the video game-like control pad. This model offers up to 36 minutes of flying time on its two batteries.

With a price of£169.99[22], this is a very affordable way to get into the hobby.

Lamborghini Sian by Lego

£379.95 Shop Now[23] Who has time to builda Lego model with 3,696 pieces[24]?

A lot of people these days. Which is why earlier this month Lego released a 1:8 scale model of theLamborghini Sian[25]in the big Technic format. It even has a working transmission with little gears that you have to assemble.

In fact, we’re pretty sure it’s easier just to assemble the real thing at the factory, because the transmission is done at that point and you just have to plug it in. We feel that the Lego transmission inside this 1:8 scale model might take a whole week to put together. If 3,696 pieces sound expensive, that’s because they are: TheLego Sian costs £379.99[26].

But it will keep Dad occupied.

Ikarus 280 in 1:87 by Brekina

This famous European bus design originated in Budapest, Hungary, and quickly conquered the world starting in the late 1960s. The 280.33 version of the Ikarus[27] seen here is one of the many, many versions of the 200 series, which was produced in a staggering variety of layouts. One of the variants of this bendy bus was even used by major cities in the U.S. and Canada[28], including Chicago, San Francisco, Honolulu, Houston, Toronto, Portland and Calgary.

The last of the 280s exited use in North America in the early 1990s, but the 200 series lived on much longer in Eastern Europe. This 1:87 bus by Brekina is a part of its European truck and bus series, and can be found on eBay or directly from Brekina online[29].

Indycar by Greenlight in 1:64

Indycar fans used to be underserved in past years when it came to scale models, and the reality was that you couldn’t really find Indycar merchandise in big box stores — NASCAR was usually all you could encounter. The reality is very different in the age of e-commerce, as you no longer have to seek out something on foot, and the variety is much better as well.

Greenlight now has a line of Indycars in 1:64 scale, with quite a lot of variety when it comes to modern teams and drivers. Detail quality is higher than ever and prices don’t bite. These are available in blister packs on j-hooks and rectangular jewel boxes alike, for easy (and dust-free) storage and display.

Indycar by Greenlight in 1:64


Shop Now[30] Indycar fans used to be underserved in past years when it came to scale models, and the reality was that you couldn’t really find Indycar merchandise in big box stores–NASCAR was usually all you could encounter. The reality is very different in the age of e-commerce, as you no longer have to seek out something on foot, and the variety is much better as well.

Greenlight now has a line of Indycars in 1:64 scale, with quite a lot of variety when it comes to modern teams and drivers. Detail quality is higher than ever and prices don’t bite. These are available in blister packs on j-hooks and rectangular jewel boxes alike, for easy (and dust-free) storage and display.

16/16 SLIDES

Photos show orange peel and surface rust on the exterior, while the wear to the interior is minimal, considering how long it has been off the road.

The interior has not been cleaned in preparation for the auction, and no major items appear to be missing inside or out, judging by the photos. All the brightwork and small glass elements appear to be in place, too.

(C) Silverstone Auctions This 356C is believed to have received an upgraded engine early on from the selling dealer.

“Finished in Bali Blue (Baliblau), the overall condition of this ‘barn discovery’ appears good and quite solid but most importantly it retains much of its original equipment,” the auction house notes. “Many components wear a date stamp of 1964 and as such we believe this example offers a superb opportunity as a restoration project or, perhaps, just a sympathetic recommission and use ‘as is’ with a unique patina.” The auction house[31] has given a guide range of £27,500 to £41,000 for this car[32], and it’s safe to say that as far as starting points for restorations go, this one is likely one of the most complete cars in barn-find condition we’ve seen in recent years.

Needless to say, newly discovered near-complete examples of 356Cs do not come up for auction often, though basket cases and garden finds still appear with some regularity, as do body shells that have sat out in the California desert for decades on end. This car appears complete; hopefully no body panels will have to be sourced to address the rust issues. With 356C values sitting around the £150,000 mark for concours-grade examples, it would be advantageous to the winning bidder to make the math add up at the end of the day on this car, so any bids of over £50,000 will perhaps be excessive.

One has to save something for the restoration expense.

(C) Silverstone Auctions This Porsche is believed to have been off the road since 1976.

The one factor that could make this example a bit of a tough sell in Europe or in the US is the fact that it’s right-hand drive, but we wouldn’t rule out this example leaving the UK to get a restoration at one of the better-known specialist shops–and then returning to the UK for a victory lap at concours events.

Visit the auction website[33] to view the full list of lots from the upcoming sale.

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  1. ^ 1965 Porsche 356C 1600 Super (www.silverstoneauctions.com)
  2. ^ Silverstone Auctions (www.silverstoneauctions.com)
  3. ^ Classic Sale at the end of the month (www.silverstoneauctions.com)
  4. ^ Shop Now (www.amazon.com)
  5. ^ Maisto’s (www.amazon.com)
  6. ^ 2014 Jeep Wrangler (www.amazon.com)
  7. ^ modelmaker Neo (neoshop.replicars.nl)
  8. ^ Tatra’s passenger cars (www.autoweek.com)
  9. ^ Shop Now (www.amazon.com)
  10. ^ Husqvarna’s Automower 310 (www.amazon.com)
  11. ^ £1,199 (www.amazon.com)
  12. ^ Maisto (www.amazon.com)
  13. ^ still available for very reasonable prices (www.ebay.com)
  14. ^ Brekina (brekina.de)
  15. ^ just under £20 (www.ebay.com)
  16. ^ Magirus trucks, like the one seen above (www.ebay.com)
  17. ^ Ewan McGregor and Charley Borman’s Long Way Round (en.wikipedia.org)
  18. ^ now available in this giant scale (www.ebay.com)
  19. ^ which offers these in a number of paint colors (www.modelsshop.eu)
  20. ^ Shop Now (www.amazon.com)
  21. ^ Holy Stone’s HS120D GPS quadcopter (www.amazon.com)
  22. ^ £169.99 (www.amazon.com)
  23. ^ Shop Now (www.amazon.com)
  24. ^ a Lego model with 3,696 pieces (www.autoweek.com)
  25. ^ Lamborghini Sian (www.autoweek.com)
  26. ^ Lego Sian costs £379.99 (www.autoweek.com)
  27. ^ 280.33 version of the Ikarus (www.autoweek.com)
  28. ^ used by major cities in the U.S. and Canada (www.autoweek.com)
  29. ^ directly from Brekina online (brekinashop.de)
  30. ^ Shop Now (www.amazon.com)
  31. ^ auction house (www.silverstoneauctions.com)
  32. ^ this car (www.silverstoneauctions.com)
  33. ^ auction website (www.silverstoneauctions.com)
  34. ^ Continue Reading (www.msn.com)