1958 Porsche 356A

1958 Porsche 356A vehicle information

Cabriolet

The best-known convertible model is the 356 'Speedster', introduced in late 1954 after Max Hoffman, the sole US importer of Porsches, advised the company that an affordable open-top version could sell well in the American market. With its low, raked....[continue reading]

1958 Porsche 356A vehicle information

Roadster

Having first debuted for 1950, the Porsche 356 Speedster arrived four years later. The impetus came from Von Neumann, Porsche's agent on the West Coast. The idea was to offer a basic Porsche to young buyers, who couldn't afford a typical Porsche. The....[continue reading]

1958 Porsche 356A vehicle information

Coupe

By 1958 the 356 A was already in a sub-series Known as the Type 2, or T2. Often the T2 nickname is applied to these cars by familiar enthusiasts. If you did not want a top-down, wind in the hair Cabriolet but did want sun on your head during gaps in ....[continue reading]

1958 Porsche 356A vehicle information

Coupe

Chassis Num: 103428
Engine Num: 69468
Gearbox Num: 69468

This 1958 Porsche 356A Sunroof Coupe has all the correct Carrera GT features. The vehicle has undergone a ground-up restoration to the highest standards. Very few Sunroof Coupes were made and this vehicle is one of the finest available for sale. T....[continue reading]

1958 Porsche 356A vehicle information

Roadster

This Porsche Speedster is an original 'California' model with all matching numbers, and one of the 558 Speedsters produced in 1958. Only 233 Speedsters were painted ruby red. This car has undergone a top-level restoration.....[continue reading]

1958 Porsche 356A vehicle information

Coupe

Chassis Num: 101887

The Porsche 356 Coupe 'Green Hornet' was the creation of an automotive enthusiast who wanted a personalized version for himself. Later and better parts from the Porsche marque were used to create the ultimate 356. It was outfitted with a 230 horsep....[continue reading]

1958 Porsche 356A vehicle information

Cabriolet

Chassis Num: 84590

Of all the Porsches made in the 1950s, Speedsters are certainly the most charismatic. First sold in the 1955 model year, the Speedster was conceived for Porsche's American distributor. For model year 1956, the entire 356 line underwent mechanical and....[continue reading]

1958 Porsche 356A vehicle information

Coupe

Chassis Num: 193428
Engine Num: 69468
Gearbox Num: 19444

This 1958 Porsche 356A 1600 Super Sunroof Coupe has been treated to a three-year, ground-up professional restoration. It is one of the few 356 Porsches that have the Sunroof coupe option. It is a matching-numbers example, is original and correct, a....[continue reading]

1958 Porsche 356A vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: 84328 or 84728

This 1958 Porsche 356A Speedster with chassis number 84328 was purchased by Dale Hersh as a white 1600 Normal from a private party who were fellow 'Porsche Owners Club' members in the early 1960's. Dale decided to paint the car Metallic Green which ....[continue reading]

1958 Porsche 356A vehicle information

Cabriolet

Chassis Num: 150752
Engine Num: 70412

An original California car, this Midwestern 356A cabriolet is a fourth-owner car that has been restored in its original Meissen blue color over a red interior. The 1958 cars were of the Type 2 (or T-2) designation, as they featured several revisions....[continue reading]

1958 Porsche 356A vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: 84537

This Speedster is still in the hands of its original owner, who purchased the car new in the spring of 1958, and who used the car as his family's sole transportation at the time. The car competed in its first hill climb in 1959, and had its first SC....[continue reading]

1958 Porsche 356A vehicle information

Roadster

This car was initially delivered by Falvey Autos Inc., of Woodward Avenue in Detroit to Mr. Jack Spanish Jr. The original cost was $3,711. The Speedster was driven in all kinds of weather and ultimately fell into disrepair.....[continue reading]

