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First Porsche on Display in Atlanta

Posted in Classic, Expensive Cars, General, Porsche by Geoff | August 9th, 2008 | 3 Responses |

Porsche 356 Coupe
Porsche 356 Coupe

The world’s very first Porsche sports car will be on display at Porsche’s North American headquarter in Atlanta headquarters for a private viewing.  See, in the business world you go ahead and make announcements of special events to REMIND people that, “No, this is not for you.”  It’s just good business.  At any rate, the first 356 that was made in 1948 will be on display at the company’s 60th Anniversary celebration from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 6 at 980 Hammond Drive in Atlanta.  That’s 1-3.  But you aren’t invited.  Only employees and media.  Not you.  So for those of you that are not Executives at Porsche, here are the details of this classic.

Porsche 356 convertible
Porsche 356 convertible

Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, son of Volkswagen Beetle designer Ferdinand Porsche gave the go ahead on the building of the 356 which was a lightweight rear engine, rear-wheel-drive 2 door sports car available in hardtop and as a convertible and a predecessor to the 911. The 356, like the Beetle, was a four-cylinder, air-cooled, rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive car pan and body construction.  The first 356 had between 46 and a whopping 82 horsepower.  The 356 had 170 horsepower in its last years of production.  Much of the actual initial parts were from Volkswagon with Porsche’s efforts mainly in refining the car for better performance.   The basic design of the 356 remained the same throughout its lifespan, with most improvements focused on the mechanics of the car rather than styling changes.  Production of the 356 continued until April 1965. 

The Porsche 356 enjoyed a ton of victories as racecar at the 24 hours of Le Mans, the Mille Miglia, the Targa Florio and the Carrera Panamericana.  Several Porsche 356’s were stripped down in weight, and modified in order to have better performance and handling for these races.  Examples include the Porsche 356 SL, and the Porsche 356A Carrera GT.

Today, the Porsche 356 is a highly-regarded collector car.  Few 356 Carreras were produced and these often bring well over $250,000 at auction.  A fully-restored 356 Carrera Speedster (of which only about 140 were ever made) will sell for around $300,000 at auction.

The original selling price of a late 1950s Porsche was around $4,000, which was also the price of a new;today they regularly bring between $20,000 to well over $100,000 at auction.

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3 Responses

  1. Alan Harten says:

    Amazing that you can see that the body shape has not changed that much in 60 years, which proves how well it was designed in the first place

  2. Geoff Scheusner says:

    Well you are right about that. The “Porsche” look is as appealing as it always has been. Interestingly though, Porsche’s real genius is the engineering over the years that has gone into overcoming what is inherently an AWFUL idea, ie: putting the engine not only in the back but as faaaaaar back as possible. The transfer of weight when handling creates some real messes. Over the years they’ve done some wacked out things, including loading up the front with lead. Now they are more sophisticated but it is still an ongoing battle. The BBC show “Top Gear” has some good footage if you are interested on Youtube.

  3. ed says:

    The car pictured (white/Blue) is a 1956 356A – I own it. – You can see it race for charity at:


    The second car is a 356A Speedster – I own one also.

    They are both from the second generation: 356, 356A, 356B, 356C…

    Have fun, drive safe