The automotive world has witnessed the birth of Porsche’s numerous legendary cars – such as the Porsche 911 and Porsche 911 Carrera RS – that have become symbols of engineering excellence and timeless design. Among them stands the Porsche 356, an automobile that not only paved the way for the renowned Porsche brand but also captured the hearts of car enthusiasts worldwide. Embark on a captivating journey as we dive into the rich history of the Porsche 356, a true automotive icon that paved the way for the Porsche brand.
The Birth of an Automotive Legend
The Porsche 356 came to life under the guidance of Ferdinand “Ferry” Porsche, son of the esteemed founder of the German company, Ferdinand Porsche. Alongside his sister, Louise, Ferry Porsche established an Austrian company to bring his vision to fruition. Drawing inspiration from the Volkswagen Beetle, a creation of his father, the Porsche 356 shared its rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive configuration, air-cooled four-cylinder engine, and unitized pan and body construction. While some mechanical elements, including the engine case and certain suspension components, were initially sourced from Volkswagen, the chassis and body of the 356 were entirely new, meticulously designed by Porsche employee Erwin Komenda.
As automotive technology and market evolved to meet the demands of car consumers, Porsche created four distinct 356 series, each with their own unique characteristics.