The Porsche 356 is a sports car which was first produced by Austrian company Porsche Konstruktionen GesmbH(1948–1949), and then by German company Dr. Ing. h. c. F. Porsche GmbH (1950–1965). It was Porsche’s first production automobile. Earlier cars designed by the Austrian company include Cisitalia Grand Prix race car, the Volkswagen Beetle, and Auto Union Grand Prix cars.
The 356 is a lightweight and nimble-handling, rear-engine, rear-wheel drive, two-door available both in hardtop coupé and open configurations. Engineering innovations continued during the years of manufacture, contributing to its motorsports success and popularity. Production started in 1948 at Gmünd, Austria, where approximately 50 cars were built. In 1950 the factory relocated to Zuffenhausen, Germany, and general production of the 356 continued until April 1965, well after the replacement model 911 made its autumn 1963 debut.
The 356 was built in four distinct series, the original 356 (Pre A), followed by the 356 A, 356 B, and finally the 356 C.
To distinguish among the major revisions of the model, 356s are generally classified into a few major groups. The 356 coupes and cabriolets built through 1955 are readily identifiable by their split or bent centre-creased windscreens. In late 1955 the 356 A appeared, with a curved windshield. The A was the first road going Porsche to offer the Carrera four cam engine as an option. In 1959 the T5 356 B appeared, followed by the redesigned T6 series 356 B in 1962. The final version was the 356 C, little changed from the late T6 B cars but disc brakes replaced the drums.
In late 1959 significant styling and technical refinements gave rise to the 356 B (a T5 body type). The mid-1962 356 B model was changed to the T6 body type (twin engine lid grilles, an external fuel filler in the right front wing/fender and a larger rear window in the coupé). The Porsche factory did not call attention to these quite visible changes with a different model designation. However, when the T6 got disc brakes, with no other visible alterations, they called it the model C, or the SC when it had the optional extra powerful engine.
Period Radio, Clock, Heater, Windscreen wipers, Interior mirror.
Finished in a stunning and suitably period Ivory, this 356B is in superb cosmetic order having recently emerged from a comprehensive 3 year restoration. A great deal of love and care has been invested with a total strip down with new panels fitted, subsequent alignment and bare metal re-spray. As such, the car is as pretty in the flesh as the studio photography suggests with superb panel fit and finish and dazzling chrome finishers.
The cabin environment is an exercise in period detail with many new and restored parts complimenting a fantastic build spec all carried out by well know coach trimmers O’Rourke. With new carpet, mats, front and rear seat covers rounding up a focused interior space. A new headlining, dash top further confirm the commitment to total as new specification.
Instrumentation and switch gear is clean, crisp and fully operational.
Engine & Transmission:
Porsche designers decided to build the 356’s air cooled pushrod OHV flat-four around the engine case they had originally designed for the Volkswagen Beetle. They added new cylinder heads, camshaft, crankshaft, intake and exhaust manifolds and used dual carburetors to more than double the VW’s horsepower. While the first prototype 356 had a mid-engine layout, all subsequent 356 engines were rear-mounted.
With a flat 4 engine, the car is capable reaching a top speed of 120mph quite a feat for a car of this period. Giving a truly lovely growl through its rear bumper exhaust.
This cars engine is original and remains in fine fettle after being inspected in house, and has benefited from a full and comprehensive service and is ready to use.
Wheels, Tyres & Brakes:
The car presents with perfect pressed steel wheels with gleaming chrome hub caps topped off with the Porsche emblem, wrapped in new period Pirelli Cinturato rubber.
Originally a Californian car it was imported into the UK in 2014 as a running and usable dry state example. On arrival some light restoration was started which subsequently turned into a comprehensive renovation, body restoration and full re-trim by renowned trimmer O’Rouke. 4 years would pass before the car was complete and it being registered on the road in the UK in 2018.
With a copy of the Californian registration certificate and a huge file documenting the renovation this very pretty and 356 sits in excellent condition, drives like new, and is ready for the next owner to enjoy.