The 356 was Porsche's first production automobile, and was built from 1948 until 1964. Its name came from the fact that it was the 356th project to come off the Porsche design desk. But in late 1954, sole U.S. importer Max Hoffman convinced Porsche that Americans would not buy cars with numbers as names. So all Porsche coupes and cabriolets exported to the U.S. wore the 'Continental' designation. This label was short lived because the Ford Motor Company claimed possession of the name and threatened legal action.