Lot 481: Porsche 356B 1600 Super 90 Coupe
From the time that Porsche returned from Austria to Germany in 1950, most of their bodies had been built by Reutter, with whom they had had a long relationship. In the 1960s, however, Karmann, better known as a supplier to Volkswagen, built a number of coupe styles. Wilhelm Karmann acquired the coachbuilding enterprise of Klages in Osnabrück, Germany, in 1901. Already a volume producer, he could supply orders of 100 bodies a month, and became the major source for Adler in Frankfurt. Never a builder of one-off creations, Karmann began supplying convertible bodies to Volkswagen in 1949, and continued for the life of the Beetle model. From 1955 to 1974, Karmann also built two-seat Karmann-Ghia coupes and cabriolets in great numbers. Among work for a myriad of European manufacturers, including BMW, Opel and Renault, was the construction of coupe bodies for Porsche from 1961 to 1965. Some of these were of the "hardtop" variety, also called "notchback," essentially a cabriolet with an optional steel hard top welded in place. Others were the standard coupe style, similar to those being built in larger numbers by Reutter. Fewer than 1,750 hardtops were built in two years, while annual coupe production climbed steadily, reaching 12,000 in 1964, about one third built by Karmann. The basic 1600 engine, often called "1600 Normal," was rated at 60 DIN (European) horsepower with twin Zenith carburetors. It had two stronger siblings, however, the 1600 Super (75 DIN) and the Super 90, whose name proudly proclaimed its power output. Of the pushrod Porsches, it is the Super 90s that are particularly prized by enthusiasts today. This Karmann-bodied 356 Super 90 Coupe received a full restoration in 2010. Smart and sassy in original Smyrna Green, it has gray leather upholstery. No expense was spared in the restoration. The brightwork was completely redone, a rebuilt interior installed with new leather and headliner, and instruments restored by North Hollywood Speedometer Services. It comes with a Porsche Certificate of Authenticity demonstrating its matching numbers and correct restoration. Never a participant, since restoration, in shows, rallies or racing, it is ready to make a stunning debut on the concours circuit, to compete in vintage rallies or simply provide its new owner with miles of magnificent motoring.
Collectors' Motorcars and Automobilia|
Bonhams, Greenwich, Connecticut
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