1958 Porsche 356A vehicle information

1500GS/Carrera Cabriolet

Chassis Num: 84752

The Reutter-built Porsche 356 Speedster was based largely on the Glaser-built 356 America of 1953 and even retained its Type 540 internal designation. The project was inspired mostly by US importer Max Hoffmann and priced from just $2,995 bringing it....[continue reading]

1958 Porsche 356A vehicle information

Roadster

This Porsche 356A Carrera GT 1600 Super Speedster was once owned by Porsche factory driver, journalist and author of the Ford: The Dust and the Glory 1901-1967, and one of 68 built. It inherited the Super 1600 designation at the factory when t....[continue reading]

1958 Porsche 356A vehicle information

Roadster

A few Typ 2 356A Speedsters were built in 1958 (and 1959) as the Porsche factory planned to replace it with the Cabriolet in August that year. Sales had declined in 1957 (to about 1500) because, it was thought, the car was too Spartan which didn't su....[continue reading]

1958 Porsche 356A vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: 84100
Engine Num: 67644

This Porsche was built in 1958, the 356 A Speedster's final year of production. It left the factory finished in the current shade of Meissen Blue and fitted with sealed-beam headlamps, U.S.-specification bumpers, and a 60-horsepower Type 616/1 engine....[continue reading]

1958 Porsche 356A vehicle information

Coupe

Chassis Num: 103889
Engine Num: 1280268

Ferdinand Porsche established his independent automotive design consultancy in the early 1930s, although his name would not appear on a car until 1949. That car was the Porsche 356, based on the Volkswagen designed by Ferry Porsche's father. Like the....[continue reading]

1958 Porsche 356A vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: 83870

This Porsche Speedster was purchased by Ken Johnson in June of 1958 for the sum of $3,641. Upon taking possession of the silver metallic car, he drove it to his family home in Long Beach, California, where it would remain in residence for the next 56....[continue reading]

1958 Porsche 356A vehicle information

1500GS/Carrera Roadster

This car is powered by a 1587cc flat-four air-cooled rear mounted engine with twin overhead camshafts developing 160+ horsepower riding on a 82.7 inch wheelbase and weighing 1,732 pounds. This is the winningest Carrera GT Speedster of all time: three....[continue reading]

1958 Porsche 356A vehicle information

1500GS/Carrera Roadster

Chassis Num: 84908
Engine Num: 91015

Porsche began offering the GT option for the 1500 GS Carrera model in 1957. It initially referred to the engine's state of tune. Later, the GS/GT were given other competition features such as 60 mm racing front brakes with vented backing plates, and ....[continue reading]

1958 Porsche 356A vehicle information

Cabriolet

Chassis Num: 85724
Engine Num: 82926

Porsche produced just 1,331 examples of the 356A Convertible D between August 1958 and September of 1959. The Convertible D was a more civilized 'Speedster', with a larger windscreen and winding side windows. Overall the new car was 3.5-inches latter....[continue reading]

1958 Porsche 356A vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: 83895
Engine Num: 744333

This Porsche 356 A Speedster by Reutter is a late-production example that was originally owned by Volkswagen dealer in Natchez, Mississippi. After 15 years of pursuit, it was acquired in late 1988 by a persistent admirer, who painstakingly restored t....[continue reading]

1958 Porsche 356A vehicle information

Coupe

Chassis Num: 102429
Engine Num: 81727

This Porsche 356 Coupe lost its original engine early in its life and was given a correct 1958 Super 90 engine. It is finished in its original color combination of silver over red and wears an older restoration. Much of the car is original.....[continue reading]

1958 Porsche 356A vehicle information

Coupe

Chassis Num: 83930
Engine Num: 81280

This Porsche 356 A 1600 'Super' Speedster by Reutter is a United States-specification model that was factory-equipped with sealed-beam headlamps and U.S.-market bumpers. Its original interior color is not known, but would have been either black or ta....[continue reading]

