356A 1957 to 1959
Porsche 356A 1957 to 1959
Porsche's first production sportscar. Built from 1955 to 1959.
Originally fitted with a 560-15 crossply tyre. A radial replacement size would be 155R15, or 165R15 if you have the wider, 4.5 inch wheel.
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.