Porsche 356 Outlaw. History re-written

Porsche. Sportscar manufacturer. Racing stalwarts. Engineering marvels. Le Mans winners. All right, that’s enough.


Porsche is a household name for its racing successes and its well-engineered sportscars. But let’s be honest, a large part of the brand’s history consists of a three-digit number, synonymous with the one you call for emergency services in the U.S.A. That’s right, the 911.

In the early 1950s, however, Porsche did not have much of a past. Its ‘present’ was another three-digit number, the 356. Its ‘future’ was anyone’s guess.

Created by Ferdinand ‘Ferry’ Porsche, the 356 quickly gained a reputation as a light, fast sportscar that was reliable, by way of its 1500cc engine that produced 60hp. The later ‘Speedster’ quickly gained fame after US importer Max Hoffman convinced Porsche to build them, appearing in iconic movies like ‘Top Gun’.

A little known fact about the Porsche 356 is the difference in specimens during the first run between 1950 and 1955. The car produced during ‘54-‘55 was the ‘bent window’ 356 Continental, so called due to its single-piece windscreen. Single-piece windscreen? What’s so special about that?

Well, the Porsche 356 had a two-piece windscreen till 1952, after which all cars were fitted with single piece windscreens, including the 1955 cars. The eagle-eyed among you would also have noticed the name ‘Continental’ which was never used with a Porsche after 1955, since Lincoln began using the name with its land-yachts and limousines. Thus the 1955 356 Continental became extremely rare and lived happily ever after and has become a symbol of 1950s German engineering.

This particular 356 is not original. Purists will despair to note that this car has undergone the ‘Outlaw’ treatment. Sporting a 1,720cc engine from a ’65 356, a ’62 transmission and disc brakes all round, this car handles much better than an original Continental but is still a handful according to its owner, Jack Griffin. Rounding off the package is a set of Fuchs, which have their pride of place under the rounded fenders.

So watch this video, and allow yourself to be entranced by the 356 ‘Outlaw’. There is no substitute.

Source – PetroliciousCo

Porsche 356 Continental (as of 1955)
Engine: Inline 4cyl / 1488cc
Power: 82hp
Transmission: Four speed manual / rear wheel drive
Front suspension: Torsion bar
Rear suspension: Torsion bar
Brakes: Drums (front and rear)
Weight (kerb) 850 kg
0-100kph: N/A
Top speed: 201kph

Categories: Road


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