- The 356 look is distinctly Porsche and still turns heads after 60 years.
The first 356 was built in 1948 in a dirt-floored sawmill. 356 production ended in 1965. Its classic styling remains iconic and its silhouette defines the brand.
- It’s a classic car with a deceptively great ride and surprisingly good handling.
The Porsche family applied years of designing fast cars for other companies, and 356s out-handled others because their suspensions were state of the art. Detroit and European cars recycled pre-war concepts because World War II had halted car development. Porsche leap-frogged over them by starting with a blank sheet.
- You can go fast enough.
You can go fast, by 50s standards. Although modern-day transport is better and faster, especially modern Porsches, driving a 356 is a cultural experience not to be missed. You can drive comfortably quick and keep up with most modern machinery. And look a whole lot cooler, too.
- You can be your own mechanic – they are that simple to fix and maintain.
Classic Porsches are almost bullet-proof if set up correctly and maintained by the book. Manuals and DIY help abounds; if you are handy with a wrench, this is a car you can maintain.
- Owning a 356 is like playing golf – you will spend your whole life perfecting your game.
They are light and nimble, so changing tire brands and even air pressures are noticeable. They respond well to brisk driving on a back road, and offer endless entertainment to those who practice curve-straightening. In fact:
- There is no lack of entertainment when you own a 356.
When you aren’t driving or cleaning or reading about your car, you will find others approach you to ask questions about or express admiration for your ride. 356s get attention.
- Organized activities abound for 356 fans.
The 356 Registry is one of the most active car clubs in the United States. Separate from the PCA, the Registry has a very active membership of almost 8,000. It has a first-rate monthly magazine, a web presence and online forum, and several club-sponsored activities per year.
- The 356 World is flush with friends and supporters.
356 owners are worldwide and connect with other Porsche owners, but also with their VW cousins, classic car owners, and even hot rodders. Several online forums incorporate commentary about 356s, and web sites dedicated to the 356 offer a variety of information.
- Investment-wise, it’s a car that actually increases in value.
356s were produced in fairly high numbers for a sports car, yet their popularity and value continues to drive prices upward on all models. Currently A-model prices are spiking similar to the early 911 phenomenon.
- It’s rolling classic art.
Point #9 above corroborates that a lot of people share that view.
The 356’s rounded, elegant shape invokes speed and harkens back to the 30s era of aero-style streamlining. European examples include berlinettas from Voisin, Alfa, Lancia, and others. The aero movement strongly affected post-war American design as well.
- Driving one is like…
What do You think? Do you have a 356 story to share? Do you have a question about 356s you’d like answered, or a topic you’d like to see discussed? Let us know by commenting below.