Porsche 356 Reviews

1959 Porsche 356 Convertible D 1.6 pancake 4 from North America

Model year1959
Year of manufacture1959
First year of ownership1972
Most recent year of ownership1978
Engine and transmission 1.6 pancake 4 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired84500 miles
Most recent distance92000 miles
Previous carJaguar Mk VII

Faults:

Rebuilt front end. Carb rebuild.

General Comments:

Great little car that replaced the iconic Speedster for a solitary year. It was equipped with taller windshield, more comfortable coupe seats and roll-up windows. I acquired it by trading a'59 356 coupe and throwing in an extra $50.00.

The'D' had a rebuilt 1600 Normal engine that was bulletproof, but the Zenith carbs had gaskets which announced their slow demise by pumping glue into the jets after a few moments of running... took 'bout a year to dope that one out...

The car was rust free, but had been repainted more times than a World War II Army barracks and had a pretty shabby interior. Finally settled on a nice 'Old English White' with lurid red seats. When a Speedster windshield availed itself, I installed it on the 'D'. It dropped right in, but of course the top, windows and wipers no longer fit, but small a price to pay for " The Look".. Later made out like a porch- climber when I sold it for a eye-popping $2800.00.. "Doh.. Dope slap.. Dope Slap.."

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 27th June, 2008

1964 Porsche 356 SC 95hp Super 90 from Sweden

Model year1964
Year of manufacture1964
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 95hp Super 90 Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 0 / 10
Comfort marks 2 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.3 / 10
Distance when acquired89000 kilometres
Most recent distance89050 kilometres
Previous carMercedes-Benz C-Class

Summary:

A true milestone car

Faults:

The fuel-tank was rusty on the inside so the carbs got messed upp right away. I had to treat the tank with (citric-) acid to cure the rust and clean the carbs. They had approx 10mm of sludge in them. A wonder that it started up at all.

General Comments:

The car looks like "a cute, small sportscar" but it is far from cute to drive. It is very demanding and nothing you just drive along in. If you loose focus for a fraction of a second you might end up crashing. The steering is so direct that I seriously wonder if it would be possible to steer it with telepathy alone. Very noisy at high speed.

It's fairly quick by todays standard (like an 80's GTi) and must have been very, very fast in those days. The one I have is the only one I've driven so far and I guess my chassie has a pretty tight setup. One must keep in mind that all 356s have been restored over the years and that the restorers have influenced the individual characteristics. Other cars might have a softer appearance.

The prices of these cars have sky-rocketed to insane levels. I was lucky enough to find one, ready to drive, at a very reasonable price (in fact for the same price as many asks for a rusty body sans engine & interior). The previous owner had kept it virtually rust free. It needs a new paint job and a new interior, but it'll be well worth the bucks spent.

Parts are easily available, both through Porsche and through specialists. Pieces of bodywork are expensive. To make things worse, the can't be installed without great pain as all the doors and hoods were individually fitted. You can't take a door from one car and fit it to another without expecting lots and lots of work. Mechanical parts on the other hand are quite cheap as long as you avoid Porsche. They are relatively easy to work on. If you feel confident with working on a Beetle, then a 356 should be no problem.

I'm very happy to have been able to snap one up. People stop you on the street to ask questions, honk their horns and wave, gives you thumbs up, put flowers on you car etc. Everyone seems to love it. It is a thrill to drive and doesn't cost a fortune to maintain.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th October, 2005

1959 Porsche 356 D Convertible tiny 4-cylinder from North America

Year of manufacture1959
First year of ownership1970
Most recent year of ownership1971
Engine and transmission tiny 4-cylinder Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
10.0 / 10
Distance when acquired57000 miles
Most recent distance72000 miles

Summary:

I will probably find another one to restore

Faults:

The wiper motor failed.

The car's undercarriage was severly rusted.

General Comments:

The steering wheel is directly in front of you and is at arms' length.

The seat is on the floor so that the pedals are directly in front of your feet.

Your legs are on the floor.

It goes 60 MPH in 2nd gear and runs all day at 110 without overheating.

If your battery dies, you can start the engine with a piece of rope (included, with wooden-handle and a knot).

I sold it because I wasn't sure I could safely repair the rust damage. What an idiot.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th May, 2002

4th Jul 2004, 13:03

I could not tell whether the author was happy that his feet were on the floor or that the steering wheel was at arm's length. I don't think I ever had my 1960 Super Roadster up to 60 in second because that is over the 5500 redline, but I'm glad to know that I could have run 110 all day and not overheated. According to the factory, the Super model topped out at 109, as I recall. I sold mine because I got a '64 SC and my father told me I didn't need two Porsches. Now my 19-year-old daughter is furious with me for having sold it. It was a great handling car.

Jock Ellis.

Average review marks: 7.1 / 10, based on 3 reviews