Porsche 356

Porsche has a great reputation, but they did not earn it overnight. The Porsche 356 was a sports car manufactured from 1948 until 1965. This was Porsche's very first production car making it something of a milestone. The 356 moniker denotes that it was Porsche's 356th project. Some do disagree and protest that this was not the very first production car, and that in fact, the Type 64, which was called 'Number 1', was actually the first. But, does it really matter. The 356 was indeed created by Ferdinand Porsche, who was the son of Dr. Ing. Ferdinand Porsche – the founder of the company. The 356 was a four-cylinder, air-cooled, rear-engined, rear-wheel-drive beauty. The 356's body was indeed an original design by Porsche's Erwin Komenda, but the mechanicals including the engine, the suspension and the chassis were all taken from Volkswagen. The very first 356 prototypes were aluminum bodied, but this turned out to be impractical for production, so they were all made with steel bodies. On June 8, 1948 the first 356 was produced. Porsche quickly thereafter re-engineered and refined the car with a focus on performance, so that by the late 1950's very few parts were from the original bunch. The 356 was not released to a ton of fanfare, but by the early 1950s the 356 had gained some popularity among enthusiasts for its exceptional aerodynamics and handling. It was also praised for its excellent build quality. The 356 proved to be multi-purpose as it was common for owners to race them as well as drive them on the street. Throughout its lifespan, the basics of the 356 remained the same. Granted, functional improvements were made, but there were very few superficial styling changes. It seems that when you do it right the first time, there is not a need for revision.