Completed: April 2015



.: Simon Godfree's Porsche 356 Speedster





Modelling Time:

20 hrs

PE/Resin Detail:



"this kit is showing its age. Body work comprises 5 parts and requires gluing and a lot of sanding before it looks right. Suspension assemblies place the wheels outside of the guards and the end result is disappointing. Having spent a lot of time on the body I didn't want to waste any more mucking around with the suspension - so left it completed as OOB."

Porsche 356

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Porsche 356
Porsche 356 Coupe (1964) p1.JPG
Porsche 356 Coupé (1964)
Production 1948–1965
Designer Erwin Komenda
Body and chassis
Class Sports car (S)
Body style
Layout RR layout
Wheelbase 82.7 in (2,100 mm)
Length 152.4–157.9 in (3,870–4,010 mm)
Width 65.4 in (1,660 mm)
Height 48.0–51.8 in (1,220–1,320 mm)
Curb weight 1,700–2,296 lb (771–1,041 kg)
Successor Porsche 911/912

The Porsche 356 is a luxury sports car which was first produced by Austrian company Porsche Konstruktionen GesmbH (1948-1949), and then by German company Dr. Ing. h. c. F. Porsche GmbH (1950-1965). It was Porsche's first production automobile. Earlier cars designed by the Austrian company includes Cisitalia Grand Prix race car, and the Volkswagen Beetle as well as Auto Union Grand Prix cars were designed by the German company.

The 356 was a lightweight and nimble-handling rear-engine rear-wheel-drive 2-door sports car available in hardtop coupé and open configurations. Engineering innovations continued during the years of manufacture, contributing to its motorsports success and popularity. Production started in 1948 at Gmünd, Austria, where approximately 50 cars were built. In 1950 the factory relocated to Zuffenhausen, Germany, and general production of the 356 continued until April 1965, well after the replacement model 911 made its autumn 1963 debut. Of the 76,000 originally produced, approximately half survive.[1]


Porsche No. 1 Type 356 (mid-engine prototype)
Porsche 356 1948 coupé at the Porsche-Museum

Prior to World War II Porsche designed and built three Type 64 cars for a 1939 Berlin to Rome race that was cancelled. In 1948 the mid-engine, tubular chassis 356 prototype called "No. 1" was completed. This led to some debate as to the "first" Porsche automobile, but the 356 is considered by Porsche to be its first production model.[1][2]

Porsche 356 production
Type Quantity

356 (1948–55) 7,627
356A (1955–59) 21,045
356B (1959–63) 30,963
356C (1963–65/66) 16,678

Total 76,313

The 356 was created by Ferdinand "Ferry" Porsche (son of Dr. Ing. Ferdinand Porsche, founder of the German company), who founded the Austrian company with his sister, Louise. Like its cousin, the Volkswagen Beetle (which Ferdinand Porsche Senior had designed), the 356 was a four-cylinder, air-cooled, rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive car utilizing unitized pan and body construction. The chassis was a completely new design as was the 356's body which was designed by Porsche employee Erwin Komenda, while certain mechanical components including the engine case and some suspension components were based on and initially sourced from Volkswagen. Ferry Porsche described the thinking behind the development of the 356 in an interview with the editor of Panorama, the PCA magazine, in September 1972. "….I had always driven very speedy cars. I had an Alfa Romeo, also a BMW and others. ….By the end of the war I had a Volkswagen Cabriolet with a supercharged engine and that was the basic idea. I saw that if you had enough power in a small car it is nicer to drive than if you have a big car which is also overpowered. And it is more fun. On this basic idea we started the first Porsche prototype. To make the car lighter, to have an engine with more horsepower…that was the first two seater that we built in Carinthia (Gmünd)".

The first 356 was road certified in Austria on June 8, 1948, and was entered in a race in Innsbruck where it won its class.[4] Porsche re-engineered and refined the car with a focus on performance. Fewer and fewer parts were shared between Volkswagen and Porsche as the '50's progressed. The early 356 automobile bodies produced at Gmünd were handcrafted in aluminum, but when production moved to Zuffenhausen, Germany in 1950, models produced there were steel-bodied. Looking back, the aluminum bodied cars from that very small company are what we now would refer to as prototypes. Porsche contracted with Reutter to build the steel bodies and eventually bought the Reutter company in 1963.[5] The Reutter company retained the seat manufacturing part of the business and changed its name to Recaro.

