1959 Porsche 356A Roadster

The 1959 Porsche 356A Roadster is a beautiful collector car. The creation of the Porsche 356 goes all the way back to pre World War Two Germany and the work of  Dr. Ferdinand Porsche. What began as a Volkswagen Beetle and years later in 1939 a prototype Porsche would three years after the war become the famous Porsche 356. It was the Porsche 356 model sports car that launched the Porsche brand.

porsche 356a

1959 Porsche 356A

Dr. Ferdinand Porsche

Although he started his career in the automobile business in 1898 in Vienna, Dr. Ferdinand Porsche, an automobile engineer with an Austrian-Czech background, came into much acclaim in Germany prior to World War Two.His engineering skills were also put to use by the German government during the 1930's with tank designs and various weaponry designs.

Ferdinand Porsche founded his company in 1931 in Austria prior to relocating to Stuttgart, Germany. The company did not start out as an automaker but rather as an engineering consulting firm. Before building automobiles under his own name, Porsche is credited with developing, at the behest of Adolph Hitler, the Volkswagen Beetle. This was called "the people's car" which was intended as a civilian vehicle but was made into a military model during the war.

1959 porsche

The First Porsche Automobile After the War

The very first car under the Porsche name was introduced in 1939. This was the Porsche 64 and was short lived. While this Porsche 64 model was different than the first Porsche 356 that came out after the war, there were some similarities that were carried over to the first Porsche 356.

After the war in March 1948, in a small factory in Gmünd, Austria, Ferry Porsche, son of engineer Dr.  Ferdinand Porsche, designed and built a small two-seater sports car, which would be the first car to bear his family’s name. This was the Porsche 356 which would literally define Porsche automobiles up to 1965. AS they lacked any credit, the Porsche family had to ask for payment in advance from VW auto dealers to get Porsche 356 production started. Under fifty Porsche 356's were built the first year.

As a side note, in 1948, the younger Porsche and his father, Ferdinand Porsche Sr., were imprisoned in France for alleged war crimes for working with the Nazi government. Ferry Porsche served just six months but the elder Porsche ended up spending 22 months in prison.

The Design

The Porsche 356 was light, sporty and had rear engine placement. The Porsche brand acquired an excellent reputation for craftsmanship. Years later, the 356A model was a further enhancement of the original 356 with a curved one piece windshield, additional specialized Porsche components and a larger choice of engines.

Porsche would eventually build a 356B model and a 356C model between 1960 and 1965. The 356C was the last of the 356 model line.

1959 Porsche 356 Roadster Specifications

Two engines were available for 1959. These were a 1582cc ohv flat four delivering 50-75 HP. The other was a 1588cc dohc flat four putting out 121 to 132 HP. Maximum speed for the car was rated at 100 MPH.

The automobile had a wheelbase of 82.7 inches, a length of 155.5 inches, a width of 65.4 inches and a height of 51.6 inches. Curb weight was rated at 1,800 lbs.

Gearbox was a four speed manual. Brakes were four wheel drum. Suspension was independent front and rear.

See the additional Auto Museum Online articles on the links below...

1962 Porsche Carrera 2

1974 Porsche 914

A few interesting books regarding Ferdinand Porsche and the Porsche automobiles include...Ferdinand Porsche and the Volkswagen by Porsche Ag.....The Book of the Porsche 356 by author Brian Long.

1959 Porsche Roadster

Porsche Collector Cars

Porsche automobiles are some of the finest collector cars available. Porsche automobiles are luxury sports cars which have the chance to appreciate over time depending on the model. The cars have a reputation for quality craftsmanship and generally have had good resale values.

The more original the car is, the past ownership of the car, and its racing history, if any, all factor in a car’s value. In Porsche, you can see 80 years of a single approach to design from 1948 onwards.

As of this writing, depending on exactly which 1959 Porsche model you're looking at and it's condition, asking prices for those offered for sale may range from $45,000 to $250,000.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)

 

 

1906 Buick Model G

 

This 1906 Buick, an automobile brand known everywhere for quality, is one beautiful early automobile.

Buick was founded by a Scottish bathtub manufacturer by the name of David Buick. Joining Buick in 1899 in his enterprise were a Michigan bicycle merchant named Walter Lorenzo Marr and a French machinist named Eugene Richard. These three men were noted for devising an engine with valves in the cylinder head. The valves were opposite the cylinder head rather than the then common placement beside them.

1906 Buick Model G

1906 Buick Model G

The first Buick automobile sold reportedly was the 1904 Model B although a few prototype autos were built prior to that. The car shown in this article, the 1906 Buick Model G. During 1906 Buick also built a Model F which was a five-seater. These were the two Buick models available in 1906.

William Durant and Buick

It didn't take long at all for William Durant, a very successful and wealthy carriage maker to see the innovation with Buick's engineering. Buick, Durant believed, was the perfect starting point. Durant had wanted to enter the auto building business and decided to begin investing in Buick, a small start up company in 1903. By 1904 Durant took control of Buick. Durant wanted a car company and Buick was cash strapped at the time. This signaled the beginning of what would eventually become General Motors.

1906 Buick Two-Seater

1906 Buick Two-Seater

Durant hired a sales force to sell Buicks all over the U.S. As far as promoting his vehicles, Billy Durant was not fond of spending money on conventional advertising. Instead he often chose to parade his vehicles around town trying to attract attention. Buick also was doing well in the racing category claiming three performance records in 1905.This included the world's record in a five mile race.

This in itself to Durant was the best advertising. During this very early automobile era quite a few people paid attention to auto race results. This stirred the buzz and this is what helped sell cars.

He furthermore had very good success attracting investment money from Wall Street, Flint Michigan banks and from carriage makers who wanted to take part in what they saw could be the replacement of the horse carriage.

1906 Buick Roadster

1906 Buick Roadster

Durant, the natural salesman, took Buick cars to the New York Auto Show and came back with over one-thousand orders. These were orders for a car company which had built a bit over thirty vehicles to date.

An excellent book about William Durant and the making of General Motors is The Deal Maker: How William C. Durant Made General Motors by author Axel Madsen.

Links to more AutoMuseumOnline articles you'll find interesting include:

1903 Ford Model A

1913 Ford Model T Touring Car

 

1906 Buick Model G Specifications

The 1906 Buick Model G had a two cylinder engine with a total of four valves, two per cylinder. The engine could deliver 22 horsepower at 1,200 RPM. Displacement was 159 cubic inches. The engine placement was in the middle of the vehicle.

1906 Buick Model G rear view

1906 Buick Model G rear view

The car's transmission was a manual two speed with rear wheel drive.

The 1906 Buick Model G had a wheelbase of 87.0 inches and was a two-seater. The fuel tank held 16 gallons. Vehicle weight was 1,850 lbs.

The 1906 Buick's could be bought in colors of either ivory or purple lake blue. A variety of colors could be chosen for the leather seats.

A total of 193 of these roadsters were built. The 1906 Buick Model G sold new for around $1,100.

(Photos from author's collection)