3rd edition of Brian Long’s Porsche 356 book

One could think the Porsche 356 is a car that may have been forgotten by many Porsche enthusiasts nowadays. However we should not forget the whole Porsche story started with the Porsche 356. To be honest, it started way before, but the Porsche 356 was the very first car to carry the name Porsche on the bonnet. Despite a short lifespan of only just under 20 years, compared to the Porsche 911, all of us must realise there would not be a Porsche 911 without the Porsche 356. Luckily enough for the Porsche 356 fans, a renowned author like Brian Long gives attention to the car it all began with. In “The Ultimate Book of the Porsche 356”, Brian Long brings even more details, and more stories about the Porsche 356.
The Gmünd era of the Porsche 356 is not forgotten and has many illustrations.

“The Ultimate Book of the Porsche 356” starts with a short chapter dedicated to the history of Porsche. Nothing really new is described. Nonetheless it gives the reader a short resumé and introduction before comingto the subject of the book : the Porsche 356.  The first Porsches carrying the name Porsche on the bonnet were build in Gmünd (Austria).  Even though the Gmünd era is not the longest in the history of the Porsche 356, we would have liked somewhat more information.  But we must admit, the illustrations and pictures of the Gmünd Porsches are phenomenal.

Illustrated with scans of period advertising and great colour charts

The different models of the Porsche 356

In the next chapters, the different models in the Porsche 356 model range our covered. Each model has its own chapter. With the aid of the Porsche Archives, Brian Long illustrates the well-written and clear text, with previously unknow pictures. The use of scans of period advertising and posters make the book somewhat ‘easier’ to go through. The hundreds of pictures in the book make it even possible to see it as a coffee-table book too. That is,  next to being a reference work. Because that’s exactly what “The Ultimate Book of the Porsche 356” can serve for. The colour charts printed in the book have both a good example of the colour, including the color code. Furthermore these charts have trim options included. However, I would have liked these color charts seen in a larger format.  Each chapter (ie description of a Porsche 356 model) ends with a summarised table with engine types available for that particular model range. On top of that, the reader gets a good view on the period factory sales literature. Pictures of the brochures a potential customer received at the Porsche dealership illustrate the text. 


We all know that Porsches have been used in motorsport from the very beginning. And even though this book covers the complete evolution of the Porsche 356 model rang, starting in 1948 and finishing in the mid 60s, motorsports exploits aren’t forgotten. All of the Porsche motorsports car derived from the Porsche 356 are included.  Many important motorsports exploits are mentioned, and illustrated with picture, both black/white and full-colour. The book finishes with 3 appendices. The first gives a complete year-by-year overview of all the Porsche 356s arranged in chronological/engine size order.  Appendix 2 is a compilation of all the engine types employed in the Porsche 356. The last appendix learns us all about the chassis number and production figures.


Our final conclusion : this is a fantastic book with lots of information, detail and very well illustrated. “The Ultimate book of the Porsche 356” is definitely a  great addition to the library of any car enthusiast. It will definitely serve as a good reference work for Porsche 356 fans and historians.  However,  we consider the price a bit too steep for the information given. On the other hand, for a individually numbered edition strictly limited to 356 books, this might be a future collectible book. And it fits best in your library with the sister book “The Ultimate Book on the air-cooled Porsche 911” next to it. (Still available with a discount of 15% till midnight December 31st 2019 by using discount code LFP15)

The book is in English and only available via the publisher : https://ultimate356.veloce.co.uk
All pictures courtesy of Veloce Publishing


The Ultimate Book of the Porsche 356 Book Cover The Ultimate Book of the Porsche 356
Brian Long
Veloce Publishing
December 2019
Slipcased and leatherbound. Strictly limited edition of just 356 copies
256 pages / 545 pictures and illustrations