Little noticed at its inception, mostly by a small number of auto racing enthusiasts, the first 356s sold primarily in Austria and Germany. It took Porsche two years, starting with the first prototype in 1948, to manufacture the first 50 automobiles. By the early 1950s the 356 had gained some renown among enthusiasts on both sides of the Atlantic for its aerodynamics, handling, and excellent build quality. The class win at Le Mans in 1951 was clearly a factor.[6] It was always common for owners to race the car as well as drive them on the streets. They introduced the four-cam racing "Carrera" engine, a totally new design and unique to Porsche sports cars, in late 1954. Increasing success with its racing and road cars brought Porsche orders for over 10,000 units in 1964, and by the time 356 production ended in 1965 approximately 76,000 had been produced.[1]

356 engine layout shows VW ancestry.

The 356 was built in four distinct series, the original ("pre-A"), followed by the 356A, 356B, and then finally the 356C. To distinguish among the major revisions of the model, 356's are generally classified into a few major groups. 356 coupés and "cabriolets" (soft-top) built through 1955 are readily identifiable by their split (1948 to 1952) or bent (centre-creased, 1953 to 1955) windscreens. In late 1955 the 356A appeared, with a curved windshield. The A was the first road going Porsche to offer the Carrera 4 cam engine as an option. In late 1959 the T5 356B appeared; followed by the redesigned T6 series 356B in 1962. The final version was the 356C, little changed from the late T-6 B cars but with disc brakes to replace the drums.

Prior to completion of 356 production, Porsche had developed a higher-revving 616/36 version of the 356's four-cylinder pushrod engine for installation in a new 912 model that commenced production in April 1965. Although the 912 utilized numerous 356 components, it would not be accurate to say that Porsche intended the 912 to replace the 356.

When the decision was made to replace the 356, the 901 [later 911] was the road car designed to carry the Porsche name forward. Rather the 912 was developed as the "standard version" of the 911 at the 17,500DM price of a 356SC, while the complex but faster and heavier six-cylinder 911 would be priced more than fifty percent higher.[7] Enthusiasts purchased nearly 33,000 912 coupés and Targas powered by the Type 616 engine that had served Porsche so well during the 356 era.

356 "pre-A"

356 "pre-A"
Nationale oldtimerdag Zandvoort 2010, 1954 PORSCHE 356, RK-70-24.JPG
1954 Porsche 356, showing the V-shaped front windshield
Production 1948-1955
  • 1.1 L Type 369 B4 (1948-1953, 1100)
  • 1.3 L Type 506 B4 (1300)
  • 1.3 L Type 506/1 B4 (1300 A)
  • 1.3 L Type 589 B4 (1953-1954, 1300 S)
  • 1.5 L Type 527 B4 (1951-1952, 1500)
  • 1.5 L Type 528 B4 (1952-1953, 1500 S)
  • 1.5 L Type 528/2 B4 (1954-1955, 1500 S)
  • 1.5 L Type 546 B4 (1952-1953, 1500)
  • 1.5 L Type 546/2 B4 (1954-1955, 1500)
Transmission 4-speed manual

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 356A 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.[8] This name was used only in 1955 and today this one year version is especially valued. For 1956, the equivalent version was briefly sold as the "European".[8] Today all of the earliest Porsches are highly coveted by collectors and enthusiasts worldwide based on their design, reliability and sporting performance.


Porsche 356A Cabriolet.jpg
356A Cabriolet pictured in London
Production 1955-1959
  • 1.3 L Type 506 B4 (1300)
  • 1.3 L Type 506/2 B4 (1300 S)
  • 1.5 L Type 547/1 B4 (Carrera 1500 GS/GT, 1955-1957)
  • 1.5 L Type 692/0 B4 (Carrera 1500 GT, 1958)
  • 1.5 L Type 692/1 B4 (Carrera 1500 GT, 1958)
  • 1.6 L Type 616/1 B4 (1600)
  • 1.6 L Type 616/2 B4 (1600 S)
  • 1.6 L Type 692/2 B4 (Carrera 1600 GS)
Transmission 4-speed manual
1957 356 Speedster

In late 1955, with numerous small but significant changes, the 356A was introduced. Its internal factory designation, "Type 1", gave rise to its nickname "T1" among enthusiasts. In early 1957 a second revision of the 356A was produced, known as Type 2 (or T2). Production of the Speedster peaked at 1,171 cars in 1957 and then started to decline. The four-cam "Carrera" engine, initially available only in the Spyder race cars, became an available option starting with the 356A.

Please go to Wikipedia, if you want any further information

Thanks Wikipedia!

Box art:

Click on each image for a closer look

During the build.....



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