I’ll put almost any Mercedes-Benz from the golden era of the 1960s up against other car from that time period and say it was better. There is a very distinct feeling when you open the doors to one of these cars and it usually says to you “this feels different.” Everything is heavier, thicker, and more robust. Plastic? Very little if any. This is a car made of wood, leather, and steel. You pilot them as much as you drive them. Chances are, it is going to outlast you if cared for properly. Today, we have one of those cars.
This is a 1964 Mercedes-Benz 220SEb coupe. That unofficial lowercase ‘b’ is very important as it signifies this is a fuel-injected inline-six car rather than a twin-carb of the standard 220SE. Not that the dual carbs are bad, but rather the fuel-injection system is much easier to live with and of course much smoother. This car in Chicago is finished in a wonderful shade of red with the matching hubcaps, a black leather cabin, and that all-important wood instrument cluster binnacle. Just to add some more goodness, it’s a sunroof example as well and has a four-speed manual gearbox. What isn’t to like?
There are few cars I geek out over more than the Mercedes-Benz 600 and all of its crazy variations. There is just something about the ”money is no object” philosophy with these cars and the seemingly endless options that were offered. One of those options was the factory Pullman body that turned this sedan into a limousine. Wildly popular with celebrities, industrialists and heads of state, these offered the best the automotive world had to offer with seating for six. Today’s car, a 1964 Pullman for sale in Germany, was built for and used by the largest industrial manufacturing company in Europe: Siemens AG.
If you’ll pardon the somewhat cheesy introduction: I have a cold. As we all know, having a cold sucks. It drags everything down and makes everything we want to accomplish more taxing. I’ll live. But in order to feel a little better I wanted to add some vibrancy and beauty to my day. Upon such occasions I love to search for a nice early Porsche.
Such specific searching doesn’t always prove rewarding, but in this case I was not let down. Here we have a beautifully restored Ruby Red 1964 Porsche 356SC Karmann Coupe, located in Idaho, with Black interior and 89,360 miles on it. It’s said to be numbers matching and wearing its original colors. The perfect thing to lift spirits on an otherwise woeful day.
I’ll admit this is somewhat of a rare feature for me. I don’t usually go for Porsches that present in this sort of condition unless it is some exceedingly rare model or color. This one is neither of those things. It does have some rare options though, most interesting to me the large tartan suitcase. I realize that’s neither the most exciting nor sporting option we could come across, but what could be more vintage than a tartan suitcase fitted to a Porsche 356? However, there is a problem: I don’t know if that suitcase comes with the car. It isn’t pictured, even though the seller explicitly mentions it as an interesting aspect of this 356C. That seems peculiar to me. None the less it’s a cool sort of thing to come with the car and even if this 356 isn’t in great shape, an example in such original condition is itself a rarity.
Model: 356C 1600 SC
Engine: 1.6 liter flat-6
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 63,026 mi
Price: $66,995 But It Now
1964 Porsche 356SC Reutter Coupe with solid factory floors, numbers-matching engine and transmission, excellent body gaps, and rare Large Tartan Suitcase option. Excellent factory color combination: Signal Red 6407 with Grey interior. Garaged and rarely driven, a very original and unmolested example. Many rare factory options, COA included. Runs and drives nicely.
So we’re kind of staking a lot on the originality of the condition of this 356. It is rare that I see one of these that hasn’t undergone a full restoration. However, the interior, especially the seats and carpets, can’t possibly be fully original based on the rest of the car. How could they remain in this condition while other aspects of the interior seem well worn? So I am assuming the seats have been redone, though the ad does not state that as the case. That leaves me in an odd place. Obviously, this 356 needs to be repainted and the interior doors don’t look in great shape. The asking price isn’t too bad given all of these things, but ultimately I need to know more about the history. How did it get to what we see now and what is the situation with these interesting options? The original coco floor mats also seem to have gone missing. With those questions answered I think we could move forward. There are decent possibilities here, especially if the mechanical condition is good, as the ad suggests. But the aesthetic elements aren’t there yet and there’s uncertainty about the options. Maybe I really just want to know the tartan suitcase comes with the car.
It’s the holidays, a time for dreaming and wish fulfillment, and a time when we look for those items that we know we really can’t afford.
But maybe we just look at them anyway, momentarily morphing into Clark Griswold spending his Christmas bonus he hasn’t yet gotten.
