Porsche is celebrating its 60th anniversary, and as part of the festivities the company set out to find the oldest surviving U.S. import. The result? A fantastically restored Strawberry Red 1952 356 Cabriolet. It's not, strictly speaking, the oldest Porsche in the U.S., but it is the oldest car sold at retail as an import.
An even older Porsche 356, built in Stuttgart in 1950, was also found, but because it was imported later and restored form a variety of source vehicles, it wasn't deemed the oldest U.S. Porsche.
The 356, despite its modest performance by modern standards, was the car that launched America's obsession with the German sports car maker, and there's hardly a better representative than this early example. Powered by a 1.5-liter, 60-horsepower flat-4, the car belongs to Dr. Robert Wilson of Oklahoma City, and was originally imported to the U.S. by Austrian businessman Max Hoffman in November 1952. Hoffman was the man responsible for importing the first of Porsche's car's into the U.S. from 1950.
In addition to Dr. Wilson's 356 Cabriolet, Porsche dug up the oldest example of each of 12 model ranges, listed below:
1965 911: Barry August of Clarksville, Md.
1965 912: Steve Torkelsen of Wilton, Conn.
1970 914: Ralph Stoesser of Marco Island, Fla.
1977 924: Jay Hoover of New Haven, Ind.
1977 928: Jim Doerr of Richmond, Va.
1983 944: John Denning of Covington, Wash.
1992 968: Jeffrey Coe of Trumball, Conn.
1997 Boxster: David Adrian of Worcester, Mass.
2004 Cayenne: Adam Reichard of Magnolia, Texas
2005 Carrera GT: Robert Ingram of Durham, N.C.
2006 Cayman: Eugenie Thomas of Martinez, Calif.