In 1948, when the very first Porsche 356 rolled off the assembly line, a legend was in the making. Produced under the supervision of Ferry Porsche in Gmünd, Austria, the mold was set for the Porsche model lineage that was to follow.
Thousands of improvements would be made to the 356 before the appearance of the 356A at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September 1955. It would be one more year before the 356A would make it Stateside; at the New York Auto Show of 1956, the 356A impressed the press and public alike.
The press noted that although the new 356A was undeniably a Porsche, this version was more comfortable and the handling had been substantially improved. To achieve this, Porsche softened the front torsion bars, lengthened the rear torsion bars and installed larger 15-inch wheels. Comfort was further improved by an increase in legroom due to a lowering of the 356’s floor.
The bodies continued to be supplied by the Reutter Company in Stuttgart. The 356A was fitted with a new one-piece windscreen, twin horn grilles below the headlamps, a rub rail along the rocker panel and a fuel gauge was now part of the new flat-faced dashboard’s instrumentation. Other new features of the instrument panel included a padded top, a tachometer, speedometer and fuel/oil gauge.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August 2009 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.
60 hp, 1,582 cc horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine, four-speed gearbox, four-wheel independent suspension, four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 82.7"
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel