1961 Porsche 356B (T5)
4-cyl. 1582cc/60hp 2x2bbl
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
For the 1960 model year, the 356A model was out and replaced by the 356B, which was known internally as the T5. It looked similar on the outside, but there were numerous small but important changes to the body. The front bumper had enlarged rim guards that were positioned higher, and the headlights were slightly raised as well. The front indicators came stuck out further and the front lid handle was new. In the back, the lights for the license plate were integrated into the now raised rear bumper, and the reverse light was lowered.
For the 1962 model year, the front lid was re-designed to feature a widened lower section and a tank cap was introduced into the front wing. Additional ventilation grills were also integrated into the enlarged bonnet.
The Porsche 356B was offered with three 1600cc engines, designated the 1600, 1600 Super and Super 90. The advanced and expensive four-cam Carrera 2 was also available. The 1600 units featured differing compression ratios and carburation resulting in outputs ranging from 60 to 90bhp. The Super 90 variant featured sodium filled valves and twin Solex P40-11 carburettors. This engine is particularly sought after by collectors due to its high power output.
The Porsche 356B was a step-change from the previous Porsche 356A. Aside from the more obvious external changes, the B offered more powerful and flexible engine options which exploited the car's excellent chassis and handling dynamics. Their reputation for race inspired engineering and accessible performance has ensured many have led active but cherished lives. Subsequently, examples are relatively plentiful on the open market. Proper maintenance and care of any 356 is dependent on specialist knowledge and equipment no more so than the quad-cam Carrera GS. The complex body construction of the Porsche 356B resulted in many areas at which corrosion could take hold, often serious, making repair and restoration a challenging prospect.
The Porsche 356B was available in a number of different versions. There was a Coupe, Roadster (replacing the convertible D), Super, Super Roadster, Super 90 and Super 90 Roadster. There were mixed views at the time concerning the revised front end styling and raised headlights but this did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm for a car that had matured to occupy a singular place in the market.
During its continued evolution, the Porsche 356 had grown in both stature and price, but it still had no direct competition. MGs, ACs and Jags all combined some elements of the 356’s appeal but were not as refined and sophisticated in their execution, at least according to Porsche loyalists. The 356B further solidified Porsche’s reputation for building high quality, fun and quick little sports cars, plus it allowed the company to continue the slow, methodical growth that allowed it to become one of the world’s premier specialist car manufacturers.