1954 Porsche 356

Pre A 1500 Cabriolet 1.5 L

Vehicle values by condition

Condition 4
#4 cars are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped.
Condition 3
#3 cars could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 car, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior.
Condition 2
#2 cars could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 cars that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws.
Condition 1
#1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best car, unmodified, in the right colours, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours.
Insurance premium for a
1954 Porsche 356 Pre A 1500 Cabriolet 1488
valued at £185,000
£710.43 / year*

History of the 1950 - 1955 Porsche 356

1950 - 1955 Porsche 356
1950 - 1955 Porsche 356

The Porsche 356A manufactured between 1955-1959 was a rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 2-door sports coupe and convertible designed by Porsche designer Erwin Komenda.

In 1955, following the success of the original ‘Pre A’ model, the Porsche 356A was introduced. Part of factory designation 'Technical Programme 1', the Type 1 or T1 as it became known was followed by a revision in 1957 to the T2. An open Speedster version was also offered along with a high-performance Carrera GS model fitted with a race-derived 4-cam engine.

For the 356A, external changes were minimal, however a larger 1600cc engine was offered along with re-worked suspension and smaller diameter tyres with a wider tread. The keener eye would spot the addition of a rubbing strip below the doors and the use of enamel paint in place of lacquer. Interior changes were correspondingly minimal with a flat-face dashboard following the contour of the now curved windscreen. Other options were the provision for a modern radio, courtesy lighting and a clock.

For the 1957 model year, the revised T2 model was released with the exhausts now routing through the rear bumper over-riders. Mechanically, carburation was changed to Zenith items from the previous Solex.

The 356A was available with five 4-cylinder engines, all naturally aspirated and of flat configuration, ranging from the 1300cc unit of 44bhp to the 1500cc Carrera GS producing 100bhp. Power was transferred via a 5-speed all-synchromesh gearbox.

From its inception, the Porsche 356 was engineered and constructed to make the most of its competition pedigree. This shows in abundance in the road manners and handling. Whilst other manufacturers were using increased capacity engines to gain performance, Porsche concentrated on lightness and engineering balance to achieve these aims, in many cases out-performing comparative machinery with sometimes twice the horsepower.

Save for the very early cars and some high performance models such as the Carrera GS, Porsche 356s are relatively plentiful on the open market. Mechanically, although straightforward, parts can be expensive and difficult to source and in the case of the 4-cam Carrera GS engine, require specialist maintenance.

Rust is the principle consideration of Porsche 356 purchase and ownership. Complex body construction methods ensured plenty of hidden areas where serious structural rust can take hold. Consequently, properly restored or sound original cars command a high premium.

As with all Porsche 356A derivatives, be they the coupe, Cabriolet, Convertible D or Speedster, desirability is strong. The car's long standing appeal has been enhanced over the years by competition success and celebrity association enabling it an elevated position in high fashion.

Speedster and Carrera GS models enjoy a particularly strong following, the latter attributable for the most part to its high revving race-bred engine.

At its launch the 356A enjoyed a privileged position in the market with no true competitor from other manufacturers. It could be said that the typical Porsche 356 customer would have also taken time to investigate the AC Ace, Jaguar XK120 and XK140, and the MGA, but these cars were considerably less sophisticated and in some cases more expensive.

All 1954 Porsche 356 body types

Year Make Model Submodel Body Type Engine size Average value
1950 Porsche 356 Pre A 1300 Coupe 1.3 L £ 117,000 136,000 203,000 371,000
1950 Porsche 356 Pre A 1500 Coupe 1.5 L £ 126,000 141,000 207,000 401,000
1954 Porsche 356 Pre A 1500 Speedster 1.5 L £ 120,000 143,000 187,000 353,000
1954 Porsche 356 Pre A Base Speedster 1.3 L £ 190,000 218,000 276,000 335,000
1950 Porsche 356 Pre A 1300 Cabriolet 1.3 L £ 153,000 179,000 272,000 449,000
1950 Porsche 356 Pre A 1500 Cabriolet 1.5 L £ 160,000 185,000 276,000 470,000
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