Although Porsche had existed as an engineering consultancy since 1931, it did not start making cars until 1948 when it hand fabricated a series of 49 cars in a temporary home in Gmund, Austria.
Porsche 356 chassis #10713 was completed on the 3rd July 1951 and is therefore one of the first thousand cars made by the Porsche company. It was delivered via the Belgian dealer D’Ieteren in Brussels.
Little is known about the early history of the car however it found its way to the US and by the 1980s it was in the collection of the late Jim Barrington who owned five Gmund coupes at one time, Barrington was a prolific collector of early 356s.
The car changed hands a couple of times in the US in the 90s before being bought as a restoration project by Italian 356 restorer Reinhold Plank. Without starting the project Plank sold the car in 1998 to Oliver Schmidt and Thomas Koenig, curators of the famous Prototyp Museum in Hamburg, Germany.
In 2012 the Westerman family, owners of one of Europe’s best Porsche collections, bought the car in still unrestored state from Schmidt and Koenig. They then commenced what would become an eight year project to return the car to its current resplendent condition.
The car was originally specified with the more powerful 1300cc Type 506 engine option. In the early years of 356 production Porsche used VW magnesium crankcase castings of variable quality and failures were not uncommon. This fate seems to have befallen the original engine of this car and it now carries a period correct 2-piece 1300cc engine built on an authentic early VW magnesium case.
The gearbox is a correct VW magnesium crash box with a serial number that is consistent with the age of the car. It could very well be the original gearbox, unfortunately Porsche does not hold gearbox information for the earliest cars.
The car has been restored to the factory specification colour scheme as given by the detailed records held by Reutter, who built most of the 356 bodies for Porsche under contract. The metal work was carried out by Nostalgicar of Neuss, Germany, and paint was completed by Beerten in The Netherlands. After multiple phases of priming and sanding the car was set in storage for several months to guarantee perfect hardening. Period correct nitrocellulose paint has been used. The engine and gearbox were overhauled by the Westerman collection’s own mechanics.
The car was trimmed and built up by the Porsche Classic facility at Porsche Gelderland in the Netherlands and was finished to the highest standards in 2020.
The car now resides at Classic Porsche specialist Export 56 who are continuing to get the car into fully operational condition.