One of the most confused of all Porsche is this DKS or Dreikantschaber. It might appear like a mid-engine RS61 Coupe, but it is a rebodied 356B with a rear-mounted engine. Unlike the earlier 356s, this one featured fared-in driving lights and cut-off greenhouse reminiscent of of the RS61 coupe. Porsche didn't give this new a car a name since it was homologated and considered a Carrera 2 by the FIA. It was nicknamed Dreikantschaber.
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.
Around 20 Super 90 Coupes were ordered with the lightweight GT package for racing. They used aluminum panels, a lightweight interior and plexiglas windows to shed over 200 lbs off the standard production coupe. Inside the car came equipped with a roll bar, leather-strap window lifts and speedster seats. Aluminum exterior panels included the doors, hood, rear deck lid.
In keeping with FIA regulations, Porsche created a new lightweight 356 with help from Abarth. After Porsche had considered numerous Italian companies to manufacture a lightweight 356 body, they settled on Abarth. Franco Scaglione penned the first initial drawings which attempted to reduce frontal area, overall height. Included was an adjustable scoop on the rear deck lid. Made entirely of aluminum, Abarth's body was smaller than the Reutter 356.
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.
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.
Successful VW Dealer and racer Walter Glöckler built several specials for the German Car Championship including this roadster. It was built with assistance from Porsche in Zuffenhausen and raced without its optional hardtop in the 1952 champion before being shipped overseas for SCCA racing. Weidenhausen created the body from aluminum with a nose that bore close resemblance to the 356 Porsche but had semi-skirted rear wheels and cutaway rear corners similar to Glockler-Porsche 1 and 2.
In 1950, eleven remaining Gmund chassis were assembled after the factory returned to Germany and converted to SL (Sport Leicht) racing specification. They received 1,086-cc engines, enlarged fuel tanks, louvered quarter-window covers, wheel spats, streamlined aluminum belly fairings, and a pedestal-mounted shifter. Three Type 356/2 cars raced at Le Mans in 1951; two crashed, but 356/2-063 performed flawlessly, winning the 1,100-cc class.
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.