A rusty old Porsche which doesn’t work has been described as one of the most exciting discoveries in recent years – and it is set to sell for £500,000.
The Porsche 356A 1500 GS Carrera Coupe helped bridge the gap between the company’s sports vehicles and racing cars when it debuted in 1955.
But this 1957 model hasn’t been driven for 45 years after its brakes failed a safety inspection in Georgia in the early 1970s.
Its original engine was removed and taken apart and, after the best part of half-a-century of neglect, the bodywork and wheels are covered in rust.
However, as one of the most desirable classic Porsches there is no shortage of interest from around the world in the unrestored sports car.
Gooding & Co, the US auction house, has described it as ‘certainly one of the most exciting barn-find discoveries in recent memory’.
They have given it a guide price of £500,000 ahead of its sale on March 9 at Amelia Island, Florida.
David Brynan, Gooding & Company senior specialist and Porsche expert, said: ‘This was Porsche’s top of the line road car and one of the most exotic sports cars of the 1950s.
‘They have always been sought after, so most have been restored at least once.
‘To find a car that hasn’t been seen in 40 years, and that retains so much original character is virtually unheard of.’
The car is being sold with the original engine, which will need to be rebuilt.
When in working order, the 1.5-litre engine will develop 100bhp – giving it a 0-60mph time of 8.7 seconds and a top speed of 125mph.
According to factory records, the 1500 GS Coupe was completed on July 4, 1957, and finished in silver metallic with black leatherette upholstery.
It had numerous owners until 1973 when it was parked up in a garage and left for decades
The interior appears original and generally well-preserved and, despite being 60 years old, is thought to have been driven just 52,837 miles.
The auction house added: ‘Hidden away for decades and possessing a fantastic history, this unrestored, matching-numbers 1500 GS Carrera is certainly one of the most exciting barn-find discoveries in recent memory.
‘This is truly an opportunity not to be missed for the collector who has longed to own a genuine and noteworthy example of Porsche’s legendary four cam.’