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This isn't technically a Speedster, but the Type 540 (Typ 540 K/9-1 to be very precise) - known more commonly as the America Roadster - started the idea. The American Roadster was the direct predecessor of the Speedster. U.S. importer Max Hoffman convinced Porsche it needed a lightweight convertible to compete. It only had an emergency folding roof and could keep up with larger sports cars of the era. But the production methods used to create the America Roadster’s aluminum body proved to be too expensive, and in 1952 Porsche built only 21 units before its discontinuation in 1953. Read More
Ferry Porsche had in fact requested Swiss technicians to make a less sporty and more elegant version of the 365 B and thus the 1600 Beutler Coupè was born. This project is a 2+2 based on a Porsche 1600. Like the Porsche, the car is built on a VW platform, but includes Porsche elements such as the brakes and the engine. It was built in 5 copies before production was stopped in 1957 due to a change in commercial strategies by the German company. Read More
The series production didn't allow the use of handmade aluminium body panels, so, the cars were made of stamped steel panels. The first Stuttgart-built 356 have later been called as 356 Pre-A. These cars have either two separate windscreen glasses like the 356 built in Austria, or a sharply bent windscreen glass! Introduced in 1948, the Porsche 356 Pre-A Coupe was the first variant available for the Porsche 356. The engine started as a 1100 cc flat four that produced 40 hp. It was available as a coupe and cabriolet body style. Read More
The Porsche 356 Pre A Coupe and Cabriolet were introduced in 1950 and was available through mid-1955. Beginning in 1950 it was offered with a 1100 cc flat four that produced 40 hp. In 1951, a bigger 1.3-litre Type 506 engine was announced. It marked the first significant move away from the original Volkswagen unit. Bored from 73.5mm to 80mm (stroke was unchanged at 64mm), displacement rose from 1086cc to 1286cc. Further enhancements included lightweight alloy cylinder barrels and nosed pistons. Output rose from 40 bhp to 44 bhp and torque increased from 51 lb-ft to 60 lb-ft. Read More
In 1953, the 1300 S or "Super" was introduced, and the 1,100 cc engine was dropped. The 360 1300 Super boasts a power improvement to 60 BHP with Porsche's "Super" engine in the Porsche 356 model range. Minor visual differences were implemented such as front indicators integrated with the horn grilles and bumpers protrude from the body with over-riders. In June 1954, the plain-bearing 1300cc engine switched over to the same block as the 4cc larger roller-bearing variant. Read More
The 1500 was Porsche’s newest engine which was quickly fitted with 40 PIBC Solex carburetors to produce 60 bhp @ 5000 rpm in 1952. These retained the Hirth roller-bearing crankshafts which gave Porsche enough clearance to enlarge their engine to 1500cc. Most cars from 1952 until the 356A of 1956 were powered by the 1500 engine but some left the factory with the smaller 1.1 and 1.3-liter engines. At the request of American importer Max Hoffman, 356s for the 1955 model year were badged as Continentals before reaching the U.S Read More
Beginning in 1954, a new version of the Pre A 356 was introduced that is now known as the Porsche 356 Pre-A Carrera, with a powerful engine that was available in coupe, cabriolet, and Speedster variants. Highly desirable today, the Carrera name denotes the race inspired 1500 cc four cam motor that produced an astounding 110 hp. Approximately 97 of these motors were produced sometime between 1954 and early 1955. The Carrera versions would continue in the next generation 356 as the Porsche 356 A Carrera. Read More
Generally speaking the early models or so called ‘Pre A 356′ models are more desirable than the later models. At the top of the pyramid and the most exclusive is the Carrera version which carries the legendary 4 cam ‘Fuhrman’ engine. But just below that comes the ‘Super’ speedster. The ‘super’ version had more horsepower (75 vs the standard 60) and the powerful ‘type 528 engine’ for the 1500 Super version. Read More
Towards the end of 1951 Porsche introduced a larger version of the flat four engine. It was offered alongside the original 1.1 litre engine. It took a lot more effort to develop the third variation on the four cylinder theme; the '1500.' Introduced in the 356 1500 during 1952, the engine produced 55 bhp. Porsche's competition department reworked the 1500 engine with hotter cams and bigger Carburetors, boosting power to 70 bhp. In 1952 this engine found its way into a new road car; the 356 Super. Read More
From the outside, the 356A kept to the Porsche mantra of stepwise evolution. The new model was outwardly identical to the previous version except for the wider tires, a small rub-strip below the doors, a fully-curved front window and enamel paint replacing lacquer previously used. The 356 A came with an all-alloy air-cooled Flat 4 engine in four states of tune, with the 1300 having Type 506/2 engine with 44 bhp and 60 lb-ft. Read More
From the outside, the 356A kept to the Porsche mantra of stepwise evolution. The new model was outwardly identical to the previous version except for the wider tires, a small rub-strip below the doors, a fully-curved front window and enamel paint replacing lacquer previously used. The 356 A came with an all-alloy air-cooled Flat 4 engine in four states of tune, with the 1300 having Type 589/2 engine with 60 bhp and 65 lb-ft of torque. Read More
Porsche 356 A 1500 Carrera GS Coupe
Available in all body styles, the Porsche 356 A Carrera featured the race car-derived 1500 cc four-cam engine (type 547) developed for the Porsche 550 Spyder. Rated up to 110 hp, it was the top performance 356 A model available. Variants included the Carrera 1500GS and Carrera 1500GT, differentiated by their horsepower. In 1958, Porsche updated the Carrera engines (now type 692), increasing the displacement up to 1600 cc and output increased to 105 and 110 hp respectively. In 1959 horsepower for the GT increased again to 115. Read More
In May of 1957, Porsche offered two distinct versions of the Carrera, one called the de Luxe for the street and this model, the Gran Turismo, for the track. The main difference between the two models was weight. The Carrera GT was a purpose-built car with little on board amenities. For instance, no heater was fitted giving the car its 'icebox' nickname. Furthermore, the interior was stripped of sound deadening, side windows were replaced by pull-up Perspex units and only simple door panels were fitted. Read More
Despite looking outwardly similar to the preceding models, Porsche thoroughly updated their 356 line in 1956 and called their new model the 356A. At the core, this included a larger 1600 cc engine, but also a curved-glass windshield and a thoroughly revised suspension. At the 1955 Frankfurt Motor Show in September of 1955, Porsche released the 356A/1600 to the world with cabriolet, coupe and speedster bodies from Reutter. Produced in 1959 only, the Porsche 356 Convertible D was the replacement for the 356 A Speedster, which was discontinued after 1958. Read More
Of all the Carreras, the 1959 de Luxe was best suited for the road. Not only was it the most luxurious 356, but it was also was the only year to get the large 1600cc 4-cam engine. The Type 692/2 engine was a much different engine than the 1500cc unit it replaced. The newer unit used plain main bearings instead of roller bearings. Furthermore, the distributors were moved to the end of the crankshaft and the engine shroud was better attached to the 356A body. With twin Solex carburetors, the somewhat detuned version offered 105 bhp @ 6500 rpm. Read More
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