Is the Porsche 356 just a rebadged VW Beetle?
Ferdinand had a dream and this is his creation, the Porsche 356.
Some say that he couldn't find the perfect car, so he built it. More than a pumped up Beetle, the 356 is the result of one man's vision of what a sports car should be. It also marks the true beginning of the legendary Porsche brand. It all started in 1948 when the first 356 rolled out the factory. An historic moment as it was Porsche's first production car.
While some haters accuse the 356 of simply being a pumped up Volkswagen Beetle, the true Porscheists know that the 356 is more than the car it has been based upon. In fact, some might argue that since the Beetle was engineered by Porsche, it makes the VW a tuned down 356. With this car, Porsche created a legend that won many races and that was the benchmark for the followers.
So, what do we have here? It's 356B from 1962, a car that was first sent to the United States of America before being brought back to Switzerland. It was entirely restored and looks perfect in this Signal red colour and this black leather interior. Indeed, the car's overall design is great and very recognizable even though people on the streets have congratulated me for this nice Beetle. But never mind, these friendly faces and thumbs up are simply the acquiescence of a great design.
Some elements of the 356's looks can still be found even on modern Porsches. Those round headlamps for example, the sweeping roofline, the 2+2 disposition, and what about that rear grille. OK, I admit, it looks very similar to the Beetle. Indeed, the car drew many similarities with the Volkswagen. As a start, they had the same four-cylinder air-cooled engine in the back and are rear-wheel drive. However, it doesn't really drive like one. The Porsche treatment was well applied and the car still feels snappy quick for a nearly 60 years old car. It's not 992 speed, obviously, but the 90hp 4-cylinder engine still wants to get pushed around. The chassis was completely different from the one you would find under a Beetle and the entire car was also lighter. Just like the Beetle though, the 356 is very easy to drive and it feels very light and nimble. This bulletproof sports car is cool and fun. Pretty much the perfect weekend car. It's also quite cheap to run, therefore no wonder we see a lot of those participate to vintage rallies and races.
The 356 was on Porsche's production line for 17 years. From the Pre-A to the A, B, C there had been many evolutions. From stripped out versions like the Speedster to more luxurious cars like this one that even has Blaupunkt radio and an electric sunroof! Obviously, just like any car, there are some models that are more sought after than others. I mentioned the Speedster, a car that can go for up to $600'000! This particular car is priced at $100'000, still a whole lot of money.
Question is, is this car a good investment? If you have the opportunity and the means then go for it! Being a huge part of Porsche's story, the 356 came before the 911, and will bring you access to fun drives, thumbs up from other drivers, and a new way of experiencing a sports car. Being so easy to use, this car has the ability to bring so many positive emotions. Again, we are not looking at a Beetle here, the philosophy is completely different, even though they are direct cousins, that's why the 356 is more expensive. The 356 is THE classic any vintage connoisseur should go for. You should be glad, this one's for sale. Here's an old lady that won't let you down.
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Porsche 356 B
I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Perego Cars, situated in Switzerland, for giving me the opportunity to review and shoot this car. Website: www.peregocars.com/en Facebook: www.facebook.com/peregocars/ Instagram: www.instagram.com/peregocars/