The people at the Porsche factory all had a different outlook on car manufacturing compared to most factories. To them motoring was something to enjoy and the Porsche was a car to motor in… A whole new scene was growing, of smooth, quiet well-sprung, comfortable sports cars that really went and really handled.’ – Denis Jenkinson, Porsche 356.
Having commenced manufacture in November 1948 with a short run of aluminium-bodied cars built at Gmünd in Austria, Porsche began volume production of the steel-bodied 356 sports car back at its old Zuffenhausen base in 1950. The very first prototype, the mid-engined 356/1, had been an open design and Cabriolets were manufactured right from the start of 356 production, 23 of the 46 Gmünd-built alloy cars having been completed with some form of open-top coachwork. Cabriolets had been manufactured right from the start of 356 production but the first open Porsche to make a significant impact was the Speedster, introduced in 1954 following the successful reception in the USA of a batch of 15 special roadsters. The Reutter-bodied Speedster was dropped in 1958 and replaced by the more civilised Convertible D, which differed principally by virtue of its larger windscreen and winding side windows. By the time the 356B arrived in September 1959, the car had gained a one-piece rounded windscreen and 15″-diameter wheels, and the newcomer’s introduction brought with it further styling revisions. The engine, now standardised at 1,600cc, was available in three different stages of tune, the most powerful – apart from the four-cam Carrera – being the 90bhp unit of the Super 90. Built initially by Dannhauser, the Convertible D’s successor was the 356B Roadster, which later was bodied by d’Ieteren Frères of Brussels.
The Super 90 on offer today once formed part of one of the finest Worldwide Porsche collections from 2004- 2014, when it was Shipped to Europe and was restored both bodily and mechanically to its now resplendent condition.
Recently serviced (June 2014) by one of London’s finest Porsche Specialist “Jazz Motorsport”, the super 90 engine performs magnificently. With prices of its younger brother, the 356 Speedster now reaching £300,000 this eminently more usable variant, with pull up hood is surely going to follow suit. One of only 205 ever produced, We are advised that the car is currently taxed and MoT’d and is ready to use.