Porsche 356

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Porsche

Porsche 356

1950 - 1965
Country:
Germany
Engine:
Flat 4
Capacity:
1086/1966 cc
Power:
40-155 bhp
Transmission:
4 spd. man
Top Speed:
139-209 km/h
Number Built:
82,363
Collectability:
5 star
Perceived as a rather dumpy-looking rear-engined sports car, the 356 was modelled on the VW Beetle which was also designed by Ferdinand Porsche.

Early editions of the 356 had split windscreens and an 1100cc flat four motor that produced a mere 40 bhp.

The power to weight ratio was obviously more important then than readily available horsepower. While the target weight of 555kg was never achieved, the original 356 only weighed in at a mere 600kg!

The first prototype of the 356 was completed in the European spring of 1948 - however production would not commence until 1950. The first 1000 356's were sold by August the following year!

Later models used 1287, 1290 and 1488cc motors that produced up to 70 bhp. In 1955 its roundish styling was sharpened somewhat with the introduction of the 356A that also boasted a curvy one-piece windscreen, better front suspension and a 1600cc engine. In 1959 the 356B was higher in its nose and existed in two versions - Roadster and coupe.

The top of the range was the Super 90 which could top 177 km/h, whilst other models could credibly manage 160 km/h. The 356C had four-wheel disc brakes and ZF steering was used.

Names were altered as well with the Super changing to the 1600C, the Super 75 becoming the 1600S and the Super 90 was known as the 1600SC. Carrera versions of the 356 existed from 1955 using familiar flat four motors but differing in details.

Because of its lighter body these 100 bhp vehicles could manage 193 km/h with the 1958 models that used 1.6 liter engines managing with a fantastic 193 km/h.

The Carrera 2 cars from 1960 used a two liter type of complex flat four that allowed 155 bhp. Over time the 356 changed dramatically causing it to move away from the VW Beetle influence. Compact and beautifully made its passing was mourned by many when Porsche 911 took over in 1965.

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Also see:


Porsche Heritage
Ferdinand Porsche
The House Of Porsche
The House Of Porsche - Pictorial Edition
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