After producing the first German 356, a ‘Split-Window’ Coupe, Porsche produced a Cabriolet shortly thereafter.
Initial production was with both Coupe and Cabriolet bodies. Both were loosely based off the equivalents made in Gmund in Austria but had bodies made in steel instead of aluminium. The engine was the same VW 1086cc that employed a Porsche cylinder head, the same design that was used on the last few Gmund cars. Bodies were all sourced from Reutter could handle.
At Frankfurt Motor Show in 1951 a suite of upgrades was announced including Lockhead discs and 1.3 litre engine. This used larger bore, finned aluminium cylinders with chromed cylinders from Mahle. The engine had lower compression for pump fuel and could still produce 4 additional bhp. All the cars and most of the 356 production were eventually sold to Max Hoffman who was the sole importer for America. After racing three aluminium-bodies Gmund Coupes at the 1951 24 hours of Le Mans the 356 grew.
This stunning 356 Cabriolet on offer today comes in blue with a blue/grey interior. Delivered new to the Swedish Royal family in 1954, the car was meticulously looked after and driven sparingly before being acquired by a Spanish car collector. Before the car changed hands, the engine was upgraded to the favourable 1600 Porsche engine. Under Spanish ownership until 2008 the car was then bought by a German dealership in Stuttgart who engineered a top to bottom restoration bringing the car to the outstanding condition it is in today.
Since its restoration this 356 has only done 3967 Km. The cabriolet specification is without a doubt the most sought after variation of the 356 series and being in the presence of the car it is easy to see why. Lovely to look at and a joy to drive, not only is this car a solid investment, it is a very useable classic.