The Prettiest One-Off Porsche You’ve Never Heard Of
The 356 Roadster is probably the most recognisable car to come out of the Stuttgart factory other than the 911. However, when it was decided to cut its production, many Porsche fans including race driver and Porsche salesman John von Neumann were very upset.
With news of the upcoming 911/912 Targa not softening the blow of losing the famous roadster, the Californian racer aimed make a replacement to the 356 Roadster. The project was taken on by famous Italian styling house Bertone who at the time didn’t have the stature of brands like Pininfarina.
Sticking with the Bertone style, the 911 Roadster looks very Italian and cute like the Fiat spiders of the time. Furthermore, with the gille-covered headlights, there is an air of resemblance to the equally beautiful Alfa Romeo Montreal. This is to be expected as both models are designed by the Bertone brand.
Originally designed to be sold as a 356 replacement for the Californian market, the Bertone Porsche Roadster was based upon the chassis of the 911/912. It also featured the same 2.0-litre 130-horsepower engine from the base 911.
Unfortunately for Neumann, sales of the 911 Targa satisfied the Californians desire for an open top Porsche leaving the Roadster redundant. Production of the Bertone designed 911 Roadster was therefore never started making this concept one of the rarest Porsches in existence.
Last year, the concept car went up for auction at the Gooding & Co. auction at Pebble Beach during Monterey Car Week. It managed to smash its astonishingly high estimate of $700,000 to $1,000,000 by reaching the crazy heights of $1,430,000. I say that’s not a bad way to end mark the 70th anniversary of the Porsche brand.