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356 porsche
356 Porsche 1959 - 1965
356 speedster

1959 Porsche 356A

By August 1958 the successor was launched to the superb but simply equipped Speedster. The Convertible D, according to the brochure, would deliver "the driving pleasure of the open Roadster and the containment of the Cabriolet". For this the new open-topped Porsche built by the Drauz company in Heilbronn had crank-opening side windows instead of side curtains. A higher front windscreen protected passengers with big hair from excessive wind turbulence while driving, and the primitive seat shells were replaced with the standard seats to make inhabitants feel more cosseted.


The luxury Convertible was no longer available as a Carrera. The four cam shaft master drive in the back of the Carrera versions of the Coupé and Cabrio had increased capacity. The new 1.6 litre drive gear whose crankshaft now rotated in friction rather than roller bearings, had also celebrated its launch in the previous year. The de Luxe now produced 105 HP while the GT achieved 115 HP. The lack of demand for the luxury version showed that the Carrera clientele saw itself clearly as warrior sports drivers.

1960 Porsche 356A

1960 Porsche 356A

With the launch of the 356 B models at the IAA in Frankfurt in 1959 Porsche gambled on the appeal of the A model. Porsche made its daring leap into the 60s by giving the 356 a complete facelift. The internally named T 5 versions therefore gained, for instance, higher bumpers and headlights.
Ferry Porsche made it essential to make his designs foolproof and modifications such as safety steering with hydraulic shock absorbers, a steering wheel with lowered hub or further optimised brakes were included to this end. The new Super 90 version also had radial tyres and a differential spring on the rear axle impressing all those who tested and drove them.
The Convertible D version was also renamed the Roadster for this model year. As the first 356 the Carrera, now available in GT version only, had a 12 volt electrical system.

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1961 Porsche

The B model already launched at the end of 1959 and which had over that time distanced itself greatly from its forbear the VW Beetle, was carried on by Porsche into the model year 1961. The Hardtop Coupé produced by Karmann in Osnabrück from 1961, and now available in the new bodywork version, would provide variety. In contrast to the Cabrio with removable hardtop, the Karmann version with fixed welded roof was not two-coloured but one colour – at least in the case of standard models. Until February 1961 the Roadster was built by Drauz in Heilbronn, then by D'Ieteren in Belgium. The Coupé and Cabrio were produced by Reutter.
The circle of delighted Porsche owners rose steadily. In January 1961 the company celebrated the production of the 40,000th Porsche and in one brochure from the day, one of the 40,000th customers was quoted as saying: "There are many good cars, many good names, but only one Porsche".

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1962 Porsche 356b

The constant striving for more perfection ensured that in late summer 1961 the 356 B matured into the model known internally as the T 6. The notable features of this series included, for example, a larger front and rear windscreen for the Coupé and two air vents in the engine hood in all models. The Cabrio driver could additionally vary the fresh air intake as the rear window of the cover could be zipped open separately.
Numerous detail improvements were made to the always admired metal panels, whether in the passenger area or under the engine hood where in the 1600 S model an overhauled 75 HP engine with grey cast iron cylinders was mounted.
On 3rd April the 50,000th Porsche was celebrated. The range had been pared down over the year. First the Roadster and then the Hardtop Coupé were dropped. The Karmann company began to build Coupés along with Reutter.
The cream of the Porsche range was the Carrera 2 available from early 1962 with a 130 HP two litre engine, "a racehorse tamed by a master's hand" as the brochure read.

