To concours or not to concours this Porsche 356A coupé, that is the question
Based in the UK, classic car restoration specialist Thornley Kelham started out with the restoration of an Aston Martin DB4 and went further by upgrading and personalizing one rare Lancia after another. Most recently, the team completed a Bizzarrini job that took the better part of 4500 hours. When it came to keeping that Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada as original as possible, Thornley Kelham retained even the rather poor factory welding, taking care to strengthen the chassis at all critical points.
Now, the shop has a rare 1959 Porsche 356A Coupé in stock, with two routes ahead for the potential customer:
“The first would work to retain as much of the patina as possible by carefully replacing sections of rusted bodywork and undertaking a full mechanical and interior restoration, while clear-coating the body to preserve the unique patina for years to come. Buyers would be presented with a structurally sound, perfectly reliable rolling piece of automotive artwork, proudly wearing the story of its 60 years.
“Alternatively, Thornley Kelham can complete a full ground-up restoration. Returning the car to its original paint and trim combination, the work would include a complete interior re-trim, chassis strengthening and drivetrain rebuild.”
The Porsche in question is a rare, end-of-production, right-hand-drive 356A with matching numbers. Completed in May of 1959, this car was sold to England and British Lions rugby player Mr. Frank Sykes. Delivered in silver metallic (otherwise known as “Silbermetall”), this 356A later travelled to the U.S., where it sat in storage for the last three decades. Today, chassis no. 107479 retains its factory 1.6-liter engine and four-speed transmission, as well as a unique patina that’s a mixture of bare metal, surface rust, primer, and leftover spots of red, further enhanced by a previous paint removal attempt.
Either way Thornley Kelham’s future customer chooses, Mr. Frank Syker’s former Porsche 356 will certainly be ready for another 60 years. Which route would you take? Let us know below!