Porsche History and vintage roadsters
Vintage Roadsters Home About us Contact us
Autoeclub Vintage Roadsters Information and History
Porsche History and Vintage Roadsters
  Porsche Main Menu Porsche Main Menu
  Roadster Main Menu Roadster Main Menu
  Evolution of the 356 Speedster evolution
356 porsche
356 Porsche Speedster
356 statistics

The evolution of the Porsche 356 Carrera Speedster
The evolution of the Porsche 356 Carrera Speedster
Courtesy Johan Wellens (permission 11/03/2002)

In 1955 The four cam engine had already shown the world its race qualities. The engine used in the Porsche 550 Spyder had success in different places all over the world. A series of Porsche 356's with the four-cam 1500cc engine was planned. In a 1955 factory document, the four-cam engine was offered only as an option for the Porsche 356 Speedster. In reality all 356 models would receive the engine. 14 pre-A Porsche 356 Carrera Speedster were made in 1955. It is very difficult to define the exact specification of these first models. They were regular Speedsters equipped with the four-cam engine and different options, built to the buyers' needs. The very first cars did not carry the Carrera name as it was not used by Porsche back then. At the Paris Salon in October 1955 the first pre-A speedster with Carrera badging, believed to be # 81060 (pictured below), was shown to the public.

356 Carrera Speedster
Porsche 356 Carrera Speedster

In 1956, the Porsche 356 Carrera Speedster was a full production car and was mentioned in the brochures. The cars did not differ a lot from their non-Carrera (1600cc and 1600cc Super) counterparts except for their engine of course. The Carrera 356's were misunderstood and misused by some. Regular Porsche owners were not used to revving their cars up to 6000 rpm and more. However, the Carrera engine was a (slightly) tuned-down racing engine built to perform in the higher rev-ranges. Using the cars in city-traffic was not a good idea and some owners replaced their broken engines with regular pushrod versions.

In 1957 Porsche decided to split the Carrera range in two, to suit buyers' taste. The 356 Carrera GS was the luxurious version and was an improvement on comfort and utility. The engine became more flexible on the GS model. The 356 Carrera GT was the striped-out racing version devoid of trim items. It was lighter, quicker and later it gained a larger fuel tank, bigger brakes and they threw out the heating system. The 356 Carrera Speedster GT was used by professional racing drivers and amateurs on both sides of the Atlantic. The cars were entered in European races such as the Mille Miglia and the Liege-Rome-Liege. In the US the cars were entered in many competitions such as the SCCA up until the early sixties.

On march 11 1957 Porsche used a 356 Carrera Speedster to break the 1000 miles, 2000 km and 12 hours records at the Monza Speed Track in Italy. The car averaged 116mph (including regular changing of driver) with a 1500cc engine! Here's a picture of the record breaking car ;

The 1958 and 1959 models used a new 1600cc engine to improve the performance. The differences between the GS and the GT remained as before, but the GT versions received aluminum doors and deck lids. 48 Porsche 356 Carrera Speedsters were made these two years. The last 32 were made in one batch in 1959. At that time no regular 356 Speedsters were available because Porsche replaced them by the Convertible D. Today some 356 Carrera Speedsters are still used on the track but others reside in museums and are kept in concours condition. A good restored Porsche 356 Carrera Speedster can be yours nowadays for 150.000$.

You will find a genuine inventory of speedsters out there at Johan Wellens website. Check it out.


Autoeclub Vintage Roadster Club
  Classic Car Restoration
  New and used cars


Restoration by Willhoit

Restoration by Willhoit









Custom ID Emblems

Custom ID Emblems - Gold





  Clubs & Classic Car Info
  Interesting links


Porsche Club of America

Porsche Club of America


Speedster Owners Club

Speedster Owners Club (USA)


Lambocars Lambocars - Lamborghini


Custom Plates for your car

Custom plaques - Chromed