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1963 Porsche 356b

The proven B model – T 6 – continued to roll off the production line. Only two bodywork versions, the Cabrio and the Coupé, were now produced, the latter at Reutter or Karmann.
The T 6 continued to feature striking qualities which were underlined in a contemporary American brochure with quotes from the Playboy author Ken W. Purdy. Purdy spoke of "absolutely astonishing acceleration" and described the steering as being as "light and direct as power steering without actually being power steering". The Motor-Rundschau magazine praised the "remarkable economy at top speeds" of the 1600 S. The article continued "even in the harsh test drive it never exceeded 12 L/100 km".
Although the 356 B was supplied with extensive standard features, an impressive array of extras was also available such as coconut floor mats, an electrically operated steel sunroof from Golde or an additional heater from Eberspächer. If you could not fit enough luggage in the new plastic compartment under the enlarged luggage compartment bonnet in the B model T 6, you might be satisfied with a special luggage kit for the back.

1964 Porsche 356C

1964 Porsche 356C

By July 1963 the final phase in the development of the 356 series had begun: the 356 C. From the outside at first glance it was barely different from its predecessors. The wheel rims had a different design and the identification trim on the back was new. A C ,however, was fitted with an even more elastic 75 HP engine and a SC on a running gear with 95 HP instead of 90 HP. The Dame engine was no longer available but the superb 130 HP Carrera unit was of course still included in the range.
The running gear of the new models for its part was somewhat more comfortable and the interior featured a new gear arrangement on the dashboard with an additional small console.
Every C model made, except the first, was fitted with disc brakes. This was not the Porsche design already incorporated into the Carrera but an ATE system. The brochure particularly focused on the new qualities: "Porsche's brakes, often called the conscience of a car, have always been outstanding from the point of view of dosing capability, service life and reliability. This certainly applies to the powerful hydraulically actuated disc brakes on all four wheels of the type 356 C".

1965 Porsche 356C

1965 Porsche 356c

There were no more major model updates of the C model, which didn't however stop the advertising department from bringing out lovingly produced brochures for this last production year of the 356. "We've spent many years developing a superb competition car so that you can have fun driving to work" went one advertising text for the American market.
Although the Porsche 911 was already in production, the 356 still sold in surprising numbers. Around 16,684 C models were manufactured. The final exemplar was a white Cabrio, which rolled off the production line on the 28th April 1965. Even then, a brief respite followed: a further ten Cabrios were built for the Dutch Police at the start of 1966.
The end of production for the 356 had finally come, however, while driving at its most glamorous is still possible today.

So to summarize, approximately 76,000 356s were built in Stuttgart between 1950 and 1965. The 356B started production in 1959 and ended in 1963 with a total number of 31, 539 cars being built (see statistical information for a breakdown of each type).

The 1960 model of the 356B differed in appearance from the 356A model. The bumpers were raised about four inches front and rear and given a different shape. They also had large vertical bumper guards. The headlights were raised up so that the fender line was almost horizontal from the cowl to the headlight rim. The 356B now had a horn grill above the bumper and a brake cooling grill below the bumper, which was also where the optional fog lights were mounted.

The 356B was the first coupe to have a front vent window like the cabriolets had previously used. The 356B brake drums had radial fins instead of the circumferential fins of the 356A and earlier brakes. The transmission was changed to incorporate a different shifter. The first 1960 356B models used a single forward transmission mount. After 3000 cars had been built, they reverted back to the double-mount system used with the 356A models.

The 356B series also intorduced the Super 90 version of the car with a 90 DIN hp version of the 356 engine. This was supposed to replace the costly Carrera model as the high performance 356. The Super 90 did perform nearly as well as the Carrera and was far less problematic.

With the advent of the B model, the "Roadster" replaced the Convertible D. The Roadster was essentially just a convertible D updated to the 356B specifications. In 1961, Karmann began production of a hard top model (also called the notchback) as an additional model to the coupe, cabriolet and roadster versions.

The 356B was updated again in 1962 with the T6 body (previous models referred to as the T5). The T6 was different in that it had a squared-off front hood and the fuel -filler was moved from under the hood to under a flap in the right front fender. The T6 bodies also had twin engine grills for improved engine cooling and a larger windshield and rear window. Among many other detail changes , there was a new air vent on the cowl to provide better ventilations.


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