Porsche 356A 1500 GT (692/0) Carrera T1 Coupe by Reutter

Car producer : 

Porsche

Model:

356A 1500 GT (692/0) Carrera T1 Coupe by Reutter

Year:

1956-1957

Type:

Coupe



Cabriolets had been manufactured right from the start of 356 production, but the first open Porsche to make a significant impact was the Speedster, introduced in 1954 following the successful reception in the USA of a batch of 15 special roadsters. The Speedster was dropped in 1958 and replaced by the more civilised Convertible D, which differed principally by virtue of its larger windscreen and winding side windows. Porsche sub-contracted cabriolet body construction to a number of different coachbuilders including Drauz of Heilbronn, d'Ieteren of Brussels and, of course, Reutter. By the time the 356B arrived in September 1959, the car had gained a one-piece rounded windscreen and 15"-diameter wheels, and the newcomer's introduction brought with it further styling revisions and an engine now standardised at 1,600cc.

In late 1955, with numerous small but significant changes, the 356A was introduced. Its internal factory designation, "Type 1", gave rise to its nickname "T1" among enthusiasts. In early 1957 a second revision of the 356A was produced, known as Type 2 (or T2). Production of the Speedster peaked at 1,171 cars in 1957 and then started to decline. The four-cam "Carrera" engine, initially available only in the Spyder race cars, became an available option starting with the 356A.

Cabriolets had been manufactured right from the start of 356 production, but the first open Porsche to make a significant impact was the Speedster, introduced in 1954 following the successful reception in the USA of a batch of 15 special roadsters. The Reutter-bodied Speedster was dropped in 1958 and replaced by the more civilised Convertible D, which differed principally by virtue of its larger windscreen and winding side windows. Porsche sub-contracted cabriolet body construction to a number of different coachbuilders, Convertible D production being undertaken by Drauz of Heilbronn.

To celebrate the Spyder’s class victories in 1952, 1953, and 1954 (the last bringing in a 1st and 2nd in class and a 3rd and 4th overall, behind the much more powerful 4.5- and 4.9-litre Ferraris), Porsche decided to install a slightly de-tuned version of the 550’s complicated 1.5-litre, four-cam, twin-plug racing engine into a limited number of production cars. A few 356 Pre-A examples were built to test the concept; the number is placed at four coupés and 14 speedsters. The new high-performance 356 A was introduced at the 1955 Frankfurt Motor Show as a 1956 model. The new model would, of course, be named the Carrera—a name that has resonated to the present day as representing Porsche’s fastest street machines.

With the potent little four-cam engine that powered its “giant-killer” 550 Spyders having proven itself in competition, Porsche decided to capitalize on that success by installing a slightly de-tuned version of the motor in a limited number of its production cars. Thus, the Carrera was born, which was named for the famously brutal and demanding long-distance Carrera Panamericana road race that ran the length of Mexico in the early 1950s. Porsche’s little spyders and production-based coupes were driven by both factory-backed and privateer entries, and they had distinguished themselves in those races. Afterwards, the factory deemed those efforts worthy of commemoration.

This engine was introduced in 1,300-cubic centimeter form, then in 1,500 cubic centimeters, and eventually in displacements ranging upward to a full two liters. This two-liter version was the complex, Fuhrmann-designed, air-cooled, flat four Carrera, which was very powerful for its size but, more importantly, extremely durable, as it could thrive at high revolutions. The Carrera was installed in 356 coupes, cabriolets, and the lightweight speedster, and it turned an already strong performer into an almost unbeatable package. Four-cam speedsters were produced in both well-equipped GS (for Grand Sport) street form and the GT (Grand Turismo), and it was stripped-out and lightened for racing. As such, GTs offered few creature comforts included in the GS.

Weighing barely 1,900 pounds and comfortably equipped with a solid 100 horses tucked into the tail, the GS Speedster was capable of a top speed of 117 mph. The 356 A Cerrera GS Speedsters are nearly identical in appearance to their pushrod-engined sisters, but they could be spotted by the knowledgeable for their larger-diameter exhaust pipes, an 8,000 rpm tachometer, a couple of extra dashboard ignition control switches, somewhat wider wheels, a slightly lower rear ride height (the Carrera motor with its external oil tank was a bit heavier than the pushrod engine), and, of course, the telltale gold “Carrera” script on their front fenders and rear body panel.

The Type 547/1 engine was very similar in appearance to the 1500RS engines that powered the 550 Spyder racing cars. The “four-cam” took its name from the pair of overhead camshafts with replaceable lobes that were installed on each cylinder bank. The cams were driven by a complex system of bevel gears and shafts, which were operated via a countershaft off the built-up Hirth roller-bearing crankshaft. Carrera engines had light alloy cylinders with hard-chromed bores and dry-sump lubrication. Two spark plugs per cylinder were fired by a pair of separate ignition systems, with the twin distributors being driven off the ends of the intake cams. With a 66-millimeter stroke and an 85-millimeter bore, the Type 547/1 engine displaces 1,498 cubic centimeters, has a compression ratio of 9.0:1, and produces 100 horsepower at 6,200 rpm.

The most potent mechanical variation of the 356 was the Carrera model, which was powered by the slightly detuned, Fuhrmann-designed four-camshaft, 1,600-cubic centimeter racing engine. Available in both “GT” race specification and “GS” touring specification, Porsche made sure that their new engine could be marketed on a platform to individuals who were looking to spend time on the track, or to those who were looking to drive down the Autobahn in style. The engine quickly found acclaim from enthusiast groups.

Sold for: 1540000 USD
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