Rust may be free, but it can still be worth a lot.
The decaying husk of a 1955 Porsche 356 Speedster that was left to rot for 41 years was sold this week on Ebay for over $152,701.
According to the seller, the car was #212 of 1,700 built that year, and was parked by its previous owners in 1974 when it started making “ugly noises.”
The 356 Speedster was originally created for the U.S. market at the behest of famed car importer Max Hoffman, but its chopped windscreen, Spartan trimmings, and lower price quickly made it a favorite of Porsche fans around the world.
The bidding was fierce for this one, which was sold with a title and an engine, but it was neither original, nor installed. A spare wheel and tire were included, however, and they’re as far gone as the rest of it.
Nevertheless, the shell presents a potentially profitable opportunity.
Rod Emory, who owns California Porsche restoration company Emory Motorsports, says it’s getting harder and harder to come by original donor cars like this one. And while it’s hard to tell from the photos exactly how much effort will be needed to bring its unibody back to life, he thinks $200,000-$250,000 worth of work could result in a car worth $400,000, which may seem like simple math, but that’s just the price today.
Emory says values for these have been skyrocketing. While three years ago you could pick up a nicely-finished one for $200,000, he predicts they could be worth $500,000 within a year or two, and the sky's the limit from there.