1958 Porsche 356 A 1600 S Cabriolet by Reutter
- Revered Porsche 356 A 1600 Super
- Matching-numbers engine and transmission
- Superb fresh restoration
While the 911 is Porsche’s longest-lived model, it was the 356 that established the marque’s sterling reputation. More than 76,000 were built from 1948 to 1965: coupes, cabriolets, and speedsters. While its basic form changed little, there were several generations. The first cars, with split windshields, continued through 1954. Six engines were offered, three of them available in the United States: 1,100, 1,300, and 1,500 cubic centimeters. The larger two were available in “S” (Super) form with upgraded crankshafts, bearings and camshafts, plus a larger carburetor and higher compression.
An updated model, the 356 A, debuted in 1956, with curved windshield and modified suspension. A new “1600” engine replaced the old 1.5-liter powerplant, and it, too, had a Super version, now making 88 horsepower. A new instrument panel included a tachometer and a fuel gauge (previous cars had relied on a reserve ration). A lowered floor afforded extra leg room in a surprisingly spacious little car.
By far, most Porsche bodies were built by Reutter of Stuttgart. Karosseriesfabrik Reutter & Co. had a long alliance with Porsche. Established in 1906, the firm was an early user of aluminum and also pioneered lightweight bodies using Weymann fabric patents. They had built prototypes for Ferdinand Porsche in 1932, for the genesis of the Volkswagen, and also bodied BMWs and Mercedes in the thirties. When the Porsche company returned to Germany from Austria in 1950, Reutter leased them some factory space for car production, and built the early bodies.
This 1600 S Cabriolet is an exceptionally well–dialed-in example. The deep rich black paint highlights an extremely straight body with excellent contours and panel fit. It has a white convertible top and the upholstery is done in brown leather. The dashboard is fitted with a Blaukpunkt multi-band radio. It drives every bit as well as it looks. The car benefits from a full restoration, less than 250 miles ago, and careful maintenance. It has been recently serviced by European Car Specialists of Costa Mesa, California.
Accompanied by a Porsche Certificate of Authenticity confirming its Super pedigree and production on 17 July 1958, this 356 is bound to please the most discerning Porschephile.