“Obsession has a number: 356.” -Dirk Michael Conradt from “Porsche 356 – Driving in its Purest Form”
Fifty-seven years ago on March 30, 1956, E.A. Commins of Ross, California signed paperwork for this Porsche 356A from E. F. Sweeney British Cars in San Anselmo, California. Fast forward to 2016: we are certain this owner would be delighted to know that his 356 is safe and sound and being offered by Road Scholars. Covering only 49,000 miles in its lifetime, this “A” coupe is simply outstanding – the best original example 356A we have ever seen. The one-year-only Aquamarine Blue Metallic paint is ultra-rare and one of the most desirable colors on a 356. Remarkably, the paint on this car is almost entirely original with only 2 minor touch ups that can only be detected by a paint meter. Also, the interior is original with rare corduroy inserts and remains as good as the exterior. It has had only 3 owners, the first of whom owned her for more than 50 years!
There are several things that make the Type 356 important, not the least of which is that the 356 was the first car to carry the Porsche name. Looking back, perhaps what made the 356A so special was the anticipated perfection of the ultimate, purest sports car. The 356A arrived in late 1955, with several small, but quite significant changes from the 356. Because of its internal factory designation, “Type 1” the nickname “T1″ among enthusiasts was born.
The 356A/1600 was introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show in in September, 1955 with the cabriolet, coupe and speedster bodies from Reutter. At the time it was touted as “one of the best handling cars ever.” Among the changes were a larger 1582 cc engine with higher compression, allowing the ability to handle higher octane fuels. Additionally, through extensive testing in their experimental department, the “Versuchsabteilung,” Porsche was able to improve suspension through various means, including changing the torsion cars and fitting stiffer dampers. This meant that modern tires with a smaller diameter (15-inch) and wider tread could be used, with reduced air pressures.
On the outside, the 356A was identical to the previous version, but with some subtle, significant changes: wider tires, a small rub-strip below the doors and a fully-curved front window. Also, enamel paint replaced the lacquer that had been previously used.
Interiors on the 356A included an all-new flat face dashboard, sculpted around the new curved windshield. It also had a padded, top-locking glovebox and an area for a modern radio. A headlight flasher was included, automatic interior lighting, self-canceling signal switches, and perhaps most important, a lower floor to allow for improved entry. Options which became very popular also included the addition of a steering wheel lock and a clock.
At Road Scholars, we know that our collectors are looking for not only the best Porsches that can be found, but for the top 1% and rarest out there. In that manner, we are particularly pleased to offer this 1956 356A “T1” Coupe.
1956 Porsche 356A Coupe
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