1963 Porsche 356B 1600 “Super” Cabriolet
California car, one long term ownership for 48 years
Sympathetic concours-level restoration preserving many original parts
Number matching engine and transmission
Has driver's manual, tools, jack and spare
Fully serviced and concours detailed by Canepa
1600cc 75 horsepower flat four, 4-speed manual transmission
Often times the visual that comes to people's minds when “early Porsches” are mentioned is the classic and iconic Porsche 356. With its timeless styling that evolved over the course of its 10+ year production run, increasingly gaining power and handling improvements during that time, it became a well-known and well-liked sports car. With space for two front passengers and 2 slightly smaller passengers in the back, it became a sports car that could be argued as “practical.” No doubt helping with its popularity, the 356 would cement itself as one of the all-time greats of early sports car design and still reflects that today with its loyal enthusiast base and strong values.
This 356B Cabriolet began its life on May 21st, 1963 and delivered new to southern California to be sold at Competition Motors in Los Angeles, CA. The cabriolet's second owner, William L. Kraisosky, purchased this car at Al Pennett Imported Cars in Riverside, CA, on January 23rd, 1965 for $3,600. He then went on to own the car for almost 48 years, until December 2012. In 2003 he decided to perform a complete ground up restoration of his beloved cabriolet. At the time the 356 had about 90,000 original miles on the odometer, and it needed a freshening up. The car had never seen any rust or accident damage, but time and consistent use had caught up with the Cab.
Its original paint was stripped from the car to reveal no damage or rust, the body prepped and then painted in its original color. A meticulous attention to detail was paid to ensure that all panel gaps were perfect and that fitment issues were nonexistent. This includes the body panels, doors, deck lid, and hood. The result were perfect body lines from front to rear, at any angle, and in any light. This 356 retains all of its original panels stamped “419” as well as original door cards with “419” scribed behind the original vapor barrier. The floor pans, trunk floor, and battery area all remain original – a true rarity in the 356 world.
The trim is partially original with unrestored window frames, door window trim, door handles, headlights, hood trim, and turn signals. The remainder of trim are new Stoddard Porsche replacements. The door glass is original with a new factory-type windshield from Stoddard. The experts at Auto International refinished the interior and top. The door panels, door chrome trim, top rails, and the rear wings were in excellent condition, so they were left in original and unrestored condition. The dash top, front and rear seats, carpets, and mats are new. The original “5-63” gauges have been detailed by North Hollywood Speedometer with original screened faces and refinished bezels. The radio is fully functional and rebuilt. The front trunk is detailed with new felt, a refinished fuel tank, complete tools, a correct battery, cardboard cover, battery wiring, and its original plastic trunk tray. The engine compartment is original and unrestored with original paper insulation. The numbers matching engine and transmission were completely rebuilt, with only 6,996 miles added since. The engine remains at stock 75 horsepower specifications with correct date-stamped carburetors and other original components.
The third owner, known in Porsche circles for his early 911 restoration work (featured in both Excellence and Panorama) and perfectionists standards, acquired the car at the Palm Springs holiday in 2012. While complaining about the consistent poor body and paint work being carried out in most of the 356 market, he was stopped in his tracks by the perfect fit, seamless lines, and consistent flow of this Cabriolet. While inquiring as to “if” the car could be purchased, the owner stated that after nearly 5 decades of ownership he would consider selling. Later in the weekend a deal was struck.
In August of 2016 Canepa sold this Cabriolet to the most recent owner, who during his ownership took the same level of care to the car for almost three cars. Recently returning to Canepa, the car is exactly how it was when it first left. It was given a full mechanical inspection and concours-level detail as part of the “Canepa Difference” process. With a clean bill of health issued, the car now is spotless and shines with a show-worthy glow. With this amazing California Porsche 356B Cabriolet, its quality, details, and sheer class just beg for you to drop the top and enjoy the road.