An American Hero and His Beloved Porsche 356
It was early 1965, and Naval Aviator Dennis Moore had just taken
delivery of his brand new 1965 Porsche 356SC. The car was ordered
through an exporter in Luxembourg on November 26th, 1964, and
shipped to California for delivery.
Dennis "Denny" Moore graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at
Annapolis, Class of 1960, completed Naval Flight Training in
November of 1961, and became a Naval Aviator. His assignment was
Naval Air Station Miramar, where he spent six months with the
VF-124 training to become a fleet replacement pilot in the F-8
In the Spring of 1965, approximately three weeks after taking
delivery of his 356, Denny was deployed for a tour in North Vietnam
during the Vietnam War. He placed the 356 into storage on North
Island in San Diego and set off on the USS Bon Homme Richard
(CV-31) aircraft carrier to serve his tour.
On October 27th, 1965, Denny was flying a mission over Laos for the
VF-191 in an F8 Crusader and drifted into North Vietnam, where he
was intercepted by a surface-to-air missile and forced to eject
from his aircraft. Upon settling on the jungle floor east of Hanoi,
he was taken captive by the North Vietnamese Army, where he
remained a Prisoner of War in the 4th Allied POW Wing.
The Porsche 356 remained in storage in North Island while Denny's
father attempted to locate it in Denny's absence. Denny's father
finally found the car and traveled to San Diego to retrieve it. He
drove the car back to his home in Littleton, Colorado, where it
remained until the family relocated to Scottsdale, Arizona, several
Denny stood firm for seven and a half grueling years, enduring
solitary confinement, torture tactics, and starvation in an effort
from the North Vietnamese to obtain military information and false
confessions for propaganda. Through his courage, determination, and
devotion to duty, Denny left a lasting impact leading to the
eventual abandonment of the harsh North Vietnamese tactics with
those they imprisoned. Denny was later awarded a Silver Star for
his bravery and honor as a POW.
Denny was finally released through Operation Homecoming on February
12th, 1973, and passed through the Naval Hospital in San Diego
before returning to his family in Scottsdale, Arizona. When Denny
arrived home, he was shocked (and elated!) to see that his 356 was
still retained and cared for by the family during his
Following is a newspaper article that pictures Denny, his father,
and the 356 only days after his return home. His smile in that
photo says it all. He was delighted to be home with his family- and
his 356! During his stay in Scottsdale, Denny joined the local
chapter of the PCA and even showed his 356 at the Scottsdale PCA
Concours in the summer of 1973.
Denny spent the next seven months resting and recovering from his
time in Vietnam before returning to NAS Miramar in October 1973 to
take refresher flight training. Following completion in November of
1973, he spent the following year in F-4 Phantom Fleet replacement
training with VF-121. Denny then redeployed to Vietnam in November
of 1974 and participated in operations involving the Fall of
In 1974, Denny purchased his lifetime home in La Jolla, California.
The 356 resided there for the next 48 years until the end of 2022.
Denny remained in the Navy until 1980, reaching the rank of
Commander and served as Safety Officer with VF-121 at NAS Miramar,
Executive Officer of VF-191 at NAS Miramar, and Commanding Officer
of VF-191 during a deployment aboard the USS Coral Sea.
After Denny retired from the Navy, a friend and fellow retired
Naval Aviator introduced the opportunity of flying privately. Denny
became the personal captain for Prince Khalid bin Abdulaziz and
flew many of the Prince's private aircraft in the following years,
the last being the Prince's custom-tailored Boeing 767.
Denny purchased an apartment in London that he used as his home
away from home while flying for the Prince across the Middle East
and Europe. Denny remained captain for the Prince until September
2001. After the events of September 11th, 2001, Denny elected to
end his employment with the Prince and returned home to San
In 2002, Denny began law school at Cal Western and graduated in
2005. He learned from and worked with his sister, an attorney
representing inmates on death row. Denny spent significant time
with many inmates and found a personal connection with them after
what he had experienced during his captivity in Vietnam.
CPR was lucky enough to meet Denny for the first time in 2011.
Denny arrived at CPR one morning with his lovely Light Ivory 1965
Porsche 356SC coupe to inquire about a restoration. On initial
inspection, Denny's 356 was one of the most excellent original 356s
we had ever seen. Original paint, all original metal, a healthy
numbers matching drivetrain, and a beautifully preserved original
interior. We pleaded with Denny to leave the car in its original
form as it truly did not need restoration and was an unbelievable
survivor. But Denny wanted the car perfect, and we embarked on the
simplest, most straightforward restoration of a 356 that we have
We stripped the car to bare metal, revealing the straightest and
driest original 356 body we had encountered. It was very nearly
perfect. The vehicle required little metalwork and retained its
original metal, including its floors. The body was placed in heavy
primer and blocked to ensure straightness and factory gaps.
It was then finished in its original color of Light Ivory and
reassembled using its restored factory original parts. The engine
and gearbox received complete overhauls, and the interior was
refinished in German vinyl by Autobahn Interiors in Sorrento
Valley. CPR completed the restoration work in 2013, and the car
returned to Denny in La Jolla, California.
Throughout the next decade, Denny would periodically visit CPR to
have the 356 serviced and tweaked to his liking. He drove the car
regularly and got to use and enjoy it to its fullest potential.
This 356SC was very special to Denny. The car represented an
emotional pivot point in his life and symbolized joy through all
the hardships he faced as a young man. We're sure Denny elected to
have us restore what was ultimately one of the more excellent
original 356s because he never truly got to enjoy the car when it
was brand new, and he wanted to have that experience.
Our last opportunity to see Denny was in the late summer of 2022.
The driver's door on his 356 was slightly out of adjustment, and as
was standard with Denny, he wanted the car perfect. He dropped the
car off in the early morning so we could adjust the door 1/16th of
an inch to get it back into the ideal spec that meant so much to
him. We trailered the car back to his home in La Jolla, where he
could enjoy it for several more months.
Denny, unfortunately, passed away on November 26th, 2022, after a
battle with cancer. He was 84 years old. Denny's family contacted
us after his passing to represent the 356SC and see to it that the
car finds a home with a custodian that will care for it properly
and carry its remarkable history forward. This car will always be
Denny's 356 in spirit, and the future owner will be the lucky
caretaker who continues to share and tell its extraordinary
The documentation for this 356SC is outstanding. It begins with the
original purchase order dated 11/26/64 from Garage Martin Losch in
Luxembour...for more information please contact the seller.