Posted by: porschebahn | March 4, 2009

1947 to 1950, The first Porsche’s


I found this information on the Porsche web site under Porsche Classic while doing research for another post.  Great information on the site.  Take a look.


Shortly before the end of the 2nd World War, the Porsche company emigrated to Austria. It was in Gmünd in the state of Kärnten that Ferry Porsche began to realise the idea of a sporty Volkswagen. His father had long had similar plans, but was a prisoner of war in France at this time. In 1947 a cabriolet was produced with a tubular frame chassis, aluminium body and a centrally located tuned-up VW Beetle engine. The Swiss car magazine Automobil Revue tested this Porsche number 1 and was full of praise, remarking “this is the sort of performance we envisage for a modern car.”

The positive response to the roadster spurred Ferry Porsche on. A small series of sports cars was produced, but in a design which made more practical use of the available space. The engine was relocated to the rear, as on the Beetle, and the tubular structure was abandoned in favour of a sheet-metal frame. There was a coupé and a cabriolet variant, and the bodies were hand-crafted in aluminium. The original version of the 356 was born, its sporty performance and speed immediately causing a stir. With only 40 bhp of power under its bonnet, it reached a top speed of around 140 km/h.

The production run for this series began at the end of 1948 and finished two years later. In all, around 50 cars were delivered. The lightweight and torsionally rigid Gmünd cars proved excellent for the race track.

Technical Specifications  
Engine: Four-cylinder horizontally opposed engine, air-cooled, central camshaft
Power: 40 bhp (29 kW) at 4000 rpm
Displacement: 1086 ccm
Fuel system: Two Solex downdraught carburettors,
tank capacity 50 litres
Transmission: Four-speed gearbox
Chassis: Coupé and cabrio no. 356/2-001 to 356/2-052 (not all numbers allocated)Sheet-style box-type chassis with aluminium body
Dimensions and weight: Wheelbase: 2,100 mm
Length: 3,870 mm
Width: 1,655 mm
Height: 1,300 mmWeight: 680 kg (1,499 lbs)
Performance: Top speed: 135 km/h (84 mph)




  1. It was quite a beautiful car;it really was the essence of Porsche. Elegant performance at its finest.

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