1963 Porsche 356 Carrera 2 GS Coupe Chassis no. 124097 Engine no. P97249 is available now at auction from Bonhams

Thu, Dec 31st, 2020
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  • THE CARRERA 2 GS 2000

    Originally introduced at the 1955 Frankfurt Motor Show, the 356 Carrera was the first edition of Porsche's long-running prestige performance car, featuring a special race-bred engine in development since 1952. Dr. Ernst Fuhrmann was tasked with determining just how much power the classic Porsche flat-four motor could develop, and in this pursuit he made some fundamental engineering adjustments over the basic pushrod engine. These modifications included the addition of twin ignition, two twin-throat carburetors, dry-sump lubrication, and dual-cam valve actuation.

    Tested at various races during development, the high-performance dual-cam engine was also evaluated by the Porsche staff in their personal 356 examples, even though the motor was originally positioned for use in the 550 Spyder racecars. Eventually determining that the 356-based road car was the most opportune platform for this Type 547/1 engine, Porsche used the Frankfurt show to debut the Carrera, which was named for the famously grueling Mexican road race at which Porsche had dominated the 2-liter class. Initially available in coupe, convertible, and Speedster body styles, the Carrera grew in luxury over the years, somewhat obscuring its original performance mandate.

    In September 1961 Porsche addressed this perception by introducing an updated version of the Carrera that was exclusively available as a coupe. The original dual-cam motor design was endowed with even more power by enlarging displacement to two liters, and reclassified as the Type 587/1, resulting in the fastest Porsche road car to date. Recognizing that the pure torque might be a handful for inexperienced customers, Porsche outfitted the new Carrera with disc brakes all around, and it was the first Porsche road car to be so equipped.

    Introduced for the 1962 model-year as the Carrera 2, the internally coded GS 2000 wore Reutter's twin rear-grille T-6 bodystyle, and could have been mistaken for a standard pushrod 356B were it not for the dual exhausts that emerged from a distinctive apron under the rear bumper valance. Approximately 310 examples of the Carrera 2 were made in total. Claiming rarity, unprecedented performance, and identity as the most developed generation of the 356-based Carrera, the Carrera 2 has grown to be one of the most desirable of the vintage Porsche road cars, a veritable cornerstone of the Stuttgart legend.


    Boasting superb documentation and a well-known ownership history, 356 Carrera 2 Coupe chassis no. 124097 was completed at the Porsche works during the early months of 1963, and delivered new through Autohaus-Gramling, Karlsruhe, Germany in April that same year. The Carrera had migrated to the Unites States by the 1980s, where it was owned by a Mr. Tom Vernen of Knox, Pennsylvania, and later travelled West to Paradise Valley, Arizona, where a Mr. Robert Murch owned the car. Most recently, the spectacular Porsche 356 Carrera 2 Coupe has formed part of a prominent, Los Angeles-based collection of exquisite European sports cars.

    This outstanding Carrera 2 is documented with a copy of the Kardex and the Porsche-issued Certificate of Authenticity, which indicate that the car is presented with overwhelming authenticity, featuring the original color scheme of Signal Red paint over an interior of tan leather. Also optioned with a Blaupunkt radio with antenna and two speakers, three-point safety belts, and chrome wheels fitted with Dunlop tires.

    The Carrera was cosmetically restored in 2009 by Liberty Motorsports in Costa Mesa, California. Additionally, the powerful Type 587 4-cam Carrera engine was refreshed by Richardson Restorations and has since accrued less than 5,000 miles. Notably, the engine, chassis, and body panel stampings correspond to Porsche factory documents. The cosmetic finishes are no less impressive, with correct VDO gauges, an elegant wood-rimmed steering wheel, and tan leather upholstery complementing the arresting Signal Red exterior that features the proper Carrera script and unique rear bumper apron with exhaust valances. This well-documented and maintained Carrera 2 is a highly desirable example of one of Porsche's most important vintage road machines. The Porsche is accompanied by an authentic tool kit and jack, in addition to the aforementioned Kardex copy and COA. It is a wonderfully detailed and highly desirable example of a venerable Stuttgart classic that warrants consideration by any serious Porsche connoisseur.
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