1958 Porsche 356A vehicle information

1500GS/Carrera Roadster

Porsche built 4,145 Speedsters from 1954 through 1958, and only 141 ever left the factory in black. This Speedster was built in the fall of 1957 and is one of the coveted T2 Speedsters built at the end of the production run. This car was originally d....[continue reading]

Cabriolet
 
Roadster
 
Coupe
 
Coupe
Chassis #: 103428 
Roadster
 
Coupe
Chassis #: 101887 
Cabriolet
Chassis #: 84590 
Coupe
Chassis #: 193428 
Roadster
Chassis #: 84328 or 84728 
Cabriolet
Chassis #: 150752 
Roadster
Chassis #: 84537 
Roadster
 
1500GS/Carrera Cabriolet
Chassis #: 84752 
Roadster
 
Roadster
 
Roadster
Chassis #: 84100 
Coupe
Chassis #: 103889 
Roadster
Chassis #: 83870 
1500GS/Carrera Roadster
 
1500GS/Carrera Roadster
Chassis #: 84908 
Cabriolet
Chassis #: 85724 
Roadster
Chassis #: 83895 
Coupe
Chassis #: 102429 
Coupe
Chassis #: 83930 
1500GS/Carrera Roadster
 

History

During the war Ferdinand 'Ferry' Porsche and a handful of his proven, faithful employees had started work on development number 356 in their workshops moved to the town of Gmünd in Kärnten. The first design drawings were completed on 17 July 1947 and on 8 June 1948 the Kärnten state government issued a special permit homologating the car. Returning home after being held by the French as a prisoner of war and bailed out of custody by his family, Professor Dr.-Ing.h.c.Ferdinand Porsche, Ferry's father, stated right away that 'every single bolt was just right'. No 1 was then followed by a small series of 52 additional cars built in Gmünd, production in Stuttgart from 1950 - 1965 subsequently amounting to 78,000 units of the 356 model Porsche No 1, a mid-engined roadster, is completed and homologated in the Austrian town of Gmünd. The engine displaces 1131 cc and develops maximum output of 35 bhp(26 kW). The first few 356 coupes are made of light alloy.
The Porsche 1500 S ('Super') was launched in 1952 and was capable of producing 70 bhp.

In 1953, the Porsceh 1300 S producing 60 horsepower was added to the Porsche line-up. This was also the year the Porsche was introduced to the United States. The split windshields are also replaced by bent windshields during this year.

1954 marked the production of the first 200 Porsche Speedsters.

In 1955, the Speedster becomes a genuine sales success. Production of the 356 A series starts in autumn with the proven 1300 and 1300 S power units soon joined by the 1600(1582 cc, 60 bhp/44 kW), 1600 S (1582 cc, 75 bhp/55 kW) and 1500 GS -the first Carrera marking the introduction of the new sports engine with four overhead camshafts - (1498 cc, 100 bhp/74 kW). The 1100-ccengines are dropped from the range.

During the 1956 model year, Porsche produces its 10,000th 356 model.

In 1957, the sporting and Spartan Porsche 1500 GS Carrera is joined by the more comfortable 1500GS de Luxe model.

In 1958, output of the Porsche 356 A 1500 GS Carrera GT is boosted to 110 bhp/81 kW. The Speedster is replaced by the Convertible D with a larger windscreen and winding windows at the side. The 1300-cc engines are dropped from the range.

In 1959, the Carrera receives extra power and is now called the 1600 GS-GT, with the sports version offering more output (1588 cc, 115 bhp/85 kW) than the de Luxe model (105 bhp/77 kW). The 356 B series is introduced in autumn, the Convertible D being renamed the Roadster.

Source - Porsche

The Porsche 365C has been named the number ten on the list of Top Sports Cars of the 1960s by Sports Car International in 2004. The Porsche 356 is still widely regarded as a collector car that has capably stood the test of time.

