Porsche 356A Carrera GS Coupe

While working for Porsche in the early 1950s, Dr. Ernst Fuhrmann developed an exotic racing engine around the air-cooled flat-four that had been very successful for both Volkswagen and Porsche to date. This special engine featured shaft-driven twin overhead camshafts in the cylinder head and a roller-bearing crankshaft with dual ignition. The high-revving, powerful, 1,498 cc-engine (Type 547/1) was placed in the first purpose-built racing car that Porsche had ever produced, the 550 Spyder. After 550 Spyders placed third and fourth overall behind Ferraris powered by 4.9-litre and 4.5-litre V-12s in the 1954 Carrera Panamericana, the four-cam engine was officially dubbed “Carrera.”

After the success in Mexico, it was no surprise that the Carrera engine found its way into production 356s. In the coupé, two versions were offered, the luxury “street” GS model and full racing GT. The driving sensation when compared to a pushrod engine was night and day. Around 4,000 rpm when the pushrod unit was quickly losing power, the Carrera engine was just coming alive and had quite of few more revs to go before another gear was necessary.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in October of 2009 at the Battersea Evolution, London and in October of 2011 at the Battersea Evolution, London.

100 bhp, 1,498 cc air-cooled, horizontally-opposed “four-cam” four-cylinder Carrera engine, four-speed manual gearbox, four-wheel independent suspension and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 2,100 mm.

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Tom Wood and Simon Clay

Gallery: Porsche 356A Carrera GS Coupe