Porsche 356

Porsche 356 Page 2


























































































































































































































































































































































PORSCHE 356: The first true Porsche Coupe, the 356 developed by Ferry Porsche in 1948. It was powered by the readily available four cylinder Volkswagen Beetle engine but the body was very different, a tubular space frame chassis with a hand beaten aluminium body. Ferry had visions of a car that would handle, brake and hold the road well and the 356 due to it's light weight offered many of these features.

1948: PORSCHE 356/1: The 356/1, or more specifically the '356 Nr.1 Roadster', was the 'first car to carry the Porsche name'. The car was also widely known as the 'K45-286', a reference lifted from the original number plate. There is considerable conjecture as to the authenticity of the car shown below, numerous Porsche fans have noted numerous minor discrepancies when it is compared to the original 1948 photographic records.

Originally sketched on a drawing board in Gmund, Austria in a converted sawmill, the 356/1 was completed mid 1948. The car was powered by a VW Beetle engine with a capacity of 1,131cc which produced 35PS at 4,000rpm and the car was capable of 135kmh. A critical factor in the performance of the car was the overall weight of just 585kg.

The 356/1 had the flat four boxer engine located 'forward' of the rear axle with the gearbox to the rear, this power train configuration was swapped in all later versions, putting the engine 'behind' the rear axle.




1948: PORSCHE 356/2: The 356/2 was developed by Ferry Porsche and his team from the original 356 Nr.1 Roadster, a total of fifty two cars were manufactured by hand in the Austrian town of Gmund. To achieve more space for two jump seats and a small luggage compartment the engine was placed behind the rear axle establishing the general standard for the future of all Porsche Coupe's.


The Porsche 356/2


1950: PORSCHE 356 'FERDINAND': The Thursday before Easter 1950 witnessed a new chapter in Porsche's history as the first production 356 was rolled out of the Stuttgart factory. Porsche tradition dictated that the first car had to have a name, this car was christened 'Ferdinand' and it was ultimately presented to Dr Ferdinand Porsche on his 75th birthday, the 3rd September 1950. This 356 incorporated a 1,046cc flat four boxer engine producing 40PS and the car was capable of 140kmh.


The 356 'Ferdinand'


1950: PORSCHE 356 'SL COUPE': Starting from 1948, the intention was to compete and the 356 light alloy Coupe's offered Porsche the chance to go racing. The french Porsche importer 'Auguste Veuillet' raced an SL Coupe and recorded an average race speed of 118kmh achieving a class win. The SL Coupe incorporated a 1,086cc flat four boxer engine producing 46PS and the car was capable of 160kmh.


Porsche 356 'SL Coupe'


1953: PORSCHE 356 'AMERICAN ROADSTER': Developed exclusively for the American market, the 356 'American Roadster' incorporated a four cylinder boxer engine of 1,488cc which developed 70PS and the car was capable of 177kmh.


Porsche 356 'American Roadster'


1954: PORSCHE 356 '1500 COUPE': Evolutionary, the 1500 Coupe offered elimination of the split windscreen, improved interior fit out and the bumpers were stepped clear of the body work. The engine was a four cylinder boxer of 1,488cc which developed 55PS and the car was capable of 160kmh.


Porsche 356 '1500 Coupe'

MORE PORSCHE 356: Please continue my '356' coverage by selecting from the following pages...

Up Porsche 356 Page 2


Copyright 2013   Derek J. Hanbidge,  (aka Deejay51),  all rights reserved.
Revised: August 25, 2013.

Back Home Up Next