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1959→1963 Porsche 356B/1600 Cabriolet

1959→1963 Porsche 356B/1600 Cabriolet

Porsche offered the 356B Cabriolet as a high-end touring car with a thick-padded convertible top and expensive options such a leather seats and a Blaupunkt radio.

In September of 1959 Porsche revealed their fully updated 356 known as the 356B. This had a completely revised body that was more suitable for the American market.

The 356B used the new T5 bodystyle which raised the front and rear bumpers nearly four inches. Furthermore the headlights were also repositioned higher to meet American regulations.

Inside Porsche fitted a new deep dish steering wheel and deeper front seats.

New to the model was the Type 616/7 Super 90 engine which was an indirect replacement for the Carrera de Luxe models. The engine was fully revised with a new intake manifold, a larger Solex 40 PII-4 carburetor and the Carrera air filters. Other detail changes included 9.0:1 pistons, stronger valve springs, a different crankshaft with 55mm main bearings.

In August of 1961 Porsche revealed the updated T6 body with larger windows for the Coupe and twin engine grills on the rear deck. These had a much revised front trunk with a different gas tank that was accessed under a filler lid on the fender instead of the middle of the trunk.

In 1963, the 356C marked the third and final update to the 356 saga.

1959→1963 Porsche 356B/1600 Cabriolet

In Detail

type Series Production Car
production years 1959 – 1963
built at Stuttgart, Germany
price $ $ 4103
engine Flat-4
position Rear, Longitudinal
aspiration Natural
valvetrain Pushrod OHV, Two Valves per Cyl
fuel feed 2 Zenith 32 NDIX Carburettors
displacement 1582 cc / 96.54 in³
bore 82.5 mm / 3.2 in
stroke 74 mm / 2.9 in
compression 8.5:1
power 64.1 kw / 86 bhp @ 5500 rpm
specific output 54.36 bhp per litre
bhp/weight 95.56 bhp per tonne
torque 120.7 nm / 89 ft lbs @ 4300 rpm
redline 6000
body / frame Unitary Steel Monocoque
driven wheels RWD
wheel type Steel Discs
front tires 165 SR-15 Sport
rear tires 165 SR-15 Sport
front brakes Al-Fin Aluminum Drums
f brake size 40 x 280 mm / 1.6 x 11.0 in
rear brakes Al-Fin Aluminum Drums
r brake size 40 x 280 mm / 1.6 x 11.0 in
front wheels F 38.1 x 11.4 cm / 15 x 4.5 in
rear wheels R 38.1 x 11.4 cm / 15 x 4.5 in
f suspension Swing Arms w/Torsion Bars, Adj Anti-Roll Bar, Hydraulic Shock Absorbers
r suspension Half Axles w/Radius Arms, Torsion Bars, Anti-Roll Bar, Hydraulic Shock Absorbers
curb weight 900 kg / 1980 lbs
wheelbase 2100 mm / 82.7 in
front track 1306 mm / 51.4 in
rear track 1272 mm / 50.1 in
length 4010 mm / 157.9 in
width 1670 mm / 65.7 in
height 1330 mm / 52.4 in
transmission 741/0A 4-Speed Manual
gear ratios 3.091:1, 1.765:1, 1.130:1, 0.815:1
final drive 4.428:1
top speed ~156.07 kph / 97 mph
0 – 60 mph ~15 seconds
0 – 1/4 mile ~19.4 seconds
fuel capacity 52 litres or 13.73 gal.