A 356 for the collector, for the Porsche enthusiast who would like to own something that nobody else has........
This 356 is truly one-of-a-kind. We can guarantee there is no other like it anywhere in the world.
At first glance, the beautiful silhouette and flowing lines of this 'Sportolet' look authentic, but on closer inspection, the car reveals its true identity.
Created by USA 356 guru Lewis Hauser, his Virginia based company 'Karosserie' is renowned throughout the Porsche community for producing some of the finest restorations ever seen. This custom-special is up there with the best.
Thinking outside of the box, Hauser wanted to create something quite different, a car for himself; a Roadster-style look, but with an imaginative twist. Joining forces with his friend Daniel Bohman (artist and designer at GM’s specials department) the concept of the Sportolet was born.
Back in 2004, this is how Hauser described the complex build:
"This beautiful custom roadster was created in the spirit of the special cars offered by the factory and custom coachbuilders in the Golden Age of the 1950's.
The Convertible D doors wear original door panels with rare Roadster (only 1331 were produced)/ Convertible D screw escutcheons, and both feature locking pouches. Original Pre- A door handles and window cranks with ivory knobs are fitted over ivory escutcheons. All of the dash knobs are originals in ivory, on original switches, of course. The aluminium threshold trim strips are restored original pieces. The floor mats are original 1956 vintage. The seats were lowered with NLA steel lowering frames and allow ample room for drivers well over 6ft. In fact, except for the carpet and the dash covering, all of the interior uses original 1950s vintage materials. There are virtually no reproduction pieces used anywhere on the car.
All the trim screws are re-plated originals, and SWF wiper blades were fitted. The gauges have been rebuilt by Palo Alto Speedometer. The vintage Moto-Lita wheel carries 1950's Golden Lady horn button which activates the rare Bosch Fanfare horns. These horns have a fuller, more mellow sound than the standard 356 horns.
Depending on the light, the colour, Hoffman Blue, shifts from Robin's egg blue to light Grey, and it compliments the car's unique shape very well. Silver Porsche script is fitted to compliment the color, and the car bears an original cloisonné Reutter badge. The panel fit is exceptional, and the doors close easily with a solid thunk. Original Roadster/Speedster spears were used, while and the driver's fender sports a handmade aluminium GT style mirror. A new Sigla windshield is fitted.
The rear cowl and decklid were formed from the hood and cowl section of a T6 coupe, retaining the original latch and hinges. The louvres were cut from original deck lids. The louvres on the cowl feed a duct which supplies the fan. The deck lid covers a sizeable storage area, and allows easy access to the 912 engine, which was rebuilt by Autothority. The hood handle is an un-restored original item, as are the door handles. The turn signals, front and rear, have original lenses and bezels. The headlights are new Hella Euro units.
The bumpers are original A bumpers. The modified rear bumper utilizes the tag and reverse lights from an original factory housing. All the various chrome pieces have been plated as necessary.
The brake system has a new master cylinder, new hoses, and rebuilt wheel cylinders. The transmission is quiet, and smooth. The shocks and suspension bushings have been replaced. It rides on silver painted 5 1/2" wheels with new 195/65/15 tires.
Its exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution's Museum Of American History was featured in the September/October 2004 issue of the 356 Registry Magazine. It was also featured in the April 2007 issue of Excellence. At the 30th Anniversary event in Williamsburg, Virginia, it was the first Outlaw to win Best Of Show at a 356 Registry Holiday. It also captured Best Outlaw honours."
The current owner became aware of the Sportolet after it was featured in Ferdinand Magazine. Once he had set eyes on the creation he was smitten, and set about negotiating the purchase. The car came to the UK in June 2016. Since then he has added Carrera strips to the front and rear bumpers as Lewis had intended and the front brakes have had a disc upgrade.
The current owner says:
"What I still find astounding is the attention to detail, dedication to using all Porsche parts. Using where possible original vintage parts to create something that is of its time. Not to make the car brand new. This car truly feels like it left the factory in 1956 as a special and has been lovingly cared for ever since. I believe this showcases Lewis' skill as one of the best 356 restorers in the world."
This 356 is a thing of beauty. It looks incredible from any angle and demands attention wherever it goes. The design concept and execution of build is very convincing, so much so that when the Sportolet was exhibited at the 50th Porsche Parade in Hershey, it generated praise from a member of the Porsche family, Wolfgang Porsche. He stopped the car in the middle of the service road and exclaimed “It’s beautiful! Really marvellous! What is it? Is it one of ours?" Praise indeed, an accolade not to be understated.
This Sportolet represents everything that is good with custom builds; quality of workmanship, passion, dedication and foresight. It is very, very special and in its own unique way, a part of 356 history that will most likely never be repeated to this level.
All our cars are sold following a full inspection and service by our technicians, and come with our own guarantee. Part exchange welcome on any make of vehicle. Finance available.
Nationwide delivery, export and worldwide shipping available.
Please call 01752 840307 and ask for Adrian or Dale.
Williams Crawford Passion for Porsche, established 1991. We deal with all aspects of Porsche; buy, sell, broker, service, restore, custom build, race and event preparation.
Same owner for more than 30 years
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