|1959 356 B Cabriolet|
|Engine: 1.6 L DOHC | Mileage: 87,134 km | Price: 87,000|
The Porsche 356 was the company's first production automobile.
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 were handcrafted in aluminum, but when production moved to Zuffenhausen, Germany in 1950, models produced there were steel-bodied.
Cabriolet models (convertibles) were offered from the start, and in the early 1950s sometimes comprised over 50% of total production. In 1959 the 356B "Roadster" convertible replaced the D model but the sports car market's love affair with top-down motoring was fading; soft-top 356 model sales declined significantly in the early 60s. Today these early four-cylinder models are highly coveted by collectors and enthusiasts worldwide.