1948 Porsche 356 Nr. 1 Roadster.
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Work recommenced in the Porsche design office as early as 1946 under head designer Karl Rabe. The Stuttgart-based company had been temporarily domiciled in Gmund/Austria since 1945. Inspired by Cisitalia activities, the idea of his own sports car increasingly dominated the thoughts of Porsche, particularly as in the meantime, despite the deep depression suffered by the German economy, the Volkswagen went into series production in Wolfsburg.
Former Porsche employees were involved, and activities at Gmund and Wolfsburg remained closely related. Thus, a project which Ferry Porsche had had in mind for some time started to take shape on the drawing-boards in the design office in Gmund from 17th July 1947.
It became reality on 8th June 1948: A two-seater sports car based on VW parts, the first automobile bearing the Porsche name.
It ranked as Type 356 according to the tradition of consecutive numbering of all designs. Ferry Porsche had set himself the goal of building a sports car of modest proportions, which on account of its ideal power-to-weight ratio and its low air resistance, could achieve high acceleration values and top speeds, optimal cornering behaviour and shorter braking distances than was possible with heavier cars.
The 356 was to be shaped to hold the road well and enable a safe driving feeling at speeds which were already relatively high. The very first Porsche was a mid-engine car, whose engine - a modified VW unit - was mounted ahead of the rear axle. With 35 bhp and a ready for driving weight of 585 kg, the Porsche "Number 1" ran at a good 135 km/h.
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