To celebrate its 60th anniversary in America, Porsche launched a search for the earliest production car sold in the United States. The search uncovered a number of incredible historic Porsches before ultimately uncovering this 1952 356 Cabriolet — the first Porsche ever sold in the U.S.
The historic 356 Cabriolet was imported to the U.S. in November of 1952 year by Austrian businessman/ importer extraordinaire Max Hoffman. Although Hoffman brought his first Porsche stateside in 1950, he didn’t begin selling them to consumers until 1952. It’s unknown who the original buyer of this 356 was, but the car is now owned by Dr. Robert Wilson of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Interestingly, prior to Dr. Wilson’s ownership, the 356 was actually destined to become a novelty salad bar at a themed restaurant in Oklahoma City. However, the 356 was in such disrepair, the restaurant passed on the car and sold it to a scrapyard. Thankfully, Wilson discovered the car in 1985 and bought it for a whopping $800. He began a full restoration in 1986, but wouldn’t complete the task for another 15 years.
Other important Porsches discovered during the anniversary search includes a blue 1950 356 Cabriolet, owned by Richard Brumme of Annapolis, Maryland. Although Porsche (nor Hoffman) sold 1950 356s in America, the car is still significant, as it’s one of the first cars built in Stuttgart, following Porsche’s relocation from Gmund, Austria.
While the main goal of Porsche’s search was to find the oldest Porsche sold in the U.S., the company also asked people to submit their cars in a bid to find the earliest example of each U.S.-spec model, including the 911, 912, 914, 924, 928, 944, 968, Boxster, Cayenne, Carrera GT, and Cayman. All of these cars, along with the two early model 356s will be honored with an exclusive badge from Porsche’s official museum in Stuttgart, along with a photographs of each placed within the new “Sixty Years of Porsche in America” exhibit. Additionally, the 1950 356 will make an appearance on on Porsche’s display stand at the Los Angeles Auto Show this November.