It’s the time of year to root through the inventory at places like Canepa just to see what sort of interesting and rare cars might catch our notice. Probably my favorite color combination on the Porsche 356 is Slate Gray over Red. It’s a great combination on any Porsche, but for whatever reason I find it particularly stunning on the 356. In part that may be due to Slate Gray being specifically from that vintage, but there still seems something more. Regardless of the reason I love coming across a nice one. Canepa being Canepa they not only had 1 Slate Gray over Red example, but 2! Rather than go for the full insanity of the 356 Carrera 2 Cabriolet they have on offer, I thought I’d keep things a little more attainable with this 1964 Porsche 356C Coupe. Unlike most 356C Coupes, which feature a 1.6 liter inline-4 producing 95 hp, this one has a built Willhoit 2132 cc engine said to put out 145 hp, bringing it nearly in line with the power from the Carrera 2 itself.
Anyone who is a frequent reader will know that I love new and interesting colors. It’s one of the aspects of any car that is most likely to attract me to it and make we want to investigate it further. I’m certainly not alone in this as color represents anyone’s most immediate apprehension of a vehicle, but I find it especially important and even find myself giving significant attention to colors I don’t even necessarily like! What does this have to do with this 1964 Porsche 356C 1600 SC Cabriolet? 1) It’s beautiful, as most any 356 Cabriolet is. 2) Until now I’ve never come across this color. It’s Champagne Yellow, a color Porsche only made available in the ’60s, and as the name suggests it’s a very light version of yellow with hints of gold. It looks great on this vintage 356!
It’s amazing what happens to a car when you put fins on it. That’s what happened to the entry level line Mercedes-Benz in 1961. The W110 was a perfectly tame, conservatively styled basic sedan all the way up to the point past the rear axle then the fins come out and the crowd goes wild. Because of these fins, the W110 now carries the name ‘Heckflosse’ which is of course is German for ‘Fintail.’ These Heckflosse sedans were nothing special outside of the style point and Mercedes really didn’t plan for them to be their flagship. You had two options for the engine in a 1.9 liter gas four cylinder or the 2.0 liter diesel. Both a little under powered, but sturdy and dependable. With the newest of these cars just being almost 50 years old, the Heckflosse is starting to become more rare by the year. So let’s take a look at this wonderful 190D for sale in New Jersey.
I’m going to step back from the world of ultimate performance 911s to bask in the beauty of a vintage Porsche. While there certainly existed performance variants of the 356 back in its day, by modern standards performance is very much beside the point when having a look at one of these cars. They’re very lightweight – I was struck by just how small a 911T appeared relative to the cars around it when I encountered one on the street this past weekend – and there is very little separating driver from machine to dull communication between them, but fewer than 100 horses is just that and modern suspension engineering is another world entirely. Yet, when I see a 356, which I think has only happened twice that I can remember, I’m just as struck by how different they look and how elegant they can be. Many vintage automobiles possess a similar stature and it is the nostalgia for these designs that drives many to seek them out. The example here isn’t entirely original – it’s engine is a period correct unit from the 912 – but it comes in an extremely subtle, but still very pretty, Dolphin Grey and comes from very near the end of 356 production. Here we have a 1964 Porsche 356C SC Karmann Coupe, located in California, with what sounds like around 120K miles on it (the seller assumes the odometer has turned over, but doesn’t have verification).
For some time, the fate of Audi seemed sealed. Post World War II, Auto Union GmbH’s production was focused on the DKW automobiles that fit into the European economic situation much better than the pre-War luxury cars from Horch and Audi. But the market was changing, and Auto Union launched the very pretty 1000SP Coupe and Convertible. But, there was no denying that the 1000SP looked like a 1950s car in a 1960s world. Audi’s production would really have to wait until the launch of the C1 chassis in 1968; prior to that, some re-badged DKW models wore the Audi name but sold only in small numbers. The C1 would prove to be a pretty popular model, though, and the new 100 model would be available as both a sedan and as a 2-door “Coupe S” model. The lines of that model, as with the 1000SP, mimicked more expensive and famous cars such as the Fiat Dino and Aston Martin DBS. It was a pretty large departure from the mini-Thunderbird look of the 1000SP and much more modern. But, it appears that there may have been a missing link developed in the mid-1960s:
Vintages Porsches always have a more limited appeal unless they are a particularly rare model, in which case the limitations become financial. The 356 does have its share of fans, but with the 911 remaining ever popular it tends to garner much of the attention. That is to be expected given the sheer iconic stature the 911 has developed over its 50 years of production, but I remain strangely attracted to the 356. They’re attractive cars that easily show their foundation as the 911’s predecessor. So even if they’ve be relegated behind the 911, the 356 remains the 911’s roots and for that it deserves plenty of appreciation. The example here comes from near the end of 356 production: a Silver 1964 Porsche 356SC, located in Maryland, with a magnificent Red interior and a reported 58,645 miles on it.