1961 Porsche 356 B Super 90: German Miracle

1961 Porsche 356 B Super 90: German Miracle

Engine Opposite 4 Horsepower 90 HP at 5500 RPM Torque 121 Nm at 4300 RPMEngine Location RearDrive Type RWDWeight 908 kg F/R Brakes Drum hydraulicTransmission 5-speed manual

Every year, the Porsche 356 changed dramatically, moving further from its progenitor, the Volkswagen Beetle, and this was manifested both in mechanical components and design. In 1959, it underwent a significant restyling, accompanied by an introduction of a completely new 356 B model with an internal body index from T2 to T5.

Source: Hexagon Classics

At the 1959 Frankfurt Motor Show, Porsche introduced the new 356 B. The German sports car, becoming increasingly sophisticated and sought-after, received a new design. Porsche designers changed the vehicle’s profile by raising the front fenders and headlights to meet the needs of the most important export market in the USA. The new vertical bumpers offered better parking protection. After its debut, it went on sale in three body styles: 2+2 coupe, 2+2 convertible, and roadster. The latter was the successor to the 356A Convertible D, not the Speedster, so it had a standard windshield height and side windows in the doors. It differed from the convertible only in the side chrome moldings and the absence of rear seats. Coupes and convertibles were built at Reutter, and roadsters at Drauz.

The origins

Source: Richmonds

A new version of the “three hundred and fifty-sixth,” or “Type 5,” was shown to the world at the end of 1959. The updated car had several technical improvements and changes in the exterior (new bumpers, modified rear lighting). The modernization was led by designer Erwin Komenda, who also designed the original Porsche 356 Pre-A. Looking back at the work of his Detroit colleagues, he paid particular attention to the front end of the car to bring it up to American standards. To do this, it was necessary to raise the front bumper higher so that a part of the body could be seen under it and, together with it, move the headlights above, placing them at a lesser slope. As a result, the hood became more gentle against the backdrop of straightened front fenders. As before, a spare wheel, a gas tank, and a small luggage compartment were hidden under them.

The air-cooled engine was located at the back under a small cover with one ventilation grill, on which, if necessary, an external trunk was attached. Further changes were incorporated during the development of the 356 B model in 1961. The new design brought a larger front trunk lid with a squared leading edge, a more oversized, chromed hood handle, an engine cover with two air intake grilles, air intakes in the front apron for the new alloy drum brakes, and a redesigned instrument panel with the optimized position of the instruments. In addition, the interior mirror had been improved. With the redesign of the fuel tank, the 356 B also gained luggage space. The tank also moved to the top of the right front fender and was given an external filler neck with a fuel filler cap flap. The 356B was offered as a coupe, roadster, and cabriolet. The convertibles were luxurious, as they came standard with leather seats and a thickly padded soft top. 

The 1961 model year

Source: Auto Vercity

The Super 90 benefited from a higher lift cam, a 9.1 compression ratio, and two larger 40 Solex PII carburetors. Lubrication had been improved for longer engine life, and a more substantial Hausermann clutch pack had also been used. With this engine design and an unladen weight of fewer than 900 kilograms, the top speed of the Super 90 was an impressive 180 km/h. The large aluminum drum brakes with additional cooling fins provided more than enough braking deceleration. Fuel consumption was rated at 27 mpg (miles per gallon), which equated to 8.7 liters per 100 km.

Did you know?

Source: Hemmings

Being a car with a stunning design, this model was featured in such movies and TV series as Car Crazy (2001-2022), The November Man (2014), Samantha Who? (2007-2009), Fifth Gear (2002-2022), and many more.

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1961 Porsche 356 B Super 90: German Miracle

Engine Opposite 4 Horsepower 90 HP at 5500 RPM Torque 121 Nm at 4300 RPMEngine Location RearDrive Type RWDWeight 908 kg F/R Brakes Drum hydraulicTransmission 5-speed manual

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