The Porsche 356 A Convertible is the archetype of the classic 2-door sports car, with rear-wheel drive and an engine located at the back. And maybe even more important the predecessor of the iconic 911, giving birth to the 911’s legendary shape.
The Porsche 356 was Porsche’s first production car and gave the company a prominent place in automotive history. Production began in 1948 and lasted until 1965, even after the 911 was introduced in 1963.
The 356-series featured four distinct types:
- 1948-1955: 356 “pre-A”
- 1955-1959: 356 A
- 1959-1963: 356 B
- 1963-1965: 356 C
The 356 was created by Ferdinand Porsche (son of Dr. Ing. Ferdinand Porsche, Porsche’s founder). It featured the air-cooled four-cylinder engine which quickly became one of Porsche’s most renowned characteristics. Both coupés and cabriolets (soft top convertibles) were built from the start.
The 356 A is instantly recognisable by its curved windshield, which could also be removed for racing. Based on the 356 Coupé, Porsche introduced the ‘Speedster’ in 1954. A spartan cabriolet, with a low windscreen and basic soft-top, which became very popular in California (USA). But for some customers it was just too basic.
In 1958 Porsche introduced the 356 A Convertible D. The ‘D’ refers to Drauz, the German coach-builder which produced the car’s bodywork. This more luxurious model featured wind-up door windows and a higher windshield for better weather protection. The comfortable seats were fully upholstered and the interior offered more headroom due to the higher wind screen. At the end of 1959 it was replaced by the 356 B Roadster.
Being produced for just one year (August 1958-September 1959) the 356 A Cabriolet D is the rarest of the 356 convertibles. Only 1,330 were built. Compared to the 4,000 356 and 356 A Speedsters, and 2,653 356 B Roadsters, the 356 Cabriolet D is highly sought-after amongst Porsche enthusiasts.
This particular model features the 75hp 1,582cc air-cooled flat four-cylinder engine with a four-speed manual transmission. The Ruby red exterior contrasts well with the brown interior and beige soft top. Inside, the chrome details, combined with the wooden steering wheel and painted dashboard breath the 50s-60s roadster spirit. The complete car is fully restored and looks pristine.
With only 77,920 miles this car yearns to be driven on a curvy mountain road, preferably towards a hot summer’s sunset.
This car is a true reflection of the Porsche speedster spirit and for that I can only applaud it. Those classic lines and body shape which resulted in the epic 911, are a genuine sight to behold. Especially with the hood down.
From an automotive design point of view the 356 is a really important model. Its design created in 1948, today still lives on in the 911 (after 67 years!). The origin of Porsche’s heritage.
This Porsche 356 A Convertible is being offered by Exotic Classics (USA).