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The Early Years

1948:

During the war Ferdinand "Ferry" Porsche (who died on 27 March 1998 at the age of 88) and a handful of his proven, faithful employees had started work on development number 356 in their workshops moved to the town of Gmünd in Kärnten. The first design drawings were completed on 17 July 1947 and on 8 June 1948 the Kärnten state government issued a special permit homologating the car. Returning home after being held by the French as a prisoner of war and bailed out of custody by his family, Professor Dr.-Ing.h.c. Ferdinand Porsche, Ferry's father, stated right away that "every single bolt was just right". No 1 was then followed by a small series of 52 additional cars built in Gmünd, production in Stuttgart from 1950 - 1965 subsequently amounting to 78,000 units of the 356 model Porsche No 1, a mid-engined roadster, is completed and homologated in the Austrian town of Gmünd. The engine displaces 1131cc and develops maximum output of 35bhp (26kW). The first few 356 coupes are made of light alloy.

1948:

Production of the first Porsche 356 cabriolets.

1950:

Start of production in Stuttgart.

1951:

The Porsche 1300 (1286cc, 44bhp/32kW) and 1500 (1488cc, 60bhp/44kW) join the range, the latter quickly becoming a best seller.

1952:

Launch of the Porsche 1500 S (1488cc, 70bhp/51kW).

1953:

Yet another new model joins the range: the Porsche 1300 S (1290cc, 60bhp/44kW).

1954:

Production of the first 200 Porsche Speedsters.

1955:

The Speedster becomes a genuine sales success. Production of the 356 A series starts in autumn with the proven 1300 and 1300 S power units soon joined by the 1600 (1582cc, 60bhp/44kW), 1600 S (1582cc, 75bhp/55kW) and 1500 GS - the first Carrera marking the introduction of the new sports engine with four overhead camshafts - (1498cc, 100bhp/74kW). The 1100cc engines are dropped from the range.

1957:

The sporting and Spartan Porsche 1500 GS Carrera is joined by the more comfortable 1500GS de Luxe model.

1958:

Output of the Porsche 356 A 1500 GS Carrera GT is boosted to 110bhp/81kW. The Speedster is replaced by the Convertible D with a larger windscreen and winding windows at the side. The 1300cc engines are dropped from the range.

1959:

The Carrera receives extra power and is now called the 1600 GS-GT, with the sports version offering more output (1588cc, 115bhp/85kW) than the de Luxe model (105bhp/77kW). The 356 B series is introduced in autumn, the Convertible D being renamed the Roadster.