1959 Porsche 356A Convertible D
• VIN 86693
• Engine No. 75145 - Matching
• Transmission No. 23835 - Matching
• Completed July 23, 1959
This is the 806th Convertible D built, completed on July 23, 1959.
Originally finished in Ivory (5704) with a Red leatherette
interior. Factory options include an ashtray, a cigarette lighter,
US overrider bumpers, a Ponto Stabil mirror, 2 safety belts, a
spare rim, a jack, and a tool kit.
This is a two (2) owner Southern California Convertible D. The
first owner, David Sayles took a European delivered in Holland in
July of 1959. Sayles was from La Jolla, California, and enjoyed
this 356 for nearly 16 years. The second owner purchased the
Convertible D on September 30, 1975. Mrs. Kastner was from Tarzana,
California, and owned this 356 for 46 years and has been a
California car for the past 63 years.
European Collectibles did a Concour restoration on this 1959
Convertible D over 18 months from 2021 to 2022. During the
restoration, this 356 was completely disassembled and stripped down
to the bare shell so that every aspect could be properly addressed.
The body and panels are original and still retain their correct
stampings/numbers. All panels were pre-fit with bumpers, overrider
bars, a windshield frame, and a soft top to ensure the absolute
best result. All the chrome was triple plated, and all the
components were restored or replaced.
The exterior has been finished in Aquamarine Blue and has been
executed to the highest standard with all original brightwork, new
seals, and aluminum trim. The Convertible Ds have many
number-matched components, many of which this 356 still retains.
Some of those components include the soft top frame, door hinge
covers, windshield frame, and door garnish rails. The interior is
in pristine condition and is upholstered in Tan leather with German
tan square weave carpets, a German black canvas soft-top, along
with a black boot cover. The steel wheels are date-coded and
painted silver with baby moon hubcaps and fitted to Michelin XZX
Mechanically, it is an amazing 356 to drive! The driveline is all
matching and everything component was rebuilt including the engine,
transmission, suspension, braking system, fuel system, and a new
wire harness was installed. The matching 1600cc Normal engine with
60 horsepower performs flawlessly with plenty of power with the
matching manual 4-speed transmission that shifts through all the
gears with ease. The four-wheel drum brakes have been completely
rebuilt with all new wheel cylinders, brake lines, and master
cylinder. Complete with spare tire, jack, tool kit, Porsche Classic
Technical Certificate, Kardex, and service records. Absolutely
superb in every way, this 356A Convertible D is ready for any
Concour events, classic car rallies, or just to drive and
History of the Convertible D
The 1958-1959 Porsche 356A Convertible D model is arguably one of
the rarest "production" Porsche 356 models ever manufactured for a
full year (the T6 "twin grille" Roadster was produced for only a
few months). Only 1,331 Convertible Ds were made between August
1958 and September 1959. By 1958 the Speedster model was four years
old, and sales were declining. Porsche realized that significant
improvements were necessary to attract new buyers, but that there
was certainly a market for a "weekend racer" with a removable
windshield. The Porsche 356A Convertible D was the solution (though
a modern marketing department would have picked a racier name).
Because overall Porsche sales were growing at a steady pace, and
the Reutter coachworks were straining to keep up with the demand,
Porsche contracted with the Drauz company in Heilbronn to
manufacture bodies for the Convertible D (the "D" stood for
Karosseriewerke Drauz KG). On July 31, 1958, Porsche sent a letter
to all of their Porsche dealers announcing the new "Convertible D"
model and specifying the differences.
All in all, the Convertible D is a more practical 356 than the
Speedster: a larger windshield, roll-up side windows, and more
comfortable seats while retaining the beautiful body lines and the
downward sloping beltline that now attracts so many 356
enthusiasts. Of course, some of the minimalist, racier features of
the Speedster were lost, and many Porsche purists complained long
and loud in 1958!
For the 1960 model year, the Convertible D model was replaced by
the 356 B Roadster based on the new T5 body style. However, sales
of the "stripped down" 356 continued to decline, and the last year
of Roadster production was in 1962 when just 248 T6-bodied cars
were made, with production ceasing well before the end of the model
year. In the current market, it is ironic that these 356 models
that were the least expensive "back in the day" Speedster,
Convertible D, and Roadster are now more expensive than the luxury