There is some debate over which vehicle was the first official Porsche, the pre-war Porsche 64 being actually a VW racing automobile. The 356 was a sports car designed by Porsche that sold from 1948 through 1964 and was Porsche's first production automobile. A prototype for the 356, the 'Number 1' had a mid-engine. The name for the 356 was chosen as it was the 356th project off the Porsche design desk. In 1949, production officially began in Stuttgart, Germany.

Designed and fabricated by Ferdinand 'Ferry' Porsche (the son of well-known Dr. Ing Ferdinand Porsche, founder of Porsche motors), the Project # 356 concept was then styled by Irwin Komenda. Bailed out of custody by his family, Professor Dr.-Ing.h.c.Ferdinand Porsche was a held as a prisoner of war by the French. During the war, Ferry Porsche and a small handful of his faithful employees began work on the 356 in their workshops moved to the town of Gmünd in Kärnten. On Dr. Porsche's return to his family, he stated right away that 'every single bolt was just right'.

On July 17th, 1947, the first design drawings were completed, and it was an entire year later when the Kärnten state government issued a special permit homologating the car on June 8th, 1948.

Komenda, born in 1904 in Austria, was also responsible for contributing substantially to the construction of the Volkswagen, Cistalia, Auto Union racers, and other vehicles of the day. Joining Porsche's design bureau in 1931, Komenda held various positions at Steyr, Daimler-Benz and other coach shops in both Austria and Germany. He is responsible for contributing to a variety of other designs in Porsche's history, and was the chief engineer and head of Porsche's coachwork from 1955 until he died in 1966. The 'confidential clerk' for Porsche, Karl Peter-Rabe became the chief business manager, after Dr. Ing Albert Prizing, until 1965. Prizing was a business manager who is famous for bringing 37 orders back to the factory following one importer's conference in Wolfsberg in 1950.

The prototype was taken various times by Ferry, often with just the rolling chassis without body, up the steep mountain roads surrounding the city to test its agile handling and durability. Ferdinand Porsche went on to live a long life, and died on March 27th, at the age of 88. Contributing to the handling of the prototype was the gearbox and suspension specialist Karl Frolich.

Evolving through several updates through the years, the 365 was originally available as a coupe, a cabriolet and finally a roadster. The vehicle changed from mid-engine to rear, along with a myriad of details that evolved over the 22 year run of the model, though the recognizable shape of the vehicle remained the same, a timeless classic. The most desirable versions were the Porsche 356 Carrera, which came with a special racing engine, and the 'Super 90' and 'Speedster' models. The same price as a Cadillac at the time, the price of a late 1950's Porsche was nearly $4,000. Today, a 356 Carrera model can sell for well over $150,000.

The very first Porsche sport car was hand built in Gmünd/Kärnten, Austria. The entire aluminum body was hand beaten over a wooden buck. Without the benefits of a machine shop, all of the engine and drive-train components were made completely. Over 50 Gmünd cars were built and sold primarily in Austria and Germany. To be closer to parts suppliers, the Porsche Firm, located to Zuffenhausen, Austria, near the Reutter coachworks following the war. The only Porsche to ever have the engine mounted in front of the rear axle, the 356/1 was open top 2-seater. Designed with a tubular chassis, the vehicle was air-cooled and came with a 110 cc engine that remarkably light and quick for the times. Following this first ever radical design, every Porsche 356 to follow was constructed with the engine in the rear, behind the axle.
The Reutter Company, located in Stuttgart Germany, was given the assignment in late 1949 to construct 500 body works for an adjusted model of the 356 unit. This classic 356 was capable of reaching a speed of 140 kph. Under the belief that selling more than 500 units was an impossible feat, it was a pleasant surprise on March 15, 1954, car no. 5,000 left the factory.

Over the years, the 356 was updated with various mechanical refinements, though the basic shape was retained and remained instantly recognizable from year to year. The final 356B Roadster was built in early 1963, while both Coupe and Cabriolet models continued to be built every year up until 1965.

