The Porsche 356 - the Sports Car of the Nineties

Really nice early 356
Huge 2282x1232x16.7m JPEG - only 186k

This is a 1952 Porsche 356 coupe finished in Pascha Red (which is like a very dark burgundy color, close to aubergine) with a beige interior. It was built in July of 1952. Restoration was completed in 1994 and was done with great attention to authenticity. Some trim items are not 100% perfect but this was my choice as I find it more satisfying to restore a 45 year old part that came from the Porsche Factory than just to buy a shiny repro. The car only had 31K miles when put back on the road after restoration.

 This car has several features which make it rare and special. The main feature is the "interim" bumpers, which are separate from the body and wrap around to a much larger extent than the "A" type bumpers which were used as of model year 1953 beginning in October 1952. Interim bumpers were used for less than one year and only on cars exported to North America. The transmission is the original 4-speed "crashbox", i.e. it is not synchronized and double declutching is absolutely required when shifting. If not done right, particularly on a downshift, it is impossible to change gears so driving this car takes a lot of practice and finesse. The 1952 engine is a 1300 cc, fully but authentically rebuilt with "mushroom" aircleaners, no oil filter, a flat-top distributor with wire clips, and fuel filter, and it puts out about 45HP. The tires are very narrow - 5.00/5.25 - and are mounted on original 3 1/4 x 16 rims (which in modern tire parlance would be something like 120/80/16!!). As can be seen, reproduction Firestone Champion Deluxe were selected (whitewall tires were always an option on all 356's, although rarely chosen). The car is a joy to drive on the highway but a real handful in city traffic. I usually cruise along at 65 mph and have a great time. The 356 is definitely THE sportscar for the 90's (with apologies to Harry "The Maestro" Pellow for this bit of plagiarism).

 - the late B. Picard

 (Note to those who have been to this page before: The 356 spotter's guide previously aluded to here by myself will soon be found on the 356 Registry home page, an altogether better place for it. - Craig)

 Keep the 356 Faith!


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