Leigh Rutledge, a real estate executive in Sacramento, California, owns a rare Porsche — a 1956 Porsche 356 Cabriolet.

The car was made in the year Rutledge was born, and the model also corresponds to the month and year she was born.

In Episode 21 of The Weekly Driver Podcast, hosts Bruce Aldrich and James Raia discuss with Rutledge her 27-year ownership of the unique Porsche. The car has had a hard-to-believe legacy.

Leigh Rutledge and her 1956 Porsche 356 Cabriolet. Images © Bruce Aldrich/2018.
Leigh Rutledge and her 1956 Porsche 356 Cabriolet. Images © Bruce Aldrich/2018.

Rutledge purchased the Porsche in 1990 after noticing it for sale on a 3×5 index card. But the Porsche wasn’t much more than a collection of parts. The restoration began as a series of catastrophes, from unscrupulous “experts” to financial missteps.

But through the care and concern of several friends as well as her husband, Bill Hambrick (he’s also a vintage Porsche owner), Rutledge persevered. She now has one of what may be 20 known examples of the Cabriolet remaining.

Through the years, Rutledge has entered various car shows, and her Porsche has won every time. More than 350 vehicles were entered in one event.

Rutledge doesn’t drive her Porsche often, but when she does, it always attracts attention. About 1 1/2 years ago, Rutledge was contacted by a wannabe owner in Germany. The discussion didn’t advance past pleasantries.

Rutledge and Hambrick often attend Porsche functions in one of their vintage cars. But they’ve never driven their respective Porsches to the same event. Rutledge said the husband-wife team has discussed the possibilities, and their mini rally could happen this year.

Listen to our episode as Rutledge details the trials and tribulations of her Porsche ownership. She talks about rare parts and rave reviews. She shares the appreciation she has for the friend who is largely responsible for its restoration.

And she also reveals what her 1956 Porsche 356 Cabriolet is likely worth.

Thank you for listening to our podcast. We welcome your comments.

1 COMMENT

  1. Enjoyed your interview with Leigh Rutledge. I just came across this site while looking at the two different Porsche Clubs on the web. I have owned my 1959 356 A 1600 super Coupe for 51 years. It shows its age, I have done some upgrades a few years ago. As Leigh said, people like to come up to you and talk about cars they had in their past. When I’ve come out stores on many occasions people are taking pictures of my car or want to talk about it. One person I parked next to his car, offered to me a straight across trade for his new 911 Carrera Convertible. He then told me I would be getting the short end of the deal, he said could just go buy another one, not the case with mine. There used to be a Honda Motorcycle ad that said you meet the nicest people on a Honda. That’s true with my car. While at a gas station in my hometown, St. Helena, a woman came up to me with her checkbook open, she said how much. I said it’s not for sale, but I’ll give you a ride in it. As I told her another guy came over for a close look. He said he races Porsches and said he had seen one as old as mine as I showed him the motor and started it up for him. He was from Los Angele. He sent emails of his two race cars. I went to a garage sale in Yountville, I happened to see a very new Porsche in his garage. We started talking about mine, never got into a conversation about his, I told him I recently put on new Weber Carbs. He said wait a minute, I have a book for you, It was a good-sized book about everything you would want to know about Weber Carbs. Like a mechanics service manual. He said how about $5. It was worth ten times more than that. Then he gave his business card. In large letters it said N.A.S.A. I couldn’t read the small print, I didn’t have my glasses. He said my name is Tim Bringman, I am a National Auto Sports Association race car driver instructor. I said I bring my car down and give him a ride, took him for a ride around the valley, he said he would help me work on it any time, for nothing, he had never been up close to one either. I plan to go see Tom after I have recovered from my broken ankle, I haven’t been able to drive my car since 12-11-18. My most recent event, I stopped for people in town at a crosswalk. As a girl walked across, she stopped, gave me a thumbs up, then paused. She had on a long dress. She grabbed both sides of her dress, fanned it out and bowed. That was a first. I get a lot of thumbs up and see peoples’ mouths opening saying wow. I painted it its silver color 50 years ago. It needs paint again. It has a red interior and has original “Over Rider Bumpers” front and back. It also has hubcaps, on chrome wheels, original, multiband radio, and fold-down rear bench seat option. If interested I”LL send pictures.

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