The 356 was created by Ferdinand "Ferry" Porsche (son of the Ferdinand founder of the German company), who founded the Austrian company. Like the Volkswagen Beetle designed by Ferdinand Porsche Sr., the 356 was a four-cylinder, air-cooled, rear-engine, rear-wheel drive car with unified pan and body construction. The chassis was a completely new design as was the 356's body which was designed by Porsche employee Erwin Komenda, while certain mechanical components including the engine case and some suspension components were based on and initially sourced from Volkswagen. The 356 was a luxury sports car and Porsche's first production automobile. Engineering innovations continued over the years of its manufacture, contributing to its motorsports success and popularity. Production started in 1948 at Gmünd, Austria, where approximately 50 cars were built. On June 8, 1948, the first Porsche car obtained its approval: it was the Porsche 356/1 Roadster this was followed by the 356/2 in 1950. In 1950 the factory was moved to Zuffenhausen, Germany, and at this point, we have the first 356 also called, retrospectively, "Pre-A". Initially only 1100 cc, then 1300cc and from 1952 also 1500 cc, they were easily recognisable from the windshield divided into two parts by a central rib. All were also available as convertibles (Cabriolet, Speedster and then Roadster). The 356 1500 cc, so-called "Pre A", produced between 1953 and 1955, differ from the previous one by a series of characteristics. The bumpers are removed from the bodywork. The windshield is now a single centrally curved pane (Knickscheibe). The handle on the luggage compartment lid is elongated and fitted with a slit and, from 1954, with a Porsche frieze. The rear lights become round. The rear blinkers, which are also round, are close to the rear lights. The front blinkers are round and flat, and from 1954 integrated into the horn grille. The stoplight is integrated into the rear light unit. The license plate illumination is in a chrome housing above the license plate. The engine is type 546/2, rear longitudinal mounted, four cylinders boxer, air cooled, it has a displacement of 1,488 cc and is powered by two Solex 32 PBI carburettors. The distribution is single-shaft with rods and rocker arms and overhead valves. The compression of 7:1 gives a power of 55hp at 4,400 rpm. The chassis is a platform; the suspensions are longitudinal oscillating arms and transverse torsion bars. Rear suspension with oscillating axles and longitudinal arms. Worm and sector steering. Drum brakes. Rear, obviously, wheel drive. The clutch is dry single-disc, and the gearbox (type 519) is four-speed mechanical. The weight of about 830 kg for a length of just under 4m.In 1956 the 356 was replaced by the 356 A. The production of the 356 continued until April 1965, well after the new model 911 had made its debut in the autumn of 1963. Seventy-six thousand three hundred thirteen units had been produced. Of which 7,627 were (about 50) "Gmünd" and "Pre-A".
Porsche 356 1500 (Reutter), chassis no. 53964, engine type 546/2, no. 34527. Built in 1955, has all the features of the first 356, built later than the semi-handbuilt "Gmünd" but before the 356 A model and, therefore, defined retrospectively as "Pre-A". This 1955 car presents all the features of the 1500 (cc) model introduced in 1952 and slightly modified in some details in 1954. According to the Porsche Origin Certificate, it was originally metallic silver with a green interior; the car has undergone a complete restoration. Bodywork and interior have a colour combination that conforms to the era: dark red with beige interior. The car appeared to have been delivered new to a German dealer and was registered in Italy in 2005. The engine is the correct 546/2. Not to be overestimated the rarity of finding such a model in this condition, at a time when the purchase of a Porsche is a genuine and safe investment. Finally, as Ferry Porsche would have said: beautiful and fun to drive. State of the ArtFully restored: bodywork, interiors and mechanical parts.
State of the Art: Fully restored: bodywork, interiors and mechanical parts.
- R.M. Clarke, Porsche 356, Ultimate Portfolio, Brooklands Books, UK 2006.
- Achim Kubiak, Faszination 356, Eine Typologie del Porsche 356, Delius Klasing, Bielefeld D 2002.
- Stefano Pasini, Porsche 356, Automobilia, Milano 1993.
Certifications and Statements
ASI, Fiche FIA, CSAI, Porsche Origin Certificate.
Registration and Italian license plates in order and updated.
- Mille Miglia. Eligible. The Porsche 356 boasts an assiduous presence at the Mille Miglia. In 1952, the first year of production, a 1500 car, identical to the present, was brought to the race by Giovanni Lurani, finishing 46th overall.
- Giro di Sicilia. Eligible.
- Targa Florio. Eligible.
- Goodwood Revival. Eligible
- Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique. Eligible
- Tour Auto. Eligible.
- Le Mans Classic. Eligible.
- Coppa d’Oro delle Dolomiti. Eligible.
- Vernasca Silver Flag. Eligible.
- California Mille: Eligible.
- Nürburgring Classic. Eligible.
- Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Eligible.
- Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Eligible.
- Chantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille. Eligible.
- Concorso d’eleganza Villa D’Este. Eligible.