There are numerous reasons why the 356 series came into being, and also why Porsche became a major sports car manufacturer; the main one is that Professor Porsche was very impressed with what Piero Dusio was doing with uprated Fiat parts in the construction of his Cisitalias. These were excellent little sports and racing cars and Dr. Porsche wondered if he could do the same with Volkswagen parts. The first 356 was sold in July 1948, and production continued right through to 1965 in various guises and with numerous engines.
As the company’s first production model, the Porsche 356 set a new standard for small sports cars and gained its laurels in all manner of circuit racing and rallying.
From the earliest, 1100 cc Gmünd beginnings, the overall shape of the 356 remained more or less set. In 1951, 1300 and 1500 cc engines with considerably more power were introduced. By late 1952 the divided windscreen was gone, replaced by a V-shaped unit which fit into the same opening. In 1953, the 1300 S or “Super” was introduced, and the 1100 cc engine was dropped. In late 1954 Max Hoffman, the sole US importer of Porsches, convinced Porsche to build a stripped down roadster version with minimal equipment and a cut-down windscreen. Towards the end of the original 356’s time (in 1955, when the 356 A was about to be introduced) Hoffman, wanting a model name rather than just a number got the factory to use the name “Continental” which was applied mostly to cars sold in the United States. Ford, makers of the Lincoln Continental, sued. This name was used only in 1955 and today this version is especially valued. For 1956, the equivalent version was briefly sold as the “European”. Today all of the earliest Porsches are highly coveted by collectors and enthusiasts worldwide based on their design, reliability and sporting performance.
This superb Pre A 356 Cabriolet on offer today comes in its original livery of graphite metal ( 5403 ) and red leather interior. The car was delivered new to Germany via Porsche Mahag, as shown in its old road document, where it is still registered today.
In 1959 the car received an exchange engine supplied by Porsche to the same specification as when delivered new ( Engine number 22426 ). This is documented in the old style German registration document (Pappbrief) which comes with the car. Today this early 356 cabriolet presents itself in wonderful overall condition after a thorough restoration to original specification and you can see today. Without any doubt, this is a genuine collector’s car for the serious Porsche collector with its stunning iconic looks and is also a very usable sports cabriolet.
Ce superbe Cabriolet Pre A 356 est présenté aujourd’hui dans sa version gris métallisé ( 5403) et intérieur en cuir rouge. Comme on peut le voir sur ses anciens documents, la voiture a été livrée neuve en Allemagne par Porsche Mahag, et elle y est encore immatriculée aujourd’hui. En 1959 on a fait un échange standard du moteur fourni par Porsche sur exactement le même modèle que l’original. ( moteur n° 22426 ). Tout ceci est consigné dans les anciens documents Allemands ( Pappbrief ) qui sont fournis avec la voiture. Aujourd’hui ce cabriolet de la première époque est en magnifique état général après une complète restauration fidèle aux spécifications d’origine, comme vous pouvez le voir. C’est, sans aucun doute, la bonne voiture pour un collectionneur de Porsche avec sa ligne extraordinaire et elle peut être utilisée comme cabriolet sportif.