With a top speed of over 85 mph (135kph), a total of only 4 models of the 356 were produced in 1948. The 356/1 came with a 1.1 liter engine that was capable of making 40 horsepower. Less than 60 units were produced during 1949 and the earlier part of 1950. These very rare and unique models are known today as the Gmünd Coupes. The tiny sport cars continued to be built during 1950, but now at a factory in Stuttgart where Porsche moved production. A total of 298 units were built and delivered to their owners by the end of 1950.

One year later, three engines, all of them were flat-4's 'boxers' that were air cooled and were available from the factory. They were available at the 1,100cc, the 1,300cc, and the 1,500cc. The 1500 Super was the top power-plant during late 1952, which came with a synchromesh transmission. That same year the America Roadster was designed and created. Only a total of sixteen models were produced, and all units were an aluminum cabriolet body that came with a removable windshield. In 1992, this vehicle inspired the 40th Anniversary 1992 911 America Roadster.

Under the advice of Max Hoffman, the sole importer of Porsches into the U.S., the 356 'Speedster' was introduced in late 1954. The idea was to produce a lower cost vehicle that was a racier version that would appeal to the American market. Proving to be an instantaneous hit, the Speedster came with a low, raked windshield that was easily removed, bucket seats, and a minimal folding top. In 1954, the Speedster was available for $2,995. This unit was available in a variety of six different engine types, the 1100, 1300, 1300A, 1300S, 1500 and 1500S. The 1500Super was the top of the line model, while the Coupe and Cabriolet wore the 'Continental' badge designation. In 1955 the 1600 motor went into production.

In 1956, the 356A was unveiled to the world, and had an all steel body, curved windshield and smaller wheels. When the cars were introduced, numerous subtle differences in the shape of the body and features were highlighted. In 1956 the 10,000th 356 unit rolled off the assembly line. The 356 Carrera was introduced at the same time, which came with a 1500GS engine. Before being replaced in 1959 by the Convertible D model, the Speedster peaked at a total of 1,171 units produced. In this same year, the 1300 engine was dropped from the line. A new project was the result from continued improvements to the 356A, the Type 2 or 'T-2', now with a new transmission, the 644 replaced the earlier 519 with an improved shifter, better synchros, dual nose mounts and a split case design. A higher horsepower is achieved in 1958 as continuous improvements were made in the Carrera engines.

The D model featured more comfortable seating, along with a more practical windshield, and glass side windows. In an attempt to boost sinking sales, around 1300 of these models were produced. While previous models were developed by Reutter coachbuilders, the Convertible D model was developed by Drauz, which is what the ‘D' stands for. The D model falls somewhere between a Speedster and a Cabriolet in both luxury and lightweight appointments. In the later months of 1959, the Convertible D became a roadster with the new T-5 body style. Today to the convertible D is considered very desirable, due to the low number of units produced.

In 1960 the 356B offered the S90, or 'Super 90' motor as an available option. The vehicle also had a counterweighted crank, sodium-filled valves and Solex P40-II carburetors. The Karmann Coachworks were employed in 1961 to produce the 'Hardtop', a Cabriolet body with a fixed hard roof. The nickname 'Notchback' was affixed to these cars because of their profile. Nearly 1750 of these vehicles were produced during the two years of its production.

It was one year later when the 356B was introduced, updated with an entirely new body and Super 90 engine. In 1962 and 1963, the engine was once again revised, and changed body styles. A very small number of 356B 4-seater coupes were produced by a Swiss company. Though rare, several models are still around today. Next was the introduction of the Carrera 2 in April of 1962, and only around 450 models were produced in both Coupe and Cabriolet form. In the same year, Karmann produced 2170 coupes, and Reutter produced 4100. The production for the year topped 7900 when the almost 1600 Cabriolets are added into the count. The discussion is broached by Porsche with Reutter to purchase the coachmaker, and finally, after 12-years of co-operation, the successes are consolidated. 'Christophorus', a customer magazine filled with news and background on the Porsche lifestyle is launched by the Porsche factory.

