(a.k.a. Red Car Day at Chez la Vache!)
• 75 hp, 1,582 cc air-cooled flat four-cylinder engine, twin Solex 32 NDIX carburetors
• Parallel trailing arms front suspension with laminated torsion bars
• Rear swing axles with transverse torsion bars, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes.
• Wheelbase: 82.7"
The American fascination with Porsches took off when legendary car importer Max Hoffman brought 15 special roadsters to the United States in 1954. In 1959, the Reutter-bodied Roadster was replaced by the sophisticated Convertible D, which boasted a taller windshield, windup windows, and a top that fit better and didn’t give the impression of peering out of a mailbox. The accompanying Cabriolet offered even more creature comforts. The 356B arrived in 1960, with 15-inch wheels, heavier and taller bumpers, and a revised slope to the hood. Headlights were moved to the top of the fenders, with amber parking lights below them, and brake vents below the bumper.
The 356 was created by Ferdinand "Ferry" Porsche (son of Dr. Ing. Ferdinand Porsche, founder of the company). 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. While the 356's body was an original design by Porsche employee Erwin Komenda, its mechanicals (including engine, suspension and chassis) were derived from the Volkswagen. The first 356 was road certified in Austria on June 8, 1948, and used many Volkswagen parts for manufacturing economy. Quickly though, Porsche re-engineered and refined the car with a focus on performance. By the late '50s many fewer parts were shared between Volkswagen and Porsche. The early 356 automobile bodies produced at Gmünd Austria were handcrafted in aluminum, but when production moved to Zuffenhausen, Germany in 1950, models produced there were steel-bodied.
Little noticed at its inception, 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. It was common for owners to race the car as well as drive it on the street. 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.
Ferry and Ferdinand with a '90s 911.
A 1966 911. Can you say übersteuert?
How far Porsche has come since the early VW-based cars!
What many don't know today is that Porsche does a lot of behind the scenes development work for other manufacturers. They even developed an engine for Harley-Davidson.
See more Ruby Tuesday entries HERE.
On Friday in Virginia, Chris Christie went after Barack Obama in epic fashion. Here is one of the high points:
You’ve been living inside 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. for the last four years. If you don’t think you can change Washington from inside the White House let’s give you the plane ticket back to Chicago you’ve earned. … If he believes that, then what the hell is he doing asking for another four years?