Belongs to Barry Brisco
After owning a C coupe and a Convertible D, in September 2005 I found my ultimate 356 — a 59 model year A coupe, matching numbers, very original, and almost exactly like the one my father purchased new when I was a child (shown in the first photo, I am standing by the drivers door).
In late 1958, when I was four years old, my father purchased a 356A Normal coupe (shown at right). To save money, he ordered it from Stuggart, and arranged for an acquaintance who would be vacationing in Europe to pick it up in Germany. When the man arrived at the Porsche factory, order in hand, he was told they had no record of any order from a Mr. Brisco! However, they showed him onto the factory floor and said "Pick one out and we'll have it ready for you tomorrow." He chose an ivory car with brown upholstery right off the production line. A few days later he claimed the car and put a few hundred miles on it driving around Europe before it was shipped to San Francisco, where my father took delivery. He recalls that the price came to $3,850, whereas if he had bought from the local dealer it would have been $4,250 plus tax and license. He had the car serviced by Harry Weber at Transport Motors in Oakland, which was owned by Carl Block.
For the next ten years my father drove the car almost every day. He says that the only problems he ever had were a broken clutch cable and a crack in the muffler. Eventually he put almost 100,000 miles on it (without ever having to replace the brake pads) before reluctantly selling it in 1968 while living in Los Angeles. A few weeks after the sale, he got a call from the Hollywood police saying that the car had been totalled. The new owner had fled the scene. They thought my father was still the owner because the registration had not been changed. All he had left to remember the car by was one photo (shown above) and the key chain, which I now have in my 356A. But my memories of that car — and of the times my sister and I spent playing in the "spacious" rear seat area on family vacation drives — have never left me.
The known history of my car is that it has always been a California car, apparently first owned by a couple in Lodi (near Sacramento). In 1976 the car was put into storage with 64,000 miles on it. When I bought it there were 67,117 miles on it, and as of 2011 it has 104,000. The car is numbers matching per the COA: original 1600 Super engine (#82929) and 644 transmission (#22971), with all closing panels stamped "553", and in the original paint and interior colors, ivory 5704 and brown leatherette. The door panels and rear seat upholstery is original and in good condition. The dash has not been repainted. The only options shown on the COA are sealed-beam headlights and US-style bumpers.
The only recent modifications to the car are a VDO sweep second hand clock installed in the center of the dash and a dual master cylinder installed as part of a complete brake system rebuild in 2005 that was done by Emory Motorsports in Oregon. In addition, they also rebuilt the front end steering assembly and installed new Koni shocks. Around the same time, Don Marks rebuilt the distributor, generator, and carburetors, and did a complete detailing of the engine compartment, preserving the original compartment insulation (original insulation is also present in the trunk). The transmission was rebuilt and the clutch replaced by Alan Klingen at The Stable in San Francisco. I have added an electric fuel pump behind the floorboards, 3-point Diest seatbelts, and the CuLayer LED taillights.
This A coupe is my daily driver and "regular" car, just like my first two 356s were. It goes well with my 1959 home, built by Joseph Eichler and designed by A. Quincy Jones. More at http://totheweb.com/eichler