This rare Porsche 356A is up for sale with an interesting choice
A master in restoration jobs, Thornley Kelham Ltd, has acquired a shining piece of automotive history. Well, not exactly a shining piece, but it is putting the piece up for sale along with an exciting choice for potential buyers.
The car in question is said to be a rare, end of production, right-hand-drive Porsche 356A. Why rare, you fathom? Because even after half a century, this vintage classic still retains the original factory engine and transmissions along with matching chassis numbers. And that is an anomaly in itself. More so, as this piece was found in the United States of America.
Completed in May 1959, this particular Porsche 356A was sold to England and British Lions rugby player, Frank Sykes. Later, Sykes is said to have gotten the car shipped to the USA (possibly) along with himself, when he emigrated. Since then, after doing a few miles, the vehicle has been kept in storage for the last 30 years.
These storage years prompted the exterior metal to corrode a little, leading this 356A to develop a unique patina finish. Unable to decide on how to move ahead with the patina formed bodywork, Thornley Kelham decided to put the onus on the buyer.
Putting forward a unique choice to its potential buyers, Thornley Kelham is offering the buyer to decide whether he/she wants to retain the patina paintwork or get a full Concours-standard restoration done to bring the car back to its former glory.
The vintage classic delivered initially in Silbermetall (silver metallic) paint, can be made to go through a full makeover. Thornley Kelham’s 32,000 sq/ft state-of-the-art facility, featuring in-house bodywork, paint, engine and fabrication shops can come in handy to bring the car to its original shape.
Using the same facilities, the car can also be made to look like a vintage piece of automotive history. The firm can be made to preserve the patina finish while undertaking a full restoration of the mechanicals and the interior.
In either case, the restoration specialists can further customise panels or components according to the buyer’s desires. The firm has earned its reputation in doing so with feats involving personalising classic cars with modern upgrades including state-of-the-art electrical systems, air-conditioning and power steering. The specialist company can also aid the buyer in case of any performance upgrade demands are put forward. Thornley Kelham is confident of its abilities to alter the engine, suspension and brake components for additional performance, if required or demanded.
Simon Thornley, the co-founder of Thornley Kelham, said: “Often in the world of rare and significant classic cars, the stories that they tell are just as meaningful as their condition. We have deliberated long and hard over whether or not to maintain this 356’s marks of age, or to return it to as-new condition, but ultimately we felt it was a decision best made by the buyer. Our team has completed a number of 356 nut-and-bolt restorations, and we’ve carefully analysed the structure, body, mechanicals and interior of this example to know that no matter which route the buyer chooses, we can produce a rare Porsche 356A that looks good, drives well and works every time.”