356A 1955 to 1956
Porsche 356A 1955 to 1956
Porsche's first production sportscar. Built from 1955 to 1959.
Originally fitted with a 500-16 or 525-16 crossply tyre for which there is no modern version with a high enough speed rating. Unfortunately, there is no radial equivalent. Fitting a radial would require the use of wider wheels from a later model, which would require specialised knowledge, please enquire.
The 356 was the first car to come from Porsche and it arrived in 1950 with a 1086cc four-cylinder engine developing just 40bhp. Within a year there was a 44bhp 1.3-litre engine available; at the same time a 60bhp 1.5-litre powerplant was introduced. By 1952 this biggest engine of all was available in 55bhp and 70bhp states of tune – from this point on an all-synchro four-speed gearbox replaced the previous crash unit.
These first cars were known as the pre-A, but from 1955 the Porsche 356A went on sale with 1290cc, 1498cc or 1582cc powerplants. A curved windscreen replaced the previous split item and from September there was a 356 Carrera available too.
The Porsche 356B of 1959 brought a more modern bodyshell with a raised bumper and headlamps, opening quarterlights and a larger rear window. Buyers could choose between 1582cc or 1966cc flat-fours. The ultra-rare 1600GS GTL Abarth-Carrera was on sale in 1960 only, with alloy bodywork, then the final flourish came in 1963: the 356C featured all-round disc brakes and 1582cc or 1966cc engines.