Originally released to the public in 1948, the 356 was the first production model ever produced by Porsche.
4 series were built, the "Pre-A", A, B and C.
Production ran from 1948 to 1966!
Porsche designers decided to build the 356's air-cooled pushrod OHV flat-four around the engine case they had originally designed for the Volkswagen Beetle. They added new cylinder heads, camshaft, crankshaft, intake and exhaust manifolds and used dual carburetors to more than double the VW's horsepower. While the first prototype 356 had a mid-engine layout, all subsequent 356 engines were rear-mounted. The four-cam "Carrera" engine appeared in late 1955 as an extra cost option on the 356 A, and remained available through the 356 model run.