2023 was the year of the celebrations for Porsche. The Porsche 911 celebrated its 60th anniversary. And the company had a party for creating 75 years of sportscars. Connoisseurs know Porsche’s history of creating sportscars under its name, which started in 1948. June 8 to to be precise, when the Porsche 356 Number 1 was road-licensed. Ferry Porsche’s quote “In the beginning I looked around and could not find quite the car I dreamed of, so I decided to build it myself” is widely known. It was driven by this dream that Ferry Porsche kind of started the company. That exact phrase is the start of the foreword of the head of the Porsche Museum Achim Stesjkal for “356#1: The History of the Porsche 356 No 1 Roadster” which tells all you want to know about the great-grandfather of all current Porsches “
Among the thousands of books that exist on the subject of Porsche, you’ll hardly find one that doesn’t mention the Porsche 356 Number 1. But this is the first time, that the complete history of this particular car is told. It is told by the experts, researched by the specialists, and with the support of the Porsche Museum. That support made sure there was access to documents and illustrations that barely saw daylight in the last few decades.
Several drafts, accompanied by a short text, show us how the design of the Porsche 356 Number 1 evolved into the final result. Documents and pictures that were never unearthed before illustrate the book. Pictures of its first official outing and era paper clippings teach us how the car was welcomed by the press. The car was sold to a customer and changed hands a few times during the next 10 years until it was rediscovered by Richard von Frankenberg and traded for a brand new Porsche 356 Speedster with the owner of that time. The car returned to the factory in 1958 and nowadays Porsche is still one of the few car manufacturers that owns the original first vehicle they constructed.
All this, and much, much more, can be discovered in “356#1: The History of the Porsche 356 No 1 Roadster”. The complete history, from the first drawings to pictures showing the car at events nowadays like Porsche Rennsport or in promotion shots for the prototype Porsche 357. 260 pages, 300 pictures, and illustrations teach us all about the great-grandfather of all Porsches you see on the road nowadays. Don’t expect a long and nerdy textbook, but rather a coffee table book that has enough text and knowledge to share to be way more than a coffee table book.