It was 1948 when Ferry Porsche created this model in the city of Gmünd (Austria), and not in Germany, as is often believed. While his father, Ferdinand Porsche, a renowned automotive engineer, was immersed in the great task of seeing the light at Volkswagen Type 1 (or Beetle), Karl Rabe and Erwin Komenda worked hard with his son in the project of the 356, whose base had created Ferdinand. This project eventually became the first vehicle sold in the Porsche series. The prototype of the 356 left the Porsche workshop in Gmünd, which by the way was an old sawmill.
The prototype mounted a 4-cylinder Volkswagen engine and 1,131 cc boxer, located in front of the rear axle made in an aluminum block. Its manufacture was not easy, for the first 50 units were molded by hand. Subsequently, the plant located in Germany began making steel sheets.
The first 356 units were built at the Gmünd plant, but in 1950 the production moved to Zuffenhausen, Stuttgart (Germany), which would continue until April 1965, when the manufacturing of the 356 stopped. The 911 would be responsible for replacement.
It is likely that many believe there was only one model 356, since only was produced for 17 years. But the fact is that during that time the 356 evolved in three different versions: 356A, 356B and 356C. While it is true that the two models, Coupe and Roadster, were unchanged, there were a number of improvements in the vehicle that made the 356 a real breakthrough for its time.
Perhaps one of the most renowned models 356 is the "Speedster", made in 1954. This was due to Max Hoffman, the one and only importer in the United States, who spoke with Porsche indicating that in Southern California would be a good idea to sell a lightweight and relatively low cost Sport model. That was not only to be a visionary, but resounding success idea. They were ever produced nearly 1,200 units, specifically 1.171. After a year into its manufacture, Porsche would introduce the "Carrera" engine with two overhead camshafts per cylinder bank.