How many are left

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Bob Ricks
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How many are left

#1 Post by Bob Ricks » Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:11 pm

Hey Guys: A friend asked me a question today that I have often wondered about. He wanted to know how many 356s are left in the USA. Does anyone have access to that information or a fair estimate thereof? With all of the wrecks, rusting etc, I guess the original imported numbers have dwindled considerably over the last 60 years or so. Would be interesting if anyone out there has a knowledgeable estimate.
Thanks, Bob Ricks
 

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Tom Farnam
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#2 Post by Tom Farnam » Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:24 pm

Hey Bob:

What is your best guess?

Your number makes as much sense as anything, since the USA has no coordinated national registration of motor vehicles.

(Just ask some old-timers about getting titles for cars in Mississippi).

Tom
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Jeffrey Fellman
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How many are left

#3 Post by Jeffrey Fellman » Tue Apr 28, 2009 6:15 pm

This was many years ago, probably late 90's. I contacted the various mailing
list services to see what kind of number came up by checking all Porsche
registration from 1948 to 1965 nationwide, bear in mind that a lot of
questionable vehicles may sneak in. The number was the around 50,000
----- Original Message -----
From: "Tom Farnam" <62Roadster@comcast.net>
To: <356talk@356registry.com>
Sent: Tuesday, April 28, 2009 5:24 PM
Subject: [356Talk] How many are left

Hey Bob:

What is your best guess?

Your number makes as much sense as anything, since the USA has no
coordinated national registration of motor vehicles.

(Just ask some old-timers about getting titles for cars in Mississippi).

Tom

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Adam Wright
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#4 Post by Adam Wright » Tue Apr 28, 2009 6:27 pm

I had a conversation with Bill Block about this one time, since he is the Registrar of the 356 Registry. I guessed there were probably about half of the cars left, he concurred.

My office walls are covered with VIN plates of dead cars, and I am sure a lot of the old folks can tell you how many cars they left for dead. In fact, I walked in a field today where there are at least 20 356s that are dead dead dead.
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Adam Wright
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#5 Post by Adam Wright » Tue Apr 28, 2009 6:34 pm

I also contacted Porsche a few years ago about getting the VINs of the cars people had requested COA's on since this is a good assumption that if someone wanted to spend $100 they probably had the car.
The first person I talked to was very receptive but it went up the chain and the final answer was that they declined my request.

This would have filled in a lot of gaps in the Registry lists.
I always need stories for my Barn Find column in the magazine, if you have a good story to share, please let me know.

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How many

#6 Post by Jim Beam » Tue Apr 28, 2009 6:37 pm

Current edition of Excellence (356 pricing article) says from 1950 thru 1965 there were 76,000 356s made.
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#7 Post by Rich Behrends » Tue Apr 28, 2009 6:39 pm

There is no way 50,000 356 in the US.
Total production was just over 76,000
Take away 10,000 as being crashed, rusted and parted out
That would leave 16,000 in the rest of the world.
50,000 world wide possible
but I think the number is closer to 40,000 world wide
Just my 2 cents worth
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Eric Cherneff
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#8 Post by Eric Cherneff » Tue Apr 28, 2009 7:07 pm

A few comments:

1. Nobody knows or can even give an educated guess.

2. Even if you contacted all the DMV's or equivalent, there is likely overlap. I know there is no record of a car leaving my province (British Columbia), so if I sell a car that is taken out of province, it is still shown as residing here. Jeffrey's figure of 50,000 likely contained duplicates.

3. The official Registry database contains approximately 12-13,000 unique VIN's. The condition of many of these cars is unknown, either because it is not provided, or the record is old (some records are taken from classified ads in decades-old magazines). However, the bigger "problem" is that not every Registry member nor 356 owner participates! There is a US-bias, and English speaking bias, and while 356 Registry membership comprises a large number of enthusiasts around the world, the database should not be construed as being representative of 356's around the world. Even if it was representative, how would you extrapolate? Does it contain 20% of the existing cars? 40%? 10%? This figure has a large enough impact to render any estimate meaningless.