Finally the 356C, the final model, known also as the Type 6 (T-6), was available in 1964 with an engine that came from the same lines as previous Spyder engines, the most powerful pushrod engine Porsche every produced, was cable of producing 130 horsepower. Offering the 1600C, 1600SC and Carrerra 2 engines, the 356C featured 4-wheel disc brakes. Both the C and SC were available for purchase in either Coupe or Cabriolet form.

In 1964, a total of 14,151 356 units were produced. Porsche had achieved a production rate higher in that year alone than the entire line production of the first 10 years of the Porsche 356. The 911 was introduced at this time, presaging the end of the 356 run. Through the end of 1965, the company continued to sell the 365C in North America as a lower-cost vehicle.

Achieving a victory in the 1100cc class during its first outing, the original 356-001 vehicle was raced at the Innsbruck city race. In Austria, on the 8th of June 1948, the Porsche was homologated by the state government of Kärnten. Frequently touring the world for special car shows and historic events, the original Porsche '001' vehicle is in the Factory Museum.

Near the end of 1965, more than 76,000 Porsche 356 models were produced and sold. Following 17 years of production, the model 912 eventually took over the 356's stance in the market. The push-rod engine from the 356 was reused to power the 'entry level' 912 model that was produced from 1965 to 1969.

The Porsche '901' was introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1963. Later after a protest by Peugeot, the name was changed to '911'. In 1964 the Porsche 911 began production.

By Jessica Donaldson
The Porsche 365C has been named the number ten on the list of Top Sports Cars of the 1960s by Sports Car International in 2004. The Porsche 356 is still widely regarded as a collector car that has capably stood the test of time.

There is some debate over which vehicle was the first official Porsche, the pre-war Porsche 64 being actually a VW racing automobile. The 356 was a sports car designed by Porsche that sold from 1948 through 1964 and was Porsche's first production automobile. A prototype for the 356, the 'Number 1' had a mid-engine. The name for the 356 was chosen as it was the 356th project off the Porsche design desk. In 1949, production officially began in Stuttgart, Germany.

Designed and fabricated by Ferdinand 'Ferry' Porsche (the son of well-known Dr. Ing Ferdinand Porsche, founder of Porsche motors), the Project # 356 concept was then styled by Irwin Komenda. Bailed out of custody by his family, Professor Dr.-Ing.h.c.Ferdinand Porsche was a held as a prisoner of war by the French. During the war, Ferry Porsche and a small handful of his faithful employees began work on the 356 in their workshops moved to the town of Gmünd in Kärnten. On Dr. Porsche's return to his family, he stated right away that 'every single bolt was just right'.

On July 17th, 1947, the first design drawings were completed, and it was an entire year later when the Kärnten state government issued a special permit homologating the car on June 8th, 1948.

Komenda, born in 1904 in Austria, was also responsible for contributing substantially to the construction of the Volkswagen, Cistalia, Auto Union racers, and other vehicles of the day. Joining Porsche's design bureau in 1931, Komenda held various positions at Steyr, Daimler-Benz and other coach shops in both Austria and Germany. He is responsible for contributing to a variety of other designs in Porsche's history, and was the chief engineer and head of Porsche's coachwork from 1955 until he died in 1966. The 'confidential clerk' for Porsche, Karl Peter-Rabe became the chief business manager, after Dr. Ing Albert Prizing, until 1965. Prizing was a business manager who is famous for bringing 37 orders back to the factory following one importer's conference in Wolfsberg in 1950.

The prototype was taken various times by Ferry, variously with just the rolling chassis without body, up the steep mountain roads surrounding the city to test its agile handling and durability. Ferdinand Porsche went on to live a long life, and died on March 27th, at the age of 88. Contributing to the handling of the prototype was the gearbox and suspension specialist Karl Frolich.

