For the 1959 model year, Porsche made several mechanical and stylistic refinements to its evergreen 356 model, when it became officially known as the 356B. The body design was designated as the “T5” and the new car featured several subtle refinements to the styling, bumpers and wheels. New engines were made available which delivered increased power and performance. The Speedster and Convertible D were dropped from the lineup after slow sales, so the list of available body styles now included the Coupe, Cabriolet, Roadster (a more basic and sporting cousin to the Cabrio) and Karmann Notchback, a rarity which was essentially a Cabriolet body with a hardtop permanently affixed in place. Bodies were built by Karmann, Reutter or Drauz. Somewhat confusingly, however, mid-1962 models were restyled again but still retained the 356B designation. The restyled car was internally designated as a T6 body, which carried over into the final variant, the 356C. The differences between the two are subtle to the casual observer, but of course there are plenty within the 356 community who have their own strong opinions about which car looks the best. As with most air-cooled Porsches, the 356 is always in demand with collectors and enthusiasts and solid examples command a premium in today’s active market.
This 1960 356B T5 Reutter Cabriolet is a solid, good quality example that has had some light restoration work done over the years and presents today as a very good driver. The solid, rust-free body wears good quality, attractive red paint over tan upholstery and a nice black top. A majority of the work was carried out approximately 20 years ago, yet still remains in good and very presentable condition. The chrome and bright work is in similarly good order, likely restored at the same time as the paint. The chrome wheels are wrapped in proper Michelin XWX tires, including the spare and chrome hubcaps have colored Porsche crests. Inside, tan upholstered seats and door panels are in great shape and complement the oatmeal-colored square weave carpets. A proper three-spoke wheel and an original Becker Grand Prix radio round out the nice cabin. The engine appears in good order, with some older detailing visible on the Fram oil filter housing, Bosch ignition coil and correct air filter housings. The engine runs strong and appears free of excessive leaks or smoke; a healthy enjoyable 356.
Shiny, pretty and fun, this 356 is a great example for an enthusiast looking to set off on a weekend adventure in a usable and reliable classic. With upkeep and some additional detailing, it will most likely hold its value well, considering the current interest in air-cooled Porsches of all types. Free of any structural problems or mechanical woes, this is a wonderful driver-quality 356 in a very desirable body style that is ready for top-down enjoyment.