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

typeSeries Production Car
production years1959 – 1963
built atStuttgart, Germany
price $$ 4103
positionRear, Longitudinal
valvetrainPushrod OHV, Two Valves per Cyl
fuel feed2 Zenith 32 NDIX Carburettors
displacement1582 cc / 96.54 in³
bore82.5 mm / 3.2 in
stroke74 mm / 2.9 in
power64.1 kw / 86 bhp @ 5500 rpm
specific output54.36 bhp per litre
bhp/weight95.56 bhp per tonne
torque120.7 nm / 89 ft lbs @ 4300 rpm
body / frameUnitary Steel Monocoque
driven wheelsRWD
wheel typeSteel Discs
front tires165 SR-15 Sport
rear tires165 SR-15 Sport
front brakesAl-Fin Aluminum Drums
f brake size40 x 280 mm / 1.6 x 11.0 in
rear brakesAl-Fin Aluminum Drums
r brake size40 x 280 mm / 1.6 x 11.0 in
front wheelsF 38.1 x 11.4 cm / 15 x 4.5 in
rear wheelsR 38.1 x 11.4 cm / 15 x 4.5 in
f suspensionSwing Arms w/Torsion Bars, Adj Anti-Roll Bar, Hydraulic Shock Absorbers
r suspensionHalf Axles w/Radius Arms, Torsion Bars, Anti-Roll Bar, Hydraulic Shock Absorbers
curb weight900 kg / 1980 lbs
wheelbase2100 mm / 82.7 in
front track1306 mm / 51.4 in
rear track1272 mm / 50.1 in
length4010 mm / 157.9 in
width1670 mm / 65.7 in
height1330 mm / 52.4 in
transmission741/0A 4-Speed Manual
gear ratios3.091:1, 1.765:1, 1.130:1, 0.815:1
final drive4.428:1
top speed~156.07 kph / 97 mph
0 – 60 mph~15 seconds
0 – 1/4 mile~19.4 seconds
fuel capacity52 litres or 13.73 gal.