Ever wondered what a stock 1956 Porsche 356A is like to drive?
Spoiler alert: it mostly involves chill cruising with occasional downshifting for hills
Porsche is known for making the 911, but its first sports car was actually the 356, and the 356A is one of the first in that series. The A is a very early 356, built between 1955 and 1959, although it’s not the earliest - that distinction goes to what are called “pre-A” cars which were assembled from 1948 into 1955 when the A was created.
This example driven by Matt Farah for TST in the canyons is completely stock and it really shines a light on the whole 356 driving experience. The car’s engine, a 1.6-liter flat-four, made about 85 hp when it was new which means it’s really not that quick by today’s standards.
Handling of the 356 was all about the control, and back in the day keen drivers who owned these would frequently drift them around corners with amazing ease. However, it wasn’t necessarily easy to get them to slide gracefully as they could pendulum around and bite - still, those who weren’t intimidated by this loved the way they went down the road.
The example in the video is almost perfect, but its steering box is apparently not in the best shape and it therefore causes some uncertainty especially when trying to keep the car going in a straight line. Even so, it’s a very pretty car that has a factory sunroof and appears well looked after.