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Greg's List: Porsche 356
By Greg Warner

Classic Car Articles by Greg Warner The 1964-1965 Porsche "356C" was the last generation for the model 356 production run, (with four generations during it's run, model "356" from 1948 to 1955, "356A" from 1956 to 1959, "356B" from 1960 to 1963), which spanned from 1948 to 1965, it remained basically unchanged by looks, but made dramatic evolutionary and technological changes underneath that curvy exterior.

The 356 model is also the first, full-production vehicle, offered by Porsche. The Porsche "356" model was created by Ferdinand "Ferry" Porsche, the son of the founder of the company, Dr. Ferdinand Porsche. It featured flat, 4-cyl, air-cooled, rear-mounted engine, rear-wheel drive configuration in a lightweight sporty package with quick-handling, sure-footed suspension.

It quickly became very popular on the racing scenes all around the world! The "pan" style chassis was attached to the body making a sturdy "unitized construction" design. Most of the original mechanicals were borrowed from the Volkswagen Beetle (designed by Dr. Ferdinand Porsche himself . . . see previous article on Volkswagen Beetle), and improved over the years to enhance performance and make it more Porsche-like.

Initially and throughout it's 18 year run, it took some time to build enough numbers to supply the demand it had created and by the time it had run it's course, the little "356" had quite a reputation for driving pleasure, quality of build and racing prowess. It is believed, that over half of the some 76,000 units produced, are still in existence today.

The "356' was offered in both coupe and convertible (or cabriolet) models and were about 50/50 split as far as production numbers go. However, the 356C shown here and listed for auction by Russo&Steele in Phoenix, AZ is one of the last and best of the series! The 356C's were built with disc brakes at all four corners, the most horsepower (1582 cc and 88 hp in stock form, 95 hp with "SC" model) of all the "pushrod" pancake Porsche motors and many upgrades in both suspension and creature comfort areas.

The 356C, which remained almost completely and painstakingly, hand-built, was certainly the most refined and therefore most desirable of all the 356 models.

In fact, in a 2004 article, Sports Car International ranked the 356C as the 10th position of Top Sports Cars of the 1960's. Certain limited production models, like the 356 Carrera, can bring over $300,000 at auction and almost any 356 model will bring from $20,000 to over $150,000.

Check out all the fine automobiles being offered by Russo&Steele at this years auction in Phoenix, AZ, which are also listed here on ClassicCars.com website for your ease of pre-viewing.

Click to see all Porsche 356's for sale on ClassicCars.com.

See all Greg's List Pick's of the Week

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