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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. The 356A/1600 was a great performer, good for a sprint to 60 mph in 13.5 seconds and hit a top speed of 109 mph. Read More
When Porsche went to Le Mans, they reverted to aluminum shells made at their first factory in Gmünd, Austria. Three of these coupes, called 356 SL, raced Le Mans. All three Le Mans cars were shipped to America by Max Hoffman and sold to Fritz Kosler, Ed Trego and John von Neumann for SCCA racing. Before the 1952 races at Torrey Pines, von Neumann had Emil Diedt remove the coupe's roof, creating in effect the first Carrera Speedster. Read More
As with the earlier versions, the Carrera was offered both in a Carrera GT Deluxe version for the road and the Carrera GT for racetrack duties. Unlike these earlier models, the new car benefited from the 2.0 liter engine introduced as the Carrera 2 was unveiled in September 1962. The 2.0 Carrera used a variant of the Type 547 engine with a larger bore and stoke, having 1966cc. Read More
Following the Pre-A prototypes and a run of quad-cams with the 1500cc engine, the 1600 Carrera GT was a performance 356 that used a larger version of the Porsche 550 Spyder's potent engine. As early as 1958, some Carreras were fitted with a larger engine known as the Type 692. The new unit featured a larger displacement which was better suited for the 1600cc class. Furthermore, it was improved considerably adopting plain bearings and new ignition system. Read More
A handful of push-rod 356As were delivered from the factory with a lightweight package that was usually reserved for the Carrera race cars. Called GTs, these got the stripped out interior, aluminum doors, a large fuel tank and Porsche ATE disc brakes. As few as four Speedsters came equipped this way. Since the four-cam was only a marginal improvement in power, the regular 1600 Super was more than enough for the small car. Read More
The Porsche 356 SC, was the top-of-the-line variant in terms of performance for the 356 C Generation, sporting the highest specific output pushrod 4-cylinder engine ever available from Porsche with 107 HP. The SC engine produced 107 bhp at 5200 rpm and featured a stouter counter-weighted crankshaft, short skirt pistons, a more radical camshaft configuration, and large Solex carburetors. The SC was the natural successor of the previous generation Super 90 and represented the top-of-the-line variant for the final evolution of the Porsche 356. Read More
While all 356 Carreras are rare and desirable cars, the 1961 B Carrera GT is a very special animal indeed. Built from lightweight materials and sporting Porsche’s most powerful racing engine of the time, they were in a different league to the most highly specified road car that the Stuttgart factory then produced. Porsche produced only 49 of the 356B Carrera versions for 1960/61 and all were coupes. Many were painted Silver. Read More
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
The original Porsche Carrera Zagato Speedster, the first Zagato bodied Porsche of the brand’s history, was built in 1958 for French gentleman driver and expert Porsche pilot Claude Storez, one of the best French pilots of that time. He started his career in early 50s and became soon a skilled pilot. In late ’57 he was looking for the “ultimate” 356 for the 1958 races season. He put an order to Porsche AG for a 356 A Speedster (the lightest version available) with a Carrera engine and GS specs (the most powerful at that time). Read More
The 356 B T5 Coupe was the direct replacement of the Porsche 356 A Coupe. The T5 Coupe bodies were produced by German coachbuilder company Reutter. The 356 B T5 Coupe played a huge role in the growth seen by Porsche in the early 1960s. Like the Cabriolet, Roadster, and Notchback Coupe siblings, the Coupe was offered with 1600, 1600S, S90, and Carrera engine options paired to a four-speed synchromesh 741 transmission. In late 1961, Porsche introduced the T6 body and updates, which built on the success of its very popular predecessor. Read More
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