1965 Porsche 356C Cabriolet
|Engine||1600cc four cylinder|
|Wheels||Steel wheels with hubcaps|
The 356 can fairly be described as the car that put Porsche on the map, with its 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, it 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 - featuring different bumpers and revised front wings with the headlamps mounted higher up. In 1961 Porsche announced a Roadster variant to fill the gap between the spartan Speedster and the more luxurious Cabriolet, joining the existing Coupe. The chassis also underwent some revision and the tendency towards oversteer was reduced (radial tyres as standard fitment helped in this regard), while the floorpan was altered to increase rear passenger space. By the time the 356C entered production in 1963, Porsche's first model had become a very refined sports car and had attracted a large following of very satisfied owners. Although visually similar to the 356B, it was improved in many small aspects. For example, the seats were more sporting, the wheel studs were closer together and were covered by a different hubcap, a thicker anti-roll bar improved handling and the car featured four-wheel disc brakes. Thanks to these improvements, most 356 enthusiasts regard the 'C' as offering the best combination of comfort and performance of all 356 models. The model was available in two states of engine tune - 75HP 'C' and 95HP 'SC' - the latter giving the car true sports car performance. Cabriolet models added another dimension to Porsche motoring and with their excellent weather proofing make them a practical and enjoyable vehicle for daily use in all seasons.