Ever since the introduction of the legendary Porsche 911 in 1963, the 356 has been living in its shadow. While the 911 deserves every word of praise it receives, the 356 should not be ignored. Here are a few reasons why it’s still a beloved classic today.
It’s the Porsche that started it all
Before any other sports car and long before any SUVs were produced by Porsche, the 356 was the lone Porsche production model for fifteen years. What started out as a small, scrappy manufacturer of an obscure sports car went on to continue making world-class performance cars, luxurious cruisers, and more and it’s all thanks to the success of the 356.
It was a beast on the track
The Porsche 356 was one of the first production cars you could easily drive to the track, race, and drive back home. On a professional level, it found extraordinary racing success breaking records, winning rally races, and proving its toughness in gruelling endurance races. It doesn’t get much cooler than a vintage racecar and the 356 was one of the coolest.
Simple, refined interior
Long before every car interior had a screen in the middle, the Porsche 356 had a simple, tasteful interior. It was simple without being spartan thanks to its refined craftsmanship and obsessive attention to detail that Porsche is famous for. It doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, but it still feels luxurious. It gives you the look and feel of a vintage sports car, but it never feels uncomfortable. It’s an environment that perfectly compliments that style and class of the rest of the car.
While it might commonly be mistaken for an old 911 to the untrained eye, the Porsche 356 has a unique look all of its own. It’s the car that started the iconic Porsche look. To this day, it’s easy to see vintage design cues in new Porsche models, most of which were established in the 356. A design that holds up this long is truly timeless.
A variety of flat-four engines have propelled the lightweight body of the 356. From a humble 1.3-liter to the quad-cam Carrera engines, they all made for outstanding balance and sharp, precise handling. While most weren’t incredibly fast or powerful, they were always a blast to drive at any speed. When every part of a car communicates with each other perfectly, it makes for a pure driving experience that’s hard to find.
The 356 is highly sought after and often replicated for good reasons. Like many classic cars, this Porsche keeps getting better with age.