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356 Shock Absorber Types

July 13, 2010 | Research & Identification
By Tom Scott and Joris Koning

Shock Absorber Information from Tom Scott

F & S (Fichtel & Sachs) – Black, refers to a satin black, these were used on PreA, 1950 to 1955, all years except late (1954) 1500 Super.  Stamping information in unknown.

Boge – Black, semi gloss black, these were used on Pre A, early 1600 T1 and all 1500 Carrera.  Stamping information is unknown.

Boge – Brown, refers to a medium brown color, (however early 356 1500 Super and very early 356A, T1, were painted a terracotta brown), these were used from late 1954 to 1965, on late 1500 Super, 1600 Normal: 1956 (T1) to 1965.  Stampings on the upper section included Porsche and manufacturer’s part number and date on later years. [Editor: others have described the Boge shock color as "mahogany".]

Koni – Orange, refers to an orangish/red, these were used starting in June 1958 thru 1962 1600 Super, Super 90 but were optional for all years 1958 thru 1965 and usually noted on the COA.  Stampings included Porsche part #, “PORSCHE” and date, however early Koni, 1958 to 1959 did NOT include “PORSCHE”, part # 80-1011 only, with date.

Koni – Gray, refers to color similar to battle ship grey, these were used starting in 1960 for 1600 Super, Super 90 and Carrera 2.  Stampings included Porsche part #, “PORSCHE” and date.

Koni – Blue, refers to medium blue, these were used starting in 1962 for 356 SC and Carrera 2 and were optional for 356C.  Stampings included Porsche part #, “PORSCHE”, and date.

Note: all Koni shocks apparently had the KONI decal on the top section beginning in 1958.

Porsche Shock Absorbers – Information Sources

  1. 356 Porsche Technical and Restoration Guide, 356 Registry, September 1994, Don Fowler, p. 364                   
  2. Up-Fixin der Porsche, Porsche Panorama, PCA, October 1963, Vern  Racek, p. 81
  3. Ibid, Bob Garretson, p. 83
  4. Porsche Spare Parts Catalog, Dr. Ing. H. c. F. Porsche K- G., 1952
  5. Ibid, 356, January 1955
  6. Ibid, 356 A, May 1957
  7. Ibid, 356B, January 1960
  8. Ibid, 356C, March 1963
  9. Actual shock absorbers removed from 356 models, paint colors,  stampings, part numbers & date codes
  10. Comments from 356 Registry members

Shock Absorber Information from Joris Koning

Below are some of my observations over the years from original cars, factory documentation and discussions with people who have been around these cars for years and have competed at the highest level.

  • Pre-A; no idea
  • Early A; Fichtel and Sachs, have Porsche part # and are dated on the bottom eye
  • Later A; Boge, .1 part number and possibly black, not sure
  • T-2 optional, Koni, reddish orange with date and "porsche" embossing
  • Mid B; Koni, grey in color with date, 'Porsche' embossing and part #
  • Late B/C; Koni, blue withdate, 'Porsche' embossing and part #

The factory service bulletins give some more clues with regard to the Boge's. Bulletin F12/61 states, "In rahmen der technische weiterentwicklung wurden ab obengenannten einsatztermin in alle fahrzeuge mit motor typ 1600 verbesserte Boge-stossdampfer eingebaut" Loosly translated this means that through further technical development, as of above date improved Boge shocks will be used in all typ 1600 cars.

Bulletin F10/63 states that as of 13.3.63 Boge's will be used in the 1600S and S-90 "Zur kenzeichnung sind die Stossdampfer braun lackiert" For recognition they are painted brown.