Porsche 356 Sports Car
The Porsche 356 model was Porsche’s 356 and the model that made and introduced the car and the company to the world. Production of the 2 door lightweight German export sports car “Porsche 356” started right after Word War 2 in 1948 and continued all the way into the 1960’s to 1965. Total output and production of the model was in total approximately 75,000 of which it is estimated that approximately ½ of the build amazingly are still in existence. This is very amazing when you consider that initial construction of this fast sports car – made to be raced started over 60 years ago.
Dr. Porsche had been in the center of modern motor car development since Edwardian times but it was truly his son Ferry who laid out the bare bones of the Porsche car project after World War 2. Using Volkswagen VW “Beetle” mechanical equipment – engines transmissions and suspensions – Porsche built their first car in 1948. This had the engine ahead of the rear wheel line. However, all production cars reverted to the familiar VW-style layout, with the air-cooled flat-four engine overhanging the rear wheels.
Type 356, incidentally indicates that this was the 356’Th project, undertaken by the Porsche design office since its formation in 1930. Early Porsches were 1100s, with very standard VW Volkswagen Bug engines. Yet what might be considered a sports car with more than humble beginnings , ( its comparison might have been to the VW Karman Ghia model range), found early success and great acceptance in motor racing and proved to be more than surprisingly strong rally cars and vehicles.
Production was well under way in 1950, when steel bodied cars were phased in at the new Zuffenhausen works, to replace the original light alloy. Enlargement began in 1951 when the original 1286 cc auto was announced. 1,488 cc Porsches were revealed in 1951 and the first 1,582 car followed shortly after in terms of time frames in 1955. This engine, developed from its original (amazingly small to begin with) 60 bhp (boiler horse power rating) output to 96 bhp in 1955, was standardized for the last 10 years of the 356’s life span.
In all of this there was only one what might be considered significant restyling operation – when the headlamps and bumpers were raised, the windscreen enlarged and then updated.
This Porsche’s shape was always aerodynamically efficient, and the last of the “Super 90’s” was good to go for 115 miles per hour (185.1 km/h) with excellent fuel economy.
The Porsche 356 was effectively replaced by the 911 series, which went into series production in 1964. Long live the 356.
George B. Maxwell
Spruce Avenue Alberta Avenue Mazda3 SportPublished in Automotive, Sport
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