|Engine||Flat four-cylinder, 1582cc|
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The 356 can fairly be described as the car that put Porsche on the map, the unconventional rear-mounted flat-four engine starting a tradition that continues to the present day. The earliest 356s were somewhat underpowered and very primitive in terms of equipment but, by the late 1950s, had matured into an altogether more sophisticated sports car, with plenty of creature comforts. In September 1959, the most radical development of the 356 was announced at the Frankfurt Motor Show, with an entirely restyled body - designated the T5 - and the 356B featured different bumpers and revised front wings with the headlamps mounted higher up. With the new 911 on the horizon, Porsche released the final incarnation of the popular 356, the 356C, in July 1963. Changed were confined to numerous technical improvements, most notably the adoption of ATE disc brakes all round, along with 15-inch rims and the switch to a ZF steering unit. The 356C came in either of two pushrod versions, both with more power, the 75 bhp 'C' or the 90 bhp 'SC' - the latter using twin Solex PJJ-4 carburettors and a 9.5:1 compression ratio. As the last of the line, the 356C was the most thoroughly developed, practical and reliable 356 of all and like all good Porsches, are an eminently useable classic today.