4. I wrote up summary statistics of what's in the database a couple of years ago - search your magazines. Sorry, I don't have the reference handy. I am updating records now and hope to update the statistics before long. But keep in mind - this only reports what's in the database, not in the world.

5. If someone offers an estimate, see point 1., above.

6. Notwithstanding points 1 and 5, my estimate is between a few hundred (or whatever I saw personally at Speedsterfest 2004) and 76,000, but don't hold me to it.
Eric Cherneff
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Jeffrey Fellman
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How many are left

#9 Post by Jeffrey Fellman » Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:31 pm

as I say, there could have been a lot of monkey business, duplication and
even puffery of the number I was quoted. However bear in mind that the
overwhelming majority of 356's were sold here. It was a time when Europe was
still bouncing back from the war and most companies in essence built for
export. Even a lot of supposed European delivery cars came back with the
thousands of service men who were slowly transfered back to the US.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Rich Behrends" <grenadebaron@verizonmail.com>
To: <356talk@356registry.com>
Sent: Tuesday, April 28, 2009 6:39 PM
Subject: [356Talk] How many are left

There is no way 50,000 356 in the US.
Total production was just over 76,000
Take away 10,000 as being crashed, rusted and parted out
That would leave 16,000 in the rest of the world.
50,000 world wide possible
but I think the number is closer to 40,000 world wide
Just my 2 cents worth

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Barry Brisco
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Re: How many are left

#10 Post by Barry Brisco » Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:44 am

Bob, as others have noted, statements regarding the number of 356s still remaining can only be very rough estimates.

However, the Convertible D Registry database provides some insight. It is available at http://www.convertibledregistry.com/

1,331 Ds were built in 1959 - 1960. The database contains information on 536 cars. It was started in 1972 by then 356 Registry Reviews Editor, Bob Lawrence and is currently maintained by John Chatley. While some of the information is a few decades old (and a couple of the cars are listed for historical purposes only), the majority of it has been updated within the past 10 years.

Assuming that around 10% of the cars in the database have been junked and updated information on them not provided to John, that means that nearly 40% of all Ds built are still around, most of them in running condition.

Making the further assumption that the open 356 models (Speedsters, cabs, Ds, and Roadsters) are somewhat more likely to have rusted out and been junked than the coupes, my guess is that perhaps as many as 50% of all 356s built still exist as running cars, meaning around 37,000 cars, with some small additional percentage still around as just shells or parts cars.

As you can see, there are a lot of assumptions. The fact is, no one really knows how many 356s remain. But I think it is likely there are a few tens of thousands. Overall, not particularly rare from the viewpoint of the collector car world, but of course certain 356 models are fairly rare such as the very early cars and the Carrera models.

Barry Brisco
Bob Ricks wrote:Hey Guys: A friend asked me a question today that I have often wondered about. He wanted to know how many 356s are left in the USA. Does anyone have access to that information or a fair estimate thereof? With all of the wrecks, rusting etc, I guess the original imported numbers have dwindled considerably over the last 60 years or so. Would be interesting if anyone out there has a knowledgeable estimate.
Thanks, Bob Ricks
Barry Brisco
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2009 987 Cayman, Carrera White / Beige (daily driver)

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Eric Meyer
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how many are left

#11 Post by Eric Meyer » Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:47 am

as a comparison...

I own a small german coachbuilt Volkswagen called a Rometsch Beeskow.

According to the statements made by Rometsch there were 500 cars made between 1950 and 1962. But when we dug into the serial numbers of the 32 known cars... it turns out that this number must include all cars produced by Rometsch... not just the Beeskows. (beeskow production ended in 1957) These cars are almost impossible to keep hidden away... because other vw people find them and post the "discovery" online. We discover maybe one new car every 4 or 5 years. Less lately as I think they have mostly all come out of the woodwork.

