On the heels of the Porsche 356B Carrera 1600 came the upgraded two-litre Carrera 2000 GS. It was Porsche’s top-line production car of the early 1960s, being not only the fastest and most powerful but also the most luxurious and expensive. Now boasting a solid 130 brake horsepower with improved mid-range response, the 2000 GS in both coupé and cabriolet form could reach a top speed of 125 mph. It was also much more costly than other equivalent sports car produced at the time and sales were thus limited.
The exquisite 1963 Porsche 356B Carrera 2 GS Cabriolet featured here is finished in stunning Signal Red over a gorgeous black leather interior and matching black folding convertible top. A copy of the factory Kardex and the accompanying Porsche Production Specifications certificate document a build date of April 1963. Shortly thereafter, this 356B Carrera 2 GS was purchased new by the firm Hallreiter & Vieten in Germany. In 1965 it was acquired by H.A. Jansen, also of Germany, who ensured that it was meticulously maintained by Porsche. In August 1972 this Porsche 356B was purchased by Werner Kuhn of Mönchengladbach, Germany and the car remained in his possession until 1978. Then it was procured by Walter Gratemar of Holland. Mr. Gratemer oversaw some of the restoration work and passed along ownership to a respected Porsche Carrera collector in Denmark in 1989. During this nearly 30 year period of long-term ownership, this Carrera was featured in several publications including Flat-6 Magazine in 1995 and Sport & Classic Magazine in 1996.
Renowned Carrera 4-cam specialist Armin Baumann was tasked with rebuilding the original numbers matching engine and then underwent a thorough technical inspection by noted German Carrera specialist Karl Hloch in 2017. Part of the work performed then includes a thorough mechanical restoration by the marque specialists at Hapke Original Restoration in Leverkusen, Germany so that all of the major components perform as new.
Mr. Schmitt acquired this stunning 1963 Porsche 356B Carrera 2 GS Cabriolet for his own personal collection and began a year-long Concours level restoration. Prescott Kelly of Sports Car Market called it “a fair deal” in 2019 and noted: “Against a pre-sale estimated range of $1,100,000–$1,300,000, this Carrera 2 hammered sold for $905,000 for a total of $1,000,500 after buyer’s premium (12% on first $250,000, 10% above that). That was a relative bargain for a largely original, numbers-matching Carrera 2 cab — albeit of driver quality. During the past two years, concours examples have been over $1.5 million, and one approached $2 million. […] This car was well bought — pending market developments over the next year.” The car now presents beautifully, as images and videos below will show.
An outstanding variety of documentation accompanies this 1963 Porsche 356B Carrera 2 GS Cabriolet which includes the original books (owner’s manual, registration book, disc brake brochure), factory Kardex copy, Porsche Production Specifications certificate, invoices pertaining to the vehicle’s restoration, copies of the Flat-6 magazine and Sport & Classic magazine articles featuring the car, tool kit as well as a shadow box full of decklid grille badges from numerous 356 registries and clubs from across the globe.
These Carrera-powered 356B Cabriolets are seldom offered for sale and this example would make an excellent addition to any premier collection.
History of the 356B Carrera 2 GS
The legendary 4-cam “Carrera” 4-cylinder Porsche engine was first developed for Porsche race cars by engineer Ernst Fuhrmann in the summer of 1952, at the request of Ferry Porsche, who specified that it must be based on the existing 4-cylinder “boxer” layout. The goal was to create a high revving engine that could be used for competitive driving by the 1953 season. The result was the type 547 engine with four camshafts, each shaft driven, that displaced 1.5 liters and could rev to 7000RPM. It was not long before this engine proved to be a racing success. It powered several 550 Spyders to victory with a 1.5-liter class win at the 1954 Mille Miglia and another class win at Le Mans in 1953. However, it was the victory at the Carrera Panamericana that cemented the 4-cam as the “Carrera” engine.
The new Carrera engine soon made its way into the Porsche 356 by 1955 and gave the most discerning drivers a whole new way to enjoy their Porsche though its significant cost meant that it was only purchased by the very affluent. The first 356 Carreras were capable of 120mph, a feat which made them the fastest 1.5-liter production car in the world and a fierce competitor among the racing circuits. Within a few years, competitors’ level of performance began to catch up, and thus further refinement of the Carrera/Fuhrmann engine was needed. To increase power, they had to increase the size, which resulted in the type 587 engine. Displacing 1,966cc’s, the new engine saw its debut at the 1961 Frankfurt Auto Show with a 356 wearing a “Carrera 2” Script. The 356B Carrera 2 (also known as the Carrera 2000) was capable of 125mph, and acceleration improved dramatically; a full 6 full seconds were shaved off of its 0-100mph time compared to its 1.5-liter predecessor. Costing $7,995 when new, a full $2,900 more than the pushrod equipped Super 90, the Carrera 2 was also the first Porsche production 356 to feature four-wheel disc brakes for additional stopping power. The performance of the Carrera 2 is perhaps enjoyed best in a convertible form, with speedsters and cabriolets proving to be the most desirable models for high-speed touring in the European countryside. It should come as no surprise that very few models were built; only 67 356B Carrera cabriolets were assembled between 1960 and 1963. Today examples remain highly coveted by Porsche collectors, with original numbers matching examples extremely few and far between.
Ready to make an investment that you can actually enjoy? Classic cars have proven to be among the most resilient and rewarding investments in recent years with the Historic Automobile Group Index (HAGI) jumping 39% in 2013, 16% in 2014 and 17% in 2015 while posting gains of 467% over the last 10 years. Please contact one of our expert sales consultants for more information. They will be happy to give you a complete walk-around, supply you with a more detailed description and answer any questions you may have. Buy with confidence.
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