Evolving through several updates through the years, the 365 was originally available as a coupe, a cabriolet and finally a roadster. The vehicle changed from mid-engine to rear, along with a myriad of details that evolved over the 22 year run of the model, though the recognizable shape of the vehicle remained the same, a timeless classic. The most desirable versions were the Porsche 356 Carrera, which came with a special racing engine, and the 'Super 90' and 'Speedster' models. The same price as a Cadillac at the time, the price of a late 1950's Porsche was nearly $4,000. Today, a 356 Carrera model can sell for well over $150,000.

The very first Porsche sport car was hand built in Gmünd/Kärnten, Austria. The entire aluminum body was hand beaten over a wooden buck. Without the benefits of a machine shop, all of the engine and drive-train components were made completely. Over 50 Gmünd cars were built and sold primarily in Austria and Germany. To be closer to parts suppliers, the Porsche Firm, located to Zuffenhausen, Austria, near the Reutter coachworks following the war. The only Porsche to ever have the engine mounted in front of the rear axle, the 356/1 was open top 2-seater. Designed with a tubular chassis, the vehicle was air-cooled and came with a 110 cc engine that remarkably light and quick for the times. Following this first ever radical design, every Porsche 356 to follow was constructed with the engine in the rear, behind the axle.
The Reutter Company, located in Stuttgart Germany, was given the assignment in late 1949 to construct 500 body works for an adjusted model of the 356 unit. This classic 356 was capable of reaching a speed of 140 kph. Under the belief that selling more than 500 units was an impossible feat, it was a pleasant surprise on March 15, 1954, car no. 5,000 left the factory.

Over the years, the 356 was updated with various mechanical refinements, though the basic shape was retained and remained instantly recognizable from year to year. The final 356B Roadster was built in early 1963, while both Coupe and Cabriolet models continued to be built every year up until 1965.

With a top speed of over 85 mph (135kph), a total of only 4 models of the 356 were produced in 1948. The 356/1 came with a 1.1 liter engine that was capable of making 40 horsepower. Less than 60 units were produced during 1949 and the earlier part of 1950. These very rare and unique models are known today as the Gmünd Coupes. The tiny sport cars continued to be built during 1950, but now at a factory in Stuttgart where Porsche moved production. A total of 298 units were built and delivered to their owners by the end of 1950.

One year later, three engines, all of them were flat-4's 'boxers' that were air cooled and were available from the factory. They were available at the 1,100cc, the 1,300cc, and the 1,500cc. The 1500 Super was the top power-plant during late 1952, which came with a synchromesh transmission. That same year the America Roadster was designed and created. Only a total of sixteen models were produced, and all units were an aluminum cabriolet body that came with a removable windshield. In 1992, this vehicle inspired the 40th Anniversary 1992 911 America Roadster.

Under the advice of Max Hoffman, the sole importer of Porsches into the U.S., the 356 'Speedster' was introduced in late 1954. The idea was to produce a lower cost vehicle that was a racier version that would appeal to the American market. Proving to be an instantaneous hit, the Speedster came with a low, raked windshield that was easily removed, bucket seats, and a minimal folding top. In 1954, the Speedster was available for $2,995. This unit was available in a variety of six different engine types, the 1100, 1300, 1300A, 1300S, 1500 and 1500S. The 1500Super was the top of the line model, while the Coupe and Cabriolet wore the 'Continental' badge designation. In 1955 the 1600 motor went into production.

In 1956, the 356A was unveiled to the world, and had an all steel body, curved windshield and smaller wheels. When the cars were introduced, numerous subtle differences in the shape of the body and features were highlighted. In 1956 the 10,000th 356 unit rolled off the assembly line. The 356 Carrera was introduced at the same time, which came with a 1500GS engine. Before being replaced in 1959 by the Convertible D model, the Speedster peaked at a total of 1,171 units produced. In this same year, the 1300 engine was dropped from the line. A new project was the result from continued improvements to the 356A, the Type 2 or 'T-2', now with a new transmission, the 644 replaced the earlier 519 with an improved shifter, better synchros, dual nose mounts and a split case design. A higher horsepower is achieved in 1958 as continuous improvements were made in the Carrera engines.

