Porsche’s Type 356, introduced in 1948, is acknowledged to be one of the world’s great sports cars. Over a 15-year production run, the handsome and durable 356 evolved from a streamlined little aluminium-bodied coupe powered by a VW-derived, 46hp 1100cc air-cooled flat four to a powerful autobahn burner carrying a complex, two-litre four-cam boxer Carrera engine of 130 horsepower. Its development brought not only coupes, but luxurious cabriolets and more spartan speedsters and roadsters. More than 76,000 examples were made in all by the time production ceased in 1965.
The 356B, produced from 1960 through 1963, represents the mid-point in this design’s progression. In what is known as “T5” form, the B introduced new front and rear sheet-metal, while retaining the curved front trunk lid and rounded fenders of the 356A series. The B also added some features demanded by American customers, such as raised front and rear bumpers with over-riders to better protect the body from parking mishaps. The headlamps were raised, a larger hood handle added, and front vent windows appeared in the doors. Mechanically, the gearbox and drum brakes were upgraded. A new steering wheel and column refreshed the interior, along with redesigned rear seats. The mid-1962 356 B model was changed to the T6 body type (twin engine lid grilles, an external fuel filler in the right front wing/fender and a larger rear window in the coupé).
This lovely example has enjoyed the long term ownership of an enthusiast and Porsche dealer, who treated his beloved 356 to a restoration and engine upgrade. These 356 Cabriolets are one of the best classic cars to own; beautiful, reliable, wonderful to drive and a lot of fun!