Via our Registry we did a careful analysis of the body numbers and realized that no more than 25 cars per year were made. (we did this by comparing the date of the vw chassis numbers and the Rometsch Body Numbers... and the factory records

the number we came up with was 175 +- Rometsch Beeskows built.

so out of 175... there are 32 known left. these were rare and comparably priced cars to 356's in the day. They are more difficult to restore than a 356... so that may skew the results.

Anyway... that equates to an 18% survival... if you add in a few for future discovery... I would venture a 20% survival rate.

of the 32 left... maybe 20% are wrecks that were brought back from the dead... or are still wrecks waiting to be rebuilt.

Do you think this is a decent comparison?

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#12 Post by Thomas Canty » Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:29 pm

..
Last edited by Thomas Canty on Fri Apr 30, 2010 6:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Pat Daily
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#13 Post by Pat Daily » Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:01 pm

Years ago (10 or so) on the old discussion group I saw an estimate that 20000 356s probably survive and I believe the estimate of around 10-15000 on the road.

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#14 Post by Guest » Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:11 am

I find this an interesting subject for discussion, and just like so much, it depends on assumptions. Thus, there will be different numbers, some by more knowledgeable people, others by taking a wild guess.
But these can merely be approximations.

I will throw some numbers in to cast some light on this discussion.
Tom Farnam wrote: .....Your number makes as much sense as anything, since the USA has no coordinated national registration of motor vehicles. ....
Tom, while that's surely true for the states, we do have central registration in Germany:

As per January 2007, 920 Porsche 356 were registred.

From 1950 thru 1966, 77766 cars were produced all together:
356: 9.100
A: 20.541
B: 31.440
C: 16.685

I don't know how many of those stayed in Germany back then.
But I can take the production numbers in relation to what is currently registrered:
356: 0.23 %
A: 0.52 %
B: 1.29 %
C: 2.32 %

Thus, 4,35% of total 356 production is currently registered in Germany.

Yet this only covers all 356 currently road registered, not those "hidden" unregistered in collections. That figure will have slightly increased, due to Dollar-weekness, the resulting import of 356s and the increased interest in these cars in Germany.


Concerning the US, there are however, some precise and some rough numbers for US export:
1951: 30
1952: 141
until mid 1953: 250
From '53 to '63 Max Hoffman(n!) never imported less than 35% of production, some years topping 70%, and leveling off to 40% towards the end [Porsche ceased contracts with Hoffman in '63 with the end of the B!
Of the 20.541 A around 50% went to the states.

Just some food for thought !!!!!!

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Mark Todorovich
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How many are left

#15 Post by Mark Todorovich » Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:06 am

Martin Do you know how many 52's were produced. My wife and I were just
discussing that point.

Mark Todorovich #4243
52 Coupe
56 Speedster
63 Cab?




-

Tom, while that surely holds for the state, we do have central
registration in Germany and that data is obtainable:

As per January 2007, 920 were registred.

From 1950 thru 1966, 77766 cars were produced all together:
356: 9.100
A: 20.541
B: 31.440
C: 16.685

I don't know how many of those stayed in Germany back then.
But I can take the production numbers in relation to what is currently
registrered:
356: 0.23 %
A: 0.52 %
B: 1.29 %
C: 2.32 %

Thus, 4,35% of total 356 production is currently registered in Germany.

Yet this only covers all 356 currently road registered, not those
"hidden" in collections. That figure will have slightly increased, due
to Dollar-weekness in the resulting import of 356s and the increased
interest in these cars in Germany.


Concerning the US, there are however, some precise and some rough
numbers for US export:
1951: 30
1952: 141
until mid 1953: 250
From '53 to '63 Max Hoffman(n!) never imported less than 35% of
production, some years topping 70%, and leveling off to 40% towards the
end [Porsche ceased contracts with Hoffman in '63 with the end of the B!
Of the 20.541 A around 50% went to the states.

Just some food for thought !!!!!!

------------------------
Martin
#19339




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