The Porsche 356

RHD Porsche 356

Click image to enjoy a virtual walk around of this 356 Speedster from Scotland.

History

Porsche 356 flyer

The Porsche 356 was the company's first production automobile. It was a lightweight and nimble handling rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 2 door sports car available in hardtop and convertible configurations. Design innovations continued during the years of manufacture, contributing to its motorsports success and popularity. Production started in 1948 at Gmünd, Austria where approximately 50 cars were built. In 1950 the factory relocated to Zuffenhausen, Germany and general production of the 356 continued until April 1965, well after the replacement model 911 made its autumn 1963 debut. It is estimated approximately half of the total production of 76,000 356s still survive.

In 2004, Sports Car International ranked the 356C tenth on their list of Top Sports Cars of the 1960s. Today, the Porsche 356 is a highly regarded collector car. The Porsche 356 Carrera (with its special four-cam racing engine), Super 90 and Speedster models are today among the most desirable 356 models. Few 356 Carreras were produced and these often bring well over $250,000 at auction. A fully restored 356 Carrera Speedster (of which only about 140 were ever made) will sell for around $300,000 at auction.

The original selling price of a late 1950s Porsche was around US$4,000, which was also the price of a new Cadillac; today they regularly bring between US$20,000 to well over US$100,000 at auction.

Please visit the history section of the International 356 Registry for a detailed development history and timeline.