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Formula Motorsports

The Ultra Rare 356 Continental

By Michael Tashjian • April 15, 2024

2024 Werks reunion/Amelia Island Concours was the best car event I have ever attended- bold statement.  Amelia Island attracts the country’s best automobiles along with the who’s who of the car world.  For our newer reader and members, the PCA Werks reunion is one of the largest gatherings of Porsche enthusiast in the country second to only the PCA parade. Along with the Werks Reunion is the Amelia Island concours D’ Elegance brough to us by Hagerty Insurance, Broad Arrow Auction, The Hanger car show, and much more.   This year saw hundreds of Porsche’s with motorsport and historic significance between all of the events.  I cannot recommend this event enough!
 
The showstopper at the reunion was a newly restored Porsche Pre A 356 Continental.  The 356 Continental or later in production 356 European is one of the rarest of the 356 generation with only 860 and 69 cabriolets produced for 1955.  The owner, who name eludes me, has had the car in her family for decades, and decided it was time to bring the car back to its former glory.  The pre-A Porsche 356 Continental which was later badged European once Ford suggested it infringed on the Lincoln Continental name, was the brainchild of Max Hoffman.  Typical of the American car market, Max thought a gimmick like naming the car would attract clientele.  Additionally moving more chassis and having yet another North America exclusive model, Porsche made only a handful of these cars.  Sporting the top-of-the-line 1500cc motor, Continental badging on the front fender (ok wing), chrome accents, gear ratios more suitable for the U.S. consumer, upgraded suspension components, and interior accents, makes this one of the more unique 356’s.  The final 40-50 cars were badged European after the Ford demands given Reutter has already punched the holes in the fenders.  
 
The example pictured here had a nut and bolt restoration and is finished in Meissen Blue exudes class and style and would be best pictured in 1955 in front of the Beverly Hills hotel with its owner adorning a tweed suit and lady with white gloves.   The bent windshield, rather larger center radio, and wheels which resemble a turbine are just a few of the special features this car has.  There are beautiful examples of the 356 generation out on the market such as the gorgeous Emory Special variants (my all-time favorite 356 and maybe even Porsche), US specific American Roadster, and so on.  But bang for the buck a Continental fit the bill in 1955 and it holds true today.  As an investment or for your visual enjoyment, I recommend keeping a credit line open should one hit the market in the color of your choice.