The D model featured more comfortable seating, along with a more practical windshield, and glass side windows. In an attempt to boost sinking sales, around 1300 of these models were produced. While previous models were developed by Reutter coachbuilders, the Convertible D model was developed by Drauz, which is what the ‘D' stands for. The D model falls somewhere between a Speedster and a Cabriolet in both luxury and lightweight appointments. In the later months of 1959, the Convertible D became a roadster with the new T-5 body style. Today to the convertible D is considered very desirable, due to the low number of units produced.

In 1960 the 356B offered the S90, or 'Super 90' motor as an available option. The vehicle also had a counterweighted crank, sodium-filled valves and Solex P40-II carburetors. The Karmann Coachworks were employed in 1961 to produce the 'Hardtop', a Cabriolet body with a fixed hard roof. The nickname 'Notchback' was affixed to these cars because of their profile. Nearly 1750 of these vehicles were produced during the two years of its production.

It was one year later when the 356B was introduced, updated with an entirely new body and Super 90 engine. In 1962 and 1963, the engine was once again revised, and changed body styles. A very small number of 356B 4-seater coupes were produced by a Swiss company. Though rare, several models are still around today. Next was the introduction of the Carrera 2 in April of 1962, and only around 450 models were produced in both Coupe and Cabriolet form. In the same year, Karmann produced 2170 coupes, and Reutter produced 4100. The production for the year topped 7900 when the almost 1600 Cabriolets are added into the count. The discussion is broached by Porsche with Reutter to purchase the coachmaker, and finally, after 12-years of co-operation, the successes are consolidated. 'Christophorus', a customer magazine filled with news and background on the Porsche lifestyle is launched by the Porsche factory.

Finally the 356C, the final model, known also as the Type 6 (T-6), was available in 1964 with an engine that came from the same lines as previous Spyder engines, the most powerful pushrod engine Porsche every produced, was cable of producing 130 horsepower. Offering the 1600C, 1600SC and Carrerra 2 engines, the 356C featured 4-wheel disc brakes. Both the C and SC were available for purchase in either Coupe or Cabriolet form.

In 1964, a total of 14,151 356 units were produced. Porsche had achieved a production rate higher in that year alone than the entire line production of the first 10 years of the Porsche 356. The 911 was introduced at this time, presaging the end of the 356 run. Through the end of 1965, the company continued to sell the 365C in North America as a lower-cost vehicle.

Achieving a victory in the 1100cc class during its first outing, the original 356-001 vehicle was raced at the Innsbruck city race. In Austria, on the 8th of June 1948, the Porsche was homologated by the state government of Kärnten. Frequently touring the world for special car shows and historic events, the original Porsche '001' vehicle is in the Factory Museum.

Near the end of 1965, more than 76,000 Porsche 356 models were produced and sold. Following 17 years of production, the model 912 eventually took over the 356's stance in the market. The push-rod engine from the 356 was reused to power the 'entry level' 912 model that was produced from 1965 to 1969.

The Porsche '901' was introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1963. Later after a protest by Peugeot, the name was changed to '911'. In 1964 the Porsche 911 began production.

By Jessica Donaldson

1958 Porsche Models

1958 Porsche Concepts

Concepts by Porsche

Porsche Monthly Sales Volume

May 2019
5,010
April 2019
5,018
March 2019
4,779
February 2019
4,826
January 2019
5,419
November 2018
5,673
October 2018
4,817
September 2018
5,102
August 2018
4,083
July 2018
4,020
June 2018
4,892
May 2018
5,005
Additional Sales Volume Data


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