My Car Quest

June 16, 2024

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

Let us know what you think in the Comments.



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


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

    A quick search on the site revealed this little one:

    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)….

      • 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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