The Porsche Holding GmbH first produced it in Austria in 1948. It was the first Porsche manufactured. It was created as two-door with rear engine and rear wheel drive. In 1950 the place of manufacturing moved to Germany, with only 50 cars built in Austria. It was made initially in poor conditions and as a single copy, because of the belief of Porsche that people would not be able to afford it just after World War 2. Its engine was taken from VW Bubble. Only 8 of the 50 cars produced were convertibles. The coupes were later converted to racing cars. The manufacturing process continued until 1965. About 80 000 were assembled there, half of which are believed to still be on the road nowadays. The initial price was 3750$ for 356 coupes and 4250$ for 356 Cabriolet. Nowadays, the price is usually in the range from twenty to one hundred thousand dollars, with the rarest models holding the highest price. The most desired from them are considered to be Carrera Speedster and Speedster, with a market value of about three hundred thousand dollars. The club of Porsche 356 owners are known to be one of the largest clubs for classic cars. Porsche designed and built three Type 64 vehicles for the 1939 Berlin-to-Rome race, which was later on canceled. Those are believed to be the first vehicles “Porsche” although they were not marked initially as Porsche. In 1948 was finished and introduced the first Porsche 356, number one. Ferdinand Porsche and his sister Louise made 356. They were with four-cylinder, air-cooled, rear-engine and rear-wheel drive with a body type similar to an eggshell.
It was a design of Erwin Komenda. However, the engine case and some suspension parts were taken from Volkswagen. This was because of the love of Ferry Porsche of the idea of a small car with a powerful engine, due to his personal experience with such a vehicle from Volkswagen. The car was certified in 1948 and launched. That is when it won its first race in its class. The cooperation for some of the parts with Volkswagen started to decline. Initially, the bodies were produced of aluminum but then changed to steel. The manufacturer of the steel body parts was Reutter, which Porsche then bought in 1963 and changed the name to Recaro. Porsche 356 was first sold massively, in Austria and Germany. After it won Le Mans in 1951, it became more popular in a broader area both as racing and a road car with excellent handling and perfect quality. Four-cam racing engine Carrera was introduced in 1954. The Porsche 356 won more competitions and became even more famous, with a good reputation. In 1964 alone, over 10 000 orders were made. By 1965, about 80 000 were produced. Porsche 356 was produced in four different series, starting with pre-A, and followed by 356 A, 356B and lastly 356C. They were then codified into more groups to be more easily distinguishable by merit. Those built from 1948 to 1952 were recognizable by their split. The ones produced from 1953 to 1955 were noticeable by their bent windscreens. The models offered in the late 1955 - model A, were with a twisted windshield. The new 1959 model was dubbed as T5 356 B. The redesigned model introduced in 1962 was dubbed T6 356 B. The last version was dubbed 356 C. They had some similarities with T6 B and disc brakes instead of drums. Before the production of Porsche 356 ended, Porsche had developed a higher-revving type 616/36 version engine, of the four-cylinder pushrod engine used in the 356, for the next 912 model which was to be launched in 1965. Many of the components were shared between the two, but 912 was not meant initially as a replacement for 356. However, when it was decided that 356 will be replaced, it was replaced by 901, also known as 911. After that, the 912 was announced as a standard 911. About 33 000 vehicles 912 with this engine were purchased.
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