My Car Quest

February 24, 2019

The Italian Porsche 356s: Author Searches For Pictures Of Mystery Porsches

by Wallace Wyss –

It all seemed so easy, originally. Writing a mere ten pages of Porsche 356 history improve the book in the re-issue of my book Porsche 356 Photo Album (Enthusiast Books). The original edition had only pictures and captions but now a new idea: adding words to a book.

But then I started to run into models no one had heard of.

Like the Ghia-Aigle 356 coupe built on a 356B in 1961. Ghia-Aigle was an offshoot of Ghia in Italy but was based in Switzerland. They broke off from their Italian branch in 1953.

Ghia-Aigle 356

Ghia-Aigle 356

It is basically an ugly car, a chopped off tail like a 904GTS (but closer to the Fiat Ghia coupe imported to the US by the Krim brothers).

Ghia-Aigle 356

Ghia-Aigle 356

And it has, like some other Porsches modified by coachbuilders, a fake grille, as if they thought buyers weren’t comfortable in owning a car without a grille.

Then I found a picture of a Ghia roadster or cabriolet at the 1953 Paris Salon. It looks suspiciously like a Karmann Ghia prototype which was built on a VW chassis. But if I can attach a SN to it, I can ask Porsche. The odd thing is this one, too, has a fake grille surround as if you had to pay homage to the front engine cars by having a grille even if the engine is in the back.

Then of course there is the twenty or so Italian Porsches documented six ways to Sunday– the Abarth Porsches –which a lot of book authors still say was Zagato-bodied, but in doing my research I found that Zagato were worried they would lose other automaker assignments so they sublet the job to a rather flaky outfit whose owner went on vacation, not finishing the cars, forcing Porsche to finish them.

So this is a plea to fans of various carrozzerias–to see if anyone has pictures of these cars. I know the Ghia-Aigle has been out and about at various concours and someone may have photographed it but I suspect the ’53 car hasn’t been seen since, well, 1953. Or maybe you know of another carrozzeria-built 356?

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss is the author of the Incredible Barn Finds books available from Enthusiast Books, Hudson, WI. He can be reached at Photojournalistpro@gmail.com

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

 

 

Summary
The Italian Porsche 356s: Author Searches For Pictures Of Mystery Porsches
Article Name
The Italian Porsche 356s: Author Searches For Pictures Of Mystery Porsches
Description
Wallace Wyss is looking for photos of lost old Porsches.
Author

Comments

  1. You probably already looked at this but there is a great site for all things coach built (www.coachbuild.com).

    A quick search on the site revealed this little one:
    http://www.coachbuild.com/2/index.php/encyclopedia/coachbuilders-models/item/zagato-porsche-356-carrera-speedster-1958

    Maybe there are more?
    I’ll also email the author directly. Hope this helps!

    • wallace wyss says:

      The Storez Porsche was smashed and the one that’s out and about today
      is a modern replica built by a reconstituted Zagato.
      But that’s not to say the original isn’t lying around someplace in France.
      In my Incredible Barn Finds tomes, I have several examples of cars thought destroyed that mysteriously popped up years later (like the GT40 targa that Bondurant flipped during the targa)….

      • Eran S. says:

        You are too polite sir! I’m embarrassed to have linked to your own work…I merely thought it was a restoration effort which led to the sanction II program. I too hope this car is found one day. it is a beauty.

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