1952 Porsche 356 Cabriolet is oldest Porsche sold in U.S.

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A 1952 Porsche 356 Cabriolet as photographed in an auto collector's garage.

A red 1952 Porsche 356 Cabriolet like the one purchased by Robert Wilson of Oklahoma City, Okla. (Photo Credit: CC BY-ND/RUD66/Flickr)

Auto collectors nationwide are currently green with envy, reports Auto Week. Snatching up the oldest classic Porsche sold in America tends to stir the pot of jealousy. That’s exactly what Robert Wilson of Oklahoma City, Okla., did when he found a 1952 Porsche 356 Cabriolet in a salvage yard.

1952 Porsche 356 Cabriolet won the Porsche Cars North America prize

Wilson’s 1952 Porsche 356 Cabriolet find was so extraordinary that Porsche Cars North America confirmed the find by issuing Wilson an award. The vehicle was indeed the oldest remaining Porsche ever sold in America. Owners who participated in the oldest Porsche contest were required to show documentation proving when the vehicle was first sold.

To his delight, Robert Wilson’s 1952 Porsche 356 Cabriolet had the required documentation. The vehicle was imported to the United States in November 1952 by Max Hoffman, an Austrian-born importer (and posthumous 2003 Automotive Hall of Fame inductee) who was known as a gentleman who always made handshake deals rather than insisting upon written contracts. Like the 1952 Porsche 346 Cabriolet, however, that way of doing business is something that likely will never be seen again, so complex is the legal arm of modern commerce.

Wilson’s Porsche has been fully restored

Robert Wilson’s 1952 Porsche 356 Cabriolet has been fully restored to standards that would have made made Max Hoffman proud. The engine is a 1.5-liter that is rated at 60 horsepower. Not the most powerful Porsche out there by any means, but a beautiful artifact that any auto collector would be proud to own.

The Cabriolet lineage

According to Auto Week, Porsche Cars North America’s contest actually uncovered one of the first 356 Cabriolets ever built. The car was a 1950 model currently owned by Richard Brumme of Annapolis, Md. That car has direct ties to the first Porsche vehicles to come off the assembly line in Stuttgart, Germany, after Porsche moved there from Gmund, Austria. However, Brumme lost out on the award because of an important distinction. His 1950 356 Cabriolet was first sold outside the U.S., so Wilson’s 1952 Porsche 356 Cabriolet won the prestigious award. Nevertheless, Brumme’s 1950 model will still have a display spot of honor at November’s Los Angeles Auto Show.




Taking a 1952 Porsche 356 Cabriolet out for a spin

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