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.
Amongst Porsche 356 enthusiasts, perhaps no model is more coveted than a C-Series Carrera 2. The Carrera 2 represents the culmination of Porsche’s racing technology fitted into a road car package and the ultimate performance-first sports car in the 356 model lineup. The 1,966-cubic centimeter, mechanically complex four-cam Type 587/1 engine was the most powerful unit that Porsche had ever created for a production car, developing 130 brake horsepower at 6,200 rpm.
Introduced in 1963 for the 1964 model year, the base model Porsche 356 1600C Coupe was presented as the entry-level version of the last generation of the Porsche 356 Coupes. After offering standard/base model versions for the 356 A and 356 B with 60 HP engines, Porsche dropped the standard version as its base model and introduced the successor of the former mid-level 1600 Super engine variant with 75 HP, as the entry-level engine option for the 356 C generation. As with previous generations, it was also offered with the 356 C Cabriolet cars.
After a considerable absence of a Carrera model in the 356 model lineup, Porsche finally made another version with the introduction of a 2.0-liter engine. 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 in September 1962.
In September of 1959 Porsche revealed their fully updated 356 known as the 356B. This had a completely revised body that was more suitable for the American market. New to the model was the Type 616/7 Super 90 engine which was an indirect replacement for the Carrera de Luxe models. The engine was fully revised with a new intake manifold, a larger Solex 40 PII-4 carburetor and the Carrera air filters.
In September of 1959 Porsche revealed their fully updated 356 known as the 356B. This had a completely revised body that was more suitable for the American market. The 1600 Super was also known as the 1600 S and that is what we are covering on this page. The 1600 Super sat in the middle of the lineup, below the Super 90 and above the base 1600. There were several variants with the base 1600 S engine, including the Coupe, Cabriolet, Notchback Coupe and Roadster, across both the T5 generation and T6 generation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
An export hit, built in response to customer demand: the American importer Max Hoffman requested a Porsche costing less than 3,000 dollars for his market. The 356 Speedster was the answer, naturally with a spartan equipment specification. But the lightweight car was a big hit in the USA. It was used mainly for motor racing and soon became a regular feature of the motor sport scene.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Of the 52 cars made in Gmünd, only eight were built up as cabriolets. Each was outsourced for its body and interior construction. Six cars were sent to Beutler who constructed them with a slightly different shape than the factory coupes. Included was a kicked-up rear fender line which was used on several of the Buetler cabriolets.
With lessons learned from 356 No. 1, Porsche developed the 356/2 as a production-ready version. The biggest concession to useability was repositioning the engine back behind the rear wheels as the original VW design. Like 356 No. 1, 356/2 was built as two-seat roadster using VW parts.
The Porsche 356/1 was the first real car created by Ferdinand "Ferry" Porsche. This prototype car was a two-seater open roadster with a mid-mounted, air-cooled flat-4 engine of 1,131 cc displacement. While the body was an original design, most of the mechanicals were from the Volkswagen Beetle. Only one 356/1 was made.
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.
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.
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.
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.