The radio itself, a Blaupunkt with neat plastic switches, was another upgrade introduced for the 356A.
Like many other car brands, such as Ferrari and Enzo, Lotus and Chapman- Porsche was designed by the drive of passion and desire. The Porsche 356 is the first car production line by Ferdinand Porsche's son, Ferry Ferdinand. The production was funded by sales from Porsche designed Volkswagen Type 60, also known as the Beetle.
This one’s a particularly rare brew: it was originally exported to Australia, making it a sought-after right-hand-drive 356. The colour was specially mixed for Oz, a gorgeous not-quite-green, not-quite-cream hue, like a cup of peppermint tea someone’s accidentally poured milk into. Showing just 7000 miles from new and fresh from a mechanical and body restoration co-ordinated by Porsche Centre Leeds, it’s properly mint too, as if it’s driven through a convenient tear in the space-time fabric from Zuffenhausen in 1958 straight to a quiet road near Kielder Forest, 2018.
Two Seat Cockpit
Like modern Porsches, quality feels top-drawer, and the details are lovely: the perforated headlining, the ultra-comfy springing system in the seats. And the smell… If you could bottle that aroma of leather, plastics and general essence-of-old-car, you would. The car’s previous owner also commissioned a set of tan leather luggage to match the sets originally available in the ’50s. Charming doesn’t begin to cover it.
Twist and pull the chromed choke lever outwards, turn the key and the engine putters into life and settles to a smooth, throbby idle. Another twist of a chromed handle releases the parking brake, buried far under the dash. You do a lot of stretching in a 356. The pedals are offset to the left, so you drive with your torso at 12 o’clock, your legs at 10 o’clock. Push the spongy, long-travel clutch into the floor, taking care not to catch the sole of your left shoe against your right – the pedals are close – tickle the throttle and pull away.
There’s such a long throw to the spindly gear lever it feels like you need to reach under the dash for first gear, and into the back seat for second. There’s a similar distance between each ratio – shift up too early and the engine begins to struggle. Time it right, though, and it’s immensely satisfying.