Porsche 356/1 Roadster


The first ever car to be badged as a Porsche was a one-off, designed by Ferry Porsche and built in an old sawmill in Gmünd, Austria – this unique car is now known as the Gmünd Roadster.

It was very different to the Porsches that followed, in that it was mid-engined to give balanced weight distribution for optimal handling. The engine itself was a Volkswagen flat-four with its power output raised from 24.5bhp to a heady 35bhp. Top speed was a respectable for the day 84mph.

The Roadster was clothed in a gorgeous open-top bodyshell made from lightweight aluminium. With its remarkably smooth lines, it must have been a striking machine in those austere postwar years.

Engine: Mid-mounted, air-cooled flat-four with one Solex 26 VFI downdraft carburettor
Capacity: 1131cc
Compression ratio: 7.0:1
Bore and stroke: 75x64mm
Maximum power: 35bhp at 4000rpm
Maximum torque: 69Nm at 2600rpm
Transmission: Four speed manual driving the rear axle
Brakes: Front: 230x30mm drums; rear: 230x30mm drums
Suspension: Front: Two parallel arms with torsion bars and single-action dampers; Rear: Oscillating half-through spring stays with torsion bars and double-action dampers