Porsche 356 was the first production model produced by the distinguished manufacturer. It was built by Ferdinand “Ferry” Porsche with the body designed by Erwin Komenda while the gearbox was created by Frolich. The engine was actually modeled after the Volkswagen Beetle in which incidentally was also designed by Ferdinand Porsche Sr. According to records, the first car of that model was produced way back in 1948 and continued until April 1965. During that time period, over 78 000 units were produced, in which about half of it still survive up till today.
The 356 was offered as a coupe, convertible, cabriolet and also a roadster. The car was considered special in its class and managed to earn respect and command enthusiasm from owners around the world for its aerodynamics and easy handling. The car was also credited for its excellent build quality and it’s not a surprise that this not only managed to capture the hearts of the older generations but today’s new generations as well. With its four-cylinder, air-cooled and rear-engine design, these unique features help the car gained fame and recognition.
Perhaps one of the best and most popular model even produced was the 356 "Speedster”. The Speedster was well known for its open-top version and low windshield design. It was actually based on the suggestion forwarded upon by Max Hoffman, sole US importer of Porsche who wanted a lower priced, speedier version for the American markets. It was an instant hit right after its introduction and demand for the model peaked until the late 50’s. It was eventually replaced by the "Convertible D" model. Although different in design, the car models continued to dominate the sports car market until 1964.
The last revision of the 356 was the 356C, which was introduced during that year. It has major enhancement over its predecessor with some unique features being introduced such as the disc brakes. Despite reaching its peak it was eventually phased out and replaced by its new successor, the 911. The new model was complained by American consumers to be too pricey compared to the 356 and thus forcing Porsche to come up with a 912 model which featured the cheaper engine of the earlier version.
356 has always been popular and it’s a highly sought after car especially among famous celebrities. Today, even though minor modifications were made, the original shape still remains intact and could easily identifiable upon first glance. It has always been regarded as one of the must-have collector’s classic and the car remains highly sought after. It is very common to see one of these cars selling for over $175,000 with some going higher. Nevertheless, today we can still see this sports car gracing our roads with style carrying on the tradition as being one of the